Bills at Texans: An Outsider’s Perspective

Thanks to Twitter, I (Del) have had the opportunity to “meet” a lot of resident team experts within the respective fanbases. One of those experts is Joe Goodberry, Social Media Manager & NFL Draft Analyst for (the Bengals’ SB Nation site).

Joe regularly reviews game film from around the league (not just Bengals games). Yesterday, he was reviewing the Bills at Texans coaches’ film (aka “All 22”) and posting some of his findings on his Twitter feed. I asked if he’d mind putting something together for and he was happy to oblige.

So here you go: an outsider’s objective, unadulterated view of what happened Sunday. Do with these findings what you will…

Note: I’ve included some of the snapshots he posted and some exchanges he had with fans during the review to help flesh it out.

As a non-Bills fan, I watched the Buffalo – Houston game with eyes focused on Fitzpatrick, Chan Gailey’s offense and the young stars on the team; Dareus and Gilmore. Here’s what stood out to me from a neutral eye.

My final conclusion while watching is also the biggest point to make; the Buffalo Bills have the most limited offense I’ve watched this year. They literally survive off of one passing concept.

"I've never seen an offense this limited."

The boundary WR runs a drag or short slant / in route while the two inside receivers either clear out space as decoys/blockers or the drag WR becomes the decoy and the slot WR becomes the primary. It’s a high-low concept, if you will. Depending on how the defense plays, Fitz knows exactly where to go with it. I saw them use this concept on every other pass play. It cuts the field in half for the QB.

"Bills must cut the field in half for Fitz."

The problem: Fitz doesn’t see the field well. He doesn’t trust his eyes & receivers and ends up looking frantic in the pocket. It looks like Bills coaches know this.

"Fitz freaks, gets sacked."

Let me ask the #BillsMafia, do you often hear Fitzpatrick making checks/audibles at the line? Calling out the “Mike” LB is normal for every QB, but I question how much control Fitz has to adjust or change plays. There was a few instances where the Houston defense had 7 defenders close to the line, Buffalo has 3 or even 4 WRs and Bills still ran it with little success (DUH!).

The Texans were onto Buffalo’s offensive gameplan in the 2nd half and the defensive backs were just squatting and driving at 5-yards. In the Red Zone, Houston could tighten up in a zone and Buffalo couldn’t do a thing with that passing concept. It became painful to watch as literally no changes were made. They acted like their athletes were superior and would win in any situation. Obviously that’s not the case.

"Can Fitz not change plays?"

The offense is so limited and needs to be focused around C.J. Spiller. He’s added strength, patience and vision since being drafted. He’s now arguably the most complete RB talent in the NFL. For him to be on pace for 160 carries is an absolute joke.

"Spiller's agility is incredible."

Now some good observations…

+ Stephon Gilmore continues to grow. After Aaron Williams went down, the rookie started playing both sides and shadowing Andre Johnson. Only 3-4 Corners in the NFL actually do that.

"Gilmore played LCB..."

+ Houston has the best Center in the NFL in Chris Myers, but Marcell Dareus kicked his butt on more than a few plays. I know some are down on him, but I still see it in Dareus.

"I know some are disappointed, but he's still there."

+ Jairus Byrd is a stud. You probably know that but with him about to become a free agent, I bet some GMs are willing to make him the highest paid safety in the NFL.

Re: Jairus Byrd

There you have it. Knowledge is power, they say. Thank goodness for the “All 22” film.

And thank you, Joe, for taking the time to help put this together. Much appreciated!

About Del Reid

Del Reid became a Bills fan shortly after coming into this world, having been raised in a home that actually had a framed picture of OJ Simpson on the wall in the living room (until it came down in 1994). Del has always had a passion for bringing people together to celebrate things they share in common. As a result, he (quite accidentally) ended up co-founding the #BillsMafia movement among Bills fans in social media -- which to this point is the coolest thing that has ever happened to him aside from his relationship with God, his wife, and his two awesome kids. Follow him on Twitter at @mrdeadlier.