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Bills' base 4-3 fronts make triumphant return against Titans

Against the spread, pass-happy Packers in Week Four, the Bills didn't play a single defensive snap in a base 4-3 alignment.

Even the week before against the Vikings, Buffalo was in a 4-3 over front for just one snap on defense.

On Sunday against the Titans, a team that incorporates a more "traditional" offensive philosophy, the Bills played some variation of their base 4-3 defense on 24 of Tennessee's 53 offensive plays.

Here are the full defensive package statistics from Buffalo's Week Five win:

vs Tennessee 4-3 Under 4-3 Over Nickel
Completions/Attempts 2 for 3 3 for 7 9 for 16
Passing Yards 29 25 75
Rushes 7 7 11
Rushing Yards 13 28 59
TDs/Fumbles/INTs/Sacks 0/0/0/0 0/1/0/0 0/1/1/2

Due to the injuries of safeties Micah Hyde and Rafael Bush, the Bills did not play any 'big nickel" — with a third safety on the field — against the Titans.

Mariota had a quarterback rating of 42.4 against Buffalo's normal nickel package.

Both the 4-3 under and over were stingy against the run, allowing a combined 41 yards on 14 carries, which equates to a 2.92 yards-per-carry average.

The 4-3 under and the 4-3 over are identified by pinpointing the location of the nose tackle. In the under front, the nose tackle is aligned just outside the center and closest to the strong side of the offensive formation, the side of the line with more blockers. The opposite is true in the over front. The nose tackle is shaded on the center on the weak side of the formation.

Heading into Week Six's matchup with the Texans, the Bills' nickel package has yielded the following stat line to opposing quarterbacks; 65 of 109 (59.6 percent completion) for 622 yards (5.70 yards per attempt) with three touchdowns and five interceptions. That equates to a quarterback rating of 65.6.

Also, Buffalo has now forced six fumbles in their nickel package in five games.

The Bills' 4-3 alignments — both the over and under front — have surrendered 146 rushing yards on 43 attempts, which equates to a 3.39 yards-per-carry average.

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