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Buffalo Bills: 3 players trending up after their play in Week 14

Dec 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) rushes the passer as Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Daryl Williams (75) blocks in the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) rushes the passer as Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Daryl Williams (75) blocks in the second quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /
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GLENDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 15: Defensive tackle Ed Oliver #91 of the Buffalo Bills breaks from the line against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Bills 32-30. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 15: Defensive tackle Ed Oliver #91 of the Buffalo Bills breaks from the line against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Bills 32-30. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Ed Oliver

For the second straight season, Ed Oliver looks like he is starting to hit his stride in the latter half of the season. Last year as a rookie, Oliver struggled and was benched at one point but then would go on to have four sacks in three games.

This season, Oliver was a bit off to a slow start but recently has become a disruptive force in the middle of this defensive line. In the game against the Steelers, he had only one tackle and one tackle for a loss but was constantly in the backfield and getting past this offensive line.

One of the storylines for this defense this year has been the absence of Star Lotulelei, who opted out before the season due to the pandemic. The absence of Lotulelei has impacted what the linebackers are able to do but also Ed Oliver. The second-year tackle has been asked more to clog running lanes and stand his ground versus being more of that penetrating tackle.

While Oliver will continue to play that role, it is great to also see him starting to get more penetration and making plays in the backfield.