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Scouting the Enemy: Breaking Down How Buffalo Bills’ Offense Can Exploit New England Patriots Defense

Patriots Defense

The Patriots defense is another defense that is very multiple. They like the Jets have an array of players that can play multiple positions. The Pats defense statistically is quite average, overall they rank 15th, allowing 343.8 yds a game (ESPN). But they only allow 18.8 pts/game, which shows that they are a bend but don’t break team. Their weakness is their pass defense ranking 22nd overall, giving up 255.6 yds/game and they are 2nd in the league versus the run allowing only 88.2 yds/game (ESPN). The Pats have allowed only three teams this year to rush over 100 yards against them. So it is plain as day that the Bills must have success in the pass game regardless of how many passes they attempt. The Pats have given up the 4th most amount of first downs through the air but have given up the least amount of first downs on the ground. They are the 8th worst at third down conversion percentage giving up 41.8% of those attempts. The defense is disciplined and they have made a lot of offenses one dimensional.

The Pats defense is led by Dont’a Hightower. He has 41 tackles and 3.5 sacks, and he lines up at several positions. He has lined up at ILB, OLB I have even seen him line up over the tackle and rush from the “DT” position. Their best and most gifted defensive player is Jamie Collins. He has 29 total tackles, 4.5 sacks and he has forced 3 fumbles. He is 6’3″ 250 pounds, ran a 4.64 40 yard dash at the combine so it’s easy to say he is a freak athlete, if he is on the field will give the offense fits. Cordy Glenn is familiar with the Pats best pass rusher, Chandler Jones. Jones currently has 11 sacks according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) and he had three of those versus the Bills in their first meeting. Jones currently leads the league in sacks from the 4-3 defensive end position and is 3rd in total pressures which is the total number of sacks, QB hits and QB hurries with 45 (PFF). The Pats play a lot of unique DB combinations and they have 3 safeties that have taken over 50% of their snaps and all three; Mccourty (99%), Chung (80%) and Harmon (48%) all grade out in the 10 top at the safety position, which is incredible. The best cover corner who usually follows the opponents best WR is Malcolm Butler. He is rated an 84.8 according to PFF which is 13th at his position. The Bills will have to be selective on their plan of attack because this defense is solid and is coached better than any other team in the league.

In the first meeting, the Bills Tyrod Taylor passed 23/30 times for 242 yds, with 3 TDs but 3 INTs and was sacked a whopping 8 times. The leading rusher was Lesean Mccoy with 15 carries for 89 yds and Tyrod pitched in 5 carries for 43 yds and 1 TD. The Bills rushed the ball 27 times for 160 yds which is the most the Pats defense has given up all year, so that bodes well this week. Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods each had 60 yds receiving and a TD, but most of those came on plays extended by Taylor. The most notable stat was how many penalties the Bills had in that week 2 meeting. The Bills were penalized 14 times for 140 yds. The Bills will need to eliminate penalties if they plan on winning Monday night.

Bills Run Game

As mentioned earlier the Pats are ranked 2nd in the league versus the run. This statistic may be a bit misleading. How much is this ranking a product of how good the Pats offense is? In seven out of nine games this year the Pats have led going into the fourth quarter. Teams know that they can have success in the pass game so they have attacked the defense from that angle. The Bills know that to have any chance in this game they must keep Brady off the field and in order to do that they must be able to run the ball and lead in time of possession. The other two teams to gain over 100 yds on the ground besides the Bills were the Steelers and the Colts. The Steelers and Colts both led in time of possession in their games, they held the ball for over 32 minutes. That helps keep the Pats efficient offense off the field. We know that the Bills run game has been the sole reason that we have won back to back games. What do you think Belichick will try and take away? The run game of course!

