Chicago Bears: Bills weakness calls for Tarik Cohen
Tarik Cohen can take advantage of the Buffalo Bills weakness in pass coverage to running backs
The Buffalo Bills defense is not a joke. They have been a tough out every week at home regardless of how lifeless their offense is. Do not expect the Chicago Bears to walk in and put up points while blowing out the lifeless offense. It could be tough sledding.
However, when dissecting the Buffalo Bills defense, they do have a weakness when it comes to receptions to the running back. They rank 26th in passing efficiency to the running back. They rank 18th in success rate allowed to running backs.
One of the issues has been Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds has had a fine rookie season. However, anyone who studied Edmunds and compared him to Roquan Smith during the draft process would know that Edmunds was much rawer in his overall skill set compared to Smith.
Where that has shown is in coverage against running backs. Teams are 32-37 when targeting Edmunds in coverage this season. While he has intercepted two of the five passes he knocked away, he also has allowed two touchdowns. Edmunds has allowed 11.1 yards per target and a 108 passer rating.
Take this play for example. The Chargers ran play action near the goal line. It got the young and eager Edmunds to bite. While he was able to use his athleticism to recover, he was breaking back, while Melvin Gordon made a quick cut to the sideline and burst away from Tremaine Edmunds. You can see Gordon slip away from Edmunds on a similar play here.
The Bills have relied on Tremaine Edmunds as their best defense to running backs in the air. However, this week will be the first week in which Edmunds is out. So, the team that already struggles to defend players such as Tarik Cohen is now out there top Tarik Cohen defender.
Matt Nagy has been precise in finding the mismatch and attacking it. This is why you saw Jordan Howard last week, but a lot of Tarik Cohen the three weeks prior. This week, the mismatch calls for more Tarik Cohen than Jordan Howard. Expect to see more Cohen, and expect him to be able to get space away linebackers in coverage.