Bills’ defense suffering, while offense takes headlines


Remember when Rex Ryan was hired to become the next head coach of the Buffalo Bills? Everybody went nuts, but not for the reason that Bills fans are on the bandwagon now.

“Oh this defense is going to be legendary” they claimed. There were comparisons made to the 1985 Bears, and how the Bills could be better than that. Remember when the fans exclaimed that this already great defense was going to be even greater?

Yeah… so do I.

Buffalo’s defense ranks 16th in the league in both yards and points per game. They are tied for 15th in opposing third down percentage and are in the bottom third of the league in penalties. A team that broke their franchise record for sacks in a season in 2014 is tied for 27th in that category.

That is not Rex Ryan’s mantra at all. In New York, Ryan only had one year in which his team was not in the top 10 in yards allowed per game (11th in 2013).

The only thing that is Ryan-esque about this Bills team is the rushing attack. The LeSean McCoy/Karlos Williams duo is leading a ground game that is second in the league, averaging 141.6 yards per game.

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This weekend helped a little bit. For the first time in NFL history, a team had two 100-yard rushers and a 150-yard receiver, according to FOX Sports. McCoy tallied 112 yards and a score before leaving with a right shoulder injury, while Williams added 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Is the passing attack generating headlines all over the league? Well, not necessarily the passing as much as the man doing the passing, Tyrod Taylor. Going into camp, everybody knew what Taylor brought. He was a Russell Wilson type of quarterback who could run and had a cannon, but people agreed. If he could learn to stand in the pocket and trust his arm, he could be good.

And he has.

That touchdown to Sammy Watkins on Sunday was a perfect example of how he has matured. He was forced to roll out of the pocket, and an old version of him might have ran. But he stood behind the line and threw a beautiful strike to the streaking receiver for the dagger in the game.

This is the offense that Bills fans have been waiting for. A healthy dose of McCoy and Williams (this pairing hasn’t been fully healthy since Week 2) and weapons around in the receiving game to keep defense off-balance. When healthy, this Buffalo offense is very, very good.

If the defense was able to step it up a little bit and clamp down just a little bit more, this team would contend with the likes of the Patriots and Bengals. But for right now, a playoff spot would do. If the offense keeps up this pace and health, they will make it.

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