Like almost every NFL defense, the Bills play a variety of fronts every week. But they have gradually transitioned to a 4-3 the last few games. After their bye week, the team used the 4-3 almost exclusively as their base defense against the Ravens.
The Bills gave up 200 yards rushing three straight weeks before the bye, so coach Chan Gailey said he made the move out of necessity. The problem is that Buffalo’s season was basically over before the switch was made. The Bills have given up 30 points in five straight games for the first time in franchise history.
“I’ll be honest with you, this is one of the toughest seasons I’ve had
as a pro, just because of the transition,” said defensive end/linebacker Chris Kelsay. “I’m still
optimistic about it, but it shows that it’s going to take a little bit
This is what we were talking about when we said a few weeks the Bills lacked a coherent organizational vision, and couldn’t stick to one plan. The problem here was the plan itself: Buffalo’s defense was respectable; they competed hard. Their pass defense was excellent. It was a lightweight, fast defense that didn’t have a lot of logical 3-4 pieces.
The shame of it all is that coach Chan Gailey has begun to turn around the Buffalo offense into an exciting, productive group. But his decision to shoehorn a defensive system that doesn’t fit his personnel helped torpedo the Bills season before it started.