Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bills' D on 5-3 start: We have plenty to improve upon


Now officially halfway through the season, the Buffalo' Bills defense is looking pretty good.

Following their best effort since 2007, questions were abound this season as Mike Pettine's departure for Cleveland at the end of last year opened the door for the more traditional style of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Schwartz hasn't disappointed, equaling the squad's efficiency from 2013 thus far while keeping the turnover differential in the black.

Safety Aaron Williams told reporters Wednesday the unit is using last season as a measuring stick while they work to continually improve their game.

"I feel like we're doing pretty good. We have a high standard for ourselves," Williams said via "We're trying to do a lot better than we did last year, and we were a top 10 defense last year. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves -- a lot of pressure on our D-line, our secondary and our 'backers -- and just do your job, and not anything more."

The Bills finished 10th in overall defense last year, the exact spot they're currently sitting. While its efforts against the pass have been mediocre at times, Buffalo's front seven have more than made up for it in the run game, allowing only 92 yards per game.

Keeping teams off the scoreboard has been another crucial aspect of the squad's success. The Bills rank seventh overall in points per game allowed (20.6); that's despite a pretty pedestrian effort in the red zone, where they've allowed touchdowns in 75 percent of opponents' opportunities the past three games.

And as Kyle Williams noted Wednesday, opponents are always looking for those type of weaknesses.

"I think we've gone in spurts where it's very, very good," Williams said. "Teams are gonna adapt; teams are going to change. We're going to have to adapt, not just at halftime but in-game, which we didn't do a great job on Sunday. We came out and played better in the second half, but when he (Michael Vick) first came in, he threw us for a loop.

"So far so good, but we still have a lot of things to work on."

The defense has some tough tests ahead, as the Bills are still slated to face the Broncos on the road (Week 14), Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (Week 15) and the Patriots in Foxborough (Week 17).

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