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Thread: Are we all missing something? Is something happening on defense?

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    Default Are we all missing something? Is something happening on defense?

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    It's been pretty gloomy around here for the past week, and with good reason. Once again in 2012, the Bills are going nowhere. The only place to be is the playoffs, and the Bills aren't going there.

    But there may be something more going on. I'm wondering whether we might look back on this season and realize that the Bills have a top 10 defense.

    "Wait," you say, "right now, the Bills are ranked 26th in yards per game in the league, and 30th in points per game. What are you talking about?

    In the last six games, the Bills have given up an average of 323 yards and 23.8 points per game. That's good enough to 20th in points and 7th in yards, based on the seaon-long league averages. Two of those six games were against New England and Houston, on the road, and they are 1st and 5th in yards and 1st and 2nd in points in the league. The Pats are averaging 438 yards per game, and the Bills held them to 347. Indianapolis is 7th in yards and 21st in points, and that game was on the road, too.

    The Bills have been stout against the run. In the last six games, in order, the Bills have given up 182, 197, 118, 117, 60, 87, or 126 yards per game. That's 24th in the league, but look at the trend. And Houston, who's 5th in the league, got 118 and New England, who's 6th, got 117, in both cases 25 below their averages. They held Miami and the Colts 40 and 20 below THEIR averages.

    Over that period, they've been exceptional against the pass, giving up 196 yards per game, which for the season in the league would rank 3rd. They are 13th in the league with 27 sacks; 17 came in the last six games.

    Yes, I've kind of cherry-picked the numbers, because the two games before that were San Francisco and the Pats, when the Bills gave up record numbers of yards and points for a two-game stretch. There are some other teams that have put up better-than-average numbers in the past six weeks. I get that. But that doesn't explain why, if the Bills are really bad on defense, how the Bills gave up 200 fewer yards and 15 fewer points to the Pats six weeks later, in New England? New England is passing for 292 yard per game, and the Bills held them to 230 in good weather on their home field. I think it may be because the defense is getting better.

    Besides the stats, what are the signs that the defense is improving? Mario Williams and Marcel Dareus are clearly playing better. Kyle Moore has been a factor. Bradham in the lineup seems to be an improvement. People like to dump on McKelvin, but he's been playing very well., and Gilmore isn't a rookie any more; together, they haven't been letting receivers get deep. I thing team also is working into a better understanding of what Wanny wants.

    It's premature to crown the Bills as having one of the stud defenses in the league, but there's a lot of recent evidence that it could be true.

    I'd like to be able to write about the reasons we might have hope for the offense, but I don't like writing short posts.

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    The dline is starting to gel and we are seeing a little less of the Bryan Scott ILB Nickle package, however, important 1st downs have been had especially at the wrong time of the game. Still there is not blitzing, stunts, and letting Justin Rogers cover Reggie Wayne is unthinkable. Bradham and Shepp need to be on the field more. Coaching decisions are still bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UpstateRules View Post
    The dline is starting to gel and we are seeing a little less of the Bryan Scott ILB Nickle package, however, important 1st downs have been had especially at the wrong time of the game. Still there is not blitzing, stunts, and letting Justin Rogers cover Reggie Wayne is unthinkable. Bradham and Shepp need to be on the field more. Coaching decisions are still bad.
    This kind of analysis is what pollutes this board. Sure, you can find things that it would be nice to improve, but with the exception of the top 5 defensive teams in the league, EVERY team can say that.

    Why is Justin Rogers covering Reggie Wayne unthinkable? Wayne is averaging 100 yards and just under 11 receptions per game. He got 102 and 8 against the Bills. What's wrong with that? Overall, the Bills held the Colts to 50 yards passing fewer than their average, so by letting Rogers give Wayne his AVERAGE, the Bills shut down the rest of their passing game.

    Who cares if there are no blitzes or stunts if the results are good?

    First downs, you're right, and in particular they've had trouble getting the 3rd-down stop at critical times. But there, too, think about this: In the first five games the Bills were giving up 25 first downs per game, and the last six they've given up 21.

    Are there things that need to improve? Sure. But the trend, if it's a trend, is very positive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaw66 View Post
    This kind of analysis is what pollutes this board. Sure, you can find things that it would be nice to improve, but with the exception of the top 5 defensive teams in the league, EVERY team can say that.