Lets start off with personnel grouping that DID NOT work in the run game versus the Pats in the first meeting. I am not saying totally stay away from them but they did not lead to considerable gains in the last match-up. Take a look:

22 Personnel (2 RBs 2 TEs)-Click Pictures to Play Video

22 personnel vs. the Pats put too many guys in the box for the Bills to be consistently successful. As we all know Shady isn't as effective with a FB in front of him and he definitely isn't a power runner. So it was no surprise that Felton only played in 10 plays in week two and five of those were in the run game. The Bills will show the personnel to see if the Pats align in the same defense, but I don't expect us to be effective running versus this.

22 personnel vs. the Pats put too many guys in the box for the Bills to be consistently successful. As we all know Shady isn’t as effective with a FB in front of him and he definitely isn’t a power runner. So it was no surprise that Felton only played in 10 plays in week two and five of those were in the run game. The Bills will show the personnel to see if the Pats align in the same defense, but I don’t expect us to be effective running versus this.

With the personnel grouping that didn’t have much success out of the way, lets look at some cut-ups of the Bills and other teams that have had success running versus the 2nd ranked rush defense. Teams have had the most success running out of 11 personnel. Why is that? The Pats like most teams employ their nickel package versus 11 personnel.

11 Personnel

Zone Read

In the first match-up the Bills had most of their success running out the 11 personnel grouping. This game will be no different, the Bills MUST be able to run out of 11 personnel. Specifically running the zone read or at least the threat of the zone read. When the Bills were in 11 personnel the Pats employed nickel defense. When you look at the tackle box it looks like the Pats may have this defended pretty well right? Definitely, you have 6 defenders in the box, and you have 6 lineman to block them. But who is not accounted for as a “blocker” is the QB Tyrod Taylor. If you aren’t too familiar with the zone read I will give you a quick run down on why the Bills have been successful running this play.

Although the Pats have 6 defenders to most likely stop this look, that 6th defender (#1 or #6 on defense) has to account for the QB on the zone read on the back side. So this actually means that the 6 offensive lineman will only have to block 5 defenders because the QB will hold the 6th guy. The QB reads the end man on the line of scrimmage, if the defender stays with the QB, Taylor will hand it off. If the end man crashes to the the RB, Taylor can keep it.

Although the Pats have 6 defenders to most likely stop this look, that 6th defender (#1 or #6 on defense) has to account for the QB on the zone read on the back side. So this actually means that the 6 offensive lineman will only have to block 5 defenders because the QB will hold the 6th guy. The QB reads the end man on the line of scrimmage, if the defender stays with the QB, Taylor will hand it off. If the end man crashes to the the RB, Taylor can keep it.

So the Bills have had favorable match-ups with this look because of several factors. 1-Taylor is an actual threat to throw the ball efficiently. So the defense can not just load the box to stop this play. 2- Taylor is also a threat to run the ball and gain chunks of yards. 3- Our RBs are also dangerous enough to gain considerable yardage in this set. Finally, Greg Roman has such a complex run game they are able to run EVERY type of run in football out of this look. Take a look at what I mean:

Here is a concept that I have covered before. The PIN and PULL concept (http://cover1.net/news/2015/11/8/great-day-on-the-ground). The Bills are in 11 personnel and the defense in nickel. LT Glenn PINS the DT and LG Incognito PULLS and blocks the ILB. Taylor "holds" that 6th defender DE Ninkovich to the right of the screen. Bills have the #s to block this defense. Look at Shady run the outside zone track, press the hole outside to set up DE Jones, then he cuts it inside for a big gain.

Here is a concept that I have covered before. The PIN and PULL concept. The Bills are in 11 personnel and the defense in nickel. LT Glenn PINS the DT and LG Incognito PULLS and blocks the ILB. Taylor “holds” that 6th defender DE Ninkovich to the right of the screen. Bills have the #s to block this defense. Look at Shady run the outside zone track, press the hole outside to set up DE Jones, then he cuts it inside for a big gain.

This is an inside zone play but made to look like the zone read. The only difference here is that the RB is aligned to the strength of the formation/TE side. The line blocks zone left, Taylor doesn't have to "hold" DE Ninkovich because he drops with TE Clay as Clay arc releases to block the second level. Shady runs the inside zone track and gains good yardage. Again, the offense has 6 blockers to 5 defenders win for the Offense.

