I definitely didn’t think I’d be writing this breakdown following a two-score victory over a 2-0 Broncos team that embarrassed America’s team in primetime the week before. But, here I am.
The offense, and more specifically the passing game, really gave this Bills’ defense a boost. They were able to sustain long drives, putting together consecutive first downs that led to points. It gave the already confident Bills defense a chance to rest, and you could see the results on the scoreboard.
The Bills will have to employ a similar tactic this weekend against a more proven and prolific offense and quarterback. Nothing against Trevor Siemian, but he’s certainly no Matt Ryan. If the Bills hope to serve the reigning NFC Champs their first loss of the season, then the offense will have to do its best to replicate the success it had a week ago, but with a more established run game.
But lets talk about the real reason we’re here. Tyrod Taylor played a tremendous game last Sunday in their win over Denver. It was tremendous because of his ability to put maybe the worst performance he’s had in a Bills uniform behind him and be a key factor in a rather convincing win.
Zay's gotta have this. TT put it in a great spot where Talib couldn't get his hands on it. pic.twitter.com/f6g5twBhAL— Cover 1 (@Cover1) September 26, 2017
This is one I’ve got to put on the rookie receiver. Listen, we (meaning mostly I) kill Tyrod for his inability to throw the slant on time and on target. This is a perfect throw, considering the circumstances. I absolutely need Zay Jones to make this grab for an easy touchdown. Luckily, Andre Holmes was close by to safely bring it in for a score, but the chemistry between Zay and Tyrod has been noticeably off, and this certainly wasn’t the only example of that in this game.
For Tyrod, though, it was good to see him rewarded for having confidence and letting it rip. He still slightly hesitates, like he almost doesn’t trust what he sees in a very easy read. But I’m not going to dock him points, because the throw was on time and on target. Moving forward, Tyrod needs to continue to build on plays like this in the red zone. Rubs and slants are utilized across the league to get defenses out of position when things tighten up in the red zone, and the Bills never seem capable of using it in their favor. Tyrod’s relationship with these new receivers is definitely something to continue monitoring as the season progresses.
It’s a game of inches
TT unable to get the ball out in front of Zay bc of the proximity of Barrett. TT does a great job of getting in a position to throw. pic.twitter.com/iSiAYbtF9D— Cover 1 (@Cover1) September 26, 2017
This one is tough because it’s a potential big play that was left out on the field. First I look to Zay Jones for partial blame on this play, because I think he should have continued gaining depth on this route, which likely would have put him in better position. But I can’t fully blame Zay because I don’t know where their benchmarks are on this play. However, with time, he’ll learn on scramble rules to continue gaining depth to give his quarterback a chance.
As for Taylor, he really does the best he can in this rollout situation. I always preferred to rollout to my left as a right-handed thrower because it forced me to use more of my hips, and gave me a little more distance and velocity on my throws. On this play, though, Taylor just had to get it out too quickly, and it affected his accuracy. Chalk it up as another missed opportunity.
It’s all about the depth
Been saying it for a while, PA is where TT has to be effective. Nice deep drop and touch pass to Matthews. pic.twitter.com/5SUwvUr9sm— Cover 1 (@Cover1) September 26, 2017
One thing that was clear last Sunday was how deep Rick Dennison had Tyrod Taylor dropping back. Taylor’s three-step drop game struggled throughout preseason, and in week two against the Panthers, too. I thought that he wasn’t getting enough depth in his drops, and it was leading to batted balls at the line. I think it contributed to him missing some open receivers.
Total #Bills dropback numbers:— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) September 26, 2017
Shotgun - 20
Rollout - 7
7-Step Drop - 5
5-Step Drop - 2
3-Step Drop - 0
Play Action - 13
Per Joe B., Taylor had zero three-step drop-backs against the Broncos. It was a clear game plan against the dangerous weapons the Broncos have in their front seven. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward, because I think it allowed Taylor more time to process the defense, and his receivers were the beneficiaries of some very accurately-thrown balls.
That’s a bad man!
TT trying to get it to Matthews nothing there, slides & resets. Scrambles for the 1st. Don't like eye discipline here. pic.twitter.com/8QY78v9xse— Cover 1 (@Cover1) September 26, 2017
What I love about this play is that the scramble truly was a last resort. He kept his eyes downfield and set himself back up to make a throw before making a play that very few players in the league can make. It has always been the x-factor with Taylor, what keeps him a viable option in the NFL. His ability to keep this play alive and get past the sticks in uncanny. These are the sorts of plays you can’t really account for on the stat sheet, but it’s encouraging to see him use it as a last resort instead of bailing out too fast.
Atlanta’s defense definitely isn’t as talented as the Broncos’ defense that the Bills took advantage of. If Vic Beasley can’t go, then that’s a huge victory for the Bills and Dion Dawkins. If they’re able to build on their passing performance last week and get LeSean McCoy going again, then they’ll have a real chance to go 3-1.