    Why is Justin Rogers covering Reggie Wayne unthinkable? Wayne is averaging 100 yards and just under 11 receptions per game. He got 102 and 8 against the Bills. What's wrong with that? Overall, the Bills held the Colts to 50 yards passing fewer than their average, so by letting Rogers give Wayne his AVERAGE, the Bills shut down the rest of their passing game.

    Who cares if there are no blitzes or stunts if the results are good?

    First downs, you're right, and in particular they've had trouble getting the 3rd-down stop at critical times. But there, too, think about this: In the first five games the Bills were giving up 25 first downs per game, and the last six they've given up 21.

    Are there things that need to improve? Sure. But the trend, if it's a trend, is very positive.
    Where the Line is NOW we dont need to blitz or stunt much anymore. Look at the first three plays at Indie, first 2 we got good pressure from our front 4, the third we blitzed and actually got less pressure. Stunts make you very vulnerable to the run, take more time (farctions of a second count in the NFL) and motion and aren't going to be very effective versus an experienced O Line anyway. Our D Line should have to resort to stunts.

    A big reason why the D looks better also is Aaron Williams not in the game, McKelvin has played well and there are fewer coverage mistakes between Gilmore and the safeties.

    And forget the 1st dwn gaffs, how about the 3rd and 16 last week or the Titan 4th and 19. Inexcusable.

    Normally when you have a time 3rd and 12+, you are fairly confident your D can hold 85% of the time, not this team. Or how about the 3rd and longs where the QB suddenly has no bill infront of him foir 30 yards? Those conversions are psychologically killers to your D and we gave the Colts 2 easy one, the Titan God know how many and watched Brady waltz into the end zone unntouched.

    PS: Your assessment that Upstate analysis "pollutted" the board was extremely harsh, there is a lot of pollution on this board and Upstate's comments weren't imo.
    Last edited by DarylLamonica; 12-01-2012 at 10:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarylLamonica View Post
    PS: Your assessment that Upstate analysis "pollutted" the board was extremely harsh, there is a lot of pollution on this board and Upstate's comments weren't imo.
    Yeah, I know. "Polluted" was overboard. On the other hand, this board would be a lot more reasonable if we didn't have such indefensible negative (and positive) posts.

    But my point wan't harsh. Of course Justin Rogers gave up some receptions to Reggie Wayne. VIrtually every corner, and certainly every nickel back, in the league gives up receptions to Reggie Wayne. That's just a stupid comment. Now, late in the game, I might have put Gilmore on Wayne when they were in touchdown range, but that's a coaching decision, not a knock on Rogers.

    And, as you say, blitzing and stunts are risky and not so necessary when you're getting 3 sacks a game anyway. If the defense is getting better, you'll see some blitzes and stunts, but they won't be because the defense isn't playing well. It'll be as a surprise tactic when the defense can afford to take a change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaw66 View Post
    This kind of analysis is what pollutes this board. Sure, you can find things that it would be nice to improve, but with the exception of the top 5 defensive teams in the league, EVERY team can say that.

    Why is Justin Rogers covering Reggie Wayne unthinkable? Wayne is averaging 100 yards and just under 11 receptions per game. He got 102 and 8 against the Bills. What's wrong with that? Overall, the Bills held the Colts to 50 yards passing fewer than their average, so by letting Rogers give Wayne his AVERAGE, the Bills shut down the rest of their passing game.

    Who cares if there are no blitzes or stunts if the results are good?

    First downs, you're right, and in particular they've had trouble getting the 3rd-down stop at critical times. But there, too, think about this: In the first five games the Bills were giving up 25 first downs per game, and the last six they've given up 21.

    Are there things that need to improve? Sure. But the trend, if it's a trend, is very positive.
    Shaw, how does that "pollute" the board? IMO, it's quite factual. I billieve we have the talent on defense. I also billieve there is better execution of the players and they seem to be getting use to the scheme. However, there are still poor personnel decisions, no adjustments and there is a predictability to the packages. Andrew Luck last week was shouting "Mike 43". The players execution has gotten much better since week 1, but there have been no changes in tactics since week 1.

    So how does that equate to littering this Board? I don't post here very often because of the nonsensical rants, immaturity, lack of solid football knowledge and a small few moderators who are autocratic.

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    They are definately getting better. The Colts were a top 5 offense and we stuffed them for the majority of the game. The defense needs a LBer or two and another corner. They arent dominant yet, but they are getting there. Definate improvement over the last few games though.

