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Buffalo Bills 2022 film review: Defensive takeaways, Part 3

Takeaways are fun

Minnesota Vikings v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Welcome to the third installment of this film review series where we break down every turnover created by the Buffalo Bills’ defense during the 2022 season. If you’re new to this series, here below are the previous articles relating to the series:

This piece will cover takeaways from Buffalo’s Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, to the Week 11 victory over the Cleveland Browns, followed by the Week 12 victory over the Detroit Lions, and finally the team’s Week 14 redemption win over the New York Jets. Now, let’s dive into the video reviews!

Christian Benford’s INT vs. Vikings — Week 10

The Bills had this route concept by the Vikings well covered. Buffalo played a Cover 3 zone and Minnesota ran all of their receivers to the short side of the field (top side of the GIF). Safety Damar Hamlin recognized this and realized that no receiver would be coming back to his side of the field, so he sank with the “dig” route. Even though Hamlin fell on this play, he still created a small throwing window for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who overthrew the ball right into the waiting arms of Bills CB Christian Benford.

Dane Jackson’s INT vs. Vikings — Week 10

Dane Jackson probably won’t get another interception easier in his entire career. I’m not sure what Cousins was thinking when he threw this ball, but the Bills won’t ever complain about a freebie INT. Regardless of the bad throw, it all started with solid coverage in the middle of the field by the Bills followed up by some quick pressure by the defensive line. Cousins looks like he wanted to get the ball to the crossing route over the middle but Buffalo’s underneath coverage did an excellent job of getting depth and taking the throwing lane away. Once Cousins came off his first read the Bills got pressure, which caused Cousins to throw an errant pass for an easy interception.

Milano’s fumble recovery vs. Browns — Week 11

Another freebie turnover for the Bills’ defense — but nonetheless, still a turnover. Besides, defense deserved to recover a botched snap after they lost one of their own in horrifying fashion the week before against the Vikings.

Ed Oliver’s forced fumble & recovery vs. Lions — Week 12

Defensive tackle Ed Oliver was a one-man show here. He perfectly placed a big hit on the ball carrier, causing a fumble, and he recovered the ball himself. Oliver initially was pushed out of his run gap, but he did a fantastic job of fighting back and making a play.

Bills’ special teams umble recovery vs. Lions — Week 12

The Bills had the victory in hand at this point barring a miracle kickoff return by Detriot. The Lions’ return team tried its best to lateral their way to a touchdown, but it ended up in the hands of Buffalo’s kickoff unit. This play might seem insubstantial, but the Bills’ special teams did its job and they exited with a victory.

Greg Rousseau’s sack-fumble vs. Jets — Week 14

Defensive end Greg Rousseau manhandled the offensive tackle with a bull rush to get quick pressure. He disengaged from his man seamlessly to get a big hit on the QB, causing a fumble the Bills recovered. Buffalo ended up turning this into a field goal on their ensuing drive. Turnovers of this nature are game-changers in low-scoring games like this one.

Damar Hamlin’s forced fumble vs. Jets — Week 14

Damar Hamlin forced another important turnover for the Bills to thwart a promising Jets drive deep in Buffalo territory. The Jets’ offensive line created a large hole by double-teaming Bills defensive tackle Tim Settle. Hamlin showed excellent awareness as he came from the opposite side of the play to punch the ball out at the last second. The Jets had an opportunity to make it a one-score game on this drive, but the turnover ensured they didn’t and helped Buffalo secure the victory.

In summary

The Buffalo Bills had a few turnovers gifted to them in this stretch of games, but they all count the same. Turnovers don’t always have to come as result of an amazing play by an individual player. When sound team defense is played good things tend to happen. Keep an eye out for Skarekrow's “Defensive takeaways, Part 4” article to round out our review of takeaways from the 2022 season.