7 observations from expenses win over Titans: Stefon Diggs’ unguardable tour continues - The Athletic

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The expenses and Titans recently performed their share of tightly contested and noteworthy primetime video games. however their most fresh battle on 'Monday night football' didn't qualify for that distinction.

This time the bills overwhelmed the Titans forty one-7, because the two groups are apparently heading in opposite instructions to begin the yr. The bills used a dominant third quarter to bring together an insurmountable lead en route to yet another blowout victory.

"we now have an angle of domination," bills protective end Von Miller observed. "We're now not playing to just win the game, we're taking part in the online game to dominate the game."

The bills at the moment are 2-0, looking every part the tremendous Bowl contenders oddsmakers pegged them to be coming into the usual season. So how did they put collectively a further finished victory on Monday?

here are seven observations from the expenses' victory over the Titans.

1. Stefon Diggs is unstoppable to start the yr

On an evening where the expenses didn't have Stefon Diggs' running mate Gabe Davis due to damage, a logical expectation would have been for the Titans to do every little thing in their power to make a person else beat their defense. It instantly grew to become obvious the Titans had no answers for Diggs because the expenses' superstar receiver raced out to yet another astounding video game. The Titans have been without true cornerback Kristian Fulton, and Diggs stored Titans starting cornerback Roger McCreary guessing each time the receiver ran a route at him. Diggs ran with goal, charging challenging in and out of breaks to maximise his separation versus man, after which did an excellent job uncovering right through the online game towards zone coverage as smartly. His efforts helped him right his gaudy numbers from Week 1 towards the Rams with even more dominance.

In that Week 1 showing, Diggs ran 26 routes on performs ending in a move effort or sack, and the bills centered him on 34.6 percent of those passes. towards the Titans, Diggs upped his game. He was on the container a lot more this week when it become nevertheless close (eighty two.eight % of snaps earlier than backups entered the online game in rubbish time), running a complete of 35 routes. Quarterback Josh Allen centered Diggs 14 times during the game, giving Diggs a ridiculous forty % target rate. That price doubles what is normally accepted as an excellent target share, extra cementing Diggs' superiority towards the Titans. Diggs additionally became electric powered after the seize, assisting him ordinary an mind-blowing four.23 yards per route run on a full video game's price of snaps.

Diggs has absolutely erased any lingering issue about his disappointing performance against the Chiefs in the playoffs. He brought his game lower back to tiers from the 2020 season, and we're seeing simply how dominant he can also be, with or devoid of Davis. once Davis returns to the lineup, the ripple effect from Diggs' incredible beginning to the season will open up opportunities for their explosive 2nd receiver. but that's down the road. On a night where he had the Titans' full consideration and the expenses' rushing attack couldn't get going, it didn't even matter. Diggs become unstoppable.

2. Josh Allen the WR elevator

Diggs doing what he did without Davis is a number one reason why the bills were in a position to race to one other blowout victory, however Allen also deserves a ton of credit score. The Titans knew Diggs would harm them probably the most, but Allen's manipulation of the defense, and the way he elevated his receiving alternatives after Diggs in choose moments helped push the expenses ahead. The bills went with a mishmash of receivers from snap to snap, nevertheless it didn't depend who turned into on the box. Allen disguised his authentic intentions lengthy satisfactory on most snaps to maximize a play to what the Titans' protection surrendered.

outside of Diggs, the different exact three receivers were NFL castoffs in a single manner or a different. Isaiah McKenzie changed into as soon as released by using a further crew, and didn't locate a great deal on the free agent market. Allen noticed a emptiness to the deep core and exploited the Titans protection by way of hitting McKenzie for a 28-yard benefit. Jamison Crowder drifted down the Jets' depth chart final season and signed a within your means contract with the expenses this offseason. On a 3rd-and-9 deep in bills territory, Allen rocketed a circulate into Crowder, where the accuracy turned into so on aspect it led the receiver to the first down and more on correct of it. And Jake Kumerow, a crowning jewel of an example who frolicked on practice squads a few seasons ago, ran free deep down the left sideline. Allen hit him perfectly in stride for the group's second largest benefit of the day, a 39-yard reception.

It's clear Allen is on a special stage over his last 4 appearances than we've considered from him before, however it's the manner he's doing it that's so striking. After two weeks and seeing how the leisure of the league is taking part in, Allen is the top-quality quarterback in the NFL at this time. There hasn't been a single protective tactic that has given him hindrance to this element, and it's a scary element to game plan for defensively. If he continues this style, he will smash each-season passing and offensive record the bills have ever had.

