FanPost

Trend Setters - Reverse Style

Yo Dawg - I heard you like trends. So i'm going to put a trend on your trend. Ya dig?

You guys have read the headlines. The NFL is a passing league or a pass wacky league. Even Doug Flutie recently compared the NFL to the CFL and how wide open it is with the passing attacks. Chan Gailey brought this philosophy to Buffalo in a big way. Now, a mere 2 years later, Buffalo has pretty much ditched that entire philosophy and is going old school. Run and stop the run - bitches.

When looking at this past off season, Buffalo has retooled it's offensive line and RB depth. The offensive line should be in line for a much better running year with the likes of Spiller, Jackson and Brown toting the rock. Brian covered this masterfully in a few articles but there was one area that he didn't touch upon that I wanted to. Opponents

Looking at opponents strengths and weaknesses is a tough thing to do. Well as far as the 2014 season is concerned. You have roster turnover, coach turnover and player injury that all happen prior to the games being played or even during the season. With those things in mind, I wanted to look at some of our opponents this year and try to gauge how Buffalo should/might/hopefully fair in 2014. So take this information with a grain of salt and please add your own thoughts/suggestions. However, with everything being equal, Buffalo should be in for a good year. And i'm not just talking about running the ball.

Here are the teams that we play in 2014 and their 2013 defensive run stopping rankings:

Yards Per Game

@CHI - 32
MIA - 24
SD - 12
@HOU - 23
NE - 30
MIN - 16
@NYJ - 3
KC - 22
@MIA - 24
NYJ - 3
CLE - 18
@DEN - 7
GB - 25
@OAK - 13
@NE - 30

Yards Per Play

@CHI – 32
MIA – 18
SD – 27
@HOU – 22
NE – 24
MIN – 13
@NYJ – 1
KC – 22
@MIA – 18
NYJ – 1
CLE – 8
@DEN – 10
GB – 29
@OAK – 11
@NE – 24

Man, there are some crappy run defenses we are playing this year. Save, of course, for the Jets. The tough part is projecting these teams run defenses to 2014.

Random Individual Team Breakdown (short)

Teams like Miami look to be weaker than their 24th place run stoppage because of losing a guy like Solali so that'll be tough.

New England lost Brandon Spikes and Wilfork is coming off of a serious injury over the age of 30 so that might spell some issues. (unless you think their 288 DE/DT rookie with multiple ACL tears is going to light up their run defense this year). However, adding Revis could allow more players in the box.

The Browns have a new HC, DC, OC and no QB to speak of (on the playing field at least). Pettine does have exotic schemes but consistently stopping the run seems to bit a bit of a concern. The Browns did at Hitner so we can expect Spiller to juke him for a few long TD's (me thinks/hopes).

I would expect Houston to improve in their run defense. Romeo Crennel is a good DC and adding Clowney with Watt won't hurt anything. This could be a tough out, but hopefully Fitz throws one of his "well timed" picks.

Denver losing Ayers will certainly hurt their run defense. However, Peyton Manning. These guys are in the playoffs 9 times out of 10.

Chicago should improve by adding Houston and Jared Allen, but they have a ton of holes.

*Detriot lost Schwartz....

Minnesota losing Jared Allen will probably hurt. Yeah, actually that one will definitely hurt.

Obviously I didn't hit all the teams, but those are the key points I wanted to hit on.

Assumptions

Based off the things I have looked at and the rankings for last year the Bills have a relatively easy schedule against teams that aren't great at stopping the run. The Jets will always be tough with Rex Ryan coaching that team but we have come to expect (and get whooped) that.

I expect the Bills to have a fantastic year running the ball. They have plenty of depth at the RB position, large maulers that like to run block on the line and are not going up against the who's who of run defense (save for the Jets).

--------------------------------------- Rushing Offense ---------------------------------------

Here are the teams that we play in 2014 and their 2013 offensive rushing rankings:

Yards Per Game

@CHI - 16
MIA - 26
SD - 13
@HOU - 20
NE - 9
MIN - 8
@NYJ - 6
KC - 10
@MIA - 26
NYJ - 6
CLE - 27
@DEN - 15
GB - 7
@OAK - 12
@NE - 9

Yards Per Rush

@CHI – 7
MIA – 17
SD – 21
@HOU – 15
NE – 9
MIN – 2
@NYJ – 10
KC – 5
@MIA – 17
NYJ – 10
CLE – 23
@DEN – 20
GB – 4
@OAK – 6
@NE – 9

One thing that sticks out to me are teams with good QBs. NE, Den and GB all have good rushing offenses with no marquee players. The reason? Good QB play and QBs that know when and where to run. That's tough to stop.

Other than that, we certainly play tougher run defenses than run offenses this year. The good thing is that Buffalo seems setup for taking on these good rushing teams.

Schwartz's defenses has shown an ability to stop the run consistently and adding a player like Brandon Spikes to a front 7 unit that features Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Kiko Alonso should do wonders for the Bills run defense.

Random Individual Team Breakdown (short)

Denver lost Moreno but they still have Peyton Manning and a good offensive line.

Chicago was middle of the pack last year and didn't do a ton to upgrade their running game.

Miami has an entirely new (every position) offensive line and Moreno just had knee surgery. So...yea

Minnesota has Adrian Peterson - good luck, defense.

As long as teams don't respect Geno Smith, they might have a tough time running the ball this year. Geno has shown a penchant for turnovers so teams might dare him to throw.

Assumptions

I expect Buffalo's run defense to be better with Schwartz and Spikes now with the team. Buffalo certainly has, based off of 2013 rankings, a good slate of teams they will have to stop the run against. It certainly won't be easy, however, Buffalo seems suited to match-up well against running teams. Which is a very good thing.

Final Thoughts

This post isn't super comprehensive and probably has some holes in it but I hope you understand the points i'm trying to make here. Buffalo is well suited to run and stop the run this year. From the standpoint of trying to make the playoffs, Buffalo is in good position here.

I hope that you guys take some time and add some thoughts on teams that have improved or gotten worse from last year because I certainly didn't hit on everything. It's tough to look at all of our opponents and project how they will fair in these departments in 2014. But it's a start.

I for one, am optimistic that Buffalo is solid on both the run defense and run offense. If that is correct, they will be a tough team to deal with in January.

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

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