Buffalo Bills run defense struggles vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Buffalo Bills were as bad as you thought against the run versus Atlanta, but there are reasonable explanations for some of the things we saw, as well.

Entering Week 13, the Atlanta Falcons had surpassed 100 rushing yards as a team just twice in 11 games. They found No. 3 against the Buffalo Bills, routinely ripping off big chunks of yardage en route to 151 yards on the ground and a 34-31 victory in overtime.

In the gallery above, you'll find an All-22 look at some of the issues the Bills had stopping the run - but more importantly, we'll try to fix a few common misconceptions about what happened on key plays. For example: Jim Leonhard didn't just miss Steven Jackson by three yards on Jackson's 27-yard rushing score in the first half. There was a deeper explanation than apparent temporary blindness.

Similarly, the rhetoric about this game is that Kiko Alonso was poor against the run - and that was true. This was a bad performance from the rookie linebacker. But there's also a play above that looks like over-pursuit, but is really Alonso making a nice play to account for horrible play at the point of attack by Buffalo's defensive line.

Buffalo has now allowed opponents to surpass 120 rushing yards in eight of their 12 games this season. This coming Sunday, they'll play a three-win Tampa Bay Buccaneers outfit that has run for a combined 88 yards in their last two games, but who averaged 177 rushing yards per game in the three games preceding that two-game skid. Does anyone want to bet against the Bucs re-establishing their running game this week?

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