3. Why Kumerow, and is Crowder closing the gap on McKenzie? WR rotation without Gabe Davis

Heading into the season, both surefire issues we knew concerning the receiving group had been Diggs and Davis. however there has at all times been a lingering question about what it might appear to be if one among them needed to pass over time, and Monday offered up our first glimpse into the crew's considering. Davis played on essentially every snap towards the Rams, so the bills used four distinct receivers to help fill the Davis void in opposition t the Titans. right here is how the snap share looked earlier than the video game entered garbage time with the bills up 41-7.

bills WR snaps vs. Titans (pre-rubbish time)

player Snap count Snap %



forty five



forty three.6%





The obvious takeaway right here is that Kumerow turned into thrust into an enormous function. even more astonishing, Kumerow still played on 100% of the crew's core-4 particular groups snaps, so the expenses didn't lose anything on those reps both. The immediate cause of Kumerow getting that point in preference to McKenzie, Crowder or Khalil Shakir is that he's the greatest blockading receiver of the trio. but the operating video game didn't present a good deal as the game progressed, so it probably become the bills deferring to Kumerow as their suitable boundary choice as opposed to forcing the rookie Shakir into an even bigger than vital position in his first career game.

Now, some things could alter this method in the future. The expenses might also suppose greater relaxed with Shakir in future games as he provides extra event. The Davis harm additionally passed off on the ultimate possible moment for the expenses, so their game plan changed into well centered by that aspect. Kumerow might have been the path of least resistance as he'd been working with the primary-group offense all week. If the Davis injury came about during the first apply instead of the group's closing mild apply, it might have given the team greater time to prep Shakir for a much bigger function. The other element that may trade Kumerow because the accurate reserve boundary choice is if Diggs is the one who has to miss time. Kumerow is a much better healthy for the Davis role than the Diggs one, so that might open the door for a person else in the future.

past Kumerow, the usage of McKenzie and Crowder was particularly enjoyable. In non-garbage time instances, these two gamers had been on the box collectively on most effective three snaps, so it changed into continually a one-or-the-different circumstance. much less the three shared snaps, that dropped the snap counts to 21 for McKenzie and sixteen for Crowder. McKenzie's snap count number was larger against the Rams, which makes you ask yourself if here's drifting even closer to a 50-50 break up. unlike the summer time, there hasn't been a substantial difference between the two gamers, and Crowder's consistency has apparently caught up to McKenzie's flashes of massive plays. It's a fine issue to have for the bills as a result of both will also be productive, but if the Week 2 snaps are any indication, Crowder can be pushing McKenzie.

four. The job of the protective tackles can not be understated

The id of the Titans is Derrick Henry and their working game, which put a massive emphasis on the expenses gamers up the core. That began with the protecting tackles, however with out Ed Oliver and Tim Settle available because of harm it made a tricky assignment a bit of greater daunting. The bills referred to as up apply squad protecting tackles Brandin Bryant and C.J. Brewer to fill the void and join starters DaQuan Jones and Jordan Phillips. Between the 4 of them, they were dominant on the line of scrimmage and were a key reason Henry and the Titans dashing attack couldn't get anything centered. here is a glance at how the Titans fared towards each of the protective tackles.

bills DTs vs. Titans run game (pre-rubbish time)

participant Yards Per attempt makes an attempt against Yards against













Bryant is the precise standout there. He turned into one of the most last players the expenses cut from the 53-man roster but made it through waivers and they retained him for the practice squad. Their religion in him was rewarded with a superb video game. Jones and Phillips have been also each amazing and dominated their matchups up entrance. but they weren't obtainable on my own, so what were the optimum defensive handle combos towards Henry?

bills DT pairings vs. Titans run game (pre-garbage time)

Weirdly sufficient, the Jones and Phillips mixture yielded the 2d-optimum yards per elevate standard, but 3.5 is still a good determine. as soon as again, it's Bryant standing out right here. The Titans averaged zero yards or less in two of his three protecting handle combos. They simplest won tremendous yardage when Bryant paired with Brewer, an undrafted rookie.

it's price stating the Titans' offensive line is straight away becoming one of the crucial worst in the league. Their beginning guards are an argument, they misplaced left handle Taylor Lewan to an in-game damage and they're additionally starting a third-round rookie at right address. however to the expenses' credit, they dominated all evening and didn't enable Henry to turn into an element.

5. Edmunds steps as much as the challenge

With the expenses' defensive tackle neighborhood missing a few key pieces, core linebacker Tremaine Edmunds needed to step up his online game and aid keep the Titans' speeding attack at bay. Edmunds needed to get away from blocks enhanced than he had the previous week against the Rams, or else Henry would have found some success on the 2nd level. Edmunds brought as charged up a run-defending and normal game as we've seen from him in recent appearances. He become reacting and getting downhill without delay, sensing opportunities for large plays alongside the manner. The tackle information weren't there, but that doesn't take faraway from his run defending. He became a crucial piece in jamming up the running lanes for complete group tackles.

