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Defensive Keys to Buffalo

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jays52, Sep 24, 2011.

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  1. jays52

    jays52 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Buffalo has been having a nice little run offensively in this young season. Fitzpatrick is operating his offense extremely well. Fitzpatrick fits the short to intermediate distribution that the spread is based off of. His receivers are good with the ball in their hands, and they having been doing well advancing the ball after the catch. Fred Jackson is the most underrated player in the league, and the line is opening things up very well for him. They are very good at what they do, but unlike some of the elite spreads they do have some fatal flaws.

    The most glaring advantage Buffalo has had is the luck of going against some really bad tackling. The most important thing in defending the spread is put the receiver on the ground the instant they catch the ball. The spread operates mostly on gaining minor separation against man and advancing the ball after the catch. With the defense so spread out, it makes gang tackling near impossible and negates pursuit to a large degree. It is on the DB's to get those receivers down now. The Patriots are a very fundamentally sound team and I anticipate this key to hold true.

    The Buffalo offense is highly reliant upon short down and distances. They like to advance the ball in a series of moderate gains that leverage ball distribution and quick release. The interior routes are standard slot stuff. They do run basic body positioning option routes (ie corner technique dictated slant/arrow), as well as McDaniels style jerks and whips. They don't overload the intermediate areas like the Patriots do, but they do run a lot of clearouts and picks like the Pats. They are very clearly a man defense attack. This man attack is unique because they rarely exploit the sticks or deep man strikes outside the hashes. Why? Because the quarterback can't make those throws. He can't hit the seams of a cover-2, he can't drive the 15 yard out. So logically you encourage them to try to hit those routes. The Patriots corners have good ball skills and balls will not only sail on Fitzpatrick, but they also won't have the zip to make it through the zones. It is imperative to force incompletions and negative plays on first and second down. Obviously, man is the choice for this but this plays into the hands of the offense. Two high safety looks with very tightly played under zones (Patriots style cover and pass for example) will accomplish encouraging the seams and deep outs and still help setup long down and distance. I'm looking for much shorter drives in this defensive gameplan as Buffalo is a very good short field offense.

    Fred Jackson is tearing up the sub defenses. Spread and run is nothing new, but Jackson is such a great back for this because of his decision making, burst, and very interesting blend of tackle breaking skills. In the spread you must make it past the line and break the tackles of smaller, faster sub defenders. With most spread killers being attacking defenses decision making is critical. I would look for more 2-gap principals in this game as it clogs the rushing lanes and prevents Jackson from feeling the pursuit and breaking tackles. I don't view him as much of a threat to bounce one, so play your gaps and squeeze him. I'd look for more Spikes tomorrow.

    Ultimately, Buffalo is a nice little spread that Gailey is doing a good job with. It's a simple, limited, but effective offense that is executing well. The Patriots are a better unit matchup to matchup and if they can stop the spread run, win on first and second down, and if post game stats favor the tight end and deeper attempts on the outside the Pats should limit buffalo to under three scores.
     
  2. TheTruth3402

    TheTruth3402 On the Game Day Roster

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    I would look for Buffalo to try and spread the ball to keep the Pats in sub D.

    The Pats should counter with 3-3-5 as I think with the lack of D line depth this would be more conducive to rotating and keeping people fresh. Also, as you said the 3 technique might be very helpful against a spread attack that runs well.

    I think stopping Jackson is the most critical element of the game. IMO Fitz won't be nearly as successful throwing the intermediate/deep stuff if he has no run game. But if he does, watch out. He can be deadly when going to the play action pass and stretching the field.

    After what VJax did last week, I don't think we can sell out against the run though. We should still keep at least one deep safety and really try and get up on the receivers and pressure Fitzy.
     
  3. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The one thing from that post that scares me is mention of the Cover 2, because I think we all know who those 2 will likely be, and they're about as inexperienced as they come.
     
  4. jays52

    jays52 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Yeah, this is true, but I'd much rather have them sitting 20 yards back there teeing off on stuff in front of them than mixing it up underneath. Basic cover-2 is a nice, simple safety friendly look.
     
  5. TheSolderKing

    TheSolderKing In the Starting Line-Up

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    watch out for Steve Johnson
     
  6. TommyD4207

    TommyD4207 On the Game Day Roster

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    1) Stop Fred Jackson
    2) Contain CJ Spiller
    3) Profit.

    :singing:
     
  7. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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    This is definitely not as in-depth as the original poster, but I think this game really comes down to our star players. With Chung, Haynesworth, and a slew of others on the DL and secondary out, we flat-out need to have huge performances from Mayo, Wilfork, and McCourty. Wilfork and Mayo need really contain the run and help create pressure on Fitzpatrick. We can't afford to see McCourty getting burned around the field, even if he is asked to be doing more than anyone else on the defense. My guess if McCourty will be on Stevie Johnson; it would be great if he could hold him below 75 yards. I think this is where the Pats have a big advantage, in the ability for several guys on defense to really be able to control the game. I don't see Buffalo having too much upside on their d.

    Forgot to mention, on another note, I was very surprised to see that Fitzpatrick is only averaging about 6.5 ypa. Despite him playing great thus far, that stat jumped out at me and made me wonder if their passing game is really that superb, especially considering that their RBs are really opening it up for them.

    Brady's average yards per attempt is 10.7. Fitzpatrick's average yards per completion is 10.4 . Brady's average yards per completion is 14.9; I'm sure WW's 99 yard TD did a job on that stat, but I guess my point is it seems Buffalo is liking a short field with lots of pin pricks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    These comments by Metaphors in the other Idle Thoughts Thread are telling...
    perhaps Buffalo is not what we think they are..

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england...375-idle-thoughts-pre-game-musings-page3.html

     
  9. livinginthe past

    livinginthe past Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I expect the Patriots to have a much better handle on the type of underneath stuff that they gave up to the Chargers.

    The 'big threat' in the San Diego game was Gates, and he was successfully neutralised.

    In this game, they will be keyed on Fred Jackson - whether thats catching short passes or running the ball.

    Stevie Johnson will makes some plays - he may even gain 100 yards - but that will be acceptable for the Patriots as long as they keep FJax under control.

    Fitz is probably feeling pretty invincible right now - Buffalo is getting alot of attention from the ADHD-style media coverage - he'll get frustrated when the Patriots offense puts him under pressure to score every series and I think he'll fold with a series of INT's and rash passes.
     
  10. PatsCanDoIt

    PatsCanDoIt Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Bingo. Their run game is really good. Their passing game is complimentary.
     
  11. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Jay, you need to speak more.
     
  12. PatsCanDoIt

    PatsCanDoIt Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think the run defense is better than people realize. Giving up less than 100 yards per game while playing a lot of nickel is pretty good. Playing with a lead helps to keep the rushing attempts down but results in a higher Yds/Carry. For instance, Ryan Matthews was effective running draws but Tolbert had 10 yards on 9 carries. The stop on the goalline vs the Chargers and even Miami wussing out and throwing on the goalline are examples of the run defense being great when they have to be.

    This week they have to be and they will be undermanned.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
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