This is an inside zone play but made to look like the zone read. The only difference here is that the RB is aligned to the strength of the formation/TE side. The line blocks zone left, Taylor doesn’t have to “hold” DE Ninkovich because he drops with TE Clay as Clay arc releases to block the second level. Shady runs the inside zone track and gains good yardage. Again, the offense has 6 blockers to 5 defenders win for the Offense.

11 personnel with Shady aligned to the strength. Taylor holds DE Ninkovich and the ILB can't get to the RB in time.

11 personnel with Shady aligned to the strength. Taylor holds DE Ninkovich and the ILB can’t get to the RB in time.

The Pats may try to align the box differently. The Jets tried using a hybrid look 3-3-5 versus the Bills 11 personnel. They brought 7 into the box with a safety to the TE side (being blocked by Clay) and aligned the Will LB Pace here.

11 personnel vs. 7 in the box. The zone read still out flanks the defense. 2 double teams blocking zone left.

11 personnel vs. 7 in the box. The zone read still out flanks the defense. 2 double teams blocking zone left.

The Bills still have a man on a man and it puts Shady into the secondary.

The Bills still have a man on a man and it puts Shady into the secondary.

11 personnel

Inside Trap

Another run scheme that has worked versus the Pats defense is the inside trap. The Colts and Frank Gore were quite successful running this play. The Bills love using this play from the 11 and 12 personnel groupings take a look at this beautiful concept.

Colts are in 11 personnel versus the Pats nickel defense. The Colts run the trap a little differently here than the Bills. They run it from under center. They motion the TE from the right to trap block the DT. RB Gore is one of the best trap game running backs of all time. The Colts run game utilizes MANY concepts that Roman employs, because ex-Colts coordinator Pep Hamilton has ties to Jim Harbaugh just like Roman. Coincidentally enough the Colts were one of the three teams to gain over 100 yds versus the Pats.

Colts are in 11 personnel versus the Pats nickel defense. The Colts run the trap a little differently here than the Bills. They run it from under center. They motion the TE from the right to trap block the DT. RB Gore is one of the best trap game running backs of all time. The Colts run game utilizes MANY concepts that Roman employs, because ex-Colts coordinator Pep Hamilton has ties to Jim Harbaugh just like Roman. Coincidentally enough the Colts were one of the three teams to gain over 100 yds versus the Pats.

11 personnel versus the Jets nickel defense. Notice the defense has 7 in the box, instead of the 6 defenders the Pats showed in the first match-up. The Bills have been successful running the outside pin and pull to the TE side so the Jets employed a run blitz (#45 blitzing off left edge) to stop that play. Roman instead calls an inside trap. The Bills have trips to off the screen to the right which has been the formation we have ran the pin and pull play. On the snap Taylor hands it to Shady, LG Richie traps the DT #92 and it leads to a huge gain. Taylor is not even running a read concept but the backside DE #91 must contain and hold the edge so that still out flanks the defense.

11 personnel versus the Jets nickel defense. Notice the defense has 7 in the box, instead of the 6 defenders the Pats showed in the first match-up. The Bills have been successful running the outside pin and pull to the TE side so the Jets employed a run blitz (#45 blitzing off left edge) to stop that play. Roman instead calls an inside trap. The Bills have trips to off the screen to the right which has been the formation we have ran the pin and pull play. On the snap Taylor hands it to Shady, LG Richie traps the DT #92 and it leads to a huge gain. Taylor is not even running a read concept but the backside DE #91 must contain and hold the edge so that still out flanks the defense.

12 Personnel

Misdirection

The other personnel grouping that the Bills MUST be able to run out of is 12 personnel.

In this game the Steelers used 12 personnel vs. nickel defense and ran zone a lot from under center. This play Deangelo Williams presses front side but then cuts back for a considerable gain. The Pats were in Nickel defense with 3 safeties. Chung was aligned to the double TE side. The Pats have different personnel in but their alignment is the 4-3 under. That is the defensive alignment the Bills will most likely see. See picture below.

