Defending the run - or, more accurately, not defending the run - is clearly the most pressing issue facing the Buffalo Bills after the team's first four games, all losses. Lost amidst the furor over Buffalo's getting manhandled by the Jets, and allowing two straight teams to reel off over 200 rushing yards, is the fact that the Bills' self-proclaimed "best secondary in the league" has been exposed, as well.
In four games, opposing passers have completed 77 of 116 passes (66.4% completions) for 835 yards (7.2 yards per attempt) with eight touchdowns. Those passers have been sacked just four times, and have thrown zero interceptions - a far cry from the Bills' 2009 output, when they finished second in the NFL with 28 interceptions. Their struggles to cover tight ends (22 receptions, 291 yards, three touchdowns allowed) are well-documented.
Every single player in the secondary has shown weakness. Arguably the best performer, third-year cornerback Leodis McKelvin, was burned for two touchdowns this past Sunday, while also dropping a certain interception. Drayton Florence is a holding or interference penalty waiting to happen. Terrence McGee, to his credit, has been steady, but he's also been in and out of the lineup with a knee injury that required surgery and could sideline him for up to a month. It hasn't gotten better at safety, where Jairus Byrd has been a liability against the run and a non-factor in the passing game, and where Donte Whitner has been a large part of the problem against tight ends while also struggling against the run.
When your football team is bad, it typically permeates through all units. This secondary is still the strength of an utterly woeful Bills defense, but excuses are running thin. They played fine without a consistent pass rush a year ago. Perhaps when they can feast on an average quarterback - they defended Chad Henne just fine in Week 1, after all - they'll look better than they have. But let's not sugar coat this: Buffalo's secondary, like the rest of the team, is now a liability.