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How much blame does Allen deserve for the Bills poor run game?(By not checking out of obvious poor run plays)


Big Turk
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So let me preface this by saying that Allen does many many things at an elite level. One thing I think that may be an issue that he can work on tho, is helping the Bills run game by making better checks at the line of scrimmage.

 

Something that I have been having a sneaking suspicion since last season that has grown more early this season as we continue to struggle is why do there always seem to be free defenders in the backfield before the RB even gets the handoff?

 

After watching a few replays from Cover1 and The John Fina Podcast it looks like the answer may be that the Bills don't check out of run plays that feature obvious blocking issues enough. The sneaking suspicion watching live was the Bills were running plays where defenders outnumber blockers making it virtually impossible to block effectively on some plays. This was at least in part confirmed on those replays as the Bills are running the ball to an area where defenders outnumber blockers, which seems like it should be a basic check done at the line out of a run play to that side at least. Either flip the play to the other side with more favorable numbers or switch to a pass play.

 

So my question now is has anyone gone back through the all 22 to see if this is happening frequently or was it just a couple of plays? To me it seems like it would be hard to consistently miss blocks almost every time an RB gets the ball to the point a defender is waiting for them in the backfield without there being free defenders.

 

This would also seem to point to Allen  not checking us out of these plays that have virtually no chance of being effective. Knowing that he does a lot of checks and audibles at the line, I am assuming he DOES in fact get us out of some of those bad run plays, but perhaps not enough?

 

Just thought I would bring this up as I haven't really seen it discussed and it has become something that appears to happen regularly...

 

Is Allen missing the check? Thinking it's supposed to be blocked differently? Expecting the defender to do something else?

 

To be clear I am not talking about an RPO or Read Option, mainly when he simply turns around and hands the ball off.

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20 minutes ago, Scott7975 said:

I dont think hardly any.  I think the oline just isnt very good.  Im no expert though but I would trust what @GunnerBillhas to say on this.

 

To be clear there ARE, for certain, plays where we run the ball to a side with obvious outnumbered blocking...last game there was a situation they ran to a side with 6 Dolphin defenders but only 4 blockers when they have a more favorable blocking matchup on the other side. The question isn't "is this happening?" because it certainly is...the question is how often is this happening and is Allen not doing a good enough job preventing it?

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6 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

 

To be clear there ARE, for certain, plays where we run the ball to a side with obvious outnumbered blocking...last game there was a situation they ran to a side with 4 Dolphin defenders but only 3 blockers when they have a more favorable blocking matchup on the other side. The question isn't "is this happening?" because it certainly is...the question is how often is this happening and is Allen not doing a good enough job preventing it?

 

We dont know plays, playcalls, what Josh is supposed to do in those situations, what linemen are supposed to do in those situations.  I also believe Morse was helping to call protections and he was out.  Look at what Joe B had to say about our line.  Josh may be part of this, I dont know but what I do know is our linemen are definitely not good.  I also know that these backs are better than they look because of it.  Although Motor had an opportunity to have the same run Moss had in the Miami game and didnt take it.  That was pretty poor vision there.

 

This is why I said I would trust what GunnerBill had to say on this.  He is pretty smart with football IMO.  Definitely one of the smarter ones on the board which is odd because I think he is on the other side of the ocean.

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1 minute ago, Scott7975 said:

 

We dont know plays, playcalls, what Josh is supposed to do in those situations, what linemen are supposed to do in those situations.  I also believe Morse was helping to call protections and he was out.  Look at what Joe B had to say about our line.  Josh may be part of this, I dont know but what I do know is our linemen are definitely not good.  I also know that these backs are better than they look because of it.  Although Motor had an opportunity to have the same run Moss had in the Miami game and didnt take it.  That was pretty poor vision there.

 

If you can show me any play design that features running to a side where the offensive blockers are outnumbered 6 - 4 by defenders I want to know what it is because I have never seen it.  That doesn't require a whole lot of football knowledge of what the players are doing to know that play is not going to work 99 times out of 100.

 

 

BillFinsBlocking.GIF

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2 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

 

If you can show me any play design that features running to a side where the offensive blockers are outnumbered 6 - 4 by defenders I want to know what it is because I have never seen it.  That doesn't require a whole lot of football knowledge of what the players are doing to know that play is not going to work 99 times out of 100.

 

 

BillFinsBlocking.GIF

 

I dont know bro.  I havent even looked at the cover1 stuff to see what plays you are talking about.  Maybe later.

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22 minutes ago, Allen2Diggs said:

It's not Josh Allen's fault that the defense gets penetration on every play. With the exception of Dion Dawkins, every one of our offensive linemen are playing at replacement level.

 

But that is kinda my point.  I just posted above a play against the Dolphins where the Bills CLEARLY ran to the side where the Dolphin defenders outnumbered the Bills blockers 6-4.  How can there NOT be a free defender getting penetration?

 

Just from what I have watched in previous games, it appears this happens semi-regularly, and I want to know why. This isn't the first time I noticed something similar, but it's the first time it was clearly pointed out where I am thinking to myself "So I haven't been crazy all this time". I don't have the All-22 to where I can go back and view the game film and see just how often it happens, but I can say just from what I have seen live, this for sure isn't the only time it has happened.

 

The thing is, this is simple math. You count the number of players from the center over to the side you are running the ball and if they outnumber your blockers by 1, MAYBE you run the play hoping the RB can make the guy miss, but most likely check out of it to the other side where they had an even count.  When you are outnumbered by 2, forget it.  There is no way you should be running a play to that side of the field, it makes no sense. Especially if you aren't pulling anyone to that side.