In this game the Steelers used 12 personnel vs. nickel defense and ran zone a lot from under center. This play Deangelo Williams presses front side but then cuts back for a considerable gain. The Pats were in Nickel defense with 3 safeties. Chung was aligned to the double TE side. The Pats have different personnel in but their alignment is the 4-3 under. That is the defensive alignment the Bills will most likely see. See picture below.

So here is how the Pats aligned in the 4-3 under when the Bills were in this 12 personnel double TE alignment with a TE to each side:

12 personnel vs. the Bengals 4-3. The LBs aren't exactly lined up in the 4-3 under but their run gap assignments are the same. LB #59 isn't up on the TE because he is a cover LB. The defense is expecting pass but nonetheless this is a zone bend play that produced good yardage.

12 personnel vs. the Bengals 4-3. The LBs aren’t exactly lined up in the 4-3 under but their run gap assignments are the same. LB #59 isn’t up on the TE because he is a cover LB. The defense is expecting pass but nonetheless this is a zone bend play that produced good yardage.

12 personnel vs. 4-3 under. The offense runs a misdirection to the strength, the LBs are soo aggressive that Shady cuts it back for a decent gain. Look at LG Richie work the double team then work to second level. Amazing cuts by Shady.

12 personnel vs. 4-3 under. The offense runs a misdirection to the strength, the LBs are soo aggressive that Shady cuts it back for a decent gain. Look at LG Richie work the double team then work to second level. Amazing cuts by Shady.

So here is how the Pats aligned in the 4-3 under when the Bills were in this 12 personnel, double TE alignment with a TE to each side:

 With this alignment the Bills can run zone bend. See below.

With this alignment the Bills can run zone bend. See below.

12 personnel with the defense in the 4-3 under. The Pats are aligned to the Bills run blocking TE Mulligan's side which is the defenses left. The Bills motion WR Harvin as if they are going to run a Jet sweep. That makes the ILBs take false steps to their right. Shady gets the hand off on the split zone concept. Line blocks zone to the offenses left as TE Clay crosses the formation and kicks out the DE Ninkovich. Shady runs inside zone left but then bends it back for a moderate gain.

12 personnel with the defense in the 4-3 under. The Pats are aligned to the Bills run blocking TE Mulligan’s side which is the defenses left. The Bills motion WR Harvin as if they are going to run a Jet sweep. That makes the ILBs take false steps to their right. Shady gets the hand off on the split zone concept. Line blocks zone to the offenses left as TE Clay crosses the formation and kicks out the DE Ninkovich. Shady runs inside zone left but then bends it back for a moderate gain.

12 personnel vs. 4-3 defense. The defense isn't in the 4-3 under but you can see there will be some lanes in the cut back. The Steelers have a TE on each side of the formation showing a balanced look. Williams presses front side then cuts it back.

12 personnel vs. 4-3 defense. The defense isn’t in the 4-3 under but you can see there will be some lanes in the cut back. The Steelers have a TE on each side of the formation showing a balanced look. Williams presses front side then cuts it back.

Greg Roman has led a successful rushing attack the last two weeks versus some really good defenses. Especially last week versus the Jets, the Jets knew the run was coming and they could not stop the Bills. That lends credence to great execution. The Pats aren’t as stout on paper and on the field versus the run as the Jets but they are a technically sound team. The Bills must be able to run the ball again this week in order to win. One formation to avoid is the 22 personnel grouping. The Pats handled this grouping in the first match-up when the Bills tried running there was frequently 8 and 9 men in the box. The personnel groupings that they had success running the ball in the first meeting was 11 and 12 personnel. Specifically from the shotgun, it has been our bread and butter personnel grouping this year. The Bills ran the zone read and trap play pretty well the last couple weeks and the Pats can be susceptible to those runs especially if they choose to go lighter on the defensive line to have more talent out there to contain Tyrod. When the Bills are in 12 personnel, misdirection plays will need to be firing on all cylinders because the Pats have shown weaknesses verses the cutback and misdirection plays out the back door. If the Bills can have success running the ball, it will help keep Brady off the field, help control the game and in turn help our pass game which struggled versus the Pats in week 2.

