Bills Mafia has waited all summer long to see what Buffalo’s new defensive front would look like on the field and oh my, did they explode onto the scene. Poor Matthew Stafford was the punching bag for the Bills’ pass rush.
I thought the Bills couldn’t rush the passer. I thought Von Miller was overpaid. None of that proved to be true last night. This defensive line exploded for seven sacks on Matt Stafford! Two of them coming at the hands of newly acquired Buffalo Bill Von Miller.
The entire defensive line ate last night, and they were a huge reason for the Bills starting this season 1-0. Almost every play they were in the backfield, forcing Stafford off his spot, making him roll out or hurry or just making him uncomfortable back there. That’s something this Bills team was missing the past two seasons.
Rousseau contributed a sack, Jordan Phillips had a sack and a half, Epenesa had a sack and a half and Boogie Basham had a sack and an interception as well.
Von Miller looked like prime Von Miller last night and he seems to be the exact piece that Buffalo has been missing this entire time. Miller is so good at getting low, being bendy, and attacking you in different ways. We saw his first sack come against Noteboom in which Miller just bull rushed him, he got him off balance and just drove him into the back of Stafford and eventually got around to the sack.
His second sack was where he got low and slipped underneath his man and got around to Stafford once again. Just all the moves, techniques, and attributes this guy brings to this team cannot be understated. I’m sure a lot of us were curious to see how Von would look in Week One and if he was still able to be effective now at his age of 33 but boy did he look good last night.
Surprisingly the Bills did not blitz one time yesterday. All of their pressure was generated up front and they did not disappoint. It’s going to be very hard for opposing teams to consistently beat you down the field with this kind of pass rush coupled with the elite secondary the Bills have.
Miller’s Impact On The Bills’ Defense
On the flip side of the coin, it already looks like Von Miller’s presence is having an impact on these young defensive players. We saw Groot pick up a sack, we saw Boogie Basham making some nice plays and a sack as well, AJ Epenesa was in the mix and got some hits on Stafford and he added a sack. When Von draws the double team, and he will a lot this year, that’s when the other guys on that defensive line can step up and make some big plays.
Another player I want to talk about is Jordan Phillips. Wow, did that man look great last night? He had one and a half sacks, and his one full sack came on a nifty spin move in the interior of the line. Phillips was constantly generating pressure and even on some plays he didn’t get a sack, he was still laying a lick on Stafford.
Phillips, as we all know, was with the Bills in that 2020 season, and Buffalo just brought him back this year. Mainly to play a rotating depth piece, but after his first game back in a Bills uniform, he looked even better than he did that year. I can’t wait to see how Phillips progresses the rest of this year and if he can break out and turn into that big bad defensive tackle the Bills need.
We did see one downside from last night and that was the injury of Ed Oliver. He tweaked his ankle early in the game and was sidelined for a bit before joining the defensive line again in the second half. Unfortunately, it looked like it was still bothering him, and he had to sit out the rest of the game. It doesn’t seem to be too serious, and he will have plenty of time to rest that ankle before the Bills’ next game, on Monday Night Football against the Titans; however, if he were to miss time, the Bills have the defensive line depth to have a very good rotation.
Aside from Josh doing Josh things last night, like stiff-arming defenders and throwing 50-yard bombs on the run, this defensive line stole the show. They were so dominant, so physical and the impact that Von Miller is going to have on this Bills team the rest of this year is something that should make you giddy with excitement.
If they rush the passer like this every week, along with the elite secondary they have, opposing QBs are going to have nightmares when they see the Bills on their schedule.
Enjoy the games on Sunday! We are back Bills Mafia!
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