SHOWDOWN ON MNF: Pats vs. Bills pregame thread

Aug 9, 2015
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This feels like one of those games where weird stuff is going to happen, and the wind will make luck a much bigger factor than normal. Someone is going to try and float a little screen pass that only has to go 3 yards, but it will end up in the arms of a linebacker, or something. extreme weather just feels like a variance multiplier that makes prediction hard, but probably also benefits the team that is stouter in the trenches. Definitely makes Allen's ability to run more valuable, though.
I think there will be turnovers by both sides and it’ll come down to where those happen on the field (even more so than normal). Maybe they should, but the Bills just don’t scare me very much. I think Pats will take away the big plays and force Allen to fire short, accurate passes or for the Bills to run the ball. Wouldn’t be surprised if Mac fires a few long ones when going downwind just to keep the secondary honest.
 

SMU_Sox

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You know the whole using 6 OL looks a lot more likely with the conditions…
 

DJnVa

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Definitely makes Allen's ability to run more valuable, though.
His running threat is predicated on the ability to potentially hit a big play in the passing game. Might not be quite as dangerous tonight.
 

SteveF

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Lazar made an interesting point with respect to the 6 O-line... The Bills don't roster enough big bodies to handle it. They play a lot of 4-2-5 (like...95% of their snaps) with those smallish edge rushers. So you might see 6 O-Line again in 2 weeks even in calm conditions.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Lazar made an interesting point with respect to the 6 O-line... The Bills don't roster enough big bodies to handle it. They play a lot of 4-2-5 (like...95% of their snaps) with those smallish edge rushers. So you might see 6 O-Line again in 2 weeks even in calm conditions.
You have to think, though BUF has refused to adjust v TEN, IND, and now NE, that someone will smash the playbook over McDermott’s head in the hopes he will wake up and start trotting out heavier personnel against run oriented offenses.

They are a ‘we play how we play’ team defensively. Though it would be pretty damn funny if they roll out in three weeks and get destroyed on play action and spread.
 

SMU_Sox

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I think @Big McCorkle deserves some credit too for the idea - I was a little skeptical they would use a ton of it but then I saw the goal posts shaking from the wind and felt like it was inevitable. To be fair I thought they might use it like 25-30% of the time max. I was stunned they stuck with it the whole time. But even Josh Allen who has a cannon and knows how to throw in bad conditions had issues all night. Bills had 4.1 yards per attempt. I’m on the fence on how much you can take from this game for next time. I do think they will use 6 OL and run it on 3rd and shorts against them as they have done this season. But will they use it more than 5-10% of the time? Don’t think it’s likely. Not ruling it out but being one dimensional is not a recipe for success… usually that is. If it’s another windy wet game then all bets are off.
 

JerBear

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I think @Big McCorkle deserves some credit too for the idea - I was a little skeptical they would use a ton of it but then I saw the goal posts shaking from the wind and felt like it was inevitable. To be fair I thought they might use it like 25-30% of the time max. I was stunned they stuck with it the whole time. But even Josh Allen who has a cannon and knows how to throw in bad conditions had issues all night. Bills had 4.1 yards per attempt. I’m on the fence on how much you can take from this game for next time. I do think they will use 6 OL and run it on 3rd and shorts against them as they have done this season. But will they use it more than 5-10% of the time? Don’t think it’s likely. Not ruling it out but being one dimensional is not a recipe for success… usually that is. If it’s another windy wet game then all bets are off.
At least once I think they'll run it out and the 6th OL is leaking out for a reception.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I'm not sure about 6 OL, but if we know anything about BB, it's that he's willing to stick with what's working.

Hey Colts - remember 2 months ago when we ran the ball 44 times for 250 yards? Yeah, were going to run it 40 times again in the playoffs.
 

tims4wins

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I'm not sure about 6 OL, but if we know anything about BB, it's that he's willing to stick with what's working.

Hey Colts - remember 2 months ago when we ran the ball 44 times for 250 yards? Yeah, were going to run it 40 times again in the playoffs.
I remember on Do Your Job they asked Gug (Dave DeGuglielmo ) if it was a "similar" approach in the playoff game... and his response was something like "no, I would say it was the exact same approach".

