In the NFL, getting a win is enough reason to celebrate. The Buffalo Bills are celebrating a big win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 6, but they would not have gotten there without the contributions of fourth-year free safety Jairus Byrd.
Buffalo's best defensive playmaker recorded two interceptions - the second coming in overtime, which he returned to the Arizona six-yard line to set up a game-winning 25-yard field goal - to help wrap up the Bills' second road win of the young season. (The first interception, by the way, snuffed out a Cardinals drive that had leaked into Bills territory mid-way through the fourth quarter.)
As was so often predicted this off-season, Byrd has benefitted from an improved Bills pass rush that, while still inconsistent, is still on pace to easily surpass last year's sack total (they have 15 this season, as opposed to 28 all last season). Through six games this year, Byrd has equaled his 2011 interception total (three) and has also forced at least two fumbles. (He had three forced fumbles last year.)
Even more impressively, Byrd has continued his consistent playmaking despite being a weekly member of the injury report thanks to dings to his hip and chest.
Now in his fourth season out of Oregon, the least popular draft pick in Buffalo Rumblings history has now accumulated 16 interceptions, eight forced fumbles, two sacks and two touchdowns in 52 career games. He's the biggest reason that the Bills were able to win a close one in Arizona and get back to .500. Cheers to you, Jairus.