Buffalo Bills' Mario Williams Leading Defensive Turnaround

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Since having wrist surgery during the bye week, Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams has five sacks in his last four games - including three in Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Before Mario Williams had wrist surgery prior to the team's Week 8 bye, Buffalo Bills fans were already referring to the richest defender in NFL history as one of its most colossal busts, as well. To an extent, that rhetoric was earned; Williams recorded just 3.5 sacks in the team's first seven games and was more often a post-game afterthought than a difference-maker on the field.

That has changed in the four games in which Williams has played since having that surgery. Williams has five sacks in those four games - including at least one sack in three of the four contests, and three in Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts. In short, he has been much closer to the dominant force that fans (and the team) expected him to be when he signed a six-year, $96 million contract with $50 million guaranteed in March.

There is, of course, still room for improvement. Williams' 8.5 sacks through 11 games ties him for No. 11 in the NFL, and is already the highest single-season sack total for a Bills player since Aaron Schobel recorded 10 in his final year with Buffalo in 2009. But it's also worth pointing out that as Williams has improved, so has the effectiveness of not just his defensive line mates, but the defense as a whole.

Prior to their bye week, the Bills were 424 yards and 30.4 points per game (a figure that does not include defensive and special teams scores by opponents, for obvious reasons). Since the bye week and Williams' surgery, the defense has shaved its yardage allowed to 304 per game, and they're giving up 19.5 points per game. The current rates are hardly excellent, but it can be argued that the amounts that have been shaved off since the bye are excellent - and it can also be fairly attributed, at least in part, to better play from Williams. He is, after all, the catalyst for the rest of the defense.

The extent to which fans buy into the notion that Williams' improved play has paid dividends for the defense as a whole is not, however, the point I'm making here. The point is that Williams has been significantly better since that wrist surgery, and he's just had one of the five best statistical performances of his career. This, folks, is the player that the team paid for.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker