Remember after their Week 3 loss to San Diego, when we were breaking down the Buffalo Bills' pass protection issues in front of EJ Manuel? Well, here we are a week later, breaking down the Bills' pass protection issues in front of Manuel from their Week 4 loss to the Houston Texans.
If you've caught any whiff of Bills coverage over the last three days, you're well aware that the Bills gave up over a dozen hits on Manuel in that 23-17 defeat. Many of them came on designed screens, wherein linemen are instructed to abandon blocks in order to move upfield, but they were merely a footnote in an ongoing issue for the team.
The Bills are still losing too many one-on-one matchups, with the guards (in this case, Erik Pears and rookie Cyril Richardson) the main offenders. But perhaps more distressing is the team's inconsistent ability to handle stunting defensive linemen.
Take a scroll through the photo gallery above (if you're on mobile, flip into landscape mode) for four glaring examples of how the Texans were able to steamroll Buffalo's protections simply by having two defensive linemen cross paths and attack opposite gaps. This is a basic pass-rushing concept at nearly every level of football, and the Bills are not doing nearly well enough combating it.
Manuel is out at quarterback, and will be replaced by the near-immobile Kyle Orton under center. It is therefore more important than ever that the Bills clean up their pass protection heading into a Week 5 matchup against an excellent Detroit Lions defensive line.