Bills Passing Game

In the week 2 meeting the Bills struggled in the pass game. Taylor had 242 yds, 3 TDs and 3 INTs but most importantly he was sacked 8 times!! According the PFF 3 of those sacks were credited to him, because the held the ball too long. When you look at his advanced stats from that game you can see how Belichick attacked Taylor. Taylor dropped back to pass 42 times, 4 of those Taylor decided to tuck the ball and run. As mentioned earlier there were 8 sacks so Taylor attempted 30 passes in that game. He was only blitzed 8 times and was sacked 2 times on those occasions. He graded out the worst in that game when he wasn’t blitzed. When not blitzed, he threw 3 INTs and was sacked 6 times. It could have been worse, 3/4 of those tuck and run situations were when he wasn’t blitzed. So it is safe to say Belichick made Taylor beat him, he played coverage and let 4 rushers wreak havoc on Taylor and it succeeded. I don’t see the Pats getting too far away from that game-plan because lets be honest, Taylor hasn’t progressed too much in the reading of coverage department. So the Bills will have to help their inexperienced QB this week with some good play-calling.

What gave Taylor such a hard time in the pass game besides the Pats not really blitzing was the fact that they played a lot of zone coverage. Teams play very little man coverage when the opponent has a mobile QB. Reason being is that if all of the defenders are chasing routes down the field the QB can tuck it and run. When man coverage is executed there is usually a spy and that man on the Pats is LB Jamie Collins. The Pats forced Tyrod to read the coverage in week 2 and take what was there. He still has trouble doing that so at times he held on to the ball and took sacks. One of his favorite targets Charles Clay was held in check by a team effort between the LBs and Safeties.

They had a safety robbing Clay pretty frequently in that first match-up. Robber coverage is typically performed by a safety and simply put he drops downafter the snap and takes away the middle of the field. There are several ways to attack zone and robber coverage.

They had a safety robbing Clay pretty frequently in that first match-up. Robber coverage is typically performed by a safety and simply put he drops downafter the snap and takes away the middle of the field. There are several ways to attack zone and robber coverage.

First and foremost Tyrod has to be able to recognize the zone defense and deliver in the passing game, ON-TIME. That means once he hits that back foot get rid of the ball, just take what you can get. Take a look at what I mean:

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Defense shows zone. How do you know that? Corners are off with outside leverage, and there isn't anyone over the TE Clay in the slot. Looks like 2 zone or 4 zone but post snap the safety ROBS the middle of the field to shut down Clay. Tyrod sees it and delivers the ball to outside deep curl. On time throws to outside receivers will beat robber and zone coverage.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Defense shows zone. How do you know that? Corners are off with outside leverage, and there isn’t anyone over the TE Clay in the slot. Looks like 2 zone or 4 zone but post snap the safety ROBS the middle of the field to shut down Clay. Tyrod sees it and delivers the ball to outside deep curl. On time throws to outside receivers will beat robber and zone coverage.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense cover 3. Corners are off, with outside leverage. LBs aren't aligned over TE Clay so it appears to be zone coverage. Primary target is Clay, so Tyrod hits Clay just inside the slot corner's zone.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense cover 3. Corners are off, with outside leverage. LBs aren’t aligned over TE Clay so it appears to be zone coverage. Primary target is Clay, so Tyrod hits Clay just inside the slot corner’s zone.

12 personnel vs cover 3 zone robber. At the snap Poz under cuts the TE Gragg on the go route down the hash. That clears the zone for WR Woods on the in breaking route. Good timing and gain.

