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Notes From The Line: Jets Game 1 and assorted ramblings

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First, here's an update on a bit I had posted about Trent Edwards and the blitz on Saturday. Because Edwards was productive against the blitz I theorized that the Jets would blitz something less than 35%. They blitzed on 11 of 42 (26.2%) of pass plays. Edwards had 2 incompletions (1 drop, 1 throw away), 1 sack (-7 yards, lost fumble), and 8 completions on those plays. Edwards netted 122 yards, 5 first downs and 1 TD against the blitz. The Jets clearly watched how Edwards did against the blitz and instead dropped 7-8 guys into coverage almost three quarters of the time. To me it's particularly galling that the Bills gave up 4 sacks against 3 and 4 man rushes. Watching the game I thought Edwards had a really bad game. Some of his throws were just terrible, but, when I watched the tape I noticed that some of those bad throws were due to offensive linemen.

Speaking of those pesky linemen... here are my notes from the Jets game, after the jump.

Drive 1

The Jets started off with a blitz and almost got a sack. Shouman was beaten on the play which caused Edwards to check it down to Lynch for a mere 42 yard pick up. The play was meant to go deep, perhaps in an effort to get the Jets to back off in order to open up running lanes. The Jets didn't care and held Lynch to 1 yard on the first run of the game. Dock and Preston took Jenkins out, Whittle pulled and took out a LB and Schouman had a nice block on 97. The second pass was INC due to pass interference. Jenkins swam past Preston and hit Edwards. Whittle was smacked to the ground by a LB and Walker was beaten by Ellis. 3 of 4 rushers got through the line. Ugh. The third pass went to Find for a TD despite the blitz. It was after the first time out wasted by Edwards.

Drive 2

It was a mighty short drive. McIntyre completely missed the blitzing DB. The TV announcers didn't think he could have gotten there but it seems pretty clear that he could have. Edwards never had a chance. McIntyre killed the drive.

Drive 3

This looked like another mighty short drive when Lynch put the ball on the ground right off the bat. He did recover his own fumble. Walker got a nice drive on the DE and Preston held his own against Jenkins. The fifth pass went to Royal for 5 yards against a blitz. Pass 6 went to Lynch for 8 yards. Run 3 went for -1 yard. Peters got a nice drive and so did Walker initially. However, 91 got around Preston's right side rerouting Lynch. Pass 7 went to Jackson for 8 yards and then the Jets helped out with a dead ball personal foul. Run 4 went for no gain against an 8 man front. Dock pulled and tried to cut Jenkins but missed so it didn't matter that everyone else did well on the run. Pass 8 went to Evans for 4 yards against a blitz. Lynch had a nice pick up. Run 5 went for 2 yards against an 8 man front. Peters drove 93 2 yards and created the seam for the minor gain. Preston was driven back into Jenkins into Lynch, who was almost tackled for a loss after Schouman was beaten by 99. Pass 9 was just awful and I'm still not convinced McIntyre was able to dig it out of the dirt. It went for -1 yard and was such a bad pass because Edwards was running for his life after Dock let 97 zip past him. Pass 10 was dropped by Jackson and possibly would have been a TD. It was a well executed screen against a blitz and Jackson had a couple of guys out in front of him. Pass 11 was thrown away and wouldn't have matter anyway because Walker was downfield. Man-Not-A-Genius took the penalty and Edwards promptly made the Jets pay. He hit Parrish on pass 12 for 22 yards. Run 6 went for -1 yard against an 8 man front. Dock did a good job on Jenkins, pushing him to the ground when he tried a spin move. Schouman missed a block on 99 and he made the tackle. Pass 13 was incomplete to Royal. I think he actually caught it but I was glad that Jauron didn't challenge it. Pass 14 was intercepted and returned for a TD. Preston was slapped aside by Jenkins who pressured Edwards. Parrish slipped (wouldn't have been a TD even if he made the catch), which the announcers didn't think would have made a difference. Parrish may not have caught it but he would have been in position to at least knock it down or tackle the DB. It was an ill advised pass, and Edwards killed the drive.

