How have the Bills fared while running zone coverage? How about in the instances they've been in man?
Pro Football Focus recently published an insightful article that provided the details of how often teams have utilized man coverage and the production while in that coverage.
The Bills are currently 19th in rate of man coverage at 31.3 percent. The Chiefs have run man coverage more than any other team at 63.5 percent. No team has run man coverage less frequently than the Steelers (10.7 percent).
Here's what PFF analyst Sam Monson wrote under Buffalo's subheading:
"Buffalo has recorded just one interception when running man coverage shells in the secondary, an interception rate of just 1.6 percent across 61 targets and 65 passing plays. They do have eight pass breakups though."
Going into this season, we knew Sean McDermott's defense was a zone-based system. Deducting from the man coverage figures above, the Bills have utilized zone coverage 68.7 percent of the time.
Seven of their eight interceptions have come while running zone, and 12 of the 20 pass breakups PFF has credited them with have been in zone.
Clearly, Buffalo is going to lean on zone coverage under McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. And through six games in 2017, the Bills have thrived in zone.
The Buccaneers have been even more reliant on zone coverage than the Bills – per PFF, they've used zone coverage 73.1 percent of the time heading into Week Seven.