When you analyze the Bills’ offense, it isn’t difficult to see that they have struggled the entire season. There is no consistency in the running game or the passing game. In years past at least they could hang their hat on the running game, but that identity is long gone.
The staff has been unable to scheme any type of explosive plays, something that the Bills have thrived on the last couple of seasons. While it was a volatile offense last season, very boom or bust, at least defenses had to respect those kinds of plays and playmakers. That often led to points, and that’s how Buffalo managed to be one of the top scoring teams.
While the Bills could only muster up three points versus an ascending Patriots defense in their week 13 matchup, I did like some of the creativity that Dennison and the staff showed. Specifically, I liked the ‘wildcat’ package with former QB, now WR, Joe Webb.
Dennison designed a package of plays that put Webb in the driver’s seat at QB and allowed him to use his size and athleticism to help the Bills’ offense stay ahead of the chains on 1st down and to convert on third-and-short situations. The longest play of the day came out of this package.
Midway through the 2nd quarter, Dennison sends out 11 personnel and motions the offense into a trips set with Webb five yards deep. The concept called is an inverted veer – power concept, or what some call a power read. Here it is drawn up out of a 2×2 look from our partners over at FirstDown Playbook.
It’s power blocking up front by the linemen, which means left tackle Dion Dawkins and left guard Richie Incognito execute the double team, then climb to the linebacker. There’s a down block by center Eric Wood, a pull by right guard Vladimir Ducasse, and a hinge block by right tackle Jordan Mills.
After Webb secures the snap his eyes immediately go to the unblocked defender, the end man on the line of scrimmage. If that defender widens with McCoy, Webb will keep it. If that defender crashes, then the Bills are in good shape with the ball in McCoy’s hands because they have the offense outflanked to the field.
This is a well designed play and one you see run every Saturday in college because it gives the QB so many options. The defender appears to stay with McCoy, who is running wide, so Webb keeps it. With Ducasse pulling and picking up the frontside linebacker, Webb is in good shape, as the Bills have a hat on a hat. Typically, Webb would stay frontside and hit the hole for a considerable gain, but the linebacker, David Harris, did a great job of getting downhill and meeting Ducasse on Buffalo’s side of the line of scrimmage. As a result, Webb cuts it backside.
Webb cuts the play inside the down block by Eric Wood for a 22-yard gain.
This package was well designed and utilized in advantageous downs-and-distances. It was also a precursor to an ‘explosive’ passing play the staff drew up for later in the game, but Webb failed to connect with RB Travaris Cadet on the all verticals concept, which could have been a touchdown. Let’s hope that Dennison builds upon some of these innovative play calls going forward. This offense sorely needs it.
— Josh Cohen (@JCohen_NFL) December 4, 2017