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Pass rushing against the Bills lacked disguise

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Finnishfan, Nov 13, 2012.

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  1. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    After watching the Bills game, I had a feeling that our 3rd down defense had the issue mentioned in the topic. Then after the Monday night game between KC and Steelers, that feeling was only emphasized. So I decided to inflict more severe mental pain on myself and went back to watch the Bills game again.

    Now that feeling of mine got confirmed.

    Breaking down the entire game was too much of a task, so I decided to focus on 3rd down plays by the Bills. I took a screenshot of every starting lineup we had on those plays. The lack of disguise on our pressure packages was staggering. Here are some numbers:

    1) There was a total of 16 times that we lined up for 3rd down (or 4th down), and that includes all downs that were replayed due to penalties.

    2) Including defensive backs, our LOS lineup were
    3 players - once
    4 players - 8 times
    5 players - 4 times
    6 players - 2 times
    7 players - once

    Well this number is partially explained by the fact that we played very little press coverage on 3rd downs, so we only had a total of 14 defensive players line up at the LOS who were in slot/outside coverage positions.

    3) A breakdown of those 60 players who lined up around the ball:
    3 players - 7 times
    4 players - 6 times
    5 players - 3 times

    4) Out of 60 players we had lined up around the ball, a staggering 45 (75%) played with their hand on the ground (and rushed the passer). So there was only a total of 15 standing players around the ball who the OL had account for in those 16 downs.

    5) On 9 of those 16 3rd downs (56.25%), ALL PLAYERS AROUND THE BALL lined up with their hand on the ground

    6) Out of the 29 players who didnt have their hand on the ground, only 5 were in a somewhat successful disguise, others showed either blitz or coverage, and did just that. This is purely based on my perspective, but I paused the plays, read the formation, and missed only 5 calls. And I am not a professional QB.

    Now despite that analysis didn't include all the moving parts, it still showed me one of the biggest reasons why Fitzy looked so comfortable again. We didnt surprise him and we didn't make Bills OL calls more difficult by scheme. They knew exactly when they could double Jones (which was quite often). And we didn't even try to disguise our efforts, at least not with an effort visible to me.

    When you watch any great defensive team play, you see more than often them showing blitz when playing coverage. Why they do this, is becouse they want to keep the OL guessing how many will come, and where they come from. Why is it that we don't even try to hide what we are on the LOS?

    With our level of disguise, Jones will not reach 12 sacks this year, becouse the OL can safely double him on every down and we don't even try to exploit the openings created by those double teams. Funny thing is, he was even tripled on some downs, becouse the Bills had a blocking TE on his side and the Guard expected somekind of a support rush from that side and ended up toying with completely outmatched Jones while Fitzy had as much time as he needed.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  2. Gumby

    Gumby Rookie

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    Great stuff.

    Thanks for the hard work. (Gotta love patsfans; posters here always researching and coming up with this type stuff).

    So, it wasn't clear to me; of those 16 times
    how many did we actually rush 3, 4, or how many +4 more
    how many outside blitzers (cb/s)? (i seem to recall only once - dont know if that was a 3rd down)
  3. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    I didnt write down the amount of rushers, becouse I focused more on the formations and looks we gave them.

    But since I got the screenshots still here, I can look into that.
  4. Cassanova792

    Cassanova792 Rookie

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    This is exactly what i been saying since day 1. This scheme is garbage and Patricia has no creativity. He expects to win defensively by pure skill alone. This is the NFL buddy our team is not made of all stars. This is why our secondary is so bad, our scheme does nothing to disguise our flaws.
  5. 1960Pats

    1960Pats Rookie

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    #75 Jersey


    I'm hoping that as the season winds down the Pats will add some wrinkles to our defense. Maybe Talib will give the coaching staff the boost it needs to stop playing such a vanilla defense. What's they're doing now is not working.
  6. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    Here you go, stats made to order. :)

    Our rusher counts (THIS IS OF 13 PLAYS, because 2 false starts and 1 delay of game that were included in the 16 were impossible to include in here):
    3 players - 3 times
    4 players - 8 times
    5 players - once
    7 players - once

    So that is kinda lame. Only 3 or 4 man rushes, and only two outside blitzes (both from slot). Only 1 all out blitz, and there I had only 1 guy in adequate disguise so eventually no one had a free lane to QB and Fitz made us pay.

