All Leodis McKelvin Does is Intercept Footballs!


Raise your hand if you’re surprised to learn Leodis McKelvin is tied for the league lead in interceptions this year.

Oct 19, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin (21) runs with the ball as Minnesota Vikings punter Jeff Locke (18) defends during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Vikings 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

His two picks against the Minnesota Vikings last week gave him four on the season and knotted him with Tashaun Gipson for the league lead. There are a slew of cornerbacks with three apiece, but if McKelvin can keep jumping routes and snatching poor throws from the air, it’s conceivable he could lead the league for the entire season.

It would be a great story for McKelvin who is never the most loved guy on the roster. He’s never been afraid to cover anyone in the NFL but struggles to stop some of the taller wide-outs in jump ball situations. Not being a guy who watches the All-22 or scouts players for a living, I’ve always considered him a very strong cover on shorter, speedy wideouts.

The Bills defense has received strong accolades this season but most of it has been directed at the front four. For the Bills to contend, they’re going to need plays from the secondary like the ones McKelvin is making. The Bills as a team have just 8 INTs – meaning McKelvin is half of the unit’s production in that category to date.

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The need for McKelvin to keep the picks coming is even stronger when you consider the Bills offense doesn’t seem to be one destined to light up the scoreboard on a weekly basis. The playoff dreams rest largely on the shoulders of the team’s defense…and in some ways, on McKelvin’s opportunistic hands.

This week’s matchup with the New York Jets is critical for the Bills if they’re going to really convince their fan base the second half of the season could translate into a postseason chase. Even when Jets QB Geno Smith is at his best he will often leave a ball or two up for the taking during the course of the game.

McKelvin should be ready to seize those moments and help the Bills pound their AFC East rival. His instincts could be a difference maker against the Jets. And, in the bigger picture, the difference between a real shot at the playoffs or just another year of false hopes.