NFL analyst misses the mark on ranking Buffalo Bills defensive standouts

The Buffalo Bills have consistently been one of the best defenses since Coach McDermott arrived in Buffalo. There are some question marks this season, but are the Bills top-three really one of the worst in the league?
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills / Bryan Bennett/GettyImages

You know what they say about what you read on the internet, you can't believe everything you read. Maybe I'm a little biased but Sports Illustrated recent ranking of each team's "defensive triplets" is so far off base, that it makes me question the entirety of the article. Look, I am not here to say the Bills' top defensive talent is the best in the league, Buffalo's defense is as good as it is because of the sum of its parts, and not necessarily a couple of superstars. That said, to rank the trio of Ed Oliver, Matt Milano, and Rasul Douglas as the fourth worst in the league, is a massive stretch.

"Oliver has been a steady force in the middle of the Bills’ defense the past few seasons, but the Bills could use a star edge rusher to help him on the defensive front. Milano will look to return to his All-Pro form after an injury-riddled season. Douglas immediately improved the Bills’ secondary after being traded by the Green Bay Packers midway through the year. "

Gilberto Manzano - Sports Illustrated

We could give the writer the benefit of the doubt because Milano missed most of the season, but he's a former All-Pro linebacker just a year ago in 2022 and began the 2023 season on a trajectory to repeat this accomplishment. Through the first five games, he had two interceptions, and a forced fumble, and was on pace for a career-high in total tackles. Milano has proven to be one of the best linebackers in the league.

This Buffalo Bills defense has a lot of talent still.

Then there is Ed Oliver, who had his best season yet. He was among the league's best defensive tackles with 9.5 sacks and 51 total tackles, with 72 pressures. Oliver was one of the most disruptive defensive linemen last year. As for Douglas, I would argue that Christian Benford is the Bills' number one corner. And I'm not alone in that opinion. PFF ranked Benford ninth in the league with an impressive overall grade of 82.0. Douglas was solid as well, ranking 12th overall with a grade of 81.


We've got your game-by-game score predictions. dark. Next. Game-by-game prediction