Leslie Frazier: Playing Patrick Mahomes, not bringing pressure was the right thing to do
The Bills’ defense played about as well as any defense could be reasonably expected to play against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Sunday night, and Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier says that was thanks in large part to a decision not to bring pressure.
Frazier said he didn’t call a single blitz for the entire game, reasoning that it was better to drop more defenders into coverage and prevent Mahomes from finding open receivers deep downfield. The result was Mahomes finished the game with a career-low 5.0 yards per pass attempt.
“I thought about that when we were putting this plan together,” Frazier said, via the Buffalo News. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a game where we didn’t pressure at least once. So this was unusual. But for this opponent it was the right thing to do. The more we studied Kansas City and their offense, and watching Mahomes and how he operated versus pressure, man, it just created a lot of problems for defense because of his ability to be able to see things and identify early and make you pay for bringing pressure. I’m not saying that will always be the strategy. But for this game that was the right thing to do.”
Whether any other defense has the talent to replicate the Bills’ success against Mahomes remains to be seen, but other teams will undoubtedly study the game that Frazier called and see if he unlocked the secret to stopping the best quarterback in the NFL.