12 personnel vs cover 3 zone robber. At the snap Poz under cuts the TE Gragg on the go route down the hash. That clears the zone for WR Woods on the in breaking route. Good timing and gain.

Expose with 5 wide

The Giants did expose a personnel grouping that caused the Pats some major problems. Which is interesting because in the Bills vs. Jets game, Greg Roman ran plays out of a similar set. That set is the empty backfield, 5 wide receiver look. As you may have learned, half of the battle on play calling is personnel groupings and match-ups. In last weeks Giants vs. Pats game the Giants showed this 11 personnel 5 wide look. In this set the Gmen tried getting the ball to the former Patriot RB Shane Vereen. Take a look:

Many ways to attack a defense from this personnel. The Pats like to employ a nickel defense versus 11 personnel. Well if you have 3 WRs, a quality receiving TE and RB on the field, that will stress the defensive coverage whether you are in man or zone.

Many ways to attack a defense from this personnel. The Pats like to employ a nickel defense versus 11 personnel. Well if you have 3 WRs, a quality receiving TE and RB on the field, that will stress the defensive coverage whether you are in man or zone.

Here is how they utilized this set:

11 personnel empty backfield vs. nickel defense. Gmen motion the RB out of the backfield. Eli sees cover 2 man and the obvious mismatch of Vereen in the bottom slot vs. a LB. Vereen runs a little pivot route for a nice gain.

11 personnel empty backfield vs. nickel defense. Gmen motion the RB out of the backfield. Eli sees cover 2 man and the obvious mismatch of Vereen in the bottom slot vs. a LB. Vereen runs a little pivot route for a nice gain.

11 personnel empty backfield vs nickel defense. Vereen motioning, no man on him so Eli can it's zone. Appears to be cover 2 zone so Eli reads the hook/curl slot corner up top. It is a high/low read and Eli gets rid of it to Beckham as he runs a nice in breaking route behind the zone defender.

11 personnel empty backfield vs nickel defense. Vereen motioning, no man on him so Eli can it’s zone. Appears to be cover 2 zone so Eli reads the hook/curl slot corner up top. It is a high/low read and Eli gets rid of it to Beckham as he runs a nice in breaking route behind the zone defender.

Even the Jets exploited it in week 7. 10 personnel vs. nickel defense. The Jets motion Decker in the slot, Fitzy sees man coverage and a mismatch. Hits Decker on the deep in route for a 1st down.

Even the Jets exploited it in week 7. 10 personnel vs. nickel defense. The Jets motion Decker in the slot, Fitzy sees man coverage and a mismatch. Hits Decker on the deep in route for a 1st down.

Here is the Bills version of it last week:

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Shady is in the slot to the bottom of the screen. LB plays pretty good man coverage but Tyrod extends the play and gets it to Mccoy near the first down. I expect Roman to at the very least explore this look vs. the Pats. If the Pats defend it as they have the prior in weeks, this package could be a huge part of our passing attack. It may be a major part of our game-plan because the Pats inside LBs are not that good in man coverage. If we show an empty backfield I expect the Pats to automatically check to zone coverage.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Shady is in the slot to the bottom of the screen. LB plays pretty good man coverage but Tyrod extends the play and gets it to Mccoy near the first down. I expect Roman to at the very least explore this look vs. the Pats. If the Pats defend it as they have the prior in weeks, this package could be a huge part of our passing attack. It may be a major part of our game-plan because the Pats inside LBs are not that good in man coverage. If we show an empty backfield I expect the Pats to automatically check to zone coverage.

If they check to zone coverage here is one way the Bills can exploit it. The Bills ran this last week. Shady is in the slot to the bottom of the screen. He and Clay run the slant/flat combo while the three WRs to the top of the screen run a great zone beater called double ins. This concept works great because the zone defender will jump the first guy crossing into the zone, which leaves the zone vacated for another offensive player to be open. This play Sammy clears the zone, Woods runs the inner most in route and Hogan is wide open crossing from the top of the screen. This play doesn't develop because Woods and Sammy get tied up and fall. If the Pats play a lot of zone again, these kind of plays will be there in these 5 wide sets. Especially if Sammy or Clay is being robbed in the slot like the first meeting.

