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Bills' normal nickel package locks down Deshaun Watson, Texans

The Bills' normal nickel defense was at it again in Week 6 against the Texans.

Facing Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Co., Buffalo's trustiest defensive personnel package — which almost exclusively features rookie Taron Johnson as the third cornerback — flourished, particularly in the turnover and sack departments.

at Houston Nickel Big Nickel
Completions/Attempts 11/18 3/7
Passing Yards 142 36
Rushes 20 10
Rushing Yards 46 28
TDs/Fumbles/INTs/Sacks 1/2/2/6 0/0/0/1

For the second time in the 2018 regular season, the Bills did not play a defensive snap in a base 4-3 alignment of any kind in Week 6. The other instance came in Green Bay against the Packers.

While Watson averaged a respectable 7.88 yards per attempt and threw his only touchdown against nickel, it was also the Bills' personnel grouping for two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and six of the team's seven sacks.

The second-year quarterback's passer rating against nickel was 64.8. Buffalo's "big nickel" — with a third safety on the field instead of a linebacker or corner — yielded a 59.2 quarterback rating.

Johnson was targeted three times and allowed one catch for 12 yards despite being on the field for 23 pass plays, per Pro Football Focus.

Heading into Week 7's matchup with the Colts, the Bills' nickel package has yielded the following stat line to opposing quarterbacks; 76 of 127 (59.8 percent completion) for 764 yards (6.01 yards per attempt) with four touchdowns and seven interceptions. That equates to a quarterback rating of 64.5.

In the last three games, Buffalo's nickel has given up the following stat line: 41 of 73 (56.1 percent completion) for 512 yards (7.01 yards per attempt) with three touchdowns, four interceptions, and nine sacks.

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