It’s no secret at this point that Buffalo Bills second-year linebacker Terrel Bernard had the best game of his career vs. the Washington Commanders in Week 3. Bernard had seven tackles, two sacks, an interception, and fumble recovery — which has only ever happened two other times in the NFL. The other pair to do it: former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher. Let’s take a look at some more tape from Bernard’s stellar play during the team’s blowout victory.
Terrel Bernard shows his closing speed
Bernard shows great closing speed in coverage on this play. He dropped back into coverage once the ball was snapped — at the same time quarterback Sam Howell threw to the slot inside. Bernard then immediately exploded to the ball carrier to make the tackle.
Terrel Bernard engages the tight end
This was one of Bernard’s most underrated plays from Sunday. As the ball was snapped, Bernard came downhill to engage the pulling tight end. He then absorbed the block and kept his balance, while playing a role in toppling the would-be blocker. Bernard read where the ball was going and pursued Howell for the tackle.
Terrel Bernard’s patience proves fruitful in stopping the run
Bernard showed great patience on this rep, which led to good things for Buffalo’s defense. He shuffled left as the ball was snapped to see where the running back was headed. Bernard then sprinted by the lead blocker and made the tackle on the running back.
Terrel Bernard steals a highlight-reel interception
As the play began, Bernard dropped back into a zone in the middle of the field. When Howell threw the ball over the middle to the receiver, Bernard jumped up in the air and caught the ball for a gravity-defying, highlight-reel interception.
Terrel Bernard utilizes hustle and athleticism
Bernard showed off his hustle and athleticism here. As the ball was snapped, he dropped into coverage — at which point Howell threw the screen to the running back who moved into the middle of the field. As in, exactly where Bernard already was to attempt the tackle. Even though Bernard missed the tackle, he got up quickly and scooped up the fumbled football.
Against the Washington Commanders you got to see a lot of the things that made Buffalo Bills linebacker Terrel Bernard an interesting prospect coming out of Baylor. It was certainly a surprising effort to most watching, especially those in Bills Mafia. The question is: Do you think we’ll see more of this from Bernard going forward?