Buffalo Bills secondary ranked in the Top 5 by Pro Football Focus

Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

One of the strengths for the Buffalo Bills defense since Sean McDermott joined the franchise as head coach has been their secondary. A big reason for that is due to the fact that in his first offseason the Bills signed free agents Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer and then drafted Tre’Davious White in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

This has been a great foundation for this defense and the Bills defense has finished 20th (2017), 1st (2018), 4th (2019), and 13th (2020) in passing yards allowed during those four seasons. While the defense did take a step backward this past season, they are still considered one of the best secondaries in the NFL.

Recently, Ben Linsey at Pro Football Focus released his rankings for every NFL secondary and the Buffalo Bills entered the rankings at fourth overall.

"4. BUFFALO BILLSMicah Hyde and Jordan Poyer make up one of the best starting safety tandems in the NFL. Since 2017, those two rank fourth and 12th, respectively, in PFF WAR. They’ve done a tremendous job of taking away the deep ball, allowing a league-low 67 receptions on passes 20 or more yards downfield over that four-year stretch. Tre’Davious White has been one of the more productive cornerbacks in the league during that same time frame. The only real question heading into next season is whether Levi Wallace, Taron Johnson and Dane Jackson can give Buffalo enough production at the other two cornerback spots."

As Linsey notes, the Bills’ biggest question in the secondary is at the outside cornerback position opposite Tre’Davious White. The team is going to enter the regular season with likely either Levi Wallace or Dane Jackson starting in that spot.

He also mentions Taron Johnson but he is pretty much locked in as the starting slot corner. Johnson struggled to start the year, and was even benched in the regular season game against the Chiefs, but returned to the role after Cam Lewis suffered a season-ending injury in the same game. After that game, Taron Johnson improved drastically and made a number of big plays down the stretch.

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While the concern is valid, these have been questions the defense has had almost every season Sean McDermott has been with the Bills. They have shown they can still be a very good secondary with that question so it shouldn’t be that much of a concern for this defense. If Wallace or Jackson are able to solidify the other cornerback position, there is no reason the Buffalo Bills shouldn’t return to being the best secondary in the NFL.