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Bills Today: Wood hones in on fixing pass protection

Posted Nov 22, 2017

Here's the Bills news of note for Nov. 22nd.

1 - Wood hones in on fixing pass protection
The Bills first half against the Chargers was filled with costly turnovers. Some may be quick to criticize rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, but his offensive line didn’t offer much support on Sunday.

Buffalo’s center, Eric Wood, made his weekly appearance on WGR 550 on Monday to discuss what happened.

“You go into a road game like that, with a first-time starter, we have to be better around him,” said Wood. “That was kind of my thing on Monday. I told him that. Obviously he takes a lot of responsibility and he’s definitely disappointed. My message to him was we also need to be a lot better around you.” 

The Chargers two edge defenders, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, were quick to Buffalo’s backfield on Sunday. Bosa had four of the team’s five quarterback hits and also added a strip sack. Ingram recorded one tackle for a loss and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Bills offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison, mentioned Bosa and Ingram during Monday’s press conference.

“They have two really good football players on the edge,” Dennison said. “We inhale that, and certainly, there are a few things that we need to focus on and get better at. That’s what we’re evaluating now.”

The Bills have allowed the ninth-most sacks (29) in the NFL this season. Whether it’s Peterman or Tyrod Taylor behind center, Buffalo’s offensive line has to ease the pressure on them. 

2 - Defense looking to limit opponents top targets
In the past, Buffalo’s defense has made a habit of not allowing 100-yard receivers. That’s changed during the team’s defensive slide over the previous three games. Leslie Frazier’s unit will look to reestablish their identity moving forward.

The latest culprit to plague Buffalo’s secondary was Kennan Allen of the Chargers. On Sunday he tallied 12 receptions for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

“Right. Yeah, with Keenan Allen, who’s a very good receiver, you like to limit his catches,” Frazier said. “Not going to always limit the targets, but the opportunities to catch the football, you like to limit those.”

Prior to Week Five of this season, the Bills went 11 straight games without allowing a 100-yard receiver. At the time, the streak stretched back to Nov. 7, 2016.

The 11-game streak was snapped against the Cincinnati Bengals. A.J. Green recorded seven receptions for 189 yards and one touchdown. Since that game, the Bills have struggled to limit opponents top targets.

In Week 10, the Saints Michael Thomas reeled in nine receptions for 117 yards. And then a week later Allen of the Chargers had his enormous game. 

“We’ve got to get tighter coverage on the top guys and just try to do a better job all the way around,” said Frazier.

This Sunday, Buffalo will be in Kansas City to face the Chiefs. Their tight end, Travis Kelce, ranks first in receiving yards (738) at his position. The Chiefs number-one receiver, Tyreek Hill, isn’t far behind with 685 yards. The Bills secondary will have to sharpen up if they want to avoid a Week 12 slip-up. 

3 - Dawkins named to PFF team of the week
The Bills starting left tackle, Cordy Glenn, has been sidelined for the past two games. In his absence, rookie Dion Dawkins has filled in admirably.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dawkins was graded the third-highest tackle in Week 10 against the Saints. He backed that up in Week 11 against the Chargers, being elected to the Team of the Week. Sam Monson of PFF broke down Dawkins’ remarkable game.

Dion Dawkins allowed three total pressures this week against the league’s best pass-rush duo. The Chargers pass-rush duo was able to generate huge plays all game long against the Bills, but most of the damage came from the other side of the line.

Dawkins at left tackle surrendered three total pressures despite 45 snaps in pass protection from two different quarterbacks, going up against the best pass-rush duo in the league in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Dawkins also made a few key blocks to spring Buffalo run plays.

Buffalo will return to the practice field on Wednesday. We’ll see if Glenn can get out there for the first time in two weeks. If not, Dawkins will hold it down on the left side again on Sunday.

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