The Buffalo Bills’ defensive line stepped up on Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens. They were probably the single biggest factor in winning the game, forcing errant passes, bottling up Lamar Jackson on the ground, and containing the Ravens’ run game. They were outstanding and need to be celebrated.
It starts with Jerry Hughes, who had two sacks in the game. The first came in the second quarter, where Hughes brought down Jackson for a 9-yard loss on the opening play of the drive. Eventually the Ravens converted 3rd-and-18 but would punt later on the drive.
Hughes sacked Jackson near midfield on the drive that ultimately ended with Taron Johnson’s pick-6. Perhaps the bigger play by Hughes came later on that drive, when he forced an early pass from Jackson on second and goal from the Bills’ 9. The Ravens receiver was just coming open but with Hughes in his face, Jackson couldn’t make it work. On the next play, Johnson took it to the house.
Mario Addison also added a sack from the defensive end position while Trent Murphy had a tackle for a loss on a Jackson scramble.
The defensive line was so patient during the game, especially against Jackson. They were able to keep him in the pocket and consistently waited for help to arrive instead of over-committing and lunging to grab at air. Not all of those plays show up in the game book for individuals, but three points for the Ravens and no player over 42 yards rushing are great team stats.