Bills/Chiefs: Notes from the Line

I made it back from my trip in better shape than I had hoped (I credit the first class seats…) so I got right on the Chiefs game. Besides, I had kept track of the game whenever I wasn’t on a plane throughout the day on my Crackberry and I was anxious to figure out how the Bills had hung 50+ points on anyone. Lynch, Jackson, Evans and Edwards all had pretty good statistical days but that couldn’t explain the scoring production.

The Chiefs helped the cause by turning the ball over 4 times. Yes, it’s officially 5 but that was the last play of the first half so it didn’t really have an impact on the game. One of the turnovers led directly to points while the others contributed. More to the point, the Bills had awesome field position all day long. The average starting position was on Buffalo’s 47.9 yard line. That’s just terrific work by the defense and special teams units.

I am always curious to see how much pressure defenses are bringing to bear on the offense. The Chiefs, following the pattern established by the Jets, Dolphins, Patriots and Browns didn’t blitz at all in the first half. With the game slipping away, the Browns blitzed 5 of 16 (31.3%) passes in the second half. Edwards, as he tends to do against the blitz, made them pay. He was 4-4 for 38 yards and 2 first downs and scrambled once for 11 yards and another first down. If Buffalo can put teams into positions where the defense feels compelled to blitz, Edwards will carve them up—much as he did during the first four weeks of the season. Naturally, this means jumping up on teams early which Buffalo hasn’t done this season.

The Chiefs run a 4-3 but they’re a bad 4-3. As a result, they had 8 in the box on 15 of 31 (48.4%) run plays. To give you an idea of how bad their defense is, the Bills gained 77 yards and 1 TD on the 15 plays in which the Chiefs had 8 in the box. That’s an eye popping 5.1 ypa—with 8 in the box! By way of comparison, the Bills picked up 59 yards on the other 16 run plays—a more reasonable 3.7 ypa. Basically, when the Chiefs stacked the box they tended to give up more big plays (25, 17,  14) because there was no one left to limit the gain. Jackson and Lynch routinely broke tackles, making the 8th man in the box more of a liability than an asset. Against better defenses, that won’t be the case. Fortunately, the 49ers don’t have one of the better defenses in the league…even though I don’t see many people shaking off Willis once he’s latched on.

Drive 1

It didn’t start out in a promising manner when Dock picked up a false start penalty.

Run 1 Lynch 5 yards through the left B gap against an 8 man front

Peters drove 73 4 yards down the line. Dock turned 72 out of the hole and put him down. Preston missed a cut on 56—never even touching him. Butler cut 93 and Walker got a piece of 44. McIntyre had a decent block.

Pass 1 Lynch for 13 yards

Run 2 Lynch 11 yards through the A gap

Peters took the DE down the line with help from Fine. Dock turned 72 out of the hole. Preston blocked 50 at the 2nd level. Butler blocked 93 and kept him from turning. Walker helped Schouman with 91 then got enough of 49 at the 2nd level for Lynch to get the first down.

Pass 2 Jackson for 14 yards

Run 3 Jackson for 14 yards through the right C gap against an 8 man front

Peters, Dock and Preston collapsed the defensive line into a pocket which took them out of the play. Butler took a LB out of the run lane at the 2nd level. Walker had a nice block on 70 to seal the edge and Schouman had a good one on 56.

Run 4 Lynch for 6 yards through the right C gap

Peters locked up 94. Dock helped Preston with the DT. Butler stalemated 70 and Walker crunched 53. McIntyre hit a LB and dropped him. Fine had the first of many really good 1-on-1 blocks on 91 (Tamba Hali) when he hit him and sealed him inside.

Run 5 Lynch 1 yard through the A gap against an 8 man front.

Peters got no drive on 54, who was in on the tackle. Dock took a LB into the end zone after helping Preston with the DT. Preston got a 1 yard drive on the DT. Butler was driven way upfield by the other DT in a sad, sad display. Walker missed a block on 56 who was in on the tackle.

Pass 3 INC it was the awful overthrow to Royal in the endzone.

