The good news is that there are still several really fun Buffalo Bills takeaways to review in part four of this series. The bad news is that the next analysis series will be the giveaways. If I could wrangle the rights so we could put them as a backdrop to a popular Red Hot Chili Peppers song to soften the blow I would. Instead, B.J. Monacelli will be bringing cold, hard analysis to the table. So enjoy these turnovers while you can.
Dane Jackson forces fumble, Tim Settle recovers vs. Chicago Bears — Week 16
Buffalo struggled a bit early on in this game but managed to handle business easily in the second half. This turnover helped control momentum. Cornerback Dane Jackson went low to make sure he landed the tackle. The ball carrier tried to lower his pads too. The result was that Jackson got enough contact on the hands/forearms to get the ball loose. Defensive tackle Tim Settle saw it immediately and fell on it for the recovery.
I’d call this a hustle-driven turnover. There’s no focus on taking the ball away, just sound play and on-field awareness coming together with a touch of luck.
Jaquan Johnson’s interception vs. Bears — Week 16
The season is often a bit of a blur and occasionally I forget about some special moments. I can’t believe I forgot that Nathan Peterman threw an interception against the Bills — classic Peterman! To be fair this wasn’t much his fault. He made about the only play he could, the Bills just obviously knew what was coming on the final play of the game.
Tre’Davious White’s interception vs. New England Patriots — Week 18
There’s a potential case here for illegal contact but I like that the refs didn’t argue it. While I think there was a bit of handfighting going on, Tre’Davious White was playing the ball very early and in perfect position. The receiver slowed his own route based on White’s position. By the time the ball was coming back down to Earth, White looked like the intended receiver rather than the defender. This was some of what everyone wanted to see with White returning — glue-like coverage and a very cerebral victory.
Matt Milano’s interception vs. Patriots — Week 18
My hunch is that the pressure was the bigger hero here. With defensive tackle Ed Oliver’s hand way up in front of him, Mac Jones tried to adjust the pass and it floated a bit high. That led to a tip right to linebacker Matt Milano.
Tremaine Edmunds’ interception vs. Patriots — Week 18
Similarly, a rapidly shrinking pocket led to Mac Jones pulling this throw a bit. It ended up behind the target. While not uncatchable, it was a tough grab that bounced up to Tremaine Edmunds.
Dean Marlowe’s interception vs. Miami Dolphins — NFL Super Wild Card Weekend
This was fantastic read-and-react play from the safety position by Dean Marlowe. As Skylar Thompson drifted left to try and complete the pass, Marlowe saw his original man covered underneath. Marlowe reads Thompson’s throw and breaks off to the deeper route where he can snag this one. To Thompson’s credit, his intended target was coming open. If Marlowe didn’t make the change, this might have been an easy completion.
Kaiir Elam’s interception vs. Dolphins — NFL Super Wild Card Weekend
For this play I’ll focus on Kaiir Elam’s athleticism. Elam was in good coverage and fast enough to stick with his man. What’s more impressive is that he was looking back at Thompson while running. He saw the ball coming and made this interception look easy.
Alright everyone, that’s it for the takeaways. Gear up for the dark side of turnovers as we continue our offseason coverage.