The Ryan defense is back and it looks great
Rex Ryan’s defense appears to be back. The Bills have had three strong defensive performances through four weeks this year. Their one down week against the Jets seems to clearly be an anomaly where Ryan Fitzpatrick played out of his mind. In that game the Jets receivers came up with all the 50-50 plays and the Bills defense was unable to get off the field.
Fitzpatrick proved that game was a fluke with nine interceptions over the past two weeks. The Bills have further proved that fluke with two strong defensive performances against the Arizona Cardinals and the New England Patriots two teams who were projected to be Super Bowl contenders before the season started. Sure the Cardinals are 1-3 and the Patriots were without Tom Brady but both are good teams and the Patriots were 3-0 coming into the game.
The Bills are third in the league in sacks with 13 which is just eight shy of their total from last season. It puts them on pace for 52 sacks on the year which would be just two shy of their total of 54 in 2014 when they led the league in sacks.
Buffalo’s defense has given up the 6th fewest points per game in the league with 17.0. The five teams ahead of them are some of the best in the league. The teams are Philadelphia (3-0), Minnesota (4-0), Seattle (3-1), New England (3-1) and Denver (4-0). Not bad company to be in.
When you watch the defense it’s much different than last year. The players have bought in and the unit is getting much better pressure on the quarterback. Just ask Jacoby Brissett who has hit hard numerous times last week, and I’m not talking about the pregame when this happened.
The defense has stopped two potent offensive units over the past two weeks with Dennis Thurman calling the plays. Sure the Patriots were without Brady but they scored at least 23 points in their three prior games.
With Thurman calling the defensive plays, Rex Ryan is free to take a more holistic view of the team and it has allowed him to spend more time focusing on the offense in addition to the defense. It’s been working well for the past two games.
The Buffalo Bills have quieted the panic of the media and fans after an 0-2 start. They now travel out west this week for a huge matchup with the Los Angeles Rams. That matchup is followed by two winnable games against the 49ers and the Dolphins. If the team can keep up this momentum there is a real chance they could be 5-2 before their schedule gets harder.
The 2-2 Bills have proven one thing thus far, “Nobody Circles the Wagons like the Buffalo Bills.”