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All-22 analysis: Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander

Let’s take a peek at how Lorenzo Alexander fits into the Buffalo Bills’ 2018 defense

Los Angeles Chargers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

As one of the elder statesmen of the Buffalo Bills, Lorenzo Alexander’s role heading into 2018 was widely felt by many to be primarily a locker room leader. Through two games, Alexander is making it loud and clear there’s gas left in the tank. Let’s check in on one of the brighter spots so far in the 2018 season.

Play 1

While the result of the play was a positive for the Baltimore Ravens, Alexander still had an excellent rep. Subtle hand-fighting technique and hustle led to a quarterback pressure. Alexander has seen 75 defensive snaps through two weeks. Most of these have kept the play in front of him, letting Alexander do what he does best: Diagnose and attack.

Play 2

Mostly straightforward analysis on this tackle. Alexander races across the field to make the hit. Alexander shoves off a potential blocker and stays disciplined in pursuit to make sure the play can’t develop. As soon as the second tackler arrives notice Alexander go for the ball.

Play 3

Despite football being a game of milliseconds, sometimes patience is still a virtue. Lorenzo Alexander doesn’t get anxious and makes sure to shoot the right gap. Once he has the angle, he gets the ankle too.

Play 4

Unfortunately this sack didn’t count thanks to a penalty, but Alexander and Trent Murphy reap the benefits of having more than one legitimate threat on the same side of the field. Alexander draws attention from two linemen, allowing Murphy to scoot by. As Murphy goes in for the play, he bumps the guard and frees up Alexander.

Play 5

From a geometry perspective, batting passes gets easier as the defender nears the quarterback. Lorenzo Alexander’s strong push puts him more than close enough to Philip Rivers to make the play. Excellent timing on the jump turns this into a tip drill with the Bills nearly getting the ball in scoring position.

Play 6

Harrison Phillips draws the double team, and Kyle WIlliams is a priority for the line to stop. That leaves Lorenzo Alexander free for the sack. The whistle comes quickly, robbing Alexander of the strip and recovery.

Play 7

Alexander is unaccounted for on this play and he takes advantage of it. The Chargers got carried away worrying about the second level, and Alexander reaches the carrier nearly at the same time as the ball.

Play 8

Alexander shadows the runner and makes sure there’s no way to move the ball forward. As a result, Eddie Yarbrough catches up and makes the tackle.

The highlights above are not to claim he’s been perfect. But if you’re looking for a bright spot, here you go. The team captain is proving he still belongs.