FanPost

Notes From The Bills' O-Line: Week 2 at Green Bay

Years of eating my own cooking have resulted in a stomach of steel. That’s both relevant and fortunate as I’ve made it through the Packers game. When I watch the games to do these wordy missives I have to watch each offensive play a minimum of 5 times and generally quite a few more to make sure I’m catching everything. Yeah, even with a stomach of steel it can be a little nauseating. The full up-chuck factor follows after the jump:




Run Game

 

There are two lines for each player. The one by their name is for the most recent game. The one below their name (labeled ‘season’) is their stat line for the year to date. I thought I’d keep a running tally this year instead of going with grades every 4 games. It can help keep things in perspective. For example, Levitre had a bad start to the Green Bay game and was promptly injured so his percentage for the game is horrible. His season percentage, on the other hand, is decent.

 

Run Plays

………….good……decent…..bad…..killed…..grade

Bell………2…………23………2……..0……….73.3%

Season…..3………….31………5……..1……….74%

Levitre……1…………24..………2…….0……….68.3%

Season……3…………11……..3………1………75%

Hang……...0………..13………1……..0……….74.3%

Season……1…………37……..3………0………74%

Wood…….6………..20……….3…….0……….77.1%

Season……7………..33……….3……..0………76.9%

Green…….3………..24……….2……..0……….75.7%

Season……4……….34………..5……..1………74.5%

Meredith….0………..1………...0…….0……….75%

Season……0………..3…………0……..0………75%

Cordaro…..2………22………..2……….0………75%

Season…….2………22………..2……….0………75%

 

As you can see, Meredith got a series to spell Bell. You’d figure he’d be back in football shape by now but I didn’t see anything that would indicate any sort of injury or equipment issue. As Meredith got only one series in Green Bay I suspect that he’s done filling in for Bell barring injury.

 

I feel a little better about Buffalo’s depth in the interior line. Cordaro filled in reasonably well in the run game. He had a couple of moments where he was burned and a couple where he stood out. What wasn’t readily apparent during the broadcast was how much he was trusted to deal with DEs and DTs on his own. BJ Raji was a high draft pick and the scrub-ly Cordaro held his own against him.

 

Green had an okay game on running downs. He eked out a grade slightly above 75% for the day and that helped pull up his overall average almost back up to decent. With that being said, Buffalo really needs linemen who perform above 75% if the team is really to go anywhere.

 

Gap…..Attempts……Yards……Average

Left C……5………….24………4.8

Season……9………..45…………5

Left B……..2…………4………….2

Season……3…………..11……….3.7

A gap…….8………….10………..1.25

Season…..11…………13………...1.2

Right B…...4…………13………3.3

Season……6………….8…………1.3

Right C…...10……….60………...6

Season……14……….74…………5.3

 

The thing that jumps out at me is how bad Buffalo is at running inside. So far the Bills have only played 3-4 teams. Running is supposed to be easier up the middle against the 3-4 defensive scheme. Don’t get me wrong; if Buffalo can continue to average 5+ yards per carry outside of the tackles then I hope they keep right on running outside of the tackles. I can see a defensive mind like Belicheck figuring out how to stop the outside runs and forcing Buffalo to slam it up the middle.

 

I also noticed that Buffalo pulls the guards on running plays regularly. Even Cordaro was expected to get around the right side of the line. (And he absolutely pancacked Matthews on one play while pulling.) It seemed like Gailey has recognized that Wood and Levitre are the strengths of the line and is making use of their abilities. I found it interesting that Wood pulled a couple of times while in pass protection. It’s the kind of thing that really helps sell a play action and something to look for when a defense is getting overeager.

 

Pass Plays

………….good..decent...bad...killed..sack..helped..grade

Bell………0…….21…….2…..1…….1…….0…….73.3%

Season…..0…….48……..7……3……3…….0……72.5%

Levitre…..0……..1……..0……0…….0…….0……75%

Season…..1…….36…….4…….2……0…….0……73.5%

Hang……0………26……1…..1…….1……..0……74.3%

Season…..1……..65…….1……1……1…….0…….75%

Wood…..1……….24…..2……1…….0……..0……74.3%

Season….3………60…..4……2…….0……..0…….74.7%

Green…..0………22…..5……0……0…….0………71.3%

Season….0………48…..19….2…….1…….5………69.3%

Meredith…0……3……..1……1……1……..0……70%

Season….0……..9……..3……1…….1…….0……..70%

Cordaro…0……25…….1…….0……0…….0……..74.2%

Season.. …0……25…….1…….0……0…….0……..74.2%

 

A couple of things stand out. First, I had thought after Green’s dreadful showing against Miami that Gailey would give him help on more than 5 of 40 pass plays. It didn’t happen. I didn’t see Green getting help at all…..and he had a much better game. He is far and away the team leader in bad plays and I still think he’s a substandard RT. However, the man did play much better—particularly given that Green Bay sent LB Matthews his way early and often.

 

Cordaro had a pretty good outing for a guy coming in off the bench. As with run plays he was often left on his own in pass protection. For the most part he held up well. He’s not going to make anyone miss Levitre but it’s good to know that Buffalo has an interior lineman on the bench who can hold the fort (without holding defensive linemen) in a hostile environment.

 

Interior vs Tackles

 

………………..Interior……….Tackles

Run plays………75.3%...............74.5%

Pass plays……….73.5%.............70.7%

 

It’s an accepted axiom that the Bills have bad tackles and that the guards are the best linemen on the team. So far that is bearing out. The three interior linemen average out better in both passing and running. The curiosity for me is that Buffalo runs so much more effectively to the outside. Part of this can be explained by the nature of Buffalo’s blocking schemes on run plays; the guard often pulls outside of the far tackle and a back, TE or WR helps out with blocking at the point of attack. Even diminutive Roscoe Parrish put a guy on his back. (Okay, it was a DB but still….)

 

The Pats game could be really interesting in terms of how Buffalo chooses to try to run the ball. They are no longer a true 3-4 team so, in theory, running outside should be a bit easier. I can see Belicheck finding a way to shut down those running lanes which will force the Bills to pound it up the middle. Until the score gets out of hand, that is….

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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