Safeties are the lifeblood of Sean McDermott’s defense. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer have reshaped the Bills’ secondary in less than a year. Poyer is second on the team in tackles with 65, has two quarterback sacks, one QB hurry, 26 stops, three interceptions, and six pass deflections. His partner in crime, Hyde, has also put together a good season, one that landed him in the Pro Bowl. Going into week 16, he is third on the team in tackles, has one QB hit, two QB hurries, 14 stops, and five interceptions.
A lot is asked of these two, and they have more than held up their end of the bargain. But they may need to step up their game even more if the Bills want to steal a win in Foxborough.
Safeties are the first players a quarterback looks at when at the line of scrimmage. Their alignment pre- and post-snap is what helps the quarterback diagnose the coverage. Poyer and Hyde are some of the best at disguising and changing the quarterback’s pre- to post-snap picture.
— Cover 1 (@Cover1) September 12, 2017
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier takes advantage of their athletic ability and mental processing skills by utilizing an array of coverages that put these two in the position to make plays. These coverages include Cover 3 sky, Cover 3 Buzz and their specialty, a multitude of ‘Robber’ coverages.
These are different techniques and coverages that take away the middle of the field, but they also give the duo the ability to help the corners take away deep passes to outside wide receivers.
Frazier’s ability to put these two playmakers in the proper position to make a difference will be the deciding factor in week 16 against the New England Patriots.