Editor's Note: The FanPost section has been outstanding of late. Keep it up, everyone! Good read, jonramz. - BG
Hey everyone... inspiration for this post comes from Brian's post about the Bills leading the league in three and four receiver sets last year. If you did not know, looking at rushing yards per carry by running backs, the Bills were one of the best teams in the league at running the football - and their multiple receiver sets had a lot to do with it.
The main reason why the Bills spread the field is to run the football. They run your basic running plays (inside zone, outside zone, power) all from multiple WR and shotgun formations. These formations give the look of the pass and make teams get out of their base defenses and instead by defenses with multiple defensive backs. As we all know, LB's are better run defenders and better at taking on blocks than corners and safeties.
1st and 10 for the Bills at the Miami 24, base 3WR, 1 TE, 1RB for the Bills and 4-2-5 nickel for the Dolphins.
Bills are going to run power right here, a basic running play taught at all levels. Nothing tricky, Levitre pulls, all other lineman block down and Lee Smith does a great job kicking out the end.
The reason why multiple WR's spread out across the field is successful is the offense gains the numbers advantage. There are 6 Buffalo blockers and only 6 Miami defenders to block. If everyone makes their block, and these are all pretty easy down blocks (with the exception of Lee Smith) the closest defender is the FS who is playing cover 3 and 15 yards downfield
As you can see... the Bills o-line does a good job and Spiller has a huge hole, jukes the safety and scores.
If you look back at games, you can see that teams often started bringing the SS into the box and playing only a single safety up high to counter the Bills running game. However, a safety (with very few exceptions) is still not as good as a run defender as a LB, so it is still tougher to play run defense against the Bills. This is why the vertical threat is needed, making the opposition keep 2 safeties up high reduces the number of run defenders in the box and gives our 2 elusive RB's the opportunity to get into space and create big plays without putting the ball in the air.
Questions and comments welcomed, have a great weekend. (forgive the typos, I wrote this quick)