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9 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

 

But that is kinda my point.  I just posted above a play against the Dolphins where the Bills CLEARLY ran to the side where the Dolphin defenders outnumbered the Bills blockers 6-4.  How can there NOT be a free defender getting penetration?

 

Just from what I have watched in previous games, it appears this happens semi-regularly, and I want to know why. This isn't the first time I noticed something similar, but it's the first time it was clearly pointed out where I am thinking to myself "So I haven't been crazy all this time"

It's hard to tell who's at fault in that situation. I'm not sure how much freedom Josh is given to change plays at the line. Kromer uses more complex run schemes that might not be easy to just flip to the other side of the line.

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A rare draft mistake by Beane.   

 

Sure, hindsight is 20/20, and I understand the need to draft a corner.... but Morse is getting long in the tooth and has a history of missing ample time due to injuury.    He takes Elam when Lindebaum (BAL starting C)  was available.     Then in the 2nd round he picks Cook when Fortner (JAX starting C) was still available.     

 

You'd think protecting his massive investment behind center would be a priority.

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4 minutes ago, Allen2Diggs said:

It's hard to tell who's at fault in that situation. I'm not sure how much freedom Josh is given to change plays at the line. Kromer uses more complex run schemes that might not be easy to just flip to the other side of the line.

 

From what it seems like, he has free reign to do whatever he wants, as he kills a play to change it to the other one called in the huddle frequently(whenever you hear him yelling "Kill! Kill!") and he is able to audible as well and does so regularly, so I would be shocked if he was forced to stay in a bad run play...it's actually expected he get you out of those type of plays.

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3 minutes ago, John from Riverside said:

Absolutely zero he is so good at the pass teams dare us to run the ball

 

It's not really a dare when you willingly run to a side where defenders outnumber your blockers tho.  It's more like "I can't believe you would do that!"  

Daring them to run would be like if they only had 4 defenders to our 6 blockers.

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  • Big Turk changed the title to How much blame does Allen deserve for the Bills poor run game?(By not checking out of obvious poor run plays)
56 minutes ago, Big Turk said:

So let me preface this by saying that Allen does many many things at an elite level. One thing I think that may be an issue that he can work on tho, is helping the Bills run game by making better checks at the line of scrimmage.

 

Something that I have been having a sneaking suspicion since last season that has grown more early this season as we continue to struggle is why do there always seem to be free defenders in the backfield before the RB even gets the handoff?

 

After watching a few replays from Cover1 and The John Fina Podcast it looks like the answer may be that the Bills don't check out of run plays that feature obvious blocking issues enough. The sneaking suspicion watching live was the Bills were running plays where defenders outnumber blockers making it virtually impossible to block effectively on some plays. This was at least in part confirmed on those replays as the Bills are running the ball to an area where defenders outnumber blockers, which seems like it should be a basic check done at the line out of a run play to that side at least. Either flip the play to the other side with more favorable numbers or switch to a pass play.

 

So my question now is has anyone gone back through the all 22 to see if this is happening frequently or was it just a couple of plays? To me it seems like it would be hard to consistently miss blocks almost every time an RB gets the ball to the point a defender is waiting for them in the backfield without there being free defenders.

 

This would also seem to point to Allen  not checking us out of these plays that have virtually no chance of being effective. Knowing that he does a lot of checks and audibles at the line, I am assuming he DOES in fact get us out of some of those bad run plays, but perhaps not enough?

 

Just thought I would bring this up as I haven't really seen it discussed and it has become something that appears to happen regularly...

 

Is Allen missing the check? Thinking it's supposed to be blocked differently? Expecting the defender to do something else?

 

To be clear I am not talking about an RPO or Read Option, mainly when he simply turns around and hands the ball off.

 

 

Even with seven in the box, seven outnumbers five, even if you throw in a fullback blocking or a WR in motion hitting someone. That's just the way it is. That's why running plays are schemed to create one specific hole rather than four or five.

 

Very little blame goes to Josh, IMO.

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5 minutes ago, Thurman#1 said:

 

 

Even with seven in the box, seven outnumbers five, even if you throw in a fullback blocking or a WR in motion hitting someone. That's just the way it is. That's why running plays are schemed to create one specific hole rather than four or five.

 

Very little blame goes to Josh, IMO.

 

Yes of course, but with the TE that is 6 and if you are going to leave a guy unblocked it's the backside defender you are running away from NOT the play side defender you are running toward.

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The Bills running back trio is averaging 4.4 yards per carry which is pretty respectable at face value. I think however the running game lacks consistency. Rushing stats by the combo of Moss, Singletary and Cook are kind of inflated by various factors. Moss had that big run against Miami which has inflated his total he hasn't done too much outside of that. Cook got a lot or all of his best yards in garbage time against the Titans backups and Singletary had a good rushing game against the Rams but has not done much on the ground since. 

 

That's not a lot of consistent production. Now I will grant this that the Bills O-line was massively banged up against the Dolphins which put the running game DOA however if the Bills can get back their starting five and get more chemistry in the new scheme I think there is a chance the ground game can be better. 

 

As far as Josh's component I think as fans there is very little you can tell about what the play call is and how a QB should adjust against a given front/defense. Hopefully if there is a component that Josh can be better on we all know Josh will work on it and get things in gear by the time the playoffs roll around. My main concern is getting the O-line healthy and playing cohesively. 

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