CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: Brian Leonard #40 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
After the Buffalo Bills had the NFL's worst run defense in 2010, GM Buddy Nix and head coach Chan Gailey made it their top priority to get bigger and more physical in an effort to better defend the run. With four games in the new season now played, it's becoming apparent that the Bills haven't gotten much better defending the run.
That's particularly true after allowing the Cincinnati Bengals to run for 171 yards - at 5.3 yards per rush - in yesterday's 23-20 loss. Cedric Benson ran for 104 yards on just 19 carries. Andy Dalton picked up crucial yardage scrambling and had a touchdown run on a draw. Brian Leonard carried four times for 36 yards, and set up the Bengals' game-winning field goal essentially by himself.
The Kansas City Chiefs averaged six yards per rush in Week 1, then the Oakland Raiders ground out 131 yards and a couple of scores in Week 2. The Bills handled the New England Patriots' top two rushers, but the Pats still ran for 108 yards. The Bills have allowed at least 454 offensive yards to their opponents in three straight games, and it starts with meager-at-best improvements defending the run.