Aye Aye Aye Aye!!!!!! The Bills Mafia fanatics will have a lot to look forward to this season as the Bills defense definitely received an upgrade at one of the most important positions in football. In 2021, the Buffalo defense was tied for 11th in sacks according to StatMuse.com as they tallied 42 sacks during the newly implemented 17-game season. Not a single player on this defensive line had more than five and a half sacks. This harsh reality led to Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott reconstructing the defensive line.
The Bills On The Defensive!
The current defensive line includes two time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer Von Miller who has tallied 118 sacks in his career. The Buffalo Bills signed Miller to a six-year contract worth $120 million. The deal also included at $18.5 million dollar signing bonus and over $51 million in guaranteed money. In his most recent season, Miller recorded nine and a half sacks in 2021. In seven games last year with the Broncos he recorded four and a half sacks. Von Miller was then traded in the middle of the season to the LA Rams in which he recorded five sacks and eight games.
His postseason performance was very vital to the Los Angeles Rams playoff journey which they would ultimately hoist the Lombardi trophy in LA during Super Bowl LVI. The impact that Von Miller has on this Buffalo team is already evident. The two-time time Super Bowl champ knows that leading by example is important. Von Miller had two sacks against the LA Rams in the Bills 31-10 dominating victory.
This second round draft choice by the Miami Dolphins in 2015 has performed very well under Leslie Frazier’s tutelage.
After a very slow start to Jordan’s career, where he recorded only four and a half sacks in three seasons with the Dolphins. In 2018, Phillips would join Buffalo and the 2019 season would be a breakout season for him. The Kansas native and defensive tackle would record nine and a half sacks in nine starts while anchoring the Bills to top ten rankings in first downs allowed, third down defense, total takeaways, and sacks. The Bills also were number two in points allowed and third in total defense.
After a short two year stint with the Arizona Cardinals, Jordan would return back to the Bills. In the NFL season opening game, he would record one and a half sacks and open up many opportunities for his defensive teammates.
Gregory Rousseau, Boogie Basham, Ed Oliver, AJ Epenesa and Shaq Lawson
Gregory Rousseau last year started all 17 games and recorded four sacks and an interception to go along with 51 tackles.
Gregory Rousseau had a sack against the Rams on Thursday night.
Boogie Basham played in eight games last season and put up two and a half sacks and four tackles for loss.
Ed Oliver started in all 17 games last year and was able to notch four sacks under his belt along with 41 tackles.
A.J Epenesa played in 14 games. He contributed one and a half sacks and 14 tackles.
Shaq Lawson is another guy who succeeded in Leslie Frazier’s defensive system. Lawson’s production every year with Buffalo increased since being drafted in the first round in the 2016 draft. In 2019, Shaq Lawson put the quarterback down often and was able to produce six and a half sacks.
These guys should be able to elevate their game and produce with the opportunities that they are given this season. The veteran leadership of Von Miller and the familiarity with the Bills culture should help a lot as it pertains to Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips. Gregory Rousseau and Boogie Basham being second year players should have more chemistry within Leslie Frazier’s defensive scheme.
In totality, I expect this defense to settle (no pun intended) in and become an elite pass-rushing team this season. The Buffalo Bills recorded seven sacks on the road against the Rams in Week One. In my prediction, Bills Mafia fanatics buckle up and witness a top-five defensive pass-rushing team. The Bills will have more than 42 sacks this season. This team will make the opposing team’s quarterbacks shout.
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