Inside The Bills

Dareus add gives Bills rare 3 DL in Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2014 – 11:18 am

With Marcell Dareus added to the Pro Bowl roster Monday it gives Buffalo three defensive linemen in one Pro Bowl for the first time in team history as he joins Kyle Williams and Mario Williams.

It’s also the first time one NFL club has sent three defensive linemen to the Pro Bowl in the same year since 2008 when Minnesota sent Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Pat Williams to Honolulu.

Dareus also gives Buffalo four players at the Pro Bowl (Byrd, K. Williams, M. Williams). It’s the first time the Bills have had four players at one Pro Bowl since 2004 when they had DT Sam Adams, CB Nate Clements, KR Terrence McGee and LB Takeo Spikes go.

The last time Buffalo came close to having three defensive linemen in the Pro Bowl in the same year was 1997 when Bruce Smith, Ted Washington and Bryce Paup all went, but Paup was a linebacker in Buffalo straight 3-4 system even though he was often at the line in a two-point stance.


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Kyle, Mario got Dareus on right path

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2014 – 10:53 am

When Marcell Dareus came to the Bills as their third overall pick in 2011, he was all of 21-years old. The commitment to being a pro every single day was something the talented defensive tackle had to learn. Fortunately for him he had mentors in Kyle Williams and Mario Williams.

It took until year three of his career for it to kick in, but Dareus prepared like a pro and it made him a more consistent player on the field. In an appearance on the John Murphy Show Monday after he was named as an injury replacement to the Pro Bowl, Dareus tipped his hat to his two veteran teammates and fellow Pro Bowlers.

“To come in the league with Kyle Williams and Mario Williams they showed me so much and they told me just how to stay focused this year and learn the league and watch film and break film down the way it’s supposed to be broken down and stay consistent with your work, being with those guys I just kind of blossomed into the player that I always wanted to be,” he said. “I’ve just got to build on it and stay consistent and remain the guy I always want to be known as and that’s what I did this year.”


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus over the moon about Pro Bowl nod

Posted by Chris Brown on January 21, 2014 – 10:41 am

Bills DT Marcell Dareus left on a 6 am flight bound for Honolulu this morning. He’ll arrive on the South Pacific at 3 pm Hawaii time to prepare for his first Pro Bowl as he was named an injury replacement Monday for San Francisco’s Justin Smith. Dareus appeared on the John Murphy show last night and his excitement was obvious.

“Oh my God, words can’t even express how I feel about the whole thing right now,” Dareus said. “It’s almost happening too fast. I’m just trying to get a hold of myself.”

Dareus knew he was a Pro Bowl alternate, but didn’t know until this past weekend that his chances to go to the Pro Bowl could improve based on how things played out in last Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

“My agent called me and said, ‘Marcell just be prepared just in case anything happens on Sunday you may be sliding into the Pro Bowl,’” Dareus said. “So we waited to see what the outcome was. It’s a great feeling. I can’t even explain it right now.”

Dareus, who posted a career high in tackles and sacks this past season explained what he felt turned his play around in 2013.

“It was just more focus on myself and stay in the game and not let off field distractions get in the way of me playing good and being consistent,” he said. “I just kind of focused in on what I had to do and pulled it off. Talking to my brothers and sisters helped and we just put it all together and made it happen.”

 


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Kyle tops NFL DTs in advanced metrics

Posted by Chris Brown on January 13, 2014 – 9:44 am

Bills DT Kyle Williams has already been recognized by his peers and opposing coaches as a Pro Bowl caliber player for the third time in his career. The advanced metrics football site AdvancedNFLStats.com agree wholeheartedly in Williams with their figures backing them up.

Williams is rated as the highest defensive tackle in the NFL for his performance in 2013. The veteran DT had the highest Win Probability Added figure with his time on the field for the Bills last season.

In addition Buffalo’s Marcell Dareus was rated seventh overall, making the Bills one of just two NFL clubs with two players in the top 10 on the list. The other team was the Detroit Lions, who had Ndamokung Suh and Nick Fairley. They rated second and fifth respectively.

