This started out as a reply to a question killascript asked ("Any thoughts on how are line might do with pitch-outs or sweeps to the outside? That is something I haven’t seen much from our team. And, while you may have included this elsewhere, what is your take on the “wishbone” formation and its effects on the line?") on Wednesday. I didn't have time earlier to give him an answer so here goes:
The Bills sent 8 of 28 (28%) runs against Seattle outside of the tackles. The team averaged 6.0 off left tackle and 5.7 off right tackle. Add that to the fairly pedestrian 3.1 average in the A gaps and it's fairly easy to see where the Bills are more effective. Look for Buffalo to continue to run wide, though I don't recall seeing any pitch outs so far this season. The percentage of C-gap runs will likely increase to at least 33%, though I hope that Turk won't abandon A-gap runs. Even with Fowler's limitations the Bills have simply got to be able to run it up the gut.
The Bills used the wishbone formation three times in the Seattle game. Run 9 (Jackson-6 yards), run 10 (Jackson-3 yards) and run 20 (Lynch-no gain) all had Barnes (left) and Schouman (right) in the backfield. I think the Bills would have averaged better than 3.0 on the wishbone plays if Barnes and Schouman were better blockers. On run 20, for example, Schouman collided with a gap filling LB. It was a great sounding pop...but the LB kept on going and made the tackle. Previously (not on a wishbone play) Barnes attempted to cut (Cut? WTF? He's a FB not a WR!) a LB and missed. I haven't spent enough time watching him but he just doesn't seem like the sort of hard nosed, smash mouth FB we were all hoping for when Buffalo resurrected the position.