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[BN] Blitz: Allen had just enough 'boom,' a few big 'busts' vs. heavy blitzing

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Jan. 17, 2023

Bills Dolphins first

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) catches the ball in front of Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) in the AFC wild-card game Sunday at Highmark Stadium.

Analysis: Josh Allen had just enough 'boom,' a few big 'busts' vs. Miami's heavy blitzing

Saying Josh Allen played poorly Sunday doesn't really tell a complete picture. Yes, the Bills' quarterback threw two interceptions and fumbled the football away and his team barely hung on to advance as a huge home favorite.

But Allen delivered under pressure, not just the figurative playoff pressure, but real pressure. The Dolphins blitzed Allen 20 times in 49 dropbacks (40.8%), the highest rate of blitzes Allen has seen all season, according to Buffalo News charting.

They had some success doing it, too. Dolphins blitzes led to five sacks (including the strip-sack) and an interception. But the Bills also averaged 9.9 yards per attempt and 6.25 yards per play against the blitz.

A few of the Bills' connections against the blitz were rather big, too. 

Did the Dolphins' gambling tactics, which almost worked, lay the groundwork for what teams might do against Allen and the Bills in these playoffs?

Mark Gaughan breaks it down.



Bills know turnovers can't continue: “I mean, we did everything we could in some ways to hand that game over,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said Monday. It wasn't catastrophic enough to lose to that Miami Dolphins team, but it will be this weekend vs. the Bengals. Jay Skurski's observations from Monday lead with more on the turnovers, plus include Ken Dorsey talking about his future, Leslie Frazier on MLK Day, and more. Read more

Tre White continues to round into form: Slowly and surely, the Bills' All-Pro corner is getting back to being himself. White has played in all the defensive snaps in four of the last five games and played 92% against Chicago in Week 16. "This is my new normal now. So, hopefully I can continue to do what I'm doing," White said. Read more

Speaking of snap counts... Boogie Basham made the most of his increased playing time Sunday, finishing with five tackles, one sack and two quarterback hits. Here are Jay Skurski's takeaways from the snap counts. Read more

Dorsey Watch: The Bills stuck to their personnel script. Here's our weekly look at how Dorsey deployed the offense. Read more

Broadcast breakdown: Alan Pergament has a question: How much Tony Romo is too much? Bills fans have gotten him six times, and he'll be back Sunday. They may be sick of him, but... "As tough as it was to hear during a close to four-hour game that took years off the lives of Bills fans, Romo and play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz undoubtedly channeled the emotions of many viewers," Pergament wrote. Read more

Miss anything? Check out all of our coverage from the 34-31 win at our coverage hub. Read more


Sabres: Observations: Sabres fall to Florida after Luukkonen gets endorsement as the top dog in goal Read more

Former Sabres goalie Robin Lehner files for bankruptcy, cites $50M debt Read more

Colleges: At Alabama, former UB basketball coach Nate Oats faces crisis after arrest of player on murder charge Read more

High schools: Boys basketball polls: Amherst takes No. 1 in large schools; Timon remains atop smalls Read more

Girls basketball polls: O'Hara, Nichols tie as No. 1 large school; Depew remains top small school Read more

Today in sports history: Jan. 17

Have thoughts on the [BN] Blitz newsletter and our Bills coverage? Email Executive Sports Editor Josh Barnett at

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