Rank Player Team G +WPA +EPA +EPA/G SC Tkl Asst TF Sk SkYd PD QBHit FF TklLoss Int
1 95-K.Williams BUF 32 3.45 101.6 3.18 130 84 50 0.51 22 148 2 42 2 28 0
2 90-N.Suh DET 30 3.08 104.7 3.49 95 72 22 0.50 10 82 12 34 2 18 0
3 93-G.McCoy TB 30 2.84 89.3 2.98 105 70 30 0.46 18 132 8 38 0 30 0
4 97-J.Hatcher DAL 28 2.76 75.3 2.69 75 68 14 0.39 22 184 6 28 4 30 0
5 98-N.Fairley DET 30 2.74 79.4 2.65 87 47 25 0.38 14 74 2 40 4 17 0
6 93-K.Williams MIN 30 2.57 63.5 2.12 60 32 26 0.24 10 64 10 18 0 8 2
7 99-M.Dareus BUF 32 2.52 71.4 2.23 124 92 50 0.54 16 122 6 22 2 16 0
8 99-C.Jenkins NYG 30 2.22 67.0 2.23 66 50 12 0.26 12 50 0 24 4 14 0
9 94-R.Starks MIA 28 2.17 53.9 1.93 84 70 24 0.45 6 24 2 10 2 12 0
10 92-B.Mebane SEA 32 2.16 79.1 2.47 95 42 48 0.40 0 0 2 12 0 12 0

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Fan Friday 1-3

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2014 – 11:57 am

Happy New Year Bills fans! We can only hope that 2014 will hold much better fortunes for the team. In fact hopefully this Fan Friday edition next year will be talking about the postseason with the Bills in it. Here’s your latest edition of questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - @ChrisBrownBills is dareus being traded for being late to meetings just smoke?

Guy Rosenbarker Jr.@rosenbarker

CB: I did not hear that rumor and would be stunned if that happened. Here’s where I believe coach Marrone and Doug Whaley stand on Dareus. He just had his most productive season in the NFL. He’s 23-years old. He’s done some irresponsible things as they pertain to the team (chronic lateness). Marrone has said they have addressed the issue. Dareus, to his credit, faced the music in the postgame locker room after his first half benching and sounded remorseful. He has to live with that feeling of letting his teammates down all offseason. I think the Bills see that as a motivator for Dareus moving forward and it should be.

Perhaps the most important thing to come out of Dareus’ postgame comments last week were his references to being a leader. Obviously coach Marrone told him he expects Dareus to be a future leader on the team, and that he can’t help lead a team when he can’t be a responsible professional himself. But it’s clear the path they see Dareus traveling with this team. Hopefully Dareus can see it too.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills With @jairusbyrd can they start negotiating now?

T‏@Scorpio_1st

CB: Yes, now that the regular season is over they can resume negotiations with Jairus Byrd on a long term contract extension provided the Byrd camp wants to negotiate. Byrd’s last public comments on the John Murphy Show were that he was open to returning to the Bills on a long term contract. Of course he’s open to anything that might come his way.

Bills GM Doug Whaley said this week they will make him an offer in an effort to keep him long term. Whether it’s enough to convince the free agent safety remains to be seen.

 

3 – Chris,
With the roster in evaluation mode, who are the 2014 Bills free agents? How high is Carrington on the Bills list? Will the Bills be awarded a high pick for Levitre?

CB: Hopefully you saw my blog earlier this week listing the free agents. With Alan Branch already re-signed it gives Buffalo some leverage with Carrington. I’m sure they would like to add Carrington back to the fold, but he’s got to prove he’s healthy coming off his torn quadriceps suffered back in Week 3. I talked briefly to Carrington a couple of weeks ago and he’s said his rehab has gone quite well.

The Bills tried to re-sign Carrington right before the season started, but were turned down by Carrington’s agent, who also happens to be the same agent for Jairus Byrd. The market will be considerably softer for Carrington due to the injury, so the Bills can probably afford to provide just a reasonable offer to get him back on the roster.

As for a compensatory pick it begins and ends with a net loss of free agents. I don’t believe they had a net loss of free agents knowing they signed Manny Lawson, Alan Branch, Kevin Kolb and Doug Legursky while losing Andy Levitre, Chad Rinehart and Kyle Moore (who did not make Chicago’s roster).

