As we've been harping on throughout this week, the Buffalo Bills are the worst in the NFL at stopping the run. Their 32nd ranked run defense has given up 131, 91, 200, 273, 216 and 135 yards in their six games. I'm going to focus on those three 200+ yard rushing games in the middle of the Bills 2010 schedule to see how Buffalo's D broke down against the run and to see how the Kansas City Chiefs may possibly match up against it.
The Bills gave up over 200 yards each to the New England Patriots, New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars. How did that happen? Big plays? Good running opponents?
Let's check it out, after the jump.
Week 3 New England Patriots
The Bills went to Foxborough in Week 3 and played a weakened Patriots' team pretty well, only losing by eight points. The Patriots rushed for 200 yards that day. How did they do it?
Admittedly, I didn't watch this game. So I'm checking out stats and play-by-play calls to figure out what happened.
With Randy Moss still on the Patriots, it appears from the fairly evenly distributed rushing attempts and yards that the Bills were concentrating on stopping the pass. No Patriot rushed for 100 yards that day. Green-Ellis had 98 yards rushing on 16 attempts. The rest of the Patriots' 38 carries that day were distributed relatively evenly among seven other players. Also, 84 rushing yards came in the first half, which suggests the Patriots were able to run the ball pretty much all day long.
The lesson here is that (a) the Patriots' passing game was still very threatening with Randy Moss on the team and (b) the Patriots were able to pound it out on the ground against the Bills. 38 rushing attempts is a lot. The Chiefs' can get there.
Week 4 New York Jets
You probably saw highlights of this game. LaDainian Tomlinson and Shaun Greene just tore up the Bills on the ground. Tomlinson went for 133 yards on 19 carries while Greene rushed 22 times for 117 yards.
Again the rushing yards were split very closely down the middle from the first half to the second. The Jets had 147 first half rushing yards and 126 in the second half.
The trend to look at here in my opinion is the Bill's inability to stop their opponent's running attack at any point throughout the game.
Week 5 Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jags put up 216 yards on the ground against the Bills on the strength of another even, consistent rushing attack. Maurice Jones-Drew had 84 yards rushing on 19 attempts. Deji Karim had 70 yards on 15 attempts. And Mike Thomas had three rushes for 53 yards, on an end around and another handoff mainly.
We had another almost even split of rushing yards here: 113 in the first half and 103 in the second half. And we had another combo of running backs doing the damage.
What Are The Trends?
In these three games, just looking at the stats, I see these trends in the Bill' run defense:
- They gave up a lot of yards consistently throughout the game. This indicates to me that they just plain can't stop the run and their opponents don't have to rely on halftime adjustments to do it.
- The Bills really didn't give up many "big" running plays. They just got pounded.
- They gave up a lot of yards to teams with combo type running games. Obviously, this bodes well for the Chiefs with Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones and hopefully Dexter McCluster in the backfield this weekend.
I know I caught flak from Joel last week for being overconfident about beating the Jags. But is there any way we don't run all over the Buffalo Bills this weekend?