1. Slow down Buffalo’s passing attack
This is something that they have struggled to do for the past couple of seasons, especially after Buffalo added Stefon Diggs. In the two games against the Buffalo Bills last year, the Miami Dolphins allowed 803 yards, 8 touchdowns, and a 127.8 QBR. That is a rough stat line and you can’t win football games like that.
I won’t say they need to shut down this passing attack completely, but they can’t be giving up huge chunk plays against this Bills team. That begs the question, how can they go about slowing down this passing attack?
Well Miami is well established as being a man and blitz heavy defense. For most opponents, it is extremely effective. Against the Bills, it has not. Last year they rushed at least five players on 45% of passing snaps against Buffalo and dropped into man coverage 56% of those plays. You’ve already heard the results-they weren’t good.
What can we learn from Buffalo’s week one opponent? Well, quite a lot actually. Like the Miami Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers tend to run a lot of man coverage and blitz at a really high rate-this is their defensive identity.
Except against Buffalo in week one, that wasn’t what they did. On 56 drop backs, the Pittsburgh Steelers brought more than four rushers a total of four times. That is a 7% blitz rate which is well below their 40% average in 2020. They let their front four players rush the passer and dropped back into zone coverage.
Using this strategy, they held the Buffalo Bills passing attack to just 270 yards and one touchdown on 56 drop-backs. That is good for 5.3 yards per attempt which ranked 28th among all starting quarterbacks in week one.
How Miami attacks this offense will be worth monitoring in week two and if they can slow down Josh Allen, that will go a long way towards securing victory.
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