The Buffalo Bills gave quarterback Josh Allen more trust and little more space to work with at times in Sunday’s loss at Miami.
The Bills used an empty backfield on 10 snaps in the game, the most of any this season, and it paid off.
The Bills snapped the ball nine times from the spread formation and netted 75 yards. That included three Allen runs for 70 yards. Allen was 3 of 4 passing for 20 yards from empty sets with two sacks for 15 yards in losses.
The Bills had gone empty only 21 times in the first 11 games.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll likes to get five men in the pass pattern, which empty sets allow. But it puts more responsibility on the quarterback’s shoulders to make quick decisions and recognize blitzers who are unaccounted for in pass protection.
The Bills profited from empty sets against Jacksonville and obviously liked what they saw in that game.
Allen had two runs for 21 yards out of empty versus the Jaguars, including a 14-yard TD run.
The Miami defense went after Allen, blitzing 12 times, or a healthy 27 percent of his drop backs (counting penalty plays). But the Bills managed the blitzes well. Allen had four runs for 54 yards against the blitz.
Allen’s mobility is going to give defensive coordinators pause. Blitzes give him more lanes through which to scramble.
Allen ranks third among NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards with 389, behind Cam Newton (450) and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (404).