On the opening possession of the Buffalo Bills' Week 14 win over the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo's league-worst run defense was gashed by one of the game's most powerful runners in Peyton Hillis. The Browns racked up a quick 49 yards on their first five carries of the game, and made fast work of getting a first-and-goal at Buffalo's six-yard line.
Hillis got the ball on three straight carries on that set of downs, and the Bills held him to gains of four, one and one as the Browns settled for an early field goal. That goal-line stand kicked off two straight games of excellent Bills run defense.
Since those first five carries of Week 14, the Bills have allowed the Browns and the Miami Dolphins to gain just 121 rushing yards on 39 carries. That 3.1 yards-per-carry average is a far cry from the 4.6-yard average that the team is still allowing, even factoring in two strong performances. Ronnie Brown's touchdown in yesterday's 17-14 Bills win stands as the lone rushing score allowed by the Bills in that time frame.
Granted, Cleveland and Miami are not dominant rushing outfits. Statistically, neither team is as effective at running the ball as even the Bills are, and we all know how Chan Gailey feels about his running game. Still, that shouldn't diminish the fact that the Bills have corralled some pretty good tailbacks - Hillis, Brown and Ricky Williams - in the last two weeks.
Buffalo's suddenly solid run defense will be tested by the New England Patriots in Week 16. The Pats ran for 200 yards in their Week 3 win over Buffalo, and Tom Brady is the type of quarterback that makes an offense two-dimensional just by being on the field.