Micah Hyde predicts Buffalo Bills defense will be ‘a lot better’ in 2019
By Avery Duncan
Despite an impressive performance by the Buffalo Bills’ defense in 2018, safety Micah Hyde sees the unit improving next season.
In 2018, the Buffalo Bills allowed a league-low 2,876 passing yards. They allowed just 179.2 yards through the air per game — again first in the NFL — and 294.1 total offensive yards, second. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be better.
Bills safety and Pro Bowler Micah Hyde recently spoke about the defense with the Buffalo News. He mentioned though the unit was stout last season, it’ll get even better in 2019, saying;
"We’re going to be a lot better."
Hyde then noted that the consistency in terms of personnel is a catalyst for that thought. The Bills are returning nearly the same defense as last year’s, including a young core that has developed alongside the safety. Three names, in particular, stand out as key-cogs to improvement in communication on the field:
"After a play is called, we discuss the play. Now there’s a lot more guys on defense, whether it’s Matt Milano, Tremaine [Edmunds], Tre’Davious [White], we’re all talking the same."
As mentioned previously, Buffalo is returning nearly all the players from last year’s stout defense, upset for Bills legend Kyle Williams (retirement). However, in the 2019 NFL Draft, they quickly negated the loss. In the first round, with the ninth pick, the Bills — to the delight of Bills Mafia — selected University of Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver — a player comparable to Hall of Famers or sure-fire ones Aaron Donald and John Randle.
The Bills’ defense wasn’t perfect in 2018; they often struggled to stop the run and didn’t get to the quarterback at a high-rate. Their 36 sacks on the year ranked 26th in the NFL. However, Oliver, a relentless, run-stuffing extraordinaire should help fix the former. While his power as an interior-rusher will surely help pass-rushers Jerry Hughes, Trent Murphy, and Shaq Lawson get to the quarterback.
Over the past two seasons, head coach Sean McDermott has made improvement on defense a key to the Bills’ philosophy. So far, it’s worked out well, as the unit helped them reach the playoffs in 2017, and was elite in 2018. Now in 2019, they look to have their eyes set to — perhaps — a historically significant season.