Another rough outing for Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins led to a 26-11 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Highmark Stadium. Josh Allen led his team in passing and rushing and accounted for all three Buffalo touchdowns.
Click here for more PFF tools:
The Bills have worked hard to take some weight off Josh Allen‘s shoulders, but Sunday looked much more like the beginning of the 2021 season. Allen not only took 46 dropbacks but tied for the team lead in rushing attempts with eight. He also led the team outright in rushing yards gained with 55.
|Player||Dropbacks + Rushes||Passing + Rushing Yards||Passing + Rushing 1st Downs|
Devin Singletary and Zack Moss combined for 15 carries and 47 yards, falling short of Allen’s production in double the number of tries. Buffalo continues to struggle with opening lanes for its backs before contact.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Teams that major in a lot of single-high coverages open the door for a slot receiver like Cole Beasley to find the creases between the seams and the sideline. Beasley led all receivers with just under 3.0 yards per route run. Only one of his targets was contested at the catch point.
|Player||Receiving Snaps||Targets||Yards Per Route Run|
The lack of any primary or secondary pass-rusher type for Miami allowed the Buffalo offensive line to keep Allen comfortable for almost all of his dropbacks. Jon Feliciano was the only offensive lineman to allow pressure on the day, which was a major factor in Buffalo’s control of the game.
Jerry Hughes was a menace for Miami to block all game long, with six pressures. One was a QB hit and another converted into a sack. Rookie Gregory Rousseau added four of his own, and his length and first step still have me intrigued about his potential to become a problem as a secondary pass-rusher.
|Player||Pass Rush Snaps||Total Pressures|
Tremaine Edmunds is still raw as a middle linebacker, but playing against an offensive line that can’t get to the second level allows him to flash all his best traits as an explosive run fitter. He finished Sunday with three defensive stops against the run.
Jordan Poyer is one of my favorite safeties to watch. He uses his explosive athleticism to range and cover the seams or the middle of the field. Poyer came down with an interception today and allowed just eight yards in coverage. His superstar teammate Tre'Davious White allowed only three catches on 11 targets. The two smothered receivers inside and out.
|Player||Coverage Snaps||Yards Allowed Per Coverage Snap|
Passer rating is often void of game context, but Tua Tagovailoa’s 53.8 from Sunday’s action felt like an accurate representation of his output. Aside from a couple of tight-window throws on RPO slants, the quarterback is still having a difficult time throwing players open and anticipating windows down the field.
Myles Gaskin saw more of the blue on Buffalo’s jersey than the green turf on Sunday, averaging just three yards per carry. He moved the chains just twice on his 12 rushing attempts. Gaskin isn’t the back to create his own offense either, with zero missed tackles forced, and his best play of the day being a 22-yard catch in space.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
DeVante Parker is a wide receiver I’ve had my eyes on for years, sure that a breakout will come. I think that day is closer to tomorrow than never, but there are some real concerns about whether the offense is structured in a way that allows for players to grow their skill set. Parker has been an extension of the run game through the RPO game, and his 12 targets returned just 85 yards.
Austin Jackson looked like a promising tackle for the first time this season, going all 43 dropbacks without losing a rep or conceding a pressure. The holes in protection were found in Liam Eichenberg and Jesse Davis this time, allowing 11 combined pressures with two being converted into sacks.
Brian Flores has tried to replicate New England’s approach of pass rush by committee, but against a quarterback who can extend plays like Allen, having real pressure would have made a real difference. Using safeties and linebackers to create unique pressure looks and packages has a value unto itself, but it has to be in conjunction with an ability to affect the quarterback up front.
The linebacker corps for Miami is still a major hole in this defense, with Duke Riley the only player at the second level to log a defensive stop against the run. The position is needed to contain a quarterback like Allen from pulling the ball down and creating offense with his legs, and none of the Dolphins were prepared to carry out the task.
Byron Jones and Xavien Howard have come crashing back to earth this season, but the Cover 3 scheme on Sunday helped protect them from allowing explosive offense up the sideline. The pair allowed 10-of-16 coverage targets to be caught but only gave up 64 yards and three first downs.