    Also that 5 player blitz has a run blitz. So we only had 1 pass down there, where we rushed more than 4. Combine that with our crappy disguise, and no wonder we didn't get much pressure on Fitzy.

    EDIT:

    Added down and distances (most of them obvious passing downs): Down & distances and rusher counts.
    3&1 0 False start
    3&6 4
    3&16 0 False start
    3&21 3
    3&15 4
    3&2 4
    3&12 4
    3&8 4
    3&16 0 Delay of game
    3&19 3
    3&4 4
    4&4 4
    3&1 5 Run blitz
    3&goal at the 2 7
    3&9 3
    3&3 4

    Also, I need to correct/add few things to OP:

    1) The 45 with hand on the ground was false. 48 is the correct number, so its even worse. Excluding the 2 false starts and 1 delay of game, the number is 43.

    2) We had only 1 guy during the entire game, who didnt rush the passer on 3rd downs after putting his hand on the ground.

    3) We had only 10 pass rushers in those 13 downs that I counted, who didnt have their hand on the ground. So total of 53 rushers on those 13 downs that I was able to count.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  7. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    A sad addition to this is that all out blitz we pulled on them on the 3rd&goal. Had we even tried to fake blitz earlier, they might have thought we are faking it there as well and someone could have gotten a free pass to Fitz. But since we didnt disguise at all earlier, they knew we were coming.

    That play led to the Donald Jones TD, although I do have to say that it was a great throw by Fitz, blown coverage by Dennard(?) and Fitz was just about to run out of time.
  8. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    What scheme? All the Pats D does is line up to get shredded.

    Then again, with their "coaching" they would probably get burnt trying to be creative too.
  9. RodThePat

    RodThePat Rookie

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    Fantastic work.

    Watching the game, it really seemed as though they were playing very vanilla, hoping to just keep the lead and make them drive down the field, and not get a quick score on a big play.
  10. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    I wonder if the D is simply not getting it and forced to simplify
  11. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rookie

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    Any idea how this broke down by quarter? Sure seemed like they backed off further and further as the game went on.

    Thanks for the breakdown.
  12. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    It was pretty even between the 4.

    If you look at my down and distance + rushers addition from page 1, I can tell you that first 5 took place in the 1st quarter, next 3 took place in the 2nd, and then 4 in the 3rd and 4 in the 4th.

    Out of the 5 in the first, 4 of them came in a bunch due to 3 consecutive penalties. In the second quarter, 2 were bunched. In the 3rd quarter, the first 2 were bunched as well and the next 2 were the 3rd down followed by the 4th down.

    The 4th quarter situations were all "separated".

    Funny thing is this, when I wrote this reply I realized that Bills took staggering 3 pre-snap penalties and 2 holding penalties on 3rd down situations.

    NEVERTHELESS they converted 63% of them, and 1 of which they didn't convert on 3rd down they converted on 4th down.

    The 4 3rd down plays Bills didnt convert went as follows:
    1st Q
    3rd&21 at their own 20 yard line - Draw to Jackson for 10 yards
    2nd Q
    3rd&12 at our 20 yard line - Sack by Ninko, Fitz flushed to the pocket by Jones
    3rd Q
    3rd&19 at their own 3 yard line - Draw to Jackson for 4 yards
    3rd&4 at our 28 yard line - Our only succesful disguise blitz of the night, caused a hasty throw from Fitzy to covered Donald Jones - They did convert the following 4th down

    All 4 converted in the 4th quarter.

    So two of those 3rd down "stops" we had, came with a 3rd&forever on the Bills defensive red zone when they went safe and ran the ball. Only 2 of them were "legit stops" due to a good defensive play.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  13. skspikex2

    skspikex2 Rookie

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    #22 Jersey

    Even when Chandler Jones got double team, and I think 3 plays where he was triple team, there was still no push from the other end. :mad:
  14. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rookie

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    Thanks again!

