Inside The Bills

Fewer 3-4s to face in 2009

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2008 – 2:37 pm

In 2008 the Bills had nine games against 3-4 defensive fronts and went 1-8 against them. They also went 6-1 against 4-3 fronts. In 2009 there will be fewer 3-4s to deal with, which in light of this past year’s success would appear to be a good thing.

As it stands right now Buffalo will have seven games against 3-4 defensive fronts in 2009 (Cleveland, Jets (2), Pats (2), Dolphins(2)), with the chance of that number being reduced to just four if the coaching changes in Cleveland and New York bring about a different defensive philosophy as well. Houston is already supposed to bring in a new defensive coordinator that runs a 4-3 so they’re already off the list of 3-4s.

I thought Buffalo’s offense got better against the 3-4 defensive fronts late in the season (Jets in Week 15 and Patriots in Week 17) in terms of running the football, and the stats prove it.

In those two games Buffalo had 348 rushing yards on 67 carries and a pair of rushing touchdowns. That’s an average of 5.2 per carry. It took a while, but the offensive line finally came around to being very productive on the ground against 3-4 fronts come the end of the season, and they did it against two of the better nose tackles in football in Kris Jenkins and Vince Wilfork.

Of course the passing game was the real issue, so some progress will still need to be made there in terms of having answers for what those fronts can throw at Buffalo.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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