Universal praise for the Buffalo Bills’ defense has been frequent and loud over the last few seasons. However, it’s safe to say Bills Mafia wasn’t enjoying the defensive play during the first half of Buffalo’s Week 4 victory against the Baltimore Ravens. Fortunately, some incredible second-half adjustments proved to make all the difference in Baltimore on Sunday.
Looking at the numbers, one stands out above most this week. That’s because the Bills allowed only 296 total offensive yards, marking the eighth-straight game (tying a franchise record) where they held an opponent to under 300 yards of total offense. After allowing quarterback Lamar Jackson to carve up the defense in the first half with over 100 passing yards and a touchdown, the Bills stunned the Ravens in the second half. Jackson totaled just 36 passing yards, including two interceptions, in the second half. The Ravens were held scoreless after the break, and adjustments clearly played a huge role in the defense’s turnaround after halftime.
During postgame remarks, cornerback Taron Johnson said that defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier’s decision to disguise their coverages completely changed the game (the entire first half, the defense showed the coverages they would run). Halftime adjustments gave Buffalo the chance it needed to catch its collective breath and win.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is often lauded for his halftime adjustments, finding ways to exploit any team’s weakness on any given day. It’s great to see something similar play out with the Bills. It’s hard not to imagine how incredible Buffalo’s defense will be when cornerback Tre’Davious White returns to the lineup later this season, as well defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips.