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Week 6 Buff Bills Coaches Film Analysis Thread

Greetings and salutations once again. I do apoloize, again, for not having this thread started on it's normal day - Tuesday. With the due date of the baby racing towards us, I have been spending most of the weekend and Monday and Tuesday completely gutting, what will be, the nursery. I mean, down to the studs and sub-floor gutting. Re-framing a few things (people who don't know how to frame in a window with a jack and king stud...) and I've been installing drywall - but, it's coming along.

Anyway...enough about that, you didn't come here to listen to my blabberings about home construction, you came here for my(and others) babblings on football!

Another disclaimer, I may not get as many posts out today as I normally would, typing is slow for me right now, I've got my left index finger bandaged up after smashing it with a hammer.....so it makes typing much more difficult.

On to the what the film showed us:

Overall - The film showed us what we all thought after the game....we suck... We're a bad team and we do things bad teams do. We lost in every phase of the game. Offense, Defense, and special teams. I don't care that we kicked 3 FG's, we fumbled on a kickoff again(like we did last week) so that means we lost on special teams. You can't do the things bad teams do and expect to win. You can't be unable to run the ball, you can't be unable to stop the run, you can't blow coverages, you can't drop passes, you can't fail to get open, you can't miss open receivers and expect to win a game.

We're still getting out-coached, though, it didn't seem quite as bad this game. One thing I will give Chip credit for, and maybe myself, is that I said after last week and seeing how many weeks we were going while seeing defenses use the scrape exchange on us to defeat the zone-read that I thought we needed to go to more pistol formations to hide the side of the zone-read and prevent defenses from scraping that side. Chip did do that. We ran more pistol in this game to combat that scrape-exchange than I had seen all year. I also liked the incorporation of the fly sweeps and a couple toss plays in there to achieve the same thing. Those plays were successful and were able to take advantage of what the Bills were doing on defense. The problem was, we couldn't close the deal on offense.

As usual, I'll start with the offense and work through the defense. Highlighting things that stood out, or didn't stand out.

Offense - I've said it since week 2 and I'll say it again this week - until we can get more regular production from our run game, our passing game is going to continue to be underwhelming, at best. Chip's passing game is highly predicated on an effective running game. Without consistent production, there aren't as many open players.

One thing I saw in this game, I'm not sure if there were runs that the read-option was just a look and it was a designed run with the QB just carrying out a read-option fake, or if it was a read-option and CK simply missed the read, IDK. I don't have the playbook or the call in front of me so I can't make a sure judgement either way. Whichever way it is, it's either a huge black eye on either Chip or CK. There were at least 3 plays where the QB run would've been open... one of them was the critical 4th down play. That, to me, was the turning point in the game. After that, we got gashed and the game got out of hand. Again, I have no idea who's to blame on that one, since I hadn't seen a team not account for the QB run like that before. Which is strange, since CK should be a bigger running threat.

CK - Probably the hottest topic over the past 8 days has been the QB situation in San Fran. I think it's been, by far, the busiest thread in NT so, we'll address it right off the bat. I'm probably gonna make a lot of you really unhappy with this assessment: He wasn't as bad as many would like to think and he wasn't as good as many would like to think....there it its. He was, "meh" IMO. He wasn't terrible, didn't make a lot of big mistakes, made a few nice throws and bought time on a couple plays and had one, "WOW" throw. He also struggled with his footwork, dropbacks, speed with reading the defense and staying in a throwing position. His receivers didn't help him out a whole lot and there were a number of plays where there was simply no one open. Which has been a theme of ours going back to the first game of the year. The offense, as a whole, looked pretty similar.

What I was looking for in this game was for him to have improved on areas that he's struggled with going back to 2012. His throwing motion looked more 2012-14 than early 15. He still doesn't seem to look zone defenders off or keep his head in the right spots to move defenders with his eyes, so you still see zone defenders reading his eyes and collapsing concepts. However, he still has that fastball and so when he see's a guy open, he can get it there in a hurry into a small window. He also still has a great ability to throw the ball on the run - one of the things that made him so dangerous during his rise. However, for him to be a reliable, long-term solution, he's got to grow with his pocket abilities. I still think the guy has a really high ceiling, if he can grow as a pocket passer more. If he doesn't grow as a pocket passer more, we've already seen his ceiling. So, from that point, it's anyone's opinion on whether he's a QB to stick with or not - which that discussion is best left to the QB thread.