Drive 4

Jackson got 7 yards on the 7th run. Peters drove 91 3 yards and Preston held his own against 93. Schouman was flattened by 56, got up, chased him down, and hit him in the back at the end of the play. Way to try to draw a block in the back/personal foul flag. Jackson tried run 8 but went for no gain. Preston went to the 2nd level and blew right past 96 without touching him. That caused Whittle to have to peel back and try to get a hand on 96....which meant he wasn't there to pick up a filling DB who made the tackle. Pass 15 went to Royal for 7 yards and Pass 16 was incomplete to Evans. It looked to be well overthrown but Evans griped about being held, which would be a perfectly reasonable thing for a DB covering Evans to do once he has a step. Jackson took run 9 for 4 yards. Whittle popped 96 at the 2nd level and Walker drove 70 3 yards to open the hole. Pass 17 went to Evans for 19 yards against a blitz. Jackson gained no ground on run 10 against an 8 man front, largely due to him having Preston in his lap. Pass 18 went to Jackson for 8 yards against a blitz. It was another low pass. Had Hardy sustained his block, Jackson had 2 more blockers downfield--another long gain thwarted by one guy. Jackson took run 11 for 3 yards out of the moronic wildcat formation. Peters line up as a TE on Walker's right but Jackson ran left. Dock drove the DE 2 yards to open the hole. Pass 19 was technically a sack though Edwards was in full scramble mode at the time. Edwards then wasted another time out. Pass 20 was a screen almost dropped by Jackson. He picked up 11 yards. Pass 21 was thrown away. It was a 2 receiver formation (eventually 3) against a blitz. Edwards had time, just nowhere to throw it. Jackson tried to gain a couple of inches on 4th down on run 12 and didn't. No one got any push at all and Jenkins crumpled Preston. Jackson still could have easily gotten the 6 inches needed if he had followed McIntyre to the right instead of committing presnap to the left. Fine did a nice job of sealing 99 to the outside of Walker. Had Jackson followed McIntyre he had a lane to the end zone. We can debate whether he would have scored had he gone right instead of left but he clearly would have had a first down. Jackson killed the drive.

Drive 5

It was a kneel down.

Drive 6

Pass 22 was a horrible INC to Jackson. He had an easy 5+ yards had Edwards put the ball somewhere that Jackson could have caught it. Pass 23 was a 6 yarder to Fine that should have picked up a first down. Pass 24 was incomplete and then Moorman dashed for 6 yards...only to be negated by a well justified holding call on Scott. Had Scott not held Moorman may or may not have made the first down. Had Edwards gotten Jackson the ball on first down none of that would have mattered. Edwards killed the drive.

Drive 7

Lynch (and his pink mouthpiece) took run 13 for 2 yards. Preston was pushed back 2 yards by Jenkins and was in on the tackle. Pass 25 went to Fine for 8 yards. Preston was tossed aside by Jenkins who then hit Edwards. Run 14 (Lynch) went right for 2 yards. It was supposed to go left but 91 used Preston's body to clog up the middle of the line. Whittle tried to pull but had to run around Preston so Lynch cut it back to get a little something. Edwards wasted a third time out (first of the 2nd half) before pass 26 was tipped and went incomplete. Pass 27 went to Parrish for 21 yards against a blitz. Pass 28, another low one, went to Jackson for 5 yards. Pass 29 (after a false start on Peters) was a sack for -5 yards. Dock and Preston were both beaten by Jenkins on the sack. Walker helped Whittle with 70 and was slow to react to 95, who got around him and in on the sack. Pass 30 went to Parrish for 8 yards and was forced when Walker was driven all the way back to (and slightly beyond) Edwards. The Bills got a field goal but the drive was killed by Dock and Preston.

Drive 8

Pass 31 was a pretty throw and catch to Fine for 20 yards against a blitz. Lynch had another nice blitz pick up. Pass 32 went to Lynch for 5 yards. Pass 33 went to Royal for 21 yards. Pass 34 looked like an awful pass until I saw that Preston was thrown down by Jenkins (again), who then kept Edwards from stepping into his throw. Preston killed that play. Lynch picked up 6 yards on run 15. Peters locked up 97 and pushed him past Lynch's cut back lane. Whittle helped with Jenkins and then went to the 2nd level to take down a LB. Run 16 (Lynch) went for 4 yards (offically..the Bills got a generous spot) and would have gone for more had Walker not whiffed on his block of 97--who almost made a tackle for loss. Pass 35 went for 15 yards to Royal. Pass 36 was a sack for -6 yards. Jenkins did a swim move to get past Preston and then blew right through Whittle. Pass 37 was incomplete to Evans. Pass 38 was another sack for -5 yards. Preston didn't help Whittle with 92, who drove right through Whittle for the sack. Lindell missed a field goal that would have been 11 yards closer had Whittle and Preston done better--instead of killing the drive.

Drive 9

Pass 39 went to Royal for 20 yards. Pass 40 went to Evans for 16 yards. Pass 41 went to Evans for 4 yards. Pass 42 was an INT. Edwards put up a desperation jump ball to Hardy. Edwards killed the drive, though if I had a category for Having To Take Risks it would go there.