    Odd that that the the very vanilla D was the plan all along. It's a bit disconcerting that despite that there appeared to be a good amount of confusion (according to my lying eyes at least) and a lack of fundamentals. Hopefully it's just a product of the new rules + bye or better yet some upcoming changes that weren't ready to be implemented in game. Regardless this had better be a bump in the road rather than true regression because what we saw Sun won't get it done against a PO caliber team.
  15. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    True, fundamentals were not in place either in that game. I think Tom E Curran said we had 25 missed tackles in that game.

    But I would guess most of them were on CJ Spiller who is one of the fastest guys in the NFL and Fred Jackson who was the RB who broke most tackles in the NFL in 2011 (if my memory serves me correct here).

    Also, I really don't know the averages here. 25 sounds like a lot, but thats about as deep as I can dig into that number.
  16. ThatllMoveTheChains!!!

    ThatllMoveTheChains!!! Rookie

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    It looks like the Bills took 68 snaps on offense; I have to believe missing a tackle every 3 snaps on average is not just high, but embarrassingly so.
  17. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Cassanova,

    if it understand you, we should be blitzing more. Please describe the results of a B Spikes blitz that tackled nothing but air, and turned a routine two yard gain, into a 25 yard romp by CJ around left end.

    Why or why Mr.Cass, why didn't that work? In all your posts about new schemes, you never say anything about the results of that play you prescribe.
  18. RodThePat

    RodThePat Rookie

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    I see your point in that things aren't as simplistic as "blitz more!", like some posters here seem to suggest. But in his defense, I wouldn't call a MLB blitz up the middle a dazzling display of play calling creativity, though.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  19. Cassanova792

    Cassanova792 Rookie

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    Is this a legitimate question? Seriously think about what you are saying. What fantasy world do you live in where plays/schemes will be successful 100% of the time on every play? Cmon man get serious.
  20. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    Kind of a silly argument indeed.

    If we're going to play it like that how many points,first downs and yards were given up in that soft prevent D ?
  21. SeymourTrophies

    SeymourTrophies Rookie

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    Not a thing would work when your ends are getting blown off of their edges consistently and CJ Spiller is the guy with the ball. Spiller is electric, and we learned that in 2010 in Foxboro. Good thing he's in Buffalo where his incredible burst can only burn us in the regular season.
  22. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I cannot understand why they don't blitz more. When the other team is either scoring or tuning the ball over on every possession, how can alot of blitzing hurt anything???
  23. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I get why they don't blitz more against QBs who are known for excelling against blitzes. What bugs me is when they don't blitz QBs like Fitzpatrick, Russell Wilson, Kevin Kolb, etc., either. I often find myself thinking that if the opposing QB has time to complete a 7 step drop, the coverage will have already collapsed by then, so might as well sell out making sure that there isn't enough time for that. The only real reasoning that I can come up with is that blitzing would make the QBs reads even easier, which would take away INTs (the one thing that the pass defense does fairly well).
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  24. JMarr

    JMarr Rookie

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    It did seem that way. Give the Bills credit. Their coaches get paid too and they have a lot of offensive talent on that team.

    People need to realize that every game plan is different and specific to each week before they get so up in arms about schemes being too passive or vanilla. Also have to realize just how young and inexperience this D is, especially the secondary, so it's wise not to make things overly complex. Yet.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  25. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    So because Spikes doesn't get to the ball in time, the 10 other guys are excused, and we should never
    attempt an out-of-ordinary rush again?

    Props to FinnishFan for providing the numbers to support our beliefs that this "defense"(snicker)
    is bland, unimaginitive, predictable & unproductive.
  26. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    i also noticed this during the game, our defense is extremely simple....

    no stunts, no deception, no misdirection

    i dont get it, why not? that is the million dollar question


    all the great defenses of the NFL today are that way because of two reasons 1. talent 2. misdirection, and we have little of #1 in the secondary, and none of #2 as a whole.....so why?
  27. denverpatsfan

    denverpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great points by all. Great breakdown.

