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Bills/Dolphins: Notes from the Line

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Well, that was certainly craptacular. The best spin I can put on the Buffalo Bills' latest loss is that it didn’t take long to break down the game so I'm posting earlier than normal. 13 runs will do that. Oh, and it spells certain defeat as well. That’s not so positive. J.P. Losman’s future contract negotiations won’t be so positive either. He was just awful (30% completion percentage in the first half), overthrowing receivers on a regular basis. The weird thing is that the Dolphins didn’t really game plan for him. They used the same heavy coverage scheme they employed successfully against Edwards. Losman responded by ripping off a number of runs. If Edwards doesn’t play next week look for the coverage scheme to change. Losman pulled the ball down about four seconds after the snap, ducked his head and looked for running room. Given his history of being rattled by pressure, why not bring it? The only thing that might bring them pause is that Losman wasn’t his usual erratic self when blitzed this Sunday.

Of the 6 blitzes Losman faced, he completed 2 passes for 2 first downs and 19 yards and scrambled for 16 yards (and a first down) on another blitz. 3 out of 6 (50%) would seem to be a winning percentage for the defense, but Losman's receivers also had 2 drops on blitzes that would have raised his first down count against blitzes to 5 of 6. Losman’s success against the blitz was even weirder than the Dolphins not blitzing him.

Drive 1
Run 1: Lynch 4 yards through right C gap
Jason Peters got a 2 yard push on 91. Derrick Dockery and Duke Preston doubled 95 and got a modest push. Brad Butler (who made it all the way through his second consecutive game!) locked onto 94 and wouldn’t let him get turned around to chase the play. Langston Walker chipped 94 and got a hand on 51 though not enough to keep him from cleaning up Marshawn Lynch at the end of the play. Derek Fine dropped 98 and Josh Reed did a nice job on a safety who came in to fill a gap.

Run 2: Lynch 3 yards through the right C gap
Peters drove Joey Porter away from the play and well upfield. Dock tried to block 91, but 91 swam past him and rerouted the play. Preston and Butler doubled 95. Preston fell down and then Butler used Preston’s prostrate body to put 95 down. It was kind of an unintentional Three Stooges move. Walker missed his block on 52 who made the tackle. Fine popped 99 but he still got around him to be in on the tackle.

Pass 1: overthrow to Roscoe Parrish against a 6 man blitz
Stacked: 0
Blitzes: 1
Drive Killed by: Losman’s wild pass

Drive 2
Pass 2: scramble for 17 yards
Losman had four seconds to find someone but couldn’t so he took off for a nice gain.

Run 3: Lynch 4 yards through the left B gap
Peters dwarf-tossed 91 out of the lane and upfield. Dock chipped 91 and then drove Porter 3 yards. Preston was driven back 2 yards and his guy made the tackle. Gannon’s idiotic partner made the bizarre proclamation that Preston had a nice block on the play. It wasn’t as bad as some of Preston’s blocks but, if he was serious, that was pretty cynical. Butler hit a LB at the second level but he was still in on the tackle. Walker handed 70 off to Fine and got a piece of a LB. Fine stopped 70 for several seconds.

Pass 3: Reed 7 yards
Losman had a good five seconds to make his decision. You know he spent four of them looking deep.

Run 4: Lynch no gain in the A gap against an 8 man front
Peters chipped 91 for Fine then hit 51 at the second level. Dock let 95 swim right past him, who made the tackle. Preston went to the 2nd level and merely watched Peters block 51. The announcer didn’t compliment Preston on his observational abilities. Butler was beaten by 70 who was in on the tackle. Walker stopped 99 cold. Fine kept 91 out of the play. Corey McIntyre courageously hit a DB and kept after him.

Pass 4: Steve Johnson 14 yards

Pass 5: overthrow to Schouman
Losman had four seconds to think about the wobbler he threw.

Pass 6: sack -2 yards
Preston somehow didn’t realize Losman was in the shotgun. You’d think he’d be able to tell if someone was touching his ass. Well, he couldn’t and Losman did well to cover the ball as it laid on the turf.

Pass 7: dropped by James Hardy against a 5 man blitz
It was enough for a first down but Hardy allowed the smurf covering him to strip the ball away. The refs shouldn’t have called that a completed pass, a break for Buffalo even though it was (justifiably) overturned on a Miami challenge.
Stacked: 1
Blitz: 1
Drive Killed By: Hardy’s hands of stone

Drive 3
Pass 8: Parrish for 11 yards

Run 5: Lynch 5 yards through the left C gap
Peters got a good drive on 91. Dock stood up 94 and kept him off the pile. Preston did a pretty good job on 95. Butler chipped 95 then was too slow to pick off a LB at the second level. Walker sealed 70 to the inside, which created a huge unused lane to the right. Fine made 99 irrelevant and Derek Schouman did a great job on Porter.

Run 6: Lynch -3 yards through the A gap
Peters and Dock doubled 91 until Dock fell down. Preston blocked no one and instead let 95 blow right past him to get the tackle for loss. Butler missed a block on 52 while Walker pushed Porter upfield and away from the play.

Pass 9: drop by Lynch
56 beat Walker to Losman and knocked the ball out of his hand. Losman alertly picked it up and rolled out. He hit Lynch right in the hands. It wasn’t the best pass in the world but Lynch had an easy first down.
Stacked: 0
Blitz: 0
Drive Killed by: Lynch’s drop

Drive 4
Pass 10: overthrow to Lee Evans
Losman had 5 seconds to throw. He can’t blame the pressure or the wind. Evans did catch it, just 3 yards out of bounds.

Pass 11: another overthrow
Dock was called for holding, seemingly to make up for the favorable Hardy call earlier in the game. The DT tried to spin so Dock planted him. Burying a guy isn’t the same as holding him.

Pass 12: well overthrown again
Losman had four seconds to throw. Maybe the sun got in his eyes. Oh, wait…
Stacked: 0
Blitz: 0
Drive Killed by: Losman

Drive 5 (last 15 seconds of half)
Run 7: Lynch no gain through the right B gap
Peters drove a lethargic Porter 6 yards. Dock kept 97 from getting off the line. Preston was moved aside (as one might move a troublesome child out of your way) by 94 who made the tackle. Butler chased 52 around the pile but never caught him. Walker kept 74 to the outside until Lynch was on the ground.
Stacked: 0
Blitz: 0
Drive Killed by: half

Drive 6
Run 8: Lynch 3 yards through the right C gap
Peters pushed Porter down the line. Dock got no push on the DT which rerouted the play to the right. Preston and Butler doubled 95 and got a little push. Walker turned 70 in a circle away from the planned running route... but right into Lynch’s eventual path. 99 eventually got around Fine and in on the tackle.

Pass 13: Evans 9 yards against a 5 man blitz

Run 9: Lynch 3 yards through the left B gap
Peters drove 91 4 yards off the line. Dock missed his block on 51 at the second level and he was in on the tackle. Preston was driven back 2 yards and barely managed to remain upright. His efforts slowed down Lynch. Butler got caught in the wash and didn’t really block anyone. 70 got around Walker’s block to jump on the pile. Fine did another good job on 99.

Pass 14: Schouman 5 yards
Who says Losman can’t throw a short pass?

Run 10: Lynch for no gain in the wildcat against an 8 man front through the left C gap
Peters was the left TE and turned his guy around in a circle. Walker was the LT and was pushed back 2 yards by 91, which killed the play. Dock pushed 95 back then turned him away from the play. Preston got no push at all. Butler blocked 70 but couldn’t keep him from chasing the play. Fine played RT and tried to help Butler with 70. Schouman did a good job on 98.

Pass 15: Reed 11 yards on 4th and 2
It was a play action pass, and Losman did a great job of getting Reed open. He gestured way downfield, prompting 2 DBs to turn and run that way, leaving Reed all alone.

Pass 16: dropped by Royal against a 5 man blitz
Ugh. Royal is so not getting re-signed.

Pass 17: throw away
Butler was bull rushed and flattened by 94. Losman had to run for his life and eventually put it in the bleachers. He did well to avoid a sack.

Pass 18: -2 yard screen to Lynch
Dock was too slow to get a filling safety. Preston came back to hit 97 to give Lynch a chance, which Lynch blew by slipping. Happily Porter had been pulled offside by Losman’s hard count.

Pass 19: -14 yard sack and fumble recovered by Peters
Peters was beaten cleanly by 56. This took Buffalo out of field goal range.
Stacked: 1
Blitz: 2
Drive Killed by: Peters non-block on 56

Drive 7
Pass 20: Reed 10 yards against a 5 man blitz.

Run 11: Lynch 3 yards through the A gap
Peters’ DE shed his block and was in on the tackle. Dock did his best McIntyre impression as he hit the LB at the second level but got no movement. Preston and Butler doubled 95 and then Butler peeled to pick up a LB. Walker drove 70 5 yards off the line. Fine did a good job on 55 and Schouman did a terrific job on 98 despite the fact that 98 was jamming his hand under Schouman’s face mask.

Pass 21: Parrish 7 yards

Pass 22: overthrow to Evans
Evans got tangled up a bit with the DB but even if there had been no contact I don’t know that Evans would have caught the pass. It was a good non-call by the refs.

