BY NICK ST. DENIS
The Buffalo Bills finally got the game they were paying Mario Williams all that money for.
Williams, the Bills' $100 million defender, tallied a team-record 4.5 sacks in Buffalo's 24-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers. Buffalo's defense got in third-down situations where it was able to pin its ears back, and Williams capitalized.
“I think that when you get people behind in the sticks, that’s where the pass rushing ability really takes a level up,” Bills coach Doug Marrone said after the game, via BuffaloBills.com. “When they’re not worried about run or pass and if you can get them in a situation, I think then those elite pass rushers really rise to the top.”
Here's how Williams' sacks broke down from a situational standpoint:
- First-and-10 at Panthers' 20 (-6 yards)
- Third-and-2 at Panthers' 47 (-5 yards)
- Third-and-10 at Panthers' 44 (-7 yards)
- Third-and-7 at Panthers' 23 (-11 yards) *split sack
- Third-and-4 at Bills' 7 (-1 yards)
The Panthers went 7-for-16 on third down, so Williams' quarterback takedowns accounted for nearly half of Carolina's third-down failures.
“Four and a half sacks is the difference there, mostly because of knocking us back, keeping us from getting opportunities to put the ball in the end zone," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "That’s the bottom line.”
Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily