The Buffalo Bills are now officially (like I feared a week ago) the worst team in the AFC East after falling to the New England Patriots, and starting the year 0-3 in division play. Now they face an uphill climb that will be changeling to overcome.
These next few days, I am going to take a look at what the Bills need to do in order to improve this season after falling to 5-4, after a 4-0 start. From the running game to the quarterback play to the lack of defensive pressure I will take a look at it as the Bills prepare to do battle against the Browns on Monday Night Football this week.
I have been able to take a few days to process what happened in the game against the Patriots (if I wrote a post right after the game, I have a feeling I would’ve called for an entire new roster and fire everyone in a coaching position, so I like to take some time to gather myself and take a look at this realistically. Bills fans, you know what I am talking about).
I will now be able to go over a few things without busting my computer screen in frustration.
First things first, the run game.
Now I am not a NFL head coach as you have probably guessed and I will be honest, I am nowhere near qualified enough to coach even the offensive line of a pop Warner team. I do know how ever that an offensive line runs zone blocking, or numbers defenders (one, two, three...). So to better educate myself on the Bills O-line and their blocking style, I headed over to YouTube!
Well maybe YouTube isn’t the most sophisticated way to look at film but with a budget of zero dollars and zero cents, it comes in handy.
What I noticed is it looks like the Bills do not run a zone-blocking scheme. I know they do on some plays because I have heard people on TV broadcasters to radio shows say so, but they do not do it very often. From the big plays that I noticed, the Bills did not run a zone blocking scheme in any of them.
It looked like they number guys at the line and just fired off the line (to explain this simply, pretty much an “I got this guy” thing). In the highlights from last season, the O-line also looked like they got down the field to make more blocks. This year, not so much. The line looks slow and sluggish which isn’t good for the running backs as they have both struggled this season.
Some of the blame should be put on Marshawn Lynch of course, but in the film room, I mean my computer (sorry as I try to make myself sound professional), I have noticed a huge difference between the O-line’s play from last season, and this one and it is showing in the statistics.
Through nine games, Lynch has 512 yards, 3.5 yards per carry and six touchdowns. Lynch has also not scored a touchdown in the last two games and is averaging 48.3 yards rushing in his last four.
His backup, Fred Jackson is not faring much better. He has 237 yards on the year, averages four yards a pop and has one touchdown. As a team, the Bills are ranked 28th in the league with 90 yards a game.
The coaches have to work this week on the running game. They have to get the line on the same page and get this thing turned around.
The Bills have the heaviest offensive line in the league, and they should be able to dominate on the line of scrimmage. Let’s see if they can this week against a Cleveland Browns defense that allows 145.2 yards a game (26th in the league).
If you didn’t believe it already, an offensive line can make a running back, not the other way around. So far that has been the case this season.
Check back tomorrow as I hit the “film room” again and explain why Trent Edwards is struggling all of a sudden after such a hot start.
For any suggestions, comments or anything else, I can be reached in the comments or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.