On exact of the run defending, Edmunds chipped in a sack on a blitz and tipped a pass that ended in an interception. As a free agent at the conclusion of the 12 months, these have an effect on games make the group's determination on him so compelling. both teammates and coaches extremely regard Edmunds, however that doesn't mean he's a slam dunk to come previous 2022. If Edmunds makes this degree of play his new regular, the bills would have difficulty justifying letting him walk out the door.

6. DE snaps and splits with all five active

unlike their Week 1 win over the Rams after they made defensive end Shaq Lawson inactive, the expenses determined to have all five protecting ends on their roster active in opposition t the Titans. That blanketed Von Miller, Greg Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa, Boogie Basham and Lawson, and with a 5-person rotation comes the curiosity as to how they would divvy things up when the video game remains aggressive. Of direction, this game became into a blowout in the third quarter, which altered the snap counts, however the effects before garbage time started are noteworthy. The largest question is how Lawson's presence would have an effect on the snaps of Epenesa and Basham. including how regularly they lined up on a particular side, here are the utilization numbers for all 5 avid gamers.

bills DEs snaps & roles (pre-garbage time)

player Snap % DE Snaps LDE Snaps RDE Snaps





















As we will see, Lawson definitely had no influence on Rousseau or Epenesa. Lawson's snaps basically got here at the expense of Basham chiefly else. each Lawson and Basham lined up at left protective end well-nigh solely before garbage time started. Epenesa's function because the top reserve correct protective conclusion went basically unchallenged.

One other enjoyable piece become Miller cracking the 80 % mark of snaps. It's atypical for many defenses run by train Sean McDermott and protecting coordinator Leslie Frazier, however's been the norm for Miller throughout his profession. That snap percentage when the online game become nonetheless competitive is higher than what Miller played in opposition t the Rams, so it's whatever thing to song relocating ahead.

7. The working video game is the susceptible hyperlink in the intervening time

As dominant as the expenses have been during the game on both sides of the ball, the rushing attack became non-existent unless the contest became neatly in hand. Starter Devin Singletary become their most beneficial runner, but that isn't asserting a lot. earlier than the bills all started to run the clock on the conclusion of the online game, Singletary had sixteen yards on 5 consists of. Zack Moss and James prepare dinner brought 4 carries and nil yards of their own. The bills' offensive line wasn't getting any push against the Titans, which is a just a little concerning attribute relocating ahead because it may decrease how unpredictable the offense is to preserve. It obtained so dangerous that offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey essentially abandoned the circulate altogether.

After the expenses grew to become the ball over on downs within the first quarter, there were a total of 35 offensive plays earlier than the bills took a 41-7 lead. five of those 35 performs have been penalties. Of the 30 remaining plays, the bills referred to as a move play on 27 of them — a flow to run split of ninety to 10 percent. To Dorsey and the bills' credit score, they simply leaned in on what was working rather than attempting to drive the difficulty with the speeding online game. It labored this week, however this situation will seemingly need repair moving ahead due to coaching choice. McDermott has wired the need to be as multi-faceted on offense as feasible, and that 30-play stretch is the contrary of what the head instruct always covets.

bills MVP: WR Stefon Diggs – He turned into unguardable; the 12 catches for 148 yards and three touchdowns are video online game numbers.

expenses LVP: Late-video game injuries – The bills watched as beginning safety Micah Hyde (neck), linebacker Matt Milano (stinger) and defensive handle Jordan Phillips (hamstring) all left the game with an injury while the online game turned into neatly in hand.

Up subsequent: The bills hit the street for one of the most premier games on the Week 3 time table, a showdown with the explosive 2-0 Miami Dolphins.

final techniques:

For the 2d week in a row, the bills didn't go away any room for interpretation. The handiest difference this time became that they should have beaten this version of the Titans fairly handily if the expenses had been pretty much as good as marketed. The Titans group they defeated on Monday is a much cry from the community that captured the No. 1 seed within the AFC remaining season. inspite of that talent disparity, the bills completed the mission and added some style aspects for the blowout win.

This expenses group has steamrolled through their first two opponents, but things are about to get rather daunting over the subsequent 4 weeks. With highway video games in opposition t the Dolphins (Week 3), Ravens (Week 4) and Chiefs (Week 6) on the manner, we're likely to be trained if the bills can win the close contests. We be aware of they could pad early leads with a brilliant second half. They've mastered that. however now, this 12 months's group has to study coping with the in-online game drive in the fourth quarter. even if it's dealing with a deficit and arising with a landing late in the online game or inserting away the competition with a key protective stop, that's the subsequent element the bills have to get acclimated with ahead of their reputedly inevitable playoff chase this season. regardless of what's next, the bills couldn't have requested for a more robust birth to their season.

(excellent image of Stefon Diggs: Gregory Fisher / u . s . today)

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