The Buffalo Bills starting offensive unit struggled to get anything going against the Cleveland Browns in the second week of preseason. Four consecutive three-and-out series and an injury to quarterback AJ McCarron were not what the Bills hoped to see. A major component of offensive success or failure rests on the shoulder of the line. Let’s see how they did.
The play pauses at the magic cutoff point of two seconds. The ball is in the air at that point thankfully, as there’s far too many orange helmets around AJ McCarron. The right side holds up well. Russell Bodine wins his match-up cleanly. Dion Dawkins ends up trying to take on two defenders as Vlad Ducasse can’t find a guy to get a hand on. LeSean McCoy gets blown up pretty badly. The Browns came out testing the Bills by rushing six men with mixed results from the offensive line.
This play was likely drawn up to look like this anyway. Dion Dawkins doesn’t get enough of his man though and McCarron is close to getting hit. Closer than he should be on this play call. Bodine and Ducasse can’t get to the edge fast enough to get the blocks and play two is dead in the water.
The Brown overload Dion Dawkins’ side again, but this time it’s handled better. From what we can see from the broadcast angle, the Browns have the back end handled pretty well. Not liking what he sees, McCarron tucks and runs. This was perhaps the best snap for the offensive line against the Browns’ starters.
The Browns rush four, while the Bills have six to block (Patrick DiMarco contributes a chip on the way out). Even still it’s likely best the ball comes out quickly. Russell Bodine is walked back one-on-one.
At the pause, two Browns are circled. The middle of the offensive line is parted which prompts McCoy to kick the play outside, shown in the upper circle. The lower circle is Briean Boddy-Calhoun who prevents McCoy from getting outside. The entire line appears to be blocking forward and there’s nowhere for McCoy to go.
Dion Dawkins gets beat with a nice bend move and AJ McCarron climbs the pocket. Both Vlad Ducasse and Charles Clay miss Larry Ogunjobi and McCarron goes down.
The Browns understandably elect not to worry about a pass here. The line holds up well except for Dion Dawkins. Arguably, Dawkins might have been tasked with driving his man inside so the play can develop. However, he barely disrupts Myles Garrett as he knifes in nearly dropping McCoy in the backfield.
The Browns rush five and the Bills should have a numbers advantage with Charles Clay staying in to block. The line is blocking well and McCoy should have had options to take a lane. Clay can’t handle Mychal Kendricks however, and Kendricks drags Clay with him to make the tackle.
Dion Dawkins’ rough night continued as Myles Garret comes in for the hit. The initial impact from Garrett catches Dawkins off guard. Another shove is followed smoothly with a swim move and AJ McCarron takes a shot. The play pauses at about 2.5 seconds in. Daboll’s quick strike offense has routinely gotten the ball out well before then, but it can’t be expected every time. So far this preseason the line has struggled to protect for anything but the quickest of quick hitters.