The Bills put together their finest performance in dismantling the Jets on Sunday. A harassing pass rush flustered Geno Smith enough to force four turnovers, while EJ Manuel put on his best show. Bills Coach Doug Marrone suggests that CJ Spiller might want to go yell at the linemen. Is he right? Jeremy White breaks down the All-22.
Geno's Long Day
As I type out this piece, the news just broke that the Bills have released CB Justin Rogers. You won't find him anywhere in this breakdown of the Bills passing game, and that's like one of the reasons the Bills were able to dominate defensively. Geno Smith entered the game with 13 interceptions and 3 fumbles. He's a turnover machine. He's the gift that keeps on giving...and boy oh boy did he give.
How much was he hurting? It's a reasonable question. On the first series of the game, Smith took a huge hit from Marcel Dareus. Dareus lines up at LE, which is something that's not unusual in Mike Pettine's defense. Dareus has been an absolute monster this year, as chronicled throughout my All-22 breakdowns. Last week, it was a speed rush around the end that brought a fumble from Ben Roethlisberger. This time from the edge....total destruction.
Dareus comes across the face of Jets RT Austin Howard. The outside rush transitioned to an inside angle ends with Dareus' helmet planted firmly in the ribs of Geno Smith. "Mr. Big Stuff" has been a terror on the defensive line this season, and you get to see the total package with the way that Pettine moves him around on the defensive line. If you missed his "Mic'd Up" at BuffaloBills.com, you're missing out.
This defensive line is a treat to watch sometimes. I could rave about Dareus, or switch to Kyle Williams who is smack in the middle of a career year. Before we get to the interceptions from Smith, we'll take a look at just how the Bills were able to get such consistent pressure. You had a chance to see Dareus. When it comes to Kyle Williams, he plays...what... "like his hair is on fire"? Isn't that one of the things you hear around draft time? Williams, much like Dareus can offer speed, power, or both.
You see Geno Smith pat the ball once, as he looks down the field. There's time to make a quick throw here, but he's reading half the field. He has two receivers available, but appears to be locked on to Stephen Hill.
As Hill makes his break, it appears as though both Kiko Alonso and Aaron Williams are moving to the TE in the flat.
Alonso drops off as Williams continues on to his assignment.
Geno pulls the ball back, re-thinking his pass. It's that decision that gives Williams that extra second to get there. Strip. Sack. Fumble. Watch the VINE above again, and put together that little bit of timing. Two plays later the Bills are in the endzone.
What you're seeing here is design from the defense. Earlier in the game, Kyle Williams was able to get to Smith as the Bills sent Nickell Robey on the blitz. This is something we've seen all year long.
Watch Robey's pressure force Smith up into the pocket. It's something I pointed out in the Carolina game with Mario Williams sweeping in for the sack.
With 37 sacks as a team, the Buffalo Bills are the league leader in getting after the QB. Mike Pettine has a huge hand in it in sending extra pressure. Then again there are times when the player calls his own number.
Jairus Byrd finished with 2 interceptions and a sack of Geno Smith. The sack, he says, was a case of assessing how the Jets lined up, making a read, and then making a play.
Byrd lines up pre-snap, but quickly diagnoses what the Jets will be doing. As Santonio Holmes motions across the formation, he changes things up.
A few words exchanged to make the call...and boom, Byrd joins in on the sack parade.
One sack. Two interceptions. In both, Byrd just reads the QB and steps in front of the intended receiver. There isn't a ton to see on either one. There isn't an overly confusing coverage, or a crazy rush. Geno Smith threw the ball right to Byrd, twice.
No Justin Rogers on this tape. Just Jairus Byrd, Stephon Gilmore, and Leodis McKelvin making a huge difference in the secondary, which made a huge difference all around. This defense continues to take steps forward and week in and week out should be expected to do this to QBs like Geno Smith. Up next, Matt Ryan. We'll see how it goes.
EJ's Bounce Back
When is a bad throw, a good throw? When is a wounded duck, just what the Dr. ordered? For EJ Manuel, that was exactly the right play on the first touchdown of the game. Manuel's pass to TJ Graham (which Graham was able to field like a punt) was a good read, and a well-timed gamble that paid off big time.
On 3rd down, the Bills come out in a three WR set, with all three running go patterns. The Bills blitzed an awful lot on 3rd down, and the Jets did here. As Manuel sets to take the snap, the safety buzzes down to the line of scrimmage, indicating the Jets are in man coverage, with no safety over the top.
Cromartie backs of Marquise Goodwin (as he did most of the day...more on that later), while Graham and Hogan are both in single coverage.
With a safety coming right at him, and the LB from his right, there isn't much time to formulate a plan here. As he sets to throw the Jets DBs turn their backs to stay with the Bills WRs running the go.
Manuel makes the right call by giving Graham a chance to make a play. Graham is going to be looking back, while the DB is going to be looking at Graham. The result...
You get a good sense of just how turned around the DB is from the endzone camera. It's not a frozen rope through a tire swing into the arms of a diving receiver. It's just the right throw.
If you want to see a money throw, you'd have to look at the two...yes TWO that went deep to Marquise Goodwin. First the TD. You've seen the play, but have you seen Goodwin's speed the way you should?
Goodwin has three TDs like this on the year. The Bengals got beat in Cover-Zero, the Chiefs Cover-2, and the Jets Cover-1. Speed like this means that the safety has to be incredibly deep to be able to get over, if he's anywhere near the play to begin with.
That speed translates to much more than the throw that goes over the top. Manuel found Goodwin on short passes time and time again. The threat of Flash down the field, means he's going to get space to work with.
The first two plays here go for first downs, with the third a 10-yard-gain on 2nd and 13. I'd suspect that teams will soon try to jam Goodwin in hopes that they can hold him up at the line. If he gets a clean release he's going to run by you...or you'll be so afraid of it that he'll run 7 yards and stop, and take the free yards.
Spiller's New York Nightmare
Seems like the Jets have CJ Spiller's number. In his last two games against NY, he has 23 carries for 15 yards. Bills Coach Doug Marrone suggested that Spiller should go yell at his linemen. There are plays where perhaps there is a bit more to be had out there, but Marrone is clearly not happy with the way the Bills are firing off the ball in the run game.
It's a problem. If you're CJ...what do you do on any of these?
RE gets free run as Lee Smith and TJ Graham both block a DB that's on the opposite side of the play.
And....Lee Smith and Doug Legursky don't appear to be helping too much.
*On the first Smith falls attempting to block, while the safety comes in unchecked anyway. I'm not sure there's much he'd do anyway but....the Jets have a game plan to stop Spiller. Some of that includes "Dominating the Bills up front".
I wonder how much CJ is shouting.
Hope you enjoyed it!
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