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    This D is in year one with some new players and a new DC so it takes time to jell. I expect our D to get better and better as the season finishes. I can only hope the offense adds a leader at QB that will start year 1 in 2013 because Fitz not only hurts the offense but his fail makes it a lot harder on our D.

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    They are moving in yhe right direction for sure. Yes they still have a few holes (LB and one CB) but overall they are getting better as the season progresses. If this trend continues, and chan is retained next season, i think wanny has earned a second year to see if the d can continue to get better under him. If they falter then probably not. That being said they have an opportunity to put up some good stats the next few weeks against the jags and rams at home. If I were them id be looking to specify where exactly the issues are and make plans to fix them. IE is Barnett really playing badly or is bad play from the other lbs making him look worse then he is? Should we re-sign leodis? Can bradham start in this league with more experience? Kelsay or Merriman? There are a lot of decisions to be made this offseason on defense.
    Adopt A Bill 2012 & 2013: Jairus Byrd

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    What is the deal with the Bills. It seems like every year they get one unit playing good enough to win at times and the other playing bad football. The offense and defense seem to take turns sucking throughout the year.
    Mock Draft:
    1st- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M/Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
    2nd- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington/Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
    3rd- Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford
    4th- Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
    5th- Preston Brown, LB, Louisville
    7th- Travis Carrie, CB, Ohio

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    Quote Originally Posted by UpstateRules View Post
    Shaw, how does that "pollute" the board? IMO, it's quite factual. I billieve we have the talent on defense. I also billieve there is better execution of the players and they seem to be getting use to the scheme. However, there are still poor personnel decisions, no adjustments and there is a predictability to the packages. Andrew Luck last week was shouting "Mike 43". The players execution has gotten much better since week 1, but there have been no changes in tactics since week 1.

    So how does that equate to littering this Board? I don't post here very often because of the nonsensical rants, immaturity, lack of solid football knowledge and a small few moderators who are autocratic.
    See my earlier post. "Polluted" is a bit overboard.

    However, I stand by my problem with your post. Maybe they should use Scott less. But that's a minor point. As I said earlier, of course there are things that could improve, and there certainly are likely to be some changes and improvements. But that's true for all but the very best teams.

    If you're getting three sacks a game, if you're among the league leaders in yards and points allowed, if you're holding teams like NE and Houston WELL below their average production, you're playing good defense.

    Your Rogers comments particularly irked. Sure, Rogers got beat some, but all good receivers get their yards. Their star receiver got his average against Buffalo. Okay, but compare that to this: Welker and Gronkowski got 129 and 104 against the Bills in the first game, and they got 74 and 31 the second time. Welker and Gronk both have been averaging around 90 yards per game. Andre Johnson got 118 against the Bills. In the next three games he went for 35 (Bears), 273 (Jags) and 188 (Lions).

    The point ofmy post is that the Bills defense seems to have turned a corner and his playing very well for the past several games. Nothing in your post either added to that point or gave any decent reason why the point doesn't make sense.

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    They still can not stop anyone when it really counts, look at the colts and titans games. When it is on the line they fold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pigzilla View Post
    They still can not stop anyone when it really counts, look at the colts and titans games. When it is on the line they fold.
    No question that's a concern. However, I think it just seems that way. No one stops the offense all the time.

    Look at the Pats game. Highest scoring team in the league, got one TD early in the third quarter, one field goal in the 4th quarter from a 3rd quarter drive, and one fourth quarter drive for a field goal. Pats also had a 3-and-out. Against an offense like the Pats, that's stopping them when it really counts.

    In the second half, Miami punted once, missed a 50-yard field goal, got a touchdown and threw two interceptions. Those are stops when it really counts.

    Colts? Touchdown on the first possession of the second half, then two consecutive three and outs before they put together a clock-killing drive.

    In all three cases, that's enough to win most games, if your offense produces. And I can't find the play-by-play, but if I recall correctly, in the Titans game the defense got a stop, the offense went three and out and got off a horrible punt, the defense got a stop and Fitzpatrick threw in INT before the Titans put together the winning drive. In other words, the defense did at least okay, and if the offense and special teams didn't go in the tank, the Bills would have won.

    The defense hasn't gotten the stop at game end all the time, but it hasn't been bad.

    I'm not convinced - I still think the defense may be breaking out as a top-notch defense.

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    Despite any overall statistics in the Colt game it seemed that they got the win because they blocked when they needed to and they pressured when they needed to. We didn't. The OL may be the most over rated part of this team. I admire what Chan did bring to this team but it will be a miracle if Fitz ever plays at the level he displayed before his contract again. It seemed that way at the start of the season too.

