The Buffalo Bills defense had the doors blown off in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens and more of the same was happening to them in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers. So Sean McDermott did something he hasn’t done in his 19 games as Bills head coach; he started calling plays.
McDermott took over defensive play-calling in the second half, overruling defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and providing a spark to a Bills defense that was able to lock it down over the final two quarters even without Vontae Davis and down to just two cornerbacks.
“I just thought we needed a spark and that’s my background,” McDermott said after the game. “Coach Frazier does a really good job as well as the defensive staff. I just felt like we needed a spark.”
Buffalo had allowed nine consecutive red zone touchdowns this season (ten if you count the 20-yard score from Sunday on the edge of the red zone) until McDermott’s defense forced a field goal in the second half.
After surrendering 28 points to Los Angeles and 47 points to the Ravens, Frazier’s defense had allowed 75 points in only six quarters. Buffalo’s 78 points allowed after two games is tied with the Detroit Lions for worst in the NFL.
“Defensively, we didn’t play well enough, obviously, in the first half against a good offensive unit, spotting them 28 points,” McDermott said.
The Bills defense gave up 17 first downs to Phillip Rivers and the Chargers in the second half on the heels of 26 first downs a week ago to the Ravens. But McDermott, whose defense only gave up four first downs the rest of the way, doesn’t know yet if it’s going to be a permanent move.
“It’s something we’re going to evaluate,” McDermott said. “We’re going to evaluate that as well as a few other things, too.”