Share this article

print logo

Defense paid the price for yielding big plays

For all the blame heaped on quarterback J.P. Losman for the Buffalo Bills' 36-14 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, some fault should be pointed at the defense.

The Bills entered the game ranked last in the NFL in third-down defense. They allowed Jacksonville to convert 9 of 16 third downs (56.3 percent), including four of five situations in which the Jags needed 10 or more yards. The Jags had five pass completions of 20 or more yards and two of their five runs of 10-plus yards resulted in touchdowns.

Here's a look at some of the Jags' most damaging plays:

>First quarter

RB Fred Taylor runs for 50-yard touchdown: Jags are in the I-formation with Taylor behind FB Greg Jones. Bills SS Donte Whitner follows TE Marcedes Lewis, who motions from right to left of formation. On the snap, DT John McCargo penetrates past LG Maurice Williams, but gets picked off by Jones. DE Chris Kelsay is pushed outside by RT Tony Pashos. If OLB Angelo Crowell slides outside, he might be able to make the play, but he jumps inside of Williams and takes himself out of the play. Taylor skips past Jones' block, bursts through the hole on his right and outruns CB Terrence McGee and FS George Wilson to the end zone.

>Second quarter

QB David Garrard completes 14-yard pass to Lewis on third-and-14 at Buffalo's 31-yard line: Against Jags' three-receiver formation, FS Jim Leonhard is deep while Whitner and Wilson line up in the intermediate area. Bills rush three linemen and blitz Crowell and LB John DiGiorgio. Kelsay drops back from his stand-up tackle position and tries to cover Lewis as he releases upfield. An unblocked DiGiorgio has a clear shot at Garrard, but Garrard quickly delivers the ball to Lewis, who makes a leaping catch in front of a falling Kelsay. Wilson misses an open-field tackle as Lewis spins away and lunges for the first down before Leonhard makes the tackle.

>Third quarter

Garrard completes 20-yard pass to WR Ernest Wilford on third-and-10 at Jacksonville's 20: Bills are in nickel defense with Whitner lined up against the Jags' slot receiver. Wilson and Leonhard are deep. On the snap, McGee is drawn toward RB Maurice Jones-Drew flaring out of the backfield, allowing Wilford to get a clean release. Wilford breaks toward the sideline where he has room in front of Wilson. The throw is behind him, but Wilford pulls it in before Wilson pushes him out of bounds.

Garrard completes 24-yard pass to WR Dennis Northcutt on third-and-12 at Buffalo's 36: Whitner is covering Northcutt in the slot. Whitner gets a jam on Northcutt and then lets Northcutt go. With McGee occupied outside by Wilford, Leonhard is late getting over to Northcutt, who is wide open running down the seam.

Garrard completes 21-yard pass to Wilford on third-and-10 at Jacksonville's 45: Whitner and Wilson bracket DiGiorgio and Crowell 5 yards behind defensive line. Leonhard is single deep safety. On right side of the Jags' formation, Jones-Drew comes out of backfield and draws Wilson. With Jabari Greer playing so far off, Wilford is able to get a free inside release and is open on a slant route.

>Fourth quarter

Garrard completes 59-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Williams on third-and-7 at Jacksonville's 41: Bills show eight-man front with Whitner and Leonhard next to Crowell and DiGiorgio. Williams is wide left in front of Greer, who gives Williams plenty of cushion to run a slant. Crowell slides into initial passing lane, but Williams continues the route and Garrard has time in the pocket for Williams to run into an opening ahead of Greer, who dives but can't reach the ball. Williams makes the catch in front of Wilson, whose false step outside takes him out of position. A downfield block by Wilford slows McGee just enough for Williams to outrace McGee and Wilson to the end zone.

>Other observations

The Bills' penalty for having 12 men on the field during a punt was due to McGee being late getting off the field.

>Coming attractions

The Bills head to Washington to meet former head coach Gregg Williams and the Redskins.


There are no comments - be the first to comment