Play-making is in his Blood


Rambo is making plays

The struggles on the Bills’ defense have been covered ad nausea. It seems that on a daily basis there are discussions as to why they have struggled so mightily. Is it the scheme? Is it the coaches? Is it the execution? Well one thing we all can agree upon, one player that is ultimately performing when called upon is third year player Bacarri Rambo.

So who is this guy?

In Rambo’s senior season at Georgia he played in 10 games and had 73 tackles, 3 INTs and 3 forced fumbles which got him named to the all SEC team.The Redskins drafted him in the 6th round of the 2013 draft. Rambo was drafted for his range and play-making ability. He has the skills to fill multiple roles in the defensive secondary. At times his tackling technique is not ideal, but more times than not he brings down the offensive player.

The Bills signed Rambo in 2014 to a 2 year contract.

His unique skills have been put to use this year in Buffalo. Rex Ryan’s scheme makes play-makers out of defensive backs. Rambo has definitely taken advantage of that. He has played in 11 games this year and started 5 of them. On the year he has played 458 snaps according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). 290 of those snaps were versus the pass. He has 43 combined tackles, 1 INT, 1 sack, 2 fumbles forced and 5 passes defensed.

This is from the color rush game that took place in week 10 versus the Jets. Rambo is to the right on the screen. On the run blitz he turns the edge and wraps up and strips the RB Ivory.

But Rambo has really come on since that week 10 game versus the Jets. This is no surprise, he has started in 3 out of 4 of those games and has lit it up over the last month. He has been on a tear during that stretch with 20 combined tackles, 1 INT, 1 sack and 5 passes defensed!! Last week versus the Texans really showed how talented the guy is. Take a look:

Rambo has done a tremendous job timing blitzes this season. What is so amazing about this play is that Hoyer knows Rambo is blitzing, he makes sure that the line knows, and more importantly the RB. The RB steps up to block Rambo as assigned, but Rambo gives him a nasty spin move. That is pure athleticism and play-making ability.

Rambo has also helped the cornerbacks over the top:

Look at Rambo on the top hash. He notices that Mckelvin was beat deep by a double move. Rambo gets on a horse and covers from the Texans’ 30 yard line to the Bills’ 35 yard line then makes a play on the ball. Amazing!

Rambo erases a would be touchdown on this play. Rambo is shaded to Hopkins’ side. Darby is beaten bad by WR Shorts on a skinny post pattern. Rambo takes his eyes off of Hopkins, and finds the deep WR. He makes a play in the shadow of his end-zone.

This play could be considered the play of the game. On 3rd and 6 the Texans target Shorts in the slot vs. Mckelvin. Mckelvin gets left flat footed on the post route. Rambo recognizes the rub route about to occur across the middle, finds the primary receiver and totally ERASES the WR Shorts.

But he has also held his own in coverage. According to PFF, Rambo has been the primary cover guy on 16 plays this year. He has allowed 10 catches, that doesn’t sound that good right? But WRs have only gained 79 total yards and only 17 yards after the catch. So he is covering well and in position to make the tackle after player makes the catch. In fact, over the last four games, quarterbacks have averaged a 52.5 QB rating when trying to attack Rambo in coverage. He has allowed 0 TDs and has picked off 1 QB in that stretch. The guy is rolling right now, at a time where the defense hasn’t been.

The defense has been struggling, that is a fact. They have been unable to find consistency and an identity, but Rambo knows his identity. He is a play-maker through and through.