Ever since football was created, there have been two sides of the ball: offensive and defensive. Well, all anybody has wanted to talk about these past five weeks has been how bad the offense of the Buffalo Bills has been and how their now backup quarterback stinks in a stagnant passing attack. How about some love for the defense?
A unit that has been under the radar for the entire season, they are fifth in the league in points allowed and lead the league in sacks with 17.
As a whole, no teams have been able to run the ball against the Jim Schwartz-led defense, and they’ve gone up against the likes of Lamar Miller, Matt Forte, and Arian Foster in their first five games of the season.
Miller and Forte have not been great on the ground this season, with both averaging less than 70 yards per game. Foster, on the other hand, is averaging 101 yards per game and was only able to generate six yards on eight carries Week 4 in Houston’s 23-17 victory over the Bills.
Even with those three names on the list of backs faced, the Bills are one of two teams who have not allowed a rushing touchdown on the season, a title that they share with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Buffalo has done more than just stop the run. They’ve been able to force turnovers get off the field on third down, two things that have haunted this defense in the past.
The AFC East Division leaders have a +6 turnover differential, including picking off 6 passes and recovering four fumbles. Leodis McKelvin has done one of each, picking off a pair of passes on the season and forcing a fumble of Brandon Marshall in the season opener in Chicago.
As far as getting off the field, they lead the league in third down percentage against, allowing teams to convert only 32%.
Also, as bad as it seems sometimes, his defense is one of the lesser-penalized units in the league, only taking 29 flags. This is much less than an offensive unit that has been penalized 45 times this season.
On the individual side, there are two stout defensive linemen in Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams. Dareus is second in the league in both sacks (5) and tackles for linemen (16). He also led the league last week with a three-sack performance in Detroit against the Lions.
Williams isn’t on the pace he was last year, but is still top 10 in the league in sacks with 3.5.
Jerry Hughes (3) and Nigel Bradham (1.5) are the only other two Bills with multiple sacks on the season.
Buffalo is looking at some fresh meat these next couple of weeks. They are looking at an offensive line in New England that cannot do anything to protect Tom Brady right now, an offense in Minnesota that is just bad and a Jets team that cannot figure anything out at the moment. If the Bills defense continues to play this way, there is no reason to assume that they won’t be at least 5-3 or maybe 6-2 by the end of the month.