over 20 years of fanhood, on 22 November 2013 - 11:25 AM, said:
Using Spiller as a measure of line performance particularly inside O line is questionable.
It is a completely different offense than last year, he's been injured, never has run inside well, he's been slow to pick up the offense in the past, has a propensity to rush to or miss holes and has questionable vision particularly for zone run blocking schemes, and is not strong on his feet.
Add that opponents have been stacking the box vs all the young QBs, I fail to see how anyone can vilify Wood, especially when the team has been ranking near the top in overall rushing attack.
Agreed...that arguments against the OL are generally cherry-picked. They struggled against the Jets, a team that is a clear 1/2-yard per carry better than any other run defense in the NFL. You want to talk about an amazing stat, the Jets have allowed 35 rushing first downs...total for the season
. That's sick.
Conversely, even a cursory look at the Bills' rushing offense shows what they've done to some really good run defenses throughout the year. As I've mentioned before, and as is detailed in a BN article today, they've faced 5 of the top 11 run defenses in the league. We already talked about their performance against the Jets, but look what they've done against the other 4:
Cleveland - 3rd in YPC (3.5): Buffalo rushed for 155 yds and 5.0 YPC
Baltimore - 5th in YPC (3.7): Buffalo rushed for 200 yds and 3.7 YPC
Carolina - 8th in YPC (3.8): Buffalo rushed for 149 yds and 4.5 YPC
Cincinnati - 11th in YPC (4.0): Buffalo rushed for 130 yds and 4.1 YPC (with a backup QB no less)
As I've said before: the OL isn't perfect, and they could stand to upgrade at LG and RT. It's not, however, the biggest issue on the team or even the biggest issue on the offense. Lack of both a pass-catching and run-blocking TE are easily bigger needs, and I'd venture that a big-bodied boundary WR qualifies as a bigger need as well.
It also would help tremendously if CJ could get back to hitting the hole quickly like he did last year; the mistakes against NE and Pittsburgh were crippling to the team's attempt to set the tone early on with the running game.
wnysteel, on 22 November 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:
hey, i read it on the internet...so it must be true...
they have had some very good rushing performances (except against the jets). 7th in the league. so some things are working. jets do have a good tandem inside so i'm sure that contributes to their ranking. i wonder if its a scheme issue, or talent issue (why they struggled against the jets)
A bit of both really...the Jets make their living by clumping their 3 DL inside the tackle box and forcing teams to move them. Wilkerson and Richardson (the 5-technique ends) are monsters that will crush even above-average opponents if left one-on-one, so teams need to compensate by double-teaming. That generally leaves the NT (Harrison or Ellis) singled up. Also, they play their OLBs extremely wide, so they can often force teams to go to a 2-TE set to prevent down-line pursuit, which limits the offense's ability to hurt them with quick passes.
A solid blocking TE would change the way the Jets have to play against your offense, since they can't get away with setting their DL so far inside like they did against Buffalo. Upgrading the LG and RT spots would help too, but there's no substitute for being able to single-block the edges and allow your OL to double-team inside.