Run 6 Lynch 1 yard TD against an 8 man front

Peters did a ho-hum job on 72. Dock tried to pull but tripped over Preston, who had been slammed to the ground by the DT. Butler took a LB down. Walker turned a DT away from the run lane and then put him down. The play was actually made by Fine (put 91 down), McIntyre (kept filling LB off Lynch even though the LB did get around him) and Schouman (locked up 53 and kept him out of the play).

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 4

Drive Killed by: no one—it was a TD

 

Drive 2

The defense helped out by being drawn offside.

Run 7 Lynch 3 yards through the left B gap

Peters got a good block on 94 initially but 94 got around him an in on the tackle. Dock and Preston teamed up on 70 while Butler and Walker took 95 down. Fine put 92 down. McIntyre blocked 56 but 56 slid off him and almost made a TFL.

Run 8 Lynch 1 yard through the left B gap against an 8 man front

Peters got no drive on 94. Dock and Preston teamed up on a DT. Butler kept 95 turned and away from the play. Walker just kind of pushed the pile. McIntyre, in a recurring theme, hit a LB in the hole who got around him for the tackle. Fine shielded 92 from the play.

Pass 4 Scramble for 2 yards

Run 9 Jackson 5 yards through the A gap

Peters kept 94 out of the play. Dock helped Preston and then peeled and took a LB out of the play. Preston got no drive on 70. Butler and Walker teamed up on 95. Lynch cut 91.

Pass 5 Reed for 3 yards

Run 10 Lynch for 17 yards through the A gap against an 8 man front

Peters helped Dock then slid off and wiped out 2 LBs. Dock put a DT down. Preston chipped Butler’s guy and then popped 56. Butler put the DT down and Walker locked up the DE. Fine did a great job sustaining block on 49. Lynch was nothing short of amazing on the play.

Run 11 Jackson for 2 yards through the right C gap against an 8 man front

Peters took a LB into the end zone. Dock blocked 73 down the line and right into Jackson. Preston was driven back 3 yards and planted by a DT. Butler took a LB into the end zone and Walker pinned 91 inside to open the lane. Fine stood up 56 and Schouman fell down while trying to block a LB.

Run 12 Lynch for no gain through the right B gap against an 8 man front

Peters got no drive on the DE. Dock pulled and lunged at a LB over a pile. Preston was thrown to the ground by a DT. Butler put a DT down and Walker took out a DE and himself, creating a large pile. Royal whiffed on 91. McIntyre hit a LB but couldn’t drive him. Fine stood up 94.

Run 13 Lynch -1 yard through the right C gap against an 8 man front

Peters took out a DE and himself, apparently inspired by Walker’s example. Dock tried to pull bout couldn’t get around Walker and his block. Preston was beaten by 93 but held him up long enough to keep him from making the play. Butler put 95 down. 71 beat Walker’s block and was in on the tackle. Fine didn’t do a fine job on 91. Schouman blocked 53 and McIntyre hit a LB in the hole only to be knocked back. Royal did an okay job on 94.

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 5

Drive Killed by: coaching (3 straight runs against 8-10 man fronts?)

 

Drive 3

Pass 6 Royal for -4 yards

Butler was driven back to Edwards, which forced the dump pass.

Pass 7 Reed for 7 yards

Pass 8 Evans for 14 yards

Lynch had a nice pickup on a delayed rush by a LB—it wasn’t a blitz as one of the DEs dropped into coverage.

Run 14 Jackson 1 yard toss through the left C gap

Peters fell down blocking while Dock cut a DT. Preston followed the play but didn’t really block anyone. Butler blocked 93 all the way across the formation. Walker trailed the play and never really blocked anyone.

Pass 9 INC to Evans

Edwards put the pass slightly behind him.

Pass 10 INC to Reed

It was badly overthrown.

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 0

Drive Killed by: Edwards

 

Drive 4

Run 15 Lynch 3 yards through the right C gap

Peters trailed the play. Dock blocked 70 then rolled Preston’s guy. Preston went down in a heap with Preston and the DT. Butler blocked a DE. Walker got a piece of Butlers DE and then just enough of 44 to let Lynch get by. Royal shielded 94 from the play.

Pass 11 INC to Evans

It was behind him.

