The play in the secondary was a major focus this week of head coach Rex Ryan. Saying he’s tired of the mistakes, and attributing the majority of the issues in getting beat deep to technique, Ryan opened Ronald Darby’s left cornerback position to competition as well as Nickel Robey-Coleman’s nickel position and the safety position next to Corey Graham, which had been most recently occupied by Robert Blanton.
However, the cornerbacks specifically have been the ones under fire for giving up big plays. So let’s look at how their defensive numbers in coverage compare to that of last season when Darby and Gilmore were among the league leaders in pass breakups.
As you can see in the table below the completion percentage against both Darby and Gilmore is up. Opposing QBs are completing passes against Darby about seven percent more than last year and against Gilmore it’s about 11 percent more.
Though just 56 percent of the season is in the books (9 games), Gilmore has already allowed 72 percent of the yardage he surrendered last year.
Darby, who has played in one fewer game, has already allowed 76 percent of last year’s yardage in half the games.
Their pass breakups are just slightly off from last year’s pace. Gilmore is on pace to have as many if not more interceptions this season. Darby has yet to field an interception this season.
|Yr & Player||Targets||Completions||Comp. Pct.||TDs||Rec. yards||PBUs||INTs|
|2015 – Darby||107||54||50.50%||3||647||21||2|
|2016 – Darby||49||28||57.10%||3||491||9||0|
|2015 – Gilmore||93||44||47.30%||4||611||18||3|
|2016 – Gilmore||41||24||58.50%||1||440||7||2|
Whether the two boundary corners can lock things down over the final seven games will be rooted mainly in technique because the opportunities will be there. Knowing the struggles they’ve had they will be tested, especially today against a Cincinnati team that likes to push the ball down the field.
A.J. Green leads the NFL with seven catches of 30 or more air yards. Add in the fact that the Bills have allowed six 100-yard receivers this season, matching the total from all of last year and you see why opposing offenses will be more than willing to take their shots.
Tags: Ronald Darby, Stephon Gilmore
Posted in Inside the Bills