The Bills saw it coming, attacked it when they saw it and then gloated about it.
Buffalo's game plan against Jim Washburn's innovative "wide-nine" defensive front was executed to perfection. The Bills ran their star running back, Fred Jackson, into the ground while using him on an array of screens, shovel passes and whatever else they could exploit in the middle, which rarely had any Eagles defenders in or around it.
"We knew that with the running game, we'd be able to move the ball," Jackson said. "We felt like we were bigger and more physical at the line."
Jackson said he knew they could connect on shovel passes and screens. In other words, the Bills studied hard and knew exactly how to take advantage of the Eagles' struggling defense.
"It was something we wanted to take advantage of with them bringing that wide nine," Jackson said of the shovel pass. "Hats off to our coaches' scouting. They see things like that."
Like, for instance, to keep working the screen pass.
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"Again, wide nine's. They like to get up field and we knew as long as we could get that nine up field we could under him and be able to spring off it," Jackson said.
When all else failed, they pounded the rock with Jackson. The running back went for 196 total yards, including 111 on the ground.
"I mean, who didn't know that we were going to run the ball?," said Bills receeiver Stevie Johnson. "They've been exposed in the run game the entire season so we'd be foolish not to come out there and try to run all over that group. So, we did what the coaches told us to do."
Again, wide nine.
Is Washburn's defensive system innovative?
Or is it killing the Eagles?
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