I say all that because to ignore the question of a QB change would probably spark more controversy than trying to address it. I don't say all of that to make this another QB thread, it's just what I see. My assessment of CK is also based off of seeing film from him and studying the film since 2013(then backdating to when he first started). I watched Gabbert's time in JAX, but not intensely. I watched it right after he got traded to us and just casually reviewed it. So, I'm much more familiar with CK's game than any other QB, so there's much more data for me to go off of when evaluating.

O-line - Overall, I thought they did a pretty good job in pass-pro. They gave CK 5 seconds or so on multiple occasions, part of the problem was that our receivers weren't getting open very often. We did have a couple ugly pass-pro plays though. J. Garnett gave up an ugly sack. Right now, in this game he looked like a poor man's Iupati. Has a lot of power in the run game but slow feet in pass pro. He might be able to fix it with work on his technique, but he got beat a couple times.

They still struggled in the run game. This time they struggled moving guys off the line. Buff has a pretty stout front line that matches up well against zone running teams. They collapsed the edges in the run game which made running between the tackles very difficult. It's why some of our only real success in the run game came from outside runs and it also allowed our QB more time in the pocket on non-obvious passing situations.

WR - What's there to say? These guys are simply not good..... It looks like the days when Arnaz Battle was our best receiver.....

Defense - These guys were up and down. I think our pass defense was fairly good, however, I think if teams weren't so confident they could run all over us we'd get burned a lot more. More like the CAR game. Rashard Robinson has been the only real bright spot in our secondary, to me. His thing too, wasn't as much that the guy didn't have talent going into the draft, he's a character question. So, here's to hoping that he doesn't go "Aldon". Other than that, both our safeties blew coverages as different times and Tyrod Taylor left some meat on the table.

D-line - They weren't quite as bad as they seemed to be from the running game stats. It doesn't help that we only have on 2nd string quality ILB and have 2 3rd string quality, at best. I think if any of our ILB's made other teams, it would be for their special teams abilities, not their abilities to play LB. Bellore was really up and down. He missed a number of tackles and is slow to the point of attack. I said it when Bow went down, he was a deodorant on an already bad team and things were about to get worse. Since Bow went down, we've given up rushing numbers at a record pace.

However, that's not to say that our D-line doesn't deserve some blame. Buckner and Armstead both got washed down on multiple plays, but, they weren't the culprits every time and so you can't lay the run troubles solely at their feet. Everyone on defense had a hand in giving up the rushing yards we did. It wasn't ever one guy. When you give up a 22 yard run on 3rd and 20....that's just bad. One problem we have is that we have 11 guys all trying to make a play and not 11 guys playing team defense.

Well - that actually covers all the positions on D, haha. So, there it is. After all that, on to the breakdowns!!!
God bless you for reviewing this s**t show.
Well, I was gonna post some breakdowns, but it looks like tinypic isn't working. Anyone else having problems with tp???
  • thl408
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Originally posted by jonnydel:


On to the what the film showed us:


Well - that actually covers all the positions on D, haha. So, there it is. After all that, on to the breakdowns!!!
Good thoughts JD. Don't hurt your mouse hand fixing up your house now.

For the most part. I thought Kap made good decisions with the ball and with scrambling. Not all his decisions were as "on time" as I would have liked but I do understand this is his first game back in a year. One thing I took note of in particular was when he scrambled, or held onto the ball, was there any WR(s) open? Because this season, it's not out of the ordinary that no WR is open. But in the past, I've seen Kap look to scramble when there was a passing option available to him. Oddly enough, the big 29 yard scramble he had was the one occasion that stood out the most to me where there was indeed a passing option available. His problem on some plays were that his decision was a tad late. His best throw was the Corner route to Vance. BUF did a good job covering the WRs and smothered a couple slant routes (Kerley, Patton). I only saw one occasion where Kap should have kept the ball on the zone read - that 4th down play. Makes me think it was a HB dive all the way. I'll try to show Kap's scrambles and how I felt he made good decisions with when to scramble.

BUF ran some nice stunts to stifle the 49ers inside run game and the 49ers adjusted by attacking the edges on a few plays. On the drive where the 49ers got stuffed on 4th down, Mike Davis should have moved the chains on 3rd down, but got fancy and tried to dance into another hole that was not there. That was frustrating to watch because it was a pivotal point in the game.

