We took on the tall task of grading the Bills’ defense through 9 games this season player by player.
In the offseason, the Bills hired Rob Ryan, the twin brother of their head coach, Rex Ryan. The move excited some Bills fans while others screamed nepotism. One thing was certain though, the Bills defense was fully committing to the Ryan scheme and Rex was doubling down on his families defensive football philosophy. Rex might have called the defense “half-pregnant” last year but it was clear this year they were going to be “fully pregnant”.
The Ryan’s followed up on their promise in the offseason and they have “birthed” a pretty good defense so far this season. For the most part, the defense has been good but they have been bad in divisional games against the Jets, Dolphins and Patriots. They also had a tough first half against Seattle but the unit settled down only allowing the Seahawks to gain 41 yards and a field goal in the second half.
So what’s the reason for the up and down performance? Big Plays.
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The Bills have given up 32 rushing plays this season of over 10 yards which is the fourth highest amount in the league. They have also given up the fourth highest total of passing plays over 25 yards with 21. Both of these stats are according to SportingCharts.com.
Buffalo has had communication issues in the secondary that have caused the corners to be left one on one and they have been getting burned on those plays giving up big touchdowns.
Overall this season, the Bills defense has earned a “B-” grade for their performance. They need to be more consistent but they are 10th in the league in takeaways, they have held opponents under 20 points in five of their nine games, and through the first nine weeks, they have the individual NFL leaders in tackles and sacks.
In this slide show, we are going to dedicate a slide to each player on the defensive unit and give them a grade while talking about what they have done well and what they can improve on. We’ll also discuss our outlook for that player over the remainder of the season.
So without further ado, let’s start going through the Bills’ defensive player grades so far this season.
We will be grading the performance of the following players on defense: Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Corbin Bryant, Adolphus Washington, Shaq Lawson, Lorenzo Alexander, Leger Douzable, Jerry Hughes, Zach Brown, Preston Brown, Stephon Gilmore, Ronald Darby, Nickell-Robey-Coleman, Robert Blanton, Corey Graham and finally Aaron Williams.
As for the grades, here’s how they will work:
A – Couldn’t be performing better.
B – Play is outstanding, but could still improve.
C – Average performance.
D – Play needs improvement.
F – Doesn’t know how to play football.
We’ll start with the biggest man on the defense both in weight and contract size. So click below to move on to the next slide to begin our individual defensive grades starting with Marcell Dareus.