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How Buffalo's Mike Pettine stayed a step ahead of Geno Smith and the Jets

It's because of days like this that the Buffalo Bills currently lead the NFL in sacks and interceptions.

Through Week 12 of the NFL regular season schedule, the Buffalo Bills are tied for first in the NFL in two key statistical categories: sacks (37) and interceptions (16). They added to their totals in each category considerably in their last game played, a 37-14 win over the New York Jets in which they tallied four quarterback takedowns, picked off three passes and added in a fumble recovery for good measure.

In our weekly forays into All-22 looks at the Bills, I've been trying to focus our attention on the upcoming opponent. This particular session does not apply specifically to the Atlanta Falcons, necessarily, but more to Buffalo's defensive philosophy under new coordinator Mike Pettine: seek and destroy.

Anyone who watched that game two Sundays ago know that quarterback Geno Smith was rattled from early in the first quarter on, and it had everything to do with the pressure he was facing from Buffalo's pass rush and the coverages Pettine was using behind it. The seven plays in the gallery above were of particular interest to me, because it showed two things: the Bills were getting pressure on Smith without sending exotic blitzes or more than five rushers, and that Pettine was consistently one step ahead of the other sideline.

Enjoy, Bills fans. This is the type of defense that the Bills will need to play if they're going to run the table and make a push for the post-season.