Bills: Run defense sets the tone
Leading the league with 48 sacks, the Buffalo Bills have rightly received much praise for their pass rush this season. However it’s arguable that the key to their defensive success has been their strength against the run. Entering Week 14, the Bills are currently seventh in the NFL against the run, allowing just 96.3 rushing yards per game; they’ve allowed the fourth-fewest rushing touchdowns (six); and they’re one of only seven teams that haven’t allowed a run of 40 yards or more. Such stout run defense forces opponents into third-and-long situations, giving the pass rush the platform to shine.
Buffalo’s dominance against the run has truly been a group effort, with multiple starters grading positively against the run. Defensive ends, Mario Williams (+7.1) and Jerry Hughes (+6.6) are currently ninth and tenth respectively against the run out of all defensive ends. Marcell Dareus ranks third among all defensive tackles with a +15.8 grade against the run, while his 9.1 Run Stop Percentage (RSP) is seventh-best at the position. Outside linebacker Nigel Bradham’s +10.3 grade in run defense is third best at the position; while his 10.9% RSP ranks fifth out of 25 qualifying 4-3 OLB’s. Fellow OLB Preston Brown’s 27.3 Combined Tackling Efficiency leads the same group of 4-3 OLB’s.