Edit: 14:57 mark. "I don't think it was the same general approach. It was the SAME approach"

View: https://youtu.be/JdnWmKnUcWg?t=897
 

BaseballJones

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Well Buffalo didn’t miss Tre’Davious White last night, that’s for sure. They might the next time these two teams play, though.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think @Big McCorkle deserves some credit too for the idea - I was a little skeptical they would use a ton of it but then I saw the goal posts shaking from the wind and felt like it was inevitable. To be fair I thought they might use it like 25-30% of the time max. I was stunned they stuck with it the whole time. But even Josh Allen who has a cannon and knows how to throw in bad conditions had issues all night. Bills had 4.1 yards per attempt. I’m on the fence on how much you can take from this game for next time. I do think they will use 6 OL and run it on 3rd and shorts against them as they have done this season. But will they use it more than 5-10% of the time? Don’t think it’s likely. Not ruling it out but being one dimensional is not a recipe for success… usually that is. If it’s another windy wet game then all bets are off.
I was thinking that the next game will be different, since it won't be in a tundra. Then I noticed that it's on December 26 in Foxboro. So it might not be a tundra, but it might.
 

SMU_Sox

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I was thinking that the next game will be different, since it won't be in a tundra. Then I noticed that it's on December 26 in Foxboro. So it might not be a tundra, but it might.
Yeah and that's what I was thinking - it could be a cold and windy day in New England too. I was concerned about Mac's arm in bad weather games coming into last draft. I was hoping to see Mac pass last night to get a look at how he does when it is cold and windy but the wind was so much worse than normal bad wind that it made it impossible to test that out. When Josh Allen's quick out route throws are moving 2-3 yards off course and his deep balls are getting blown around what chance would a weaker armed QB have? I don't think people realize the difference in arm strength with some of the top arms with that trait vs Mac. Now arm strength is an overrated trait but in bad weather games with wind it really shines. I do think had they fallen behind we would have seen more throws - and once they did all out run blitzes they finally conceded the approach because they were going to LOSE field position by running. I think the info graphic had the Patriots at 4% 6OL going into the game. I wouldn't be surprised to see another game in normal circumstances where they use (and I am just estimating here) 8% 6OL against the Bills with a FB but no TEs. They probably would counter with single high and load the box and then the Patriots could max protect and run 2 WRs to high low the deep safety or try and bang it through anyway (with max protect you might see a RB checkdown route as well). Just brainstorming. I am excited for the rematch.
 
Aug 9, 2015
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Yeah and that's what I was thinking - it could be a cold and windy day in New England too. I was concerned about Mac's arm in bad weather games coming into last draft. I was hoping to see Mac pass last night to get a look at how he does when it is cold and windy but the wind was so much worse than normal bad wind that it made it impossible to test that out. When Josh Allen's quick out route throws are moving 2-3 yards off course and his deep balls are getting blown around what chance would a weaker armed QB have? I don't think people realize the difference in arm strength with some of the top arms with that trait vs Mac. Now arm strength is an overrated trait but in bad weather games with wind it really shines. I do think had they fallen behind we would have seen more throws - and once they did all out run blitzes they finally conceded the approach because they were going to LOSE field position by running. I think the info graphic had the Patriots at 4% 6OL going into the game. I wouldn't be surprised to see another game in normal circumstances where they use (and I am just estimating here) 8% 6OL against the Bills with a FB but no TEs. They probably would counter with single high and load the box and then the Patriots could max protect and run 2 WRs to high low the deep safety or try and bang it through anyway (with max protect you might see a RB checkdown route as well). Just brainstorming. I am excited for the rematch.
What do you think of them not running at least a few play actions? With a nine or even a ten man box, I found that surprising. Wouldn’t have been a very high risk play, even with the wind.
 

Cotillion

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What do you think of them not running at least a few play actions? With a nine or even a ten man box, I found that surprising. Wouldn’t have been a very high risk play, even with the wind.
I think people are underestimating the risk of throws in that wind. We saw how much the ball turned sideways and almost got blown into a Pick-6 for one of the strongest armed QB's in the league, and then got blown again almost into a pick.
 

tims4wins

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What do you think of them not running at least a few play actions? With a nine or even a ten man box, I found that surprising. Wouldn’t have been a very high risk play, even with the wind.
Wasn’t the Jonnu catch on play action? It was almost a disaster despite it coming after however many runs to start the game.

Edit or what @Cotillion said.
 
Aug 9, 2015
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Wasn’t the Jonnu catch on play action? It was almost a disaster despite it coming after however many runs to start the game.

Edit or what @Cotillion said.
I think they started with 10 runs, threw that pass, and then ran 32 consecutive run plays. I am not saying there was no risk, just that they could have schemed a relatively low risk/high reward play given how many Bills were crashing the line. Maybe Mac’s second throw (the incompletion to Agohlor) had that idea in mind and just didn’t hit.
 

cshea

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I thought an opportunity to throw was on the 1st and 10 from the 11 to start the 4th quarter. A TD there would've been a kill shot, wind was in their favor, and they had run it like 30 plays in a row. I thought they could've tried a play action and sent Henry or Smith up the seam and if it wasn't there, Mac launches it over their heads and out the back of the end zone.
 

Red Averages

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I thought an opportunity to throw was on the 1st and 10 from the 11 to start the 4th quarter. A TD there would've been a kill shot, wind was in their favor, and they had run it like 30 plays in a row. I thought they could've tried a play action and sent Henry or Smith up the seam and if it wasn't there, Mac launches it over their heads and out the back of the end zone.
I wonder if the plan was to run on 1st and 10 and get the ball closer to the 7 yard line (Pats had been moving the ball VERY well on that drive, so a 4 yard gain isn't too bold) and then do the play action on 2nd. Once the first play got blown up, they continued the super conservative calling. Total speculation, but you'd think passing it only really makes sense if you're trying to pick up ~6-8 yards when 10+ can be so hard to come by.
 

Cellar-Door

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In fairness though, It was also almost a touchdown.
Sure, but if you get everything you could possibly want, and it takes an incredible catch to get a short gain, it tells you something. Mac missed that throw by a good 10 feet or more. You can't count on the guy being so wide open that a bad throw isn't gonna get picked on every passing play.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Sure, but if you get everything you could possibly want, and it takes an incredible catch to get a short gain, it tells you something. Mac missed that throw by a good 10 feet or more. You can't count on the guy being so wide open that a bad throw isn't gonna get picked on every passing play.
10 feet? Seriously? I didn't realize Jonnu Smith was 15 feet tall.

If he hits Jonnu anywhere where he doesn't have to jump, Jonnu has an easy 25 yard gain, and only the safety to beat. The throw was off by 3 feet. Unless you think Jonnu was more than 40 inches off the ground when he caught it.
 

Cellar-Door

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10 feet? Seriously? I didn't realize Jonnu Smith was 15 feet tall.

If he hits Jonnu anywhere where he doesn't have to jump, Jonnu has an easy 25 yard gain, and only the safety to beat. The throw was off by 3 feet. Unless you think Jonnu was more than 40 inches off the ground when he caught it.
View: https://twitter.com/MarkSchofield/status/1468227408625127429


The ball is supposed to be in front of him somewhere between the waist and the shoulders so he can catch it in stride and turn up the field... instead he has to stutterstep to a halt leap and reach back. 10 feet is generous for where Mac is trying to put that.
Even if you think he;s supposed to stop (he isn't) it's off by more than 3 feet, he jumps and catches the ball at full arm extension over his head. Jonnu Smith is 6'4" with 33" arms and a 38" vertical. Now I doubt he got the full 38 there, but he got a good chunk of it, plus the extension of those arms. That's about as big a miss as you'll see of a wide open pass with no real pressure. That Mac who is usually incredibly accurate missed by that much pretty clearly made up the mind of McDaniels and Bill that they weren't throwing until necessary.
 

Deathofthebambino

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View: https://twitter.com/MarkSchofield/status/1468227408625127429


The ball is supposed to be in front of him somewhere between the waist and the shoulders so he can catch it in stride and turn up the field... instead he has to stutterstep to a halt leap and reach back. 10 feet is generous for where Mac is trying to put that.
Even if you think he;s supposed to stop (he isn't) it's off by more than 3 feet, he jumps and catches the ball at full arm extension over his head. Jonnu Smith is 6'4" with 33" arms and a 38" vertical. Now I doubt he got the full 38 there, but he got a good chunk of it, plus the extension of those arms. That's about as big a miss as you'll see of a wide open pass with no real pressure. That Mac who is usually incredibly accurate missed by that much pretty clearly made up the mind of McDaniels and Bill that they weren't throwing until necessary.
Go back to the post I was responding to. They wrote "It was almost a disaster despite it coming after however many runs to start the game."

I didn't realize we now quantified an incomplete pass as a potential disaster. Because there was virtually no chance of that ball being intercepted, which would have been a disaster. I stand by my position that it was as close to being a touchdown as it was to being a disaster. And the commentator in that video is also talking about that like it was a short throw. It wasn't in the context of that game. He calls it a "5 yard throw to the flat." Umm, Mac releases that on his own 26, and Jonnu makes the leaping catch around the 42, so the ball traveled 16 or so yards in the air, so of the almost 50 feet it travelled, if that ball is 3 feet lower, Jonnu pretty much wouldn't have to jump, he turns upfield, and if Meyers makes a block, Jonnu is staring at a safety with one chance to make the tackle.

The play gained 12 yards. It's like we're saying this was some huge unnecessary risk for a short gain, and that's what I'm taking issue with.
 

Red Averages

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Random post, but wasn't sure where to put it:

Does anyone know the flex rules? I'm going to the Bills @ Patriots game on 12/26 and trying to figure out if that game is expected to be flexed (would it be to 4pm or 8pm?) and when that might be announced. Looks like Bal @ Cinci is another somewhat compelling 1pm game and the current SNF game is Was @ DAL.

Thanks!
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Random post, but wasn't sure where to put it:

Does anyone know the flex rules? I'm going to the Bills @ Patriots game on 12/26 and trying to figure out if that game is expected to be flexed (would it be to 4pm or 8pm?) and when that might be announced. Looks like Bal @ Cinci is another somewhat compelling 1pm game and the current SNF game is Was @ DAL.

Thanks!
They can do it up to 12 days in advance. If they do flex, I strongly suspect Bills-Pats does gets moved to Sunday night. I don't think they'd put it into the 4pm window as Chiefs-Steelers is already a marquee AFC game there.

There does seem like a decent chance they stick with WAS-DAL though, especially if the WFT remains in the playoff hunt. DAL has a huge TV audience and an NFC East divisional game between two playoff contenders has legit appeal.
 

E5 Yaz

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They can do it up to 12 days in advance. I strongly suspect Bills-Pats does get flexed to Sunday night. I don't think they'd put it into the 4pm window as Chiefs-Steelers is already a marquee AFC game there.
I doubt it. CBS already lost the first matchup to ESPN. They'd raise holy hell if the rematch went to NBC
 

Cellar-Door

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Go back to the post I was responding to. They wrote "It was almost a disaster despite it coming after however many runs to start the game."

I didn't realize we now quantified an incomplete pass as a potential disaster. Because there was virtually no chance of that ball being intercepted, which would have been a disaster. I stand by my position that it was as close to being a touchdown as it was to being a disaster. And the commentator in that video is also talking about that like it was a short throw. It wasn't in the context of that game. He calls it a "5 yard throw to the flat." Umm, Mac releases that on his own 26, and Jonnu makes the leaping catch around the 42, so the ball traveled 16 or so yards in the air, so of the almost 50 feet it travelled, if that ball is 3 feet lower, Jonnu pretty much wouldn't have to jump, he turns upfield, and if Meyers makes a block, Jonnu is staring at a safety with one chance to make the tackle.

The play gained 12 yards. It's like we're saying this was some huge unnecessary risk for a short gain, and that's what I'm taking issue with.
Maybe not on the "potential disaster" but you are definitely minimizing how concerning that play had to be for the coaching staff. Yes it SHOULD have been a potential TD, but it wasn't because of the throw.

I don't think this particular one was a huge risk because it was WIDE open, and my post mentions that it was just about the ideal play call and route/defense response... it also had to be because Mac threw a ball well behind and much higher than he intended, and that was likely because of wind. That should be the easiest throw in the world for Mac, it's a 5-7 yard out pattern with no defender within 10 yards, and no pressure.

