The Buffalo Bills brought in edge rusher Leonard Floyd via free agency and now hold the bookend pass rushers from the Los Angeles Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl-winning defense. Floyd and Von Miller were a force to be reckoned with for that Rams team and were a big reason for their championship run.
Previously, we took at look at Floyd’s production without Miller, in an attempt to gain a 30,000-foot view of what he might bring to the Bills’ defense in the early part of the 2023 NFL season. In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at how these two were able to feed off each other on the field together, and successfully get to the quarterback on a frequent basis.
By the numbers
The Rams traded with the Denver Broncos to land Von Miller before the 2021 trade deadline. Miller was able to suit up for the Rams in Week 10 of the 2021 season. This means Floyd and Miller were able to play eight regular-season games and four postseason games together. In those 12 total games their statistics were as follows:
Von Miller: 45 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, nine sacks, 14 QB hits, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery.
Leonard Floyd: 42 total tackles, four tackles for loss, four sacks, eight QB hits.
It’s fun looking at numbers, but the tape tells the tale — so let’s take a look at the last time Miller and Floyd were able to wreck havoc together!
Miller won a speed rush on the outside, which forced the QB up in the pocket. This allowed Floyd to swoop inside on a slow rush to get in on the sack.
Floyd and Miller were both chip-blocked on this play. This may seem insignificant, but the reality is that the Vikings’ offense was worried about both pass rushers enough to adjust their offense in an effort to affect the edge rushers.
The Ravens slid the protection to Miller’s side but he dropped back into coverage. This allowed Floyd to get a free rush at the QB. Floyd ended up missing the sack, but Miller cleaned it up.
Watch how Miller and Floyd only took their pass rush to the depth of the QB. This is especially important against a mobile QB like Huntley. Once they reached the correct depth, they worked to squeeze the pocket and take away any escape lanes for the QB. Textbook pass rush.
The Rams brought an additional blitzing rusher on this play, which left Miller in a one-on-one situation. Miller then took the OT to school. What a cool move to get the sack!
The Rams brought a blitzer on this play, which left every rusher one-on-one. Floyd spun inside to avoid a chip block, but luckily for Miller he didn’t have to deal with that scenario. Miller showed his elite talent on this play and got the sack with ease.
The Cardinals left two blockers in to deal with Floyd, who ended up dropping into coverage, which meant Miller was one-on-one on the opposite side. Miller was stalled initially but continued to fight and ended up working around the edge for the sack.
Great teamwork on this play by Miller and Floyd. Miller bull-rushed the offensive tackle back into the QB’s face, which prevented him from getting rid of the ball. Once the QB pulled the ball down, Floyd was able to disengage and convert for the sack.
Floyd worked a twist stunt by crashing inside and ended up getting to the QB because he caused some chaos. Miller used a bull rush to get to the depth of the QB and then stopped, which kept the QB in the pocket and allowed Floyd to finish off the sack.
Miller and Floyd worked an identical twist where they both looped inside on this play. The center slid to Floyd’s side, which left Miller with an open run at the QB. And as we all know: Miller doesn’t miss when given those opportunities.
For the first time in this video review, Miller and Floyd are lined up on the same side of the field, and it worked out to perfection. They both meet up together at the QB, but it’s Miller who ends up tallying the sack.
With Von Miller still on the road to recovery from his torn ACL, it was important for the Buffalo Bills to add another pass-rush option to the mix. They landed a proven veteran in Leonard Floyd. It will be exciting to watch Miller and Floyd rekindle their magic from their 2021 Super Bowl run, but we might have to wait a little while until Miller is fully healthy. In the meantime, Floyd, Greg Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa, and Boogie Basham likely project as the four main edge rushers for the Bills.