Buffalo’s pass defense surrendered a handful of big plays last Sunday against Oakland and allowed Jason Campbell to complete 70 percent of his passes en route to a 323-yard passing day. But if you ask the Bills players there were different factors that went into why the Raiders were so successful in rolling up passing yardage.
DT Kyle Williams explained that Buffalo’s approach was squarely focused on Oakland’s ultra-productive running game, which left them in less than ideal pass rushing situations to help the secondary on the back end on passing downs.
“We had just a couple of blitzes that we ran that really came free,” he said of last Sunday’s game. “They picked up a 3rd-and-8 on us, really just a chuck and duck the guy caught it. And then a couple of other times we ran and were able to get some pressure he threw the ball in the ground. We ran a lot of under defense (Sunday). I was playing the shade and Marcell and Dwan played a three (technique) and a five (technique). Not your most favorable pass rushing position, but I think we were going in thinking that those guys rushed for over 200 yards last week and they’re going to pound it and we have to be ready for it.”
Williams said to the Raiders’ credit they audibled to some short pass plays to counter Buffalo’s focus on the run.
“They were in some running personnel and got us on some quick passes and they max protected and got the ball down the field when we were in an under defense,” he said. “It’s a tough row to hoe, you’re going to get doubles and things like that. We didn’t throw a big package at them. We were focused on getting McFadden down and slowing that down.”
And the Bills did that with McFadden managing just 72 yards on 20 carries. Facing a much different Patriots offense this week that leans more toward the pass the Bills believe the approach will be different as pressure on Tom Brady is essential to disrupting the New England passing game.
“It’s different every week,” said Williams. “We’re going to have to carry some different things with those guys going into the ball game. With their three tight ends and one back, two tight ends and two backs, they run a lot of different things.”
Head coach Chan Gailey has also challenged his defensive backfield to go make a play if the opportunity is there, and his defensive staff is likely to have a more aggressive plan as well.
“Go out and expect to be great in the game,” said Gailey in reference to what he told his players in the secondary. “Don’t go play defensively, and I don’t mean that in the wrong terms. Go be aggressive on the field. We’ve got to go compete for the ball when the ball is in the air. We’ve got to study what they do. We’ve got to be good tacklers. All those little things that make a secondary good, that’s what you’ve got to do. It’s not a major overhaul, we’ve just got to get better at what we’re doing.”
“We’ve just got to go make plays,” said Leodis McKelvin. “That’s all it is. Most of the time we were in position to make a play so when we’re there we got to go make one.”
Tags: Chan Gailey, Kyle Williams, Leodis McKelvin
Posted in Inside the Bills