I thought coverage wise the 49ers defense did okay. Much of Taylor's success in the passing game was from buying time, scrambling around, and finding an open WR once coverage broke down - very Russell Wilson like. The run defense is just more of the same. Shoddy open field tackling, poor gap control, poor play recognition resulting in late reactions. There was a 3rd & 21(?) that McCoy converted that we all remember, but there was another play that came earlier in the game that I felt set the tone that I'll show (McCoy +16 on 2nd and 21) where the 49ers completely neglected a gap and BUF McCoy had a lane about 7 yards in width. It was funny because I'm done with being mad.
Can you elaborate more on the wrs johnny? Id like to know whats the real reason these guys cant get open. Do they run poor routes, are they not fast enough or are the route schemes not complex enough to fool defenses?
Originally posted by thl408:
Originally posted by jonnydel:


On to the what the film showed us:


Well - that actually covers all the positions on D, haha. So, there it is. After all that, on to the breakdowns!!!
Good thoughts JD. Don't hurt your mouse hand fixing up your house now.

For the most part. I thought Kap made good decisions with the ball and with scrambling. Not all his decisions were as "on time" as I would have liked but I do understand this is his first game back in a year. One thing I took note of in particular was when he scrambled, or held onto the ball, was there any WR(s) open? Because this season, it's not out of the ordinary that no WR is open. But in the past, I've seen Kap look to scramble when there was a passing option available to him. Oddly enough, the big 29 yard scramble he had was the one occasion that stood out the most to me where there was indeed a passing option available. His problem on some plays were that his decision was a tad late. His best throw was the Corner route to Vance. BUF did a good job covering the WRs and smothered a couple slant routes (Kerley, Patton). I only saw one occasion where Kap should have kept the ball on the zone read - that 4th down play. Makes me think it was a HB dive all the way. I'll try to show Kap's scrambles and how I felt he made good decisions with when to scramble.

BUF ran some nice stunts to stifle the 49ers inside run game and the 49ers adjusted by attacking the edges on a few plays. On the drive where the 49ers got stuffed on 4th down, Mike Davis should have moved the chains on 3rd down, but got fancy and tried to dance into another hole that was not there. That was frustrating to watch because it was a pivotal point in the game.

I thought coverage wise the 49ers defense did okay. Much of Taylor's success in the passing game was from buying time, scrambling around, and finding an open WR once coverage broke down - very Russell Wilson like. The run defense is just more of the same. Shoddy open field tackling, poor gap control, poor play recognition resulting in late reactions. There was a 3rd & 21(?) that McCoy converted that we all remember, but there was another play that came earlier in the game that I felt set the tone that I'll show (McCoy +16 on 2nd and 21) where the 49ers completely neglected a gap and BUF McCoy had a lane about 7 yards in width. It was funny because I'm done with being mad.

Agreed, I too thought there was an open passing option on that play and thought, "well, can't complain, 29 yard gain".

Agree on the lateness of some of those throws. It's always been one of my complaints against him and I was looking for him to be more on-time in this game. It might be rust and not being used to the live-game speed. However, it's also something he's struggled with since 2012.

As for some of the other zone-reads I was talking about, check out 13:08 3rd quarter, 1:40 3rd quarter and :21 3rd quarter. Those were one's I saw that looked like he should've kept it. Which is why I was wondering if those are truly zone-reads. Kaep's never really struggled with the right reads on the zone-read. So, it makes me wonder if they're just designed runs with a QB action fake.
Originally posted by 49glory:
Can you elaborate more on the wrs johnny? Id like to know whats the real reason these guys cant get open. Do they run poor routes, are they not fast enough or are the route schemes not complex enough to fool defenses?

Some of it is poor route running. Patton struggles running corner routes. He'll get good separation to begin with but slows down to a snail's pace when he turns back for the ball and I remember seeing Gab overthrow him a number of times on those routes. But, if Patton had kept running at the same pace, it would've been right now. Instead, it'd look like an other-throw into tight coverage.

Some of it looks like defenders are expecting our receivers' routes on some plays. There were some plays where Buf would be in zone and the moment they read pass would look right to where our receiers were running and would play perfect leverage on their routes.

One thing our receivers struggle in doing is defeating leverage and getting defenders to turn their hips. Not sure if it's the limited route trees out of some formations or not - I'm not that deep into our system. But, our guys have a hard time getting their defenders to turn out of position. So, the only way for them to defeat their man-coverage is for them to just be quicker and faster than the other guys - very rare in the NFL. We also haven't been able to create a credible outside threat. I see a lot of teams taking away the middle of the field. That was Buff, game-plan. Which has been one against CK since about 2014. Teams try and take away the middle of the field against him. So, our receivers weren't beating their men on the outside with their routes.