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    I think there's something in this.
    Since the bye week and Mario getting his wrist/hand fixed, things have looked up.
    As others have pointed out, there are still deficiencies, but they are becoming less marked.
    The D-Line is really starting to look the part, and Moore has made a significant difference there, although it still might be Mario getting himself 'fixed' that is the true catalyst for that.
    Bradham is getting more time, and looks like he deserves it.
    Gilmore is definitely going to be a very good corner, and McKelvin has done okay instead of Williams, and has resulted in an 'upgrade' on the other side to Gilmore.
    'Same page' would also appear to garnering rewards also, as players do now seem to be doing what they are supposed to, much more often.
    Byrd has been consistently good, with exceptional moments.
    Personnel wise, we might just be a CB and a LB away from having a very good D, based off of more recent performances.
    I feel that cautious optimism is actually warranted, as far as the D is concerned. Dareus is also a good part of the improvement up front, with his play having significantly improved from earlier in the year.
    Without looking at things specifically, it has seemed to me that the mistakes made to let up big 3rd and long conversions, have been in the LB/CB area, as opposed to the front four, so it's the area that is most obvious in need of upgrades anyway.
    I don't think it's any stretch at all to say that the D has improved a good deal from the early part of the season, but it now becomes if they can sustain it.
    People should understand that the name on the front of the uniform is more important than the one on the back.

    Why bother drafting worse players than you already have on your roster?


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    the defense has been playing pretty well as of late...

    With a better QB and upgrades at LB this team could be very good next season....
    Find a way to get Clowney or Mack!

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    Something is indeed happening on defense
    Despite all the drama HC & QB posts this week (and every week) we lost last Sunday's game cos of poor ST play
    Our defense was just as good as the Colts in fact better holding them to only 13 Pts
    That's the crux of the problem
    When the D plays well, the O and ST do not
    When the O plays well, the D sucks
    That's why we're only 4-7
    3 great vs run games do not a season make in a 16 game schedule
    That have to do for a full season before it counts

    jc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddo View Post
    I think there's something in this.
    Since the bye week and Mario getting his wrist/hand fixed, things have looked up.
    As others have pointed out, there are still deficiencies, but they are becoming less marked.
    The D-Line is really starting to look the part, and Moore has made a significant difference there, although it still might be Mario getting himself 'fixed' that is the true catalyst for that.
    Bradham is getting more time, and looks like he deserves it.
    Gilmore is definitely going to be a very good corner, and McKelvin has done okay instead of Williams, and has resulted in an 'upgrade' on the other side to Gilmore.
    'Same page' would also appear to garnering rewards also, as players do now seem to be doing what they are supposed to, much more often.
    Byrd has been consistently good, with exceptional moments.
    Personnel wise, we might just be a CB and a LB away from having a very good D, based off of more recent performances.
    I feel that cautious optimism is actually warranted, as far as the D is concerned. Dareus is also a good part of the improvement up front, with his play having significantly improved from earlier in the year.
    Without looking at things specifically, it has seemed to me that the mistakes made to let up big 3rd and long conversions, have been in the LB/CB area, as opposed to the front four, so it's the area that is most obvious in need of upgrades anyway.
    I don't think it's any stretch at all to say that the D has improved a good deal from the early part of the season, but it now becomes if they can sustain it.
    No question that a stud linebacker would make a big difference. As someone else mentioned, I don't know what's up with Barnett. He clearly isn't making plays at the pace he did last season. Shepard hasn't been a stud, but I never expected him to be. Bills' best hope is that Bradham continues to improve.

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    I agree. Though I am not at all happy with the results of this season the defense, IMO, has made tremendous strides and have the look of a defense that can actually win some games for this team. Of course, there are holes at LB but I am very pleased with what I am seeing out of the defense, in particular against the run.



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    Quote Originally Posted by wilcoam View Post
    3 great vs run games do not a season make in a 16 game schedule

    jc
    This is true. However, consider it this way:

    In 2011, the Bills had two games in 16 when they gave up fewer than 100 yards rushing. They've done that for two games in a row, and the two games before that they gave up in the low 100s. That's four games averaging 100 rushing yards allowed. 100 rushing yards per game is 10th in the league.

    Again, as you say, Bills have to do it for a season.

    But the entire defensive trend line suggests that there's reason for optimism.

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