With the Buffalo Bills resting most of their key players and not exactly looking like they game planned a whole lot we’ll skip the usual Buffalo Bills video analysis and give an early dose of Houston Texans coverage.
Wide receiver Will Fuller is a dangerous weapon for the Texans—when he’s healthy that is. Missing five games already this year thanks to hamstring and groin injuries, Fuller’s status is currently up in the air. If there’s any way he can go though, he’ll be active. And that’s why we’ll be taking a look.
I wanted to focus mainly on healthy and heavily-used Will Fuller and, as a result, we’ll stick to this year’s games against the Atlanta Falcons and the Indianapolis Colts. When the lower yards per catch of the two games is 15.50 yards you might not expect to see routes like this. The Texans love mixing things up though and it’s a key to success. Nothing against Fuller, but this route is 0% “special.” It works because of the timing and confusion from the timing pattern—and that can be special.
The route itself? Still not special. The acceleration around the curve is dangerous, though, and a facet of Cole Beasley’s game I made sure to highlight earlier in the year. Defensive backs have a lot to mentally juggle as the best coverage predicts the outcome of the receiver’s path. Adding acceleration changes on top of questions on route, etc. can be one layer too many to predict.
Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins occupying the same space should be terrifying. Despite having a (slight) numbers advantage this has a high probability of “not ending well” for the Falcons. Fuller’s stop creates hesitation and gives Hopkins even more space. None of us want to see that on Saturday.
Here’s a similar idea to Play 1 where two receivers crossing forces the defense to make fast decisions—except downfield and at a way higher speed. This is how you get a 15.50-yards-per-catch stat and still have a few short tosses thrown in. Fuller looks way more special here, though the timing of the cross plays a part here too.
definite possible offensive pass interference on the play creates some room that Fuller maybe isn’t entitled to exactly, but let’s pick up from the spot highlighted by the rectangle. There should be some expectation of yards after catch, but Fuller’s speed makes it a very big play. It’s hard to see on this angle but the defender was lucky enough to get a handful of jersey or it wouldn’t have been this “short” of a gain.
The Bills aren’t a heavy press-coverage team, but it could be helpful against Fuller. Not the most physical receiver, Fuller can be disrupted. This isn’t a great pass either, but one I think Fuller has a real shot at coming down with if he wasn’t bumped off his route early. If he plays, Will Fuller likely won’t be at 100% and disrupting his timing might be even more effective.
Will Fuller’s hand at the top of the route isn’t making enough contact for a pass-interference call and as such is a good move by the receiver. Even without it he has a step. A shoestring tackle is a decent enough outcome on this.
Will Fuller has plenty of tools in his kit to be dangerous. A good route runner with change-of-acceleration techniques and versatility where he lines up makes for a defensive coordinator’s nightmare—and he’s not even the best receiver on the team. If Fuller is well enough to play, it’ll tax even the elite Buffalo Bills secondary. Keep an eye on Will Fuller’s status this week as it could be a major component of the Wild Card Round match-up this Saturday.