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Buffalo Bills offensive line struggles against Jets

Pass-protection breakdowns were a common theme in Week 14

New York Jets v Buffalo Bills Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills’ offensive line had some pass-protection issues against the New York Jets in Week 14. The Bills gave up three sacks and four quarterback hits to the Jets. Quarterback Josh Allen was forced to scramble a ton during the game due to these issues. What can we learn from the line’s play during Week 14? Let’s take a look at the tape.

Spencer Brown, Rodger Saffold both beaten by edge rushers

There were a few things that went wrong here for Buffalo’s offensive line. First, right tackle Spencer Brown loses to edge rusher Bryce Huff, who just bends around Brown and pressures Allen — which forces him to leave the pocket. What makes this a particularly bad play for Brown is that running back James Cook gave Huff a little chip to help Brown, and he still surrendered a pressure. The second thing that goes wrong during this play is that left guard Rodger Saffold loses on a twist by edge rusher Carl Lawson. Saffold gets ripped through and blown by, which leaves no room for Allen to scramble and make a play.

Spencer Brown’s struggles continue

We continue to see Brown struggle despite getting help. Here, you see tight end Dawson Knox get a chip on Huff to disrupt him. Huff uses a club and rip to get through Brown, despite the Knox chip. Brown really struggles to turn his body quickly enough to protect the edge here.

Quinnen Williams dominates Rodger Saffold

Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams works Saffold on this play. Williams engages Saffold, and then uses a swim move on him. Williams throws Saffold aside then rushes up the middle to sack Allen. On a play like this, you would like to see the protection slide left so that center Mitch Morse can help Saffold block Williams.

Bills’ offensive line struggles to anchor

Edge rusher John Franklin-Myers does a twist with Huff at the snap. Meyers then bullrushes Brown with power. In the interior of the defensive line, tackle Sheldon Rankins violently pushes back Morse with his bull rush. The inability of both Brown and Morse to anchor against the bull rush gives Allen no room to make a throw in the pocket. Adding insult to injury: left tackle Dion Dawkins get called for holding.

In summary

Buffalo’s offensive line really struggled in pass protection, and it affected Allen throughout the game. Brown and Saffold, in particular, struggled handling both twists and anchoring versus the bull rush. How concerned are you with Buffalo’s offensive line going forward?