Sep 29, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (99) celebrates a interception by middle linebacker Kiko Alonso (50) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat Ravens 23 to 20. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) fumbles the ball as he is sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (95( and defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger recovered the fumble. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Last season the Buffalo Bills defense blitzed a lot!  Although I loved to watch the Bills bring different packages and players time and time again, it doesn’t mean they were always efficient in what they did. In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, Nathan Jahnke detailed all 32 teams blitz productivity and the numbers were kind of shocking to me.

By no surprise Buffalo was 4th last season in blitz percentage. The Bills defense faced 645 drop backs and blitzed 245 times, overall they blitzed 38.83% of the time. Now, for me this doesn’t seem like a mind blowing number. However, what seems crazy to me is that Buffalo was more productive when they didn’t blitz. In Nathan’s article the Bills were first in pass rushing productivity without blitzing (See chart below).

Rank

Team

Drop-backs

Sacks

Hits

Hurries

PRP

1

BUF

386

32

32

81

30.2

2

SL

428

34

39

83

29.3

3

SEA

571

28

50

135

29.2

4

CAR

499

32

45

106

29.1

5

HST

288

15

27

64

28.9

 

Yes, Buffalo was even better than a defense like the Seahawks or the Texans. One of the reasons for the success was Buffalo had four guys that truly seemed to fit well in Pettine’s scheme. Those four guys were Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus.

However, with Buffalo doing so well with only bringing four guys I would have thought they would have been even more productive bringing an extra guy or two to the party. As you can see below that Buffalo didn’t even make the top ten in pass rushing productivity while blitzing.

Rank

Team

Drop-backs

Sacks

Hits

Hurries

PRP

1

SEA

155

19

20

43

42.7

2

CAR

178

28

20

43

42.3

3

WAS

185

18

24

51

40.1

4

TB

170

18

26

40

39.7

5

SF

145

16

19

36

39.5

6

MIA

234

18

38

60

39.1

7

DET

115

9

20

28

39.1

8

KC

204

18

19

61

38.2

9

DEN

229

16

23

69

37.1

10

CIN

172

22

20

35

36.8

11

TEN

198

14

20

58

36.6

12

ARZ

342

29

53

75

36.5

13

NE

195

21

22

45

36.5

14

BUF

245

26

20

62

35.7

By no means did Buffalo do bad when they brought an extra guy it just means other teams were more productive at it. Everyone seemed to love the blitz schemes last year but this year Schwartz will most likely take a more conservative approach. Either way if the blitz productivity is anything like it was in 2013 we are in for another good year.

 

*All information and stats came from Pro Football Focus

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