Pro Football Focus ranks the Buffalo Bills run defense 15th in the NFL for the upcoming season.
In a recent ranking of the run defenses in the NFL for the upcoming season by Pro Football Focus, the Buffalo Bills end up middle of the pack at 15th. Michael Renner wrote the following about the Bills’ defense:
"15. BUFFALO BILLSMuch of the Bills’ success in run defense this season stems from the development of Tremaine Edmunds. As a rookie, Edmunds struggled with 18 missed tackles and a 55.6 run-defense grade. If those numbers improve in Year 2, so will the Bills’ defense."
This is not far off from where the Bills finished last year, giving up 114.9 yards per game on the ground, which was 16th in the NFL. However, the area they really struggled was allowing rushing touchdowns, giving up the sixth most in the NFL at 17.
The defense as a whole though was one of the better in the NFL, finishing second in the league in fewest total yards allowed per game (294.1 yards per game). This ranking was due in large part to being first in passing yards allowed at only 179.2, almost 15 yards less than the next team.
It is not far-fetched to imagine that this defense could improve from their performance last year. As Renner notes, second-year linebacker Tremaine Edmunds will be a key part of that success. He should be able to build off a promising rookie campaign but won’t be the only reason.
The Bills have brought back almost their entire starting defense with the only significant change being first round pick Ed Oliver. The Top 10 pick will be replacing defensive captain Kyle Williams and will be joining Star Lotulelei inside along the defensive line. The team will also be getting back Matt Milano, who was having an excellent year before suffering a broken leg last season.
The Bills finished last year second in total yards allowed but if the run defense is able to show improvement, there is no reason this group couldn’t finish as the best defense in the NFL in 2019.