The Buffalo Bills' front four was downright dominant against the Cleveland Browns in yesterday's 24-14 win. Despite not notching a sack in Week 1, the Bills are now tied for fifth in the NFL with nine sacks. Each member of the starting defensive line tallied at least a half-sack against Cleveland, with Mario Williams notching his first as a member of the Bills.
"Yeah, it was great," Williams told reporters after the game. "You know anytime you have got to make a play to get that sack, that first sack is definitely huge during the season. It feels great, but you know it also feels better whenever you can go out and perform and you can play off one another."
The defensive line took turns taking on Browns double teams, allowing each of them to force rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden to move off his spot and hurry his throws during the game.
"You can take up two blocks, you can take off three blocks, and I mean across the board they had to pick and choose the poison," continued WIlliams. "Sometimes it was double team, triple teams, when you can make an impact and affect that, I mean that’s just as good because someone is going to free it up."
The defensive line was also instrumental in holding rookie running back Trent Richardson to 27 yards on 12 carries a week after scoring two touchdowns and gaining 145 yards from scrimmage against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Yeah, we did [contain Richardson]," said head coach Chan Gailey after the game. "That was one of the things that we talked about and made a big deal about this week, was not letting him out of there, controlling him, making them throw the football. It worked kind of like we thought it would. Weeden made some good plays, but we got some sacks and we stopped the run and we played great third down defense. If you can do that, you’re going to play pretty good defense in this league."
Williams wasn't as rosy as Gailey in his assessment of the defense against Richardson. He was miffed that the rookie bounced out a run for the Browns first touchdown - his longest run of the day at eight yards.
"Yeah, I mean we did okay," said Williams. "You know, we definitely had some missed tackles on him, and we should have done better. We definitely should have done better. We have to get back out there and practice and make sure we’re working on our tackling and wrapping up against big strong backs like that. Whenever you miss those tackles that we should have had, it could have been better. So there is definitely work to do."
For a team that gave up just 33 rushing yards - the second-lowest total in Gailey's tenure - they are doing something right. Through three games, Buffalo's run defense ranks No. 14 in the NFL with just over 100 rushing yards allowed per game. In 2011, they ranked No. 28, surrendering 139 yards per game.