Run 12: Lynch 6 yards through the left B gap
Peters helped Fine with 97 then picked up 37. Dock turned Porter around to open the run lane. Preston did a decent job on 70 in that both of them ended up on the ground, as opposed to just Preston. Butler hit 52 and then 97. Walker kept 56 well away from the play. Fine sealed 97 into the line, springing Lynch.

Pass 23: Reed 24 yards
It wasn’t a good pass but it was an amazing catch by Reed. He hit the ball with his right hand and kind of ran into it.

Pass 24: scramble for 10 yards
Fine did a fantastic job of shielding 96 away from Losman for a good 10 yards while Losman ran. Plus, the defense helped out by getting flagged for holding.

Pass 24: INT
It was a sight adjustment. Losman saw Evans had one-on-one and threw it to him instead of handing off to Lynch. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good pass and the DB had a much better shot at it than Evans. Meanwhile, Peters and Fine had opened a gaping hole to the left for Lynch to run through.
Stacked: 0
Blitz: 1
Drive Killed by: Losman’s terrible fade pass

Drive 8 (Kirk Chambers in for Peters this series)
Pass 25: overthrow to Reed
It was a good 3 yards over his head.

Run 13: Lynch 1 yard through the right B gap
Chambers sealed the DE inside and buried him. Dock helped 73 before getting caught in the wash. Preston was beaten to his left by the DT, who made the tackle. Butler hit 52 at the second level and kept him out of the play. Walker hit Porter but didn’t sustain his block. Royal did an okay job on 98, who was likely relieved not to see Fine or Schouman for a change.

Pass 26: -12 yard sack
Chambers was beaten like a Juarez whore by Porter.
Stacked: 0
Blitz: 1
Drive Killed by: Chambers' non-block on Porter

Drive 9

Pass 27: scramble for no gain
Lynch was called for tripping. It was a crap call. He never whipped out with his legs. He was blocking a LB and went down. The LB then fell over Lynch’s legs while he laid on the turf.

Pass 28: dropped by Lynch
It was high but could have been caught. That cost the Bills about 5 yards, which would have come in handy.

Pass 29: Reed 7 yards

Pass 30: Evans 8 yards

Pass 31: Lynch 4 yards
Lynch didn’t get past the line to gain, and he wouldn’t have had to had he not dropped pass 28 as Buffalo would have already had a first down.
Stacked: 0
Blitzes: 0
Drive Killed by: Lynch’s drop and/or his failure to run his pattern past the sticks

Drive 10

Pass 32: scramble for 11 yards

Pass 33: Evans for 6 yards

Pass 34: scramble for 16 yards against a 6 man blitz
Hmmm... it seems Buffalo has blundered into a way to play the 7-8 man coverage schemes they’ve been seeing with some regularity.

Pass 35: spike

Pass 36: sack for -9 yards
Losman had 6 seconds so the sack is all on him.

Pass 37: sack -8 yards and a fumble
Peters was beaten by Porter again. Losman had 3 seconds, enough to hit a quick route but only if he had known Peters was going to be abused again.

Peters had another good game in terms of the run. He had 5 good plays, 7 decent ones, 1 bad one and no killed plays. He had 33 decent pass plays, 2 bad ones and 2 killed ones — both sacks. He also killed 2 drives. Not a good pass game for him at all.

Dockery had 2 good run plays, 9 decent ones, 2 bad ones and 1 killed run play. He had 37 decent pass plays... which was all of them.

Preston had no good run plays, 7 decent ones, 6 bad ones and 3 killed run plays. That grades out at a dismal 65.8%. Ugh. He had 1 good pass play, 35 decent ones, 1 bad play and 1 killed pass play—a sack.

Butler had 11 decent run plays, 1 bad one and 1 killed run play. He had 36 decent pass plays, 1 bad one and 1 killed pass play. It should have been a sack but Losman managed to roll out and throw the ball away.

Walker had 2 good run plays, 10 decent ones, 1 bad one and 1 killed run play. He had 36 decent pass plays and 1 bad one.

Chambers was in for 3 plays. He had 1 good run play, 1 decent pass play, 1 bad pass play and 1 killed pass play — a sack/fumble. He also killed a drive.

The Bills ran twice through the left C gap for 5 yards (2.5 ypa), 3 times through the left B gap for 13 yards (4.3 ypa), 3 times in the A gap for 0 yards (0.0 ypa), 2 times through the right B gap for 1 yard (0.5 ypa) and 3 times through the right C gap for 10 yards (3.3 ypa). In short, nothing was working largely due to the lack of opportunities. Fred Jackson never touched the ball (was he injured?) and Losman racked up more yards rushing than Lynch.