If they check to zone coverage here is one way the Bills can exploit it. The Bills ran this last week. Shady is in the slot to the bottom of the screen. He and Clay run the slant/flat combo while the three WRs to the top of the screen run a great zone beater called double ins. This concept works great because the zone defender will jump the first guy crossing into the zone, which leaves the zone vacated for another offensive player to be open. This play Sammy clears the zone, Woods runs the inner most in route and Hogan is wide open crossing from the top of the screen. This play doesn’t develop because Woods and Sammy get tied up and fall. If the Pats play a lot of zone again, these kind of plays will be there in these 5 wide sets. Especially if Sammy or Clay is being robbed in the slot like the first meeting.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Bills align in 5 wide but reset the formation to see if the defense is in man or zone. Clay runs a streak route hoping to take the deep third zone defender with him. The LB carries Clay down the field and allows #21 Williams to break off as Shady is open in the flats. Williams makes a great tackle in the open field. I will take this match-up every day of the week. The Bills need to find ways to get Shady the ball, he is our most electric player and not one person on the Pats can guard him.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Bills align in 5 wide but reset the formation to see if the defense is in man or zone. Clay runs a streak route hoping to take the deep third zone defender with him. The LB carries Clay down the field and allows #21 Williams to break off as Shady is open in the flats. Williams makes a great tackle in the open field. I will take this match-up every day of the week. The Bills need to find ways to get Shady the ball, he is our most electric player and not one person on the Pats can guard him.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Clay motions to determine man or zone defense. Defense shows zone so Tyrod finds the flats defender to read, flat defender gets walled of (similar to a screen) as Tyrod passes to Clay in the flats. 5 wide can be a dangerous set for us the rest of the year. We have soo many weapons.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Clay motions to determine man or zone defense. Defense shows zone so Tyrod finds the flats defender to read, flat defender gets walled of (similar to a screen) as Tyrod passes to Clay in the flats. 5 wide can be a dangerous set for us the rest of the year. We have soo many weapons.

Here are a couple other plays that may work versus the Pats again. Just simple ways to get the ball to the play-makers.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Clay motions and the defense keys on him running to the flats but the Bills run a screen to Shady. Gotta find ways to get the ball to him and Clay even though the Pats will game plan to stop them.

11 personnel vs. nickel defense. Clay motions and the defense keys on him running to the flats but the Bills run a screen to Shady. Gotta find ways to get the ball to him and Clay even though the Pats will game plan to stop them.

12 personnel vs. 3-4 defense. This has been a heavy run set for us this year. Instead of the 2nd TE being Mulligan, they put TE Gragg in-line at bottom of screen. Run him deep, the corner and safety bite. Clay the motion man, gets the screen. Pretty play and tendency breaker.

12 personnel vs. 3-4 defense. This has been a heavy run set for us this year. Instead of the 2nd TE being Mulligan, they put TE Gragg in-line at bottom of screen. Run him deep, the corner and safety bite. Clay the motion man, gets the screen. Pretty play and tendency breaker.

Based on the film so far this year, I think that Greg Roman can create a successful passing attack. The Bills should expect the Pats to play a lot of zone coverage and to blitz very little. The Pats want to make Tyrod beat them from the pocket. They want to confuse him and not allow him to get the ball deep to his play-makers. Tyrod will have to make on time throws to his receivers especially when the defense robs the middle of the field. The Bills may have a possible personnel group that could exploit the defense. The 5 wide, empty backfield set with 11 personnel in the game could cause stress to the coverage on the Pats defense. Regardless of what coverage; man or zone, the 5 wide look could be successful. But in the end the Bills must scheme to get the ball in the hands of their play-makers if they plan on putting enough points on the board to possibly steal a win in Foxboro.

Erik Turner owns and operates cover1.net. You can follow him on Twitter at @Cover1ETurner.


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