I would like to briefly bring to the casual fans attention how the product of a successful play is created….Peter King did a great piece recently following Carson Palmer during a game week versus the Browns. King highlighted what goes into a game-plan for a game, and if you haven’t read it I highly suggest you do. But I will show you a similar example of how film-study, game-planning and execution led to a of a TD versus the Jets. So lets start out with the product.
Karlos Williams receiving TD in the 3rd quarter
Back in week 2 the Jets played the Colts. The Colts run a very similar offensive scheme that Greg Roman does. The offensive coordinator in Indy was Pep Hamilton and I have mentioned before the two have a link to Jim Harbaugh and his offensive prowess. When coaches begin to look at film for their next opponent one of the common approaches is to examine film of the opponent versus teams that have similar skill positions or similar schemes and film from their opponents last 4 games. I believe that the Roman and the Bills did this very thing. If you go back to week 2 the Colts came out in a run heavy personnel. It is a two back two TE grouping, it is referred to as 22 personnel. When the Colts showed this look the Jets matched up with their 3-4 defense.
More notably with Calvin Pace and Quenton Coples at the outside LB positions. They are decent OLBs because they can rush the passer and they are long enough and athletic enough to drop into coverage. On this 2nd and 1, the Colts ran play-action and threw a deep in route to WR Moncrief. Take a look:
The defense, specifically Darrelle Revis was confused on who he was supposed to cover. But the defense was in cover 2 man. The safety #25 on the left hand side of the screen bites hard on the play-action instead of being in coverage. *Mental note 1-22 personnel=3-4 defense*.
Personnel Mismatch: #56 Demario Davis
In week 8 the Jets gave up 333 pass yards to the Oakland Raiders and 80 of those yards were to RBs. This was the biggest gain of 54 by RB Jones.
So fast forward to the Thursday night match-up between our Bills and the Jets.
At the 12:14 mark of the 2nd quarter the Bills show the 22 personnel look with RB Karlos Williams in the game. The Jets again, align in the 3-4 defense. But the new wrinkle this week was that instead of Pace and Coples as the OLBs they put OLB Pace and DE Sheldon Richardson at the outside linebacker positions. Now, I love what Richardson brings to a defense, but he is not athletic enough to play OLB. The Jets did this to have a tough run stopper set the edge for our edge run game. He’s a tremendous run stopper and pass rusher but to put him outside like this was a risk. So in essence they are in a 4-3 defense and Richardson will almost always rush the passer.
1st and 10
#97 Pace and #91 DE Richardson aligned outside.
2nd and 3
The very next play:
1st and 10
Fast forward four plays later:
2nd and 10
The Bills bring in 22 personnel with Williams and Felton in the backfield and Clay and Mulligan at TE. Here is the match-up:
So did the Bills get the “looks” they expected??
22 personnel=JETS IN 3-4–CHECK!!
#56 ILB Demario Davis in coverage-CHECK!!
DE Richardson lined up at OLB and rushing passer–CHECK!!
Run heavy formation= Tendency Breaker-CHECK!!
Bonus– DE Wilkerson in at OLB=rushing the passer–CHECK!!
Bonus- Play-calling made the defense “key” on Clay-CHECK!!
The Final Product
Many people don’t understand the amount of hours spent studying film, players and match-ups. The TD by Karlos Williams catapulted the Bills up by 3 possessions. So kudos to Greg Roman and the offensive staff for the game-planning and adjustments made in this game for a much needed win on the road.