    I will say that this much maligned D caused 4 turnovers. 1 of which knocked the starting RB out of the game and should have sealed the win. They also caused 2 fumbles in the SB which would have helped win that game too. I think this is the BB plan barring Ty Law walking thru that door.
  28. Finnishfan

    Finnishfan Rookie

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    Thanks for the praise.

    While the turnovers are great, they are just about the only thing keeping us alive defensively. And there is one VERY important thing you need to notice about them: most of our turnovers in 2012 have been from fumbles.

    Fumbles are not scheme-related turnovers, they are caused by good fundamentals. Right now, our schemes do not serve us at all.
  29. jnug

    jnug Rookie

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    The standard rule of thumb in the NFL is that you blitz the better QB's in the game because if you leave them time they will tear you up. You don't generally blitz the lesser QB's in the league because they will eventually err without being forced.

    Flacco for example to me has made very little progress. He is with little to show for it, the same QB he was when he came into the league. Flacco made errors unforced by a d-line rush in the Pats game, just like he has from the very first game I saw him play. We just did not take advantage of them but he made them all over the place.

    It is easy to say "blitz more" but if your opponent is already making enough errors for you to generate turnovers, why leave yourself exposed to other aspects of the opponent's offensive playbook?

    Even stunts while maybe looking harmless can expose you in ways that BB may simply not be willing to accept. In today's NFL, it is pick your poison. You are not going to stop everything. Maybe BB will be more confident as the year comes to a close but it is just to easy for us to notice what appears not to be working without acknowledging that the alternatives could be much worse.

    As I have said before the one place where I think BB is open for criticism is in his drafting and in his personnel selections for defense. He has always liked a particular type of defender and it used to work really good for him. Still does for the most part. He just needs to modify his approach a bit in my view so that he ends up with a bit more physical skill out there on the field at any one time......maybe if we had one more guy that you describe that way at every level of the D and maybe two in the secondary....this defense would be fine. Maybe Talib is one of the guys in the secondary.
  30. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Couple of points that don't necessarily all fit in this thread but don't want to start a new one:

    - I don't believe you are going to see the Pats defense show all their cards in a regular season game unless the division is in doubt. Would any of you be satisfied if the Pats rolled into the playoffs but got bounced by a QB (Schaub, Flacco, Goober, Roethlisberger, Luck) who had a bunch of tape on their blitz schemes? We've gotten glimpses of each of the LBs blitzing, usually to some degree of success. You can be sure that Belichick has filed that away for future use when needed. I'm more curious to see if we see the DBs get an occasional run at the QB as a prep for the playoffs. Belichick preaches "one game at a time" but no coach has a better feel for the "long view" than him (sometimes to a fault).

    - People just have to realize that the Bills offense is a bad matchup for the Pats. They have a variety of weapons and they use them all. Their downfall is that they crank out more turnovers than my mom at Thanksgiving. Fitzgerald has the skills to do well until his sphincter tightens...and it inevitably does. I'm not going climb out on a ledge just because the Bills offense seems to have a comfort zone against the Pats defense.

    - It also is getting a little old hearing about the Pats secondary issues like the same DBs have been on the field all year. If I had told you that Dennard would be the #1 CB, McCourty would be a safety, Wilson would be the lead safety, Ebner would be a dime back and Cole would be on the field outside of the kicking game...you would ask me when the preseason was over. But all of those situations have occurred in meaningful games that were still in doubt. Is it really that surprising the secondary is a weak spot? Lets see if the Pats can field the same depth chart for more than 2 weeks in a row before final judgements are pronounced.

    - Circling back around to the OP, a disguised scheme requires experienced players to pull off. The Pats have a number of rookies and short-timers playing key roles week-to-week. Give Jones and Hightower a little more time to develop. You can see both getting more responsibility over time (not necessarily with glowing results). Lets see if the secondary can settle into a top 4 of Dennard/Talib/McCourty/Gregory with Chung/Wilson/Arrington/Cole filling niche roles as matchups dictate. If the depth chart can settle down for a while (in games and in practice) I think the chances of seeing some more exotic looks go way up.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
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