I think what people are pointing out is... that's not a very deep pass, it SAILED and was off by a huge margin from where Mac wanted to put it (he wants that to hit a running Jonnu in stride, he had to stop, leap and reach back, that isn't just several feet higher than where he wanted it, but also several feet to the left). If I'm Josh and I see that I shut it down in terms of passing unless absolutely necessary, because most times a guy isn't going to be so wide open that a throw that far off target doesn't have high pick potential, and there aren't a ton of routes that are going to have much easier throws than that. you can't call pass plays where the only option is a slant, if a 5 yard out isn't a throw that's on the table, you're really limited. I look at BUF, with their much stronger armed QB,and needing to throw to make up a deficit, he had two throws drift right into potential pick 6s, and they just decided, they were only going to throw one direction and have him throw rockets directly into the wind, Mac can't do that, and even that is risky if you get a gust or a swirl.

The Patriots used that Jonnu play to explore what Mac's throws in the wind would look like, didn't like what they saw and shut it down.


Edit- actually re-watching the tape above, pause at 40 sec. there was some disaster potential, Jonnu touches that a good what... 9.5 feet above the ground on the 41/42, that safety coming across the 51 might have a shot at it if it goes over, depending on how much it's trailing inside or to the sideline.
 

tims4wins

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Maybe not on the "potential disaster" but you are definitely minimizing how concerning that play had to be for the coaching staff. Yes it SHOULD have been a potential TD, but it wasn't because of the throw.

I don't think this particular one was a huge risk because it was WIDE open, and my post mentions that it was just about the ideal play call and route/defense response... it also had to be because Mac threw a ball well behind and much higher than he intended, and that was likely because of wind. That should be the easiest throw in the world for Mac, it's a 5-7 yard out pattern with no defender within 10 yards, and no pressure.

I think what people are pointing out is... that's not a very deep pass, it SAILED and was off by a huge margin from where Mac wanted to put it (he wants that to hit a running Jonnu in stride, he had to stop, leap and reach back, that isn't just several feet higher than where he wanted it, but also several feet to the left). If I'm Josh and I see that I shut it down in terms of passing unless absolutely necessary, because most times a guy isn't going to be so wide open that a throw that far off target doesn't have high pick potential, and there aren't a ton of routes that are going to have much easier throws than that. you can't call pass plays where the only option is a slant, if a 5 yard out isn't a throw that's on the table, you're really limited. I look at BUF, with their much stronger armed QB,and needing to throw to make up a deficit, he had two throws drift right into potential pick 6s, and they just decided, they were only going to throw one direction and have him throw rockets directly into the wind, Mac can't do that, and even that is risky if you get a gust or a swirl.

The Patriots used that Jonnu play to explore what Mac's throws in the wind would look like, didn't like what they saw and shut it down.
Great post, totally agree.
 

joe dokes

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I think what people are pointing out is... that's not a very deep pass, it SAILED and was off by a huge margin from where Mac wanted to put it (he wants that to hit a running Jonnu in stride, he had to stop, leap and reach back, that isn't just several feet higher than where he wanted it, but also several feet to the left). If I'm Josh and I see that I shut it down in terms of passing unless absolutely necessary, because most times a guy isn't going to be so wide open that a throw that far off target doesn't have high pick potential, and there aren't a ton of routes that are going to have much easier throws than that. you can't call pass plays where the only option is a slant, if a 5 yard out isn't a throw that's on the table, you're really limited. I look at BUF, with their much stronger armed QB,and needing to throw to make up a deficit, he had two throws drift right into potential pick 6s, and they just decided, they were only going to throw one direction and have him throw rockets directly into the wind, Mac can't do that, and even that is risky if you get a gust or a swirl.

The Patriots used that Jonnu play to explore what Mac's throws in the wind would look like, didn't like what they saw and shut it down.
It was that throw to Smith that made me say to my cat, "The *only* place they should even consider throwing is to the back half of the end zone, where an overthrow is in the stands."
 

Cotillion

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I think they even got spooked at how much the ball moved on that first toss to Harris (?). It was a short 3-5 yard toss, and it was a bit of butt clencher with how much it moved.

Cause one of the easiest ways to beat a stacked box in tight, is to just toss it out wide as quick as possible. Note the Pats rarely did it in that game.

There was a reason, and it's not just "McDaniels SUCKS!!!!"