A common theme throughout the Bills’ losses has been physical play. Put simply, they lose – and are sometimes dominated – on the line of scrimmage.
“Run and stop the race” may be an old cliché, but the Bills’ inability to do so was a key factor in the losses to the Titans, Colts and Patriots.
“When it comes to defending the race, that’s one of the reasons I love defense so much, because it takes everyone,” said defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. “So let’s just say you have 11 players playing each game, 50 playing a game. And every player only has one bad game, right? And 49 of the games, they’re all in their gap. But if all this happens on different games, it can be affected. And so you all have to be in your gap every time. “
This does not happen. Damien Harris’ 64-yard touchdown for the Patriots was just the latest example. The Bills also gave up a 40-yard rush to Jonathan Taylor and a 76-yard touchdown by Derrick Henry. Overall, the Buffalo run defense has allowed 35 carries over 10 yards this season.
“He’s never a person, he’s just a guy making a good game, and then the next time around he wasn’t in the same position, or vice versa,” Phillips said. “That’s what makes it that when you’re playing great defense, that’s what makes it so fun, because it’s real team defense, and everyone can celebrate because even though your fullback is sitting in maybe an A-gap on a game this way it can’t bounce back to me. Or if the linebacker puts the edge on the outside, or one of our corners bounces, if he can’t cut on the outside, maybe he doesn’t make the play. But it’s a complete team affair. It’s just hard that they can capitalize on a guy who maybe has a bad game.