I saw a couple of positive developments:

  1. Edwards continues to be money against the blitz. When he’s not immediately blindsided by an untouched blitzer he gets the ball out quickly and to an open receiver. He completed right at 69% of his throws overall, many of which were against 7-8 guys in the secondary….so he can pick a defense apart if they lay back and make them pay if they bring the heat.
  2. The TEs combined for 9 receptions, 113 yards and 1 TD. That’s 12.6 yards per reception, meaning the TEs are actual weapons!
  3. Preston positively sucks. No, it’s not really a positive development but it might bear fruit in the offseason. The coaching staff just can’t overlook the inept play the Bills have gotten at center.
  4. Buffalo won’t abandon the run, even when it’s clearly going nowhere. Play action worked as late as drive 7 because the Jets know Jauron will stubbornly run the ball even if the Bills aren’t getting much out of it.

The Bills ran 3 times for 11 yards (3.6 ypa) in the left C gap, 4 times for 6 yards (1.5 ypa) in the left B gap, 3 times for no yards (0.0 ypa) in the A gap, 2 times for 8 yards (4.0 ypa) in the right B gap and 4 times for 5 yards (1.3 ypa) in the right C gap. Yeah, it was ugly all the way around.

Midseason grades:

Peters had 36 good run plays (tied for tops in spite of missing time), 101 decent ones, 17 bad ones and 3 killed run plays. That grades out as 77.5%. He had 8 good pass plays, 201 decent ones, 12 bad ones and 8 killed plays. That grades out as 74.6%. He has been helped on 11 of 221 (5.0%) of pass plays and has given up 6 sacks. Peters has killed 6 drives.

Dock had 36 good run plays, 140 decent ones, 15 bad ones and 4 killed run plays. That grades out as 77.2%. He had 2 good pass plays, 250 decent ones, 12 bad ones and 3 killed plays. That grades out as 74.2%. He has given up 1 sack and has killed 2 drives.

Fowler had 15 good run play, 80 decent ones, 46 bad ones, and 6 killed run plays. That grades out as a dismal 70.6%. He had no good pass plays, 166 decent ones, 15 bad ones and 5 killed plays. That grades out as 73.4%. He has given up 2 sacks and has killed 6.5 drives.

Butler had 34 good run plays, 81 decent ones, 15 bad ones and 5 killed run plays. That grades out as 77.9%. He had 6 good pass plays, 158 decent ones, 8 bad ones and 2 killed plays. That grades out as 74.8%. He has given up 2 sacks and has killed 1 drive.

Walker had 21 good run plays, 154 decent ones, 10 bad ones, and 1 killed run play. That grades out as 76.2%. He had 1 good pass play, 244 decent ones, 18 bad ones and 3 killed pass plays. That grades out as 73.7%. He has given up 2 sacks and was helped on 20 of 263 (7.6%) of plays, down from last season…and part of the year he played left tackle. He has killed 3.5 drives.

Preston had 5 good run plays, 39 decent ones, and eye popping 20 bad ones and 7 killed run plays. That grades out as a terrible 70.3%. He had no good pass plays, 86 decent ones, 9 bad ones and 4 killed pass plays. That grades out at 73.1%. He has given up just 1 sack. He has killed 4 drives.

Whittle had 4 good run plays, 34 decent ones, 3 bad ones and no killed run plays. That grades out as 75.5%. He had 1 good pass play, 65 decent ones, 5 bad ones and 3 killed pass plays. That grades out as 73.9%. He has given up 1 sack and killed 2.5 drives.

Chambers had 1 good run play, 35 decent ones, 2 bad ones and no killed plays. That grades out as 74.5%. He had 1 good pass plays, 43 decent ones, 1 bad ones and 1 killed plays. That grades out as 75%. He has given up 1 sack and has killed no drives.

Taken has a whole, the line has killed 25.5 of Buffalo’s 89 drives. That’s a horrifying 28% of drives. While the line, with the exception of center, is doing a good overall job the mistakes they do make are just killing the offense. While the line has killed 55 total plays (26 runs, 29 passes) the centers have combined to kill 22 (40%) of them (13 runs—50% of killed runs, 9 passes—31.0)%. Think about that for a minute. You’d expect each line position to be responsible for about 20% of killed plays. Buffalo's centers are doubling that percentage. Also, of the 487 total plays the line has killed 55 (11.3%) while the centers killed 22 (4.5%). That translates into 3 plays per game that either go nowhere or are outright killed by the center position.

16 sacks can be laid at the feet of one or more of the linemen, and 6 of them (37.5%) belong to Peters. Ugh. That’s just terrible. I suppose the silver lining is that he’s given up only 1 in the past 3 weeks. Perhaps he is indeed getting back to where he was last season, though he’d be foolish indeed to expect another paid trip to Hawaii.