Hi Bills fans,
Today I thought I would look at the Bills pass rush and how it is super basic and when they blitz it is easy to pick up because of the lack of confusion it creates. I decided on this topic because it is disturbing to me that someone like Aaron Maybin can have 3 sacks already for the Jets, not really because he's done anything special (except hustle) but because his coach has come with ways to put his pass rushers in places to succeed. Now, trust me I tried to find a creative blitz against the Giants, and this was about as good as it got.
It's early in the 1st quarter, Giants are facing a 3rd down with 4 yards to go.
The Bills have 7 possible pass rushers near the line of scrimmage, 3 DL's Moats (3), Barnett (6), Scott(1) and the McGee (2) in the Slot
They decide to blitz Scott from the top of the screen and have Moats loop around inside. The other DB's are in man coverage and Barnett has Bradshaw, who stays into block. Barnett sees this and drops back into coverage.
The Giants pick this blitz up with ease, Bradshaw comes across Manning and picks up Scott, the OL gets the other 4 rushers and Eli stands in the pocket and throws a strike to Cruz for the 1st down against the man coverage. Really nothing super special about the play... but it illustrates the lack of creativity on the defensive side of the ball.
Now for the Jets... Rex Ryan is a defensive genius, he puts his players in position to make plays. Take a look at this defensive play call.
It's early in the 1st quarter, 3rd and 7 for the Chargers, they are up 7-3 at this point. Jets show man coverage with the motion man being followed across the formation and a single high safety, nothing too unusual.
Here's the look from the endzone view. 8 possible pass rushers, with Maybin in the red circle. The Chargers look to be well capable of blocking whatever the Jets bring at them in this situation
But here's the great thing about Rex Ryan, he rarely sells out for a blitz, in fact in this situation he only rushes 4 guys (1 less than the Bills)! What he is so great at is, disguising who is actually coming.
In the diagram below, red arrows are pass rushers, blue arrows are guys that dropped into zones, brown arrows are players in man coverage and the yellow is where the blockers went. The left DT before dropping into his zone, makes contact with the LG occupying him as a blocker. While the LB the C-RG gap actually takes a couple steps back like he is dropping into coverage before looping around. Little things like this cause havoc for OL as they can't figure out who is coming and who is going.
As far as the pass play.... The left DT drops under the quick in pattern that Rivers wants to throw to because he sees pressure, even though it turns out to be only a 4 man rush. So that is covered (Revis had him blanketed as well). The other bottom receiver can barely get off of Cromartie's jam at the line, so that's no good either. The other zone coverage player originally has the back out of the back field, but drops into coverage (right under the curl) b/c the RB has to come over and "block" Maybin because there is a "blitz" The center and LG basically have nobody to block while the RG, RT and RB are all 1 on 1 against their pass rushers. The Chargers had to keep 6 into block only 4 pass rushing defenders and that includes Ryan Matthews on Maybin. Maybin ends up getting the sack (doing his only pass move, running around the outside) after a poor cut block by Matthews and Rivers having to hold onto the football for a second too long.
Seeing Maybin with 3 sacks and our whole defense with only 4 total, just really bothers me because I know he's not very good, but what I can also say is that our pass rush schemes don't seem to be that imaginative either. Yet another indicator about how important coaching is in the NFL.
Hope you all liked this post, comments, thoughts and questions always welcomed.