clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bills run defense film study: breakdowns vs. Jets, Bilal Powell

Bilal Powell became the latest no-name running back to gash the Buffalo Bills' run defense on Sunday, accumulating 149 yards on 27 carries. The Bills made life easy for him, frequently losing contain and over-pursuing plays to create massive running lanes.

We made light of the fact that Bilal Powell became the latest no-name running back to run for over 100 yards against the Buffalo Bills on the latest episode of the Buffalo Rumblings Podcast - but the run defense is a serious issue for Mike Pettine and the Bills.

Through three games, Buffalo ranks No. 30 in the NFL in run defense, surrendering 155 rushing yards per game. They're giving up 4.3 yards per carry, the eleventh-highest average in the NFL. Powell became the second runner to surpass the century mark against the Bills this season, joining Shane Vereen of New England, and even DeAngelo Williams of Carolina managed to grind out 85 yards.

You don't need us to remind you that run defense has been a major issue for the Bills for what feels like much longer than a decade. We can, however, hit the film to try to learn where the breakdowns are happening, and what Pettine and the Bills can do to fix it.

The answers are above, and to the surprise of no one, they deal largely in poor contain, a lack of gap discipline and, yes, some nifty play design on the part of the New York Jets in one case. Flip through the gallery above (and hover on each photo) for a look with descriptions at what went wrong for the Bills' run defense in Sunday's 27-20 road loss.

Unless the Bills can play with more discipline against the run, it won't matter if it's Ray Rice or Bernard Pierce (or both) lining up for the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday - they'll have a field day.