In back-to-back weeks early in the season, the Buffalo Bills lost Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White and All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano to season-ending injuries, and they also saw defensive tackle DaQuan Jones go down for a long stretch during the season.
Head coach Sean McDermott’s defense was bit hard by the injury bug this year, and that continued in the playoffs, as a litany of injuries forced Buffalo to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs with a depleted defense.
In today’s edition of the Buffalo Rumblinks, we dive into the state of the Bills’ defense from last season, crediting McDermott for guiding a banged up defense to a terrific regular season, while calling out a unit that let the team down with its worst defensive performance of the year in the AFC Divisional Round setback to the Chiefs.
Defense in Review
The Bills finished fourth in the NFL in points allowed, which is notable considering how many players were sidelined at one point during the season — Milano and White were lost for the year while defensive linemen Ed Oliver, Greg Rousseau, A.J. Epenesa, Von Miller, Shaq Lawson, and Jordan Phillips, linebackers Terrel Bernard, Tyrel Dodson, and Baylor Spector, and defensive backs Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Christian Benford, Dane Jackson, Taylor Rapp, and Kaiir Elam missed games in the regular season and postseason.
Linked below: McDermott’s defense is put under the microscope to examine the good, the bad, and the ugly from the 2023 season, plus explore how the number of injuries could have prevented a Super Bowl run for the Bills.
We also hear how, as the only defensive lineman under contract for next year, Ed Oliver is preparing to take on a larger leadership role, and how Elam is excited to move on from a frustrating 2023 campaign.
- Defense analysis: Rotten playoff ending overshadows Bills’ defensive season - Buffalo News
- Bills 2023 defense grades: Devastating injuries may have prevented a Super Bowl - Democrat & Chronicle
- With change certain on Bills’ defensive line, Ed Oliver prepares for bigger leadership role - Buffalo News
- Bills cornerback Kaiir Elam looks back, ahead after forgettable second season - Buffalo News
Bills promote coaches Al Holcomb, Marcus West
Two internal members of the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coaching staff — Al Holcomb and Marcus West — were promoted by the team on Friday. Holcomb will serve as linebackers coach, while West will handle defensive line coach responsibilities.
- Bills fill out defensive coaching staff by promoting Marcus West, Al Holcomb - Buffalo News
- Buffalo Bills select Al Holcomb as linebackers coach and Marcus West as defensive line coach - The Washington Post
- Bills name Al Holcomb as linebackers coach, Marcus West as defensive line coach - BuffaloBills.com
Even more Bills news
What lessons the Bills should takeaway from the AFC and NFC championship games, hear how wide receiver Justin Shorter is determined to take on a larger role in the passing game in 2024, and take a look at the best offensive linemen available in the NFL Draft.
- Ryan O’Halloran: Things Bills can glean from conference title games - Buffalo News
- Justin Shorter determined to be part of the Buffalo Bills’ wide receiver mix next season - Buffalo News
- Great O-line pool for NFL draft helps Bills despite team’s lack of need at position - Buffalo News