The Bills rebounded very nicely from a loss to the Patriots by beating down the Miami Dolphins. Many thought the win would carry over to this week and the Bills would be able to beat a Giants team that really isn’t that great. However just like against the Patriots, the Bills were beaten in all phases of the game and yet again, Rex was greatly out-coached.
Against the Colts and Dolphins the Bills defense was the Rex defense you expect, hyper aggressive and causing havoc. Against the Patriots it was the exact opposite and got ripped to shreds by a quick passing game. The Giants don’t have Tom Brady but they do have Eli Manning who is better than what the Colts and Dolphins have. After watching the Coaches’ film, the defense actually played pretty well. They played primarily press coverage and weren’t leaving guys open underneath. Eli was primarily throwing it quick to avoid the pass rush and his completions were mainly tight window throws and his receivers bailed him out. Gilmore and Darby played very well and shut down their man. Neither allowed a guy to get over the top and Eli was never able to shred them like Brady did. The run defense also played great as the Giants weren’t able to really establish the run and were only able to get 92 yards through sheer quantity.
The two biggest concerns however were the slot play and the tackling by the defensive backs. Corey Graham, Duke Williams and Bacarri Rambo all got beat when forced to cover the slot receiver and the truly big gains by the Giants came from the slot receiver. Dwayne Harris had back to back big gains in the first half due to Corey Graham leaving him open. It’s a concern going forward as Robey has been used a lot as a nickel blitzer and the safety a lot of times is being forced to cover the slot. This might be fixed when Aaron Williams comes back but it is still a concern. What’s far worse is the poor tackling by the defensive back. All three TDs given up were short passes that ended up going all the way because Rambo, Duke and Corey all whiffed on the tackles. Another big gain was on a short two yard route to Harris who Robey also whiffed on. Sloppy tackling was what really killed the defense as the Giants offense did nothing without them.
Last week the Bills offense was fantastic as the run and pass game was clicking and it looked unstoppable. However that was against Miami which isn’t that great a defense (look what the Jets did to them). The Giants have a better defense than Miami and unlike Miami, actually watched the Patriots game film which set up a blueprint to stop the Bills offense.
No Shady really hurt the Bills as they leaned heavily on Karlos “Los” Williams who is horrible as a lead back (just look at 2014). The Bills were intent on running Los up the gut and he still lacks the vision to bounce outside or cut to the opening hole, instead running into a blob for a gain of one. It’s also obvious the Bills miss John Miller. Miller hasn’t been great this year but he was better than Ubrik who was brutal. The offensive line struggled to get many pushes and their guard play really suffered. The Bills ran for 55 yards and surprisingly did worse than the Giants in running the ball. Shady is needed back or at the very least, they need a guy who can let Los go back to the change of pace role. Someone like Fred Jackson.
The Giants copied the Patriots blueprint and were able to shut down Tyrod Taylor. They contained him in the pocket and took away the short throws, as his short passes were quickly stopped for minimal gain. Roman even tried moving him out of the pocket but his bootleg throws were just off. What I’ve noticed after watching Tyrod through four games is he is very quick to throw short. His favorite throw has to be the hitch throw as there are many times he drops back and locks on to the hitch route who is usually wide open. The good news is this week he was more willingly to take shots early. Even though he wasn’t hitting them, the threat of the deep ball early will force teams to play two safeties deep which should help the run game. However, just like the Patriots game, Tyrod really struggled until the Giants started to soften up a little in coverage and give Tyrod time to throw the ball deep to Big Play Clay who the Giants forgot to cover. Overall Tyrod took a step back and as teams get more film on him, he’s going to have to be more willing to attack the intermediate and middle of the field, or else it will be more of the Giants game and less of the Dolphins game.
Overall the Bills like last year let the big win over the Dolphins get to their heads. They looked extremely flat on offense and it wasn’t until the game was already over that they started to get some rhythm. The offense looked sloppy and the whole team lacked discipline as they had penalty after penalty. Rex has not done a great job coaching the team up and he probably should spend more time coaching and less time talking about his dream team the Patriots.