Pass 12 Lynch 4 yards on a screen

Dock’s poor block on a LB made Preston have to adjust and try to get him. Preston couldn’t reach the LB in time and, even worse, he wasn’t available to pick off a DB in Lynch’s way.

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 0

Drive Killed by: (FG) Dock

 

Drive 5

Pass 13 Evans 51 yards

Man, what a pretty pass.

Run 16 Lynch 2 yards through the left C gap against an 8 man front

Peters put a LB down. Dock’s DT beat his block almost made a TFL. Preston hit 50 at the 2nd level. Butler put a DT down. Walker popped a LB at the second level.

Pass 14 Lynch -1 yard screen

Lynch had 3 blockers to the inside and room to roam but chose to take it outside instead. Whoops.

Pass 15 Lynch 2 yards

Edwards never looked downfield.

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 1

Drive Killed by: (FG) Lynch

 

Drive 6

Pass 16 Reed 20 yards

Edwards had a ridiculous 7 seconds to throw. Chambers was in for Butler on the drive, by the way.

Pass 17 Royal 13 yards

Peters killed the play with a justified illegal hands to the face penalty.

Pass 18 Royal 26 yards

Pass 19 Spike

Pass 20 Royal 8 yards

Pass 21 Scramble for TD

It didn’t hurt Edwards’ chances that Peters and Dock had each buried their guys. It was a great play by Edwards.

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 0

Drive Killed by: no one—it was a TD.

 

Halftime

 

Drive 7

Pass 22 Scramble for 4 yards

Run 17 Lynch 1 yard through right C gap and the defense was offside

Peters kept 56 busy and Dock locked up 94. Preston was pushed back 1 yard and his DT made the tackle. Butler hit 50 at the 2nd level and Walker blocked the DE. Royal planted a LB.

Run 18 Lynch for no gain through the A gap against an 8 man front

Peters rode 73 down. Dock missed his block on a LB who made the tackle. Preston got no push on the DT. Butler helped Preston with the DT and then shed in order to hit a LB. Walker locked up 51. McIntyre did an okay job on a LB while Fine did a great job on 94.

Pass 23 Fine 14 yards

Edwards got the defense to bite on a second hard count.

Pass 24 Scramble for 5 yard TD

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 1

Drive Killed by: no one—it was a TD

 

Drive 8

Run 19 Lynch 1 yard pitch through the right C gap against an 8 man front

Peters pulled and hit a LB. Dock sealed 72 away from the play. Preston pulled and never blocked anyone. Butler blocked 56 well downfield. Walker pulled and took out a DB. Fine didn’t really block anyone.

Pass 25 Schouman 6 yards against a blitz

Pass 26 INC to Reed

It was a bad pass thrown into double coverage. Lynch was in the right flat with 1 guy to beat for a first down.

Blitz: 1

Stacked Box: 1

Drive Killed by: (FG) Edwards

 

Drive 9

Pass 27 Evans 14 yards against a blitz

Run 20 Lynch 7 yards through left B gap

Peters kept 94 out of the lane. Dock did a good job at first on 70 but he did get in on the tackle. Preston hit 50 at the second level but didn’t sustain his block and 50 was in on the tackle. Butler took 95 on a 4 yard ride away from the play. Walker kept 91 away from the play.

Pass 28 Reed 12 yards against a blitz

Pass 29 INC to Evans

It was badly overthrown and out of bounds.

Run 21 Jackson 3 yards through left B gap.

Peters pushed 94 upfield. Dock got no drive and his DT was in on the tackle. Preston went to the 2nd level and locked up 50. Butler kept 95 turned away from the play and Walker swallowed 91. Schouman hit a LB but was dropped in his tracks.

Pass 30 Jackson 6 yards against a blitz

Schouman didn’t do a good job of picking up the blitzer.

Run 22 Lynch 4 yards direct snap through the right C gap

Peters cut 94 while Dock pulled and opened a hole. Preston kept a DT from turning into the hole. Butler put a DT down. Walker went to 2nd level and kept 56 from filling. Jackson got a great block on a DB in the backfield. Find did just enough on 91 to let Lynch get by.

