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Buffalo Bills 2022 film review: Defensive takeaways, Part 1

The Bills stormed out of the gate on defense

Tennessee Titans v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills created 27 turnovers this season (nice prediction, Skarekrow). Join us as we break down all of Buffalo’s defensive takeaways in the 2022 season through a series of articles that retraces every turnover from Week 1 onward.

Dane Jackson’s INT vs. Los Angeles Rams — Week 1

The Bills played a Cover 2 zone here, and Dane Jackson performed his role perfectly. He played outside leverage with his eyes looking at the WR2 (inside receiver on this play) while looking through to the quarterback. If the inside receiver went outside, Jackson was supposed to break up on it, which is exactly what he did. Buffalo’s defensive line got some quick pressure up the middle, which affected the throw. Quarterback Matthew Stafford ended up throwing the ball behind the intended WR and Dane Jackson took advantage.

Jordan Poyer’s INT vs. Los Angeles Rams — Week 1

Another bad throw caused by the Bills’ defensive line getting quick pressure. Buffalo’s secondary did a good job creating a tight window to throw in here. Stafford had to fit this ball over the linebackers but in front of the safeties, and it didn’t go so well. The ball was overthrown and safety Jordan Poyer was able to make a diving catch for an interception.

Boogie Basham’s INT vs. Los Angeles Rams — Week 1

We’re still in Week 1, but already reviewing turnover three on the season. Sometimes when you can’t get to the QB as a defensive lineman, the next best thing is getting your hands up to try to deflect the pass.

Defensive end Boogie Basham was lined up inside as a defensive tackle on this play, and even though he didn’t get much of a pass rush he was able to get his hands up and deflect the ball into the air. Basham made a great play on the ball to get his hands on it and then track it in the air for the interception.

Buffalo Bills find fortuitous gains while punting

Buffalo’s first punt of the year resulted in them immediatly getting the ball back. The Tennesse Titans’ return man had the punt bounce off of his shoulder and right into the hands of coverage man Terrell Dodson. Dodson did a fantastic job of corralling the ball before it went out of bounds.

Tremaine Edmunds’ elite skills on display against Tennessee Titans

Poyer continued his hot start to the season with another diving grab for an interception, his second of the year. Middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds really makes this play as he hustles back to undercut this crossing route and ultimately tips this ball into the air for Poyer.

Matt Milano’s pick-six against Tennessee Titans

All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano showed his elite coverage abilities on this play. He acted as if he would sink with the seam route going behind him. But once quarterback Ryan Tannehill committed to the throw, Milano came off his spot to break on the ball. Not only Milano make the interception, but he took it to the house for a touchdown.

Milano is a game changer, which is news to no one who follows the Bills and understands the NFL.

Boogie Basham’s heady fumble recovery vs. Tennessee Titans

The Bills got a little lucky on this play as Titans’ backup QB, Malik Willis, ran into the back of his own teammate and fumbled the football. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good — and Buffalo was both in Week 2. The Bills had the game all but wrapped up at this point, and this turnover was just icing on the cake.

In summary

Buffalo got off to a hot start to their 2022 season, with seven turnovers in their favor over the course of the first two games. As you know, turnovers have the potential to change the outcome of the game, and it’s no coincidence that the Bills dominated their first two opponents of the season when they won the turnover battle by such a large margin. Looking at the statistics, it’s interesting to note that 25% of Buffalo’s takeaways in the 2022 season happened in their first two games.