Buff's defenders did a good job of maintaining outside leverage, knowing they had 2 lurkers over the middle - for most of the game. They were, of course, instances where they went quarters coverage or cover 2 zone, but they played a lot of cover 3 and cover 1 with either 2 lurkers or one deep safety and a "spy".
  • thl408
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This is Kap's first dropback of the game and it made me smh watching it live. Dropback, look around, look confused, take off scrambling. Same ol Kap. But this is why the TV broadcast doesn't tell the whole story.
Listed below are the progressions to my best guess. I might be wrong but, on this play, what I listed makes a lot of sense and Kap's head swivel jives with what's listed.
vs Cover 1 robber


As Kap executes the playfake, he's looking to Torrey's Go route. There isn't much separation there and the safety is looming overhead.


Kap then moves to the Sucker concept which is a High Low read (17 to 11). Both those routes are covered with a mess of defenders in the underneath middle of the field. It's the red defender that is the one defeating Kerley's Dig.


Kap moves to the 4th read - Vance's Corner route. The defender has outside leverage, attached to Vance's hip, and defeats the Corner.


Kap makes 4 reads then takes off. That's a good job of exhausting the play concepts. This scramble was justified.


He could have tossed over to Hyde, but if there's a scrambling lane, Kap's legs are a sufficient "checkdown". +5 yards, moves the chains. I'll try to show his other scrambles tonight.
Originally posted by thl408:
This is Kap's first dropback of the game and it made me smh watching it live. Dropback, look around, look confused, take off scrambling. Same ol Kap. But this is why the TV broadcast doesn't tell the whole story.
Listed below are the progressions to my best guess. I might be wrong but, on this play, what I listed makes a lot of sense and Kap's head swivel jives with what's listed.

you're able to post with tinypic??? It keeps saying, "failure to upload" when I try and upload any pics...
  • thl408
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Originally posted by jonnydel:
you're able to post with tinypic??? It keeps saying, "failure to upload" when I try and upload any pics...

I use photobucket.

So, here's the failed 4th down play



Notice there are 2 outside defenders and then...no one. The Bill are compressing inside on 4th and 2.


Here's at the point of the read. You see the two outside defenders are crashing in. If this were a true read-option, CK should keep the ball.


From the all-22 you can see that there wasn't anyone outside that could've stopped CK from picking up the first down. I'm more inclined to think that this was a HB dive, but if so...CHip Kelly, what were you thinking???!!!
Can you guys comment on whether that floater throw to I think it was Draughns, in the redzone was a catch-able throw or was it too far out?

I thought it should have been caught from the game angle but from coaches film it should show the proper angle to know for sure.
Film is so bad Johnny is hurting himself


Johnny and THL can we get a few screen shots of the ends running up field and allowing Taylor to just step up in the pocket?
Here was one play where I thought CK had a play to be made but bailed out a little too soon.


One thing I wanted to see was how quickly he could recognize the coverage and understand where the throw would go by trusting the concept to work. We're going to run a smash concept to the 2 receiver side and max protect. This gives only the right side of the field to defeat any type of zone coverage. It doesn't look like a typical smash, but since we motioned Torrey inside, he has to run an out instead of a curl to get a smash concept. Buf comes out with a cover 2 zone with a "spy". 3 man rush against 7 man protection.


At his dropback, CK needs to recognize the 2 deep safeties and know the corner is his key read. WIth a flat-footed drop, he needs to know, right here, that the corner route is going to be open. He can even look the underneath defender off with his eyes - though he should really look the safety to teh middle of the field. At this point, he needs to trust taht his 7 man protection will hold up to the 3 man rush. Kilgore gets pushed back a little, but he's got help and I don't think the rush would've gotten there in time to do anything before he can make this throw.


CK gets a little phantom pressure and bails out to his left. After that, the CB turns toward the corner route. But, Patton had ran a good route to turn the safety and there was an opening for corner route. The concept worked - he's just gotta trust his protection and the concept. As he rolls out, he's got no where to run with all the underneath defenders and spy, he actually has a small window to throw to Kerley but that's a tough throw, running that way and he's not able to set his feet and get enough on the throw and it falls short.

I'm hoping that as time goes on that he can get more trust in his O-line to hold up against a 3 man rush. But, he needs to recognize those coverages really fast and then just execute the play. He's got the arm talent to make this throw.
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