Run 23 Jackson 25 yard pitch through the left C gap against an 8 man front

Peters pulled and sealed the edge with Reed. Dock blocked down the line away from the play. Preston pulled but never caught the play. Butler shielded a LB away from the play. Walker pulled but never really blocked anyone. Schouman got a nice block on 94 at the point of attack. Fine sealed a LB into the line away from the play.

Pass 31 Reed 8 yard TD

Blitz: 3

Stacked Box: 1

Drive Killed by: no one—it was a TD

 

Drive 10

Run 24 Jackson 2 yards through left B gap against 8 man front

Preston chipped Dock’s guy and then planted a LB at the 2nd level. Dock kept his DT occupied. Preston chipped Butler’s guy and then blocked a LB. Butler put his DT down. Walker didn’t sustain his block on a LB and he got in on the tackle. Fine did another good job on 94. Reed kept 49 turned around and out of the play.

Pass 32 Scramble for 11 yards against a blitz

Jackson was holding on the play but it wasn’t called.

Run 25 Edwards fumbled the snap and lost 2 yards

Pass 33 Evans 10 yards

Pass 34 Drop by Parrish

Blitz: 1

Stacked Box: 1

Drive Killed by: Parrish

 

Drive 11

Pass 35 Lynch 8 yards

Run 26 Lynch 4 yards through left C gap against 8 man front

Peters put a DE down. Neither Dock nor Preston got any push on their 2 DTs. Butler rode 95 down the line and Walker kept his DE in the mass. The defense helped out by hitting Lynch late.

Pass 36 Schouman 5 yard TD

Walker’s guy decked Edwards as he threw the ball.

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 0

Drive Killed by: no one—it was a TD

 

Drive 12

Pass 37 Evans 21 yards

Chambers in for Butler again.

Run 27 Lynch 12 yards toss through the left C gap

Peters pushed 94 inside and Dock kept 72 inside. Preston pulled but didn’t block anyone even though he had clear shots at 50 and 56—both of whom were in on the tackle. Chambers kept 93 away from the play. Walker went to the second level but never caught the play. McIntyre finally found someone he could push around—a DB.

Run 28 Lynch 1 yard through the right C gap

Peters pushed 94 upfield. Dock and Preston teamed up on 70. Chambers drove 53 5 yards and put him down. Walker didn’t sustain his block on 95 who got in on the tackle. Fine kept after 91 until after the whistle.

Run 29 Lynch 3 yard pitch through the right C gap against an 8 man front

Peters pushed 70 down the line and Dock couldn’t reach 56 at the second level. Preston pulled but didn’t block anyone. He flopped down in front of a LB. Chambers pushed 95 past Lynch. Walker pulled and flattened a filling LB. Fine did a great job on 91. Shouman let a DB beat his block and get in on the tackle.

Pass 38 Schouman 2 yards

Schouman will likely get his ear bent over the fact that he went out of bounds while the team was trying to kill the clock.

Run 30 Jackson 1 yard through the A gap

Peters blocked 70. Dock blocked 94 with Schouman. Preston was knocked aside by 95 which re-routed the run. Chambers pulled and helped Peters. Walker kept 91 away from the play.

Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 1

Drive Killed by: coaching

 

Drive 13 (Losman in game)

Run 31 Jackson 3 yards through the left C gap against an 8 man front

Peters drove 70 5 yards. Dock picked up a filling 53. Fowler (in for Preston) blocked 95 and got a 1 yard push. Chambers and Walker each locked up a DT.

The Bills then kneeled down 3 times and turned it over on downs.

 Blitz: 0

Stacked Box: 1

Drive Killed by: coaching

I don’t know about you but I’m becoming more and more concerned about Butler’s health. He’s missed significant time this season and was out of a couple of drives this game. He’s a good guard, but Buffalo needs a guy who can be there every game…or at least a decent backup. Chambers hasn’t embarrassed himself at guard but that makes him first off the bench for any of three OL positions.

 

For anyone still feeling the need to take up for Preston, he had as many good run plays (1) as killed plays (1). He had 8 bad run plays along with 21 decent ones. The Chiefs don’t exactly have elite level DTs so if he was going to shine last Sunday was the time. He didn’t shine. I think Fowler came in on the last series because Losman did. They work together during the week and that familiarity might have been why Fowler saw any action at all.  

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