The Buffalo Bills’ offensive line had their fair share of struggles against the Miami Dolphins Sunday. We saw the Bills struggle with both pass protection (four sacks allowed) and run blocking. They had no answers for the blitz and quarterback Josh Allen was running for his life most of the game. Let’s look at the All-22 tape and see what transpired.
Here we have Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins assigned to block for wide receiver Stefon Diggs on a receiver screen. Diggs and wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie are both on the left side of the field. McKenzie is supposed to block cornerback Xavien Howard, who’s lined up over Diggs. Dawkins is supposed to block cornerback Kader Kohou, the corner lined up over McKenzie (who does his job by getting a quick push block on Howard). By the time Dawkins runs out to the perimeter to block Kohou, he has already beaten him to Diggs. Kohou grabs Diggs’s cloth as Dawkins watches from behind and the Dolphins completely snuff out the screen. This play ends up getting blown up due to Dawkins’s inability to get out to the perimeter in time and block Kohou.
Here we have a standard drop-back pass situation. Bills right tackle Spencer Brown is matched up against Dolphins EDGE Melvin Ingram, who’s standing on the outside shoulder of Brown. Ingram who was initially on Brown’s outside shoulder goes inside. Ingram does a typical club and rip on Brown. Then Ingram gets to Brown’s inside shoulder and beats him in a foot race all the way to Josh Allen for the sack.
Pressure directly up the middle is the worst kind of pressure for a quarterback. Here we have another drop-back pass situation. Bills center Greg Van Roten is tasked with blocking Dolphins defensive tackle John Jenkins in pass protection. Jenkins physically overwhelms Van Roten with his bull rush. Jenkins keeps pushing Van Roten all the way back until they get close to Allen, who has to scramble to avoid another sack. Van Roten’s inability to hold his ground in pass pro against Jenkins’s power was the issue here.
One of the most important things for any tackle to be able to do is anchor against the pass rush. Here we have Dolphins EDGE Jaelan Phillips lined up on the outside shoulder of Bills right tackle David Quessenberry. At the snap, Phillips bull rushes Quessenberry all the way into Allen (who luckily escapes the pressure). Quessenberry wasn’t able to anchor and physically handle the power of Phillips.
This run play was a failure on the entire right side of the offensive line. Quessenberry and right guard Tommy Doyle didn’t put their best foot forward on this play. Quessenberry whiffs on his block of Miami defensive tackle Zach Sieler, who goes into the backfield and tackles Zack Moss. Then Doyle goes out on the second level to block the Dolphins linebacker. Doyle gets walked back from the second level all the way down into the backfield by the linebacker. This is a case of one guy just missing an assignment (Quessenberry) and the other guy getting dominated (Doyle).
This was for sure not the best day for the Buffalo Bills’ offensive line. Buffalo’s offensive line had everything stacked against them from the humidity, injuries, and the ferocious pass rush of Miami. They struggled with everything from run blocking to pass protection. Quite simply, the Bills found themselves constantly beat in one-on-one situations against the Dolphins.