It’s no secret that the Buffalo Bills were without a pair of important defensive tackles in standout Jordan Phillips and former first-rounder Ed Oliver when they faced the Miami Dolphins. In the Dolphins’ 39 plays on defense, the Bills did their best to create an interior presence. To the film we go!
Pre-snap we see defensive tackle Tim Settle line up on the left shoulder of the center. At the snap, we see the power of Settle in the pass rush here. Settle bull rushes guard Robert Hunt all the way into Tua Tagovailoa, which causes him to throw the football away. To see Settle extend his arms and keep pushing Hunt deeper and deeper into the backfield was impressive.
With Buffalo missing both Phillips and Oliver, the team needed to find ways to manufacture pressure in the interior. Pre-snap, defensive end Greg Rousseau is standing up on the outside shoulder of the left tackle. At the snap, Rousseau twists with defensive end Boogie Basham (who’s lined up at defensive tackle). When Rousseau twists and goes into the interior, there is no one there to block him, and he gets an easy sack on Teddy Bridgewater.
The Bills’ defense also held up in the run game. Here we have a look at defensive tackle DaQuan Jones. At the snap, Jones pushes back left tackle Terron Armstead in the backfield. What makes this important is it opens up a massive hole for linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who then gets into the backfield unimpeded and helps on the tackle for a loss.
Here we have both Jones and Settle in the game at defensive tackle. The Dolphins call a QB sneak for Tagovailoa. At the snap, Settle gets extremely low up under center Conner Williams. Settle gets so low to the point where his head is in Williams’ chest. On Jones’ side, he splits the middle of the left guard and tackle. Jones then pushes the guard into the center to help create a pile with Settle. The mesh created upfront by Jones and Settle snuffs out the quarterback sneak attempt.
Obviously, when a team is absent players the caliber of Phillips and Oliver, it’s going to be difficult to replace them. All things considered, the Bills did a pretty good job. They manufactured pressure with twists in the interior and had guys like Settle and Jones step up against the pass and run.