Levitre’s large salary could net a compensatory for Buffalo, but we’ll have to see which signings the league qualifies as free agent losses. Moore’s small salary upon signing with the Bears may be excluded.

 

4 – Hey Chris,
My question is in regards to the players during off season. Do the players with injuries going into the off season continue rehabbing with the Bills training staff, Drs., etc at the Bills facility? What about the players whose contracts are up after this year? Is it now their own responsibility to find ways of rehabbing injuries outside of the Bills organization?

Thanks Chris, Tim in Niagara Ontario

CB: To my knowledge it is usually at the player’s discretion as to where they would prefer to rehab. Some have chosen to rehab here in town in the offseason (e.g. Marcus Easley). Others have chosen to rehab back home and then come in for periodic check-ups with the Bills medical and training staff.

For players whose contracts are up after this season, they technically can still rehab with the Bills because their contracts do not expire until March 11th. But that is not usually what players in that situation choose to do.

 

5 – Chris:
Great job of coverage again this year, so thank you for all of your consistent hard work in keeping Bills fans on top of what is going on.

Looking ahead to the 2014 season, it looks like the Bills will be facing the AFC West and NFC North teams due to the rotating schedules. So, that means the Bills will be tested by the likes of Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Drew Stafford, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Ryan Tannehill, to name a few.

Do you think the upcoming schedule plays any role or factor in how the Bills will view the importance of bringing back Jairus Byrd for 2014, based on the level of quarterbacks that the team will face next year?

Besides Byrd, any news or updates on players that the Bills are trying to sign to contract extensions before they hit free agency? Thanks Chris.

Dan in Cheshire, CT

CB: Thanks for the compliments Dan. Much appreciated.

While the list of quarterbacks for Buffalo’s opponents in 2014 is impressive I don’t know that it’s a determining factor in how vigorously the Bills will pursue a new contract with Jairus Byrd. I think the decision on how determined they’ll be to re-sign him has already been made. Now they will simply try to execute that plan. Byrd’s value is already established in their eyes. Naturally Byrd has a value himself. That likely wasn’t impacted any more or any less by the quarterbacks they’ll be facing this coming season.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Dareus regretting missteps

Posted by Chris Brown on December 29, 2013 – 10:56 pm

A week after being benched for the first quarter of Buffalo’s shutout win over Miami in Week 16, Marcell Dareus again broke a team rule the following week and found himself sidelined for a half in the season finale against New England. His absence was instrumental in seeing LeGarrette Blount rumble for 189 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns in the Patriots 34-20 win.

Dareus was remorseful in the postgame locker room.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I just hate that I put my team in a position like that. As a player I’m just going to get better. Me and Coach talked about it. I’m going to grow as a player in the offseason and continue to work and do the best I can. I hate I put my team in that position.”

“Obviously there was a team violation. It was broken. I sat down with him again and talked about it and we’re both going to continue to work through it and move forward,” said Marrone.

Marrone did admit he missed having one of the leading tacklers at the defensive tackle position in the NFL.

“It would be naïve for me to stand up here and say no. We know what type of player Marcell is,” Marrone said. “The more we can have him out there playing the better we are.”

Dareus spoke to at least two of the team captains in Kyle Williams and Fred Jackson.

“We just know we can’t put ourselves in those situations and he knows that,” said Jackson. “He’s talked to me and I’m sure he’s talked to Kyle and we need him out there. Anytime he’s sitting on the bench he’s not helping us or helping this team.

“That’s a feeling that I know he doesn’t like so he knows he’s got to come back and be better at it next year and I’m sure he will. I have all the confidence in the world in him. Espeically after a day like this it’s something that’s going to be sticking with him all offseason and be motivating for him.”

Dareus said he addressed the team following his team infraction.

“I apologized to my guys,” he said. “Regardless of the situation, I let them know that I’m so sorry about what happened.  I’m sorry about the game today, and last week.  They know that I’m sorry for what happened and it’s done.  But it’s a team rule and we’re all with it.  I respect it.

“I’m just going to continue to move forward. Just be a better player all the way around. Come in to camp better and just be a better person. If I’m going to get to the next level to where I’m supposed to be as an elite player in the league and try to be a captain of the team, I have to do the best I can.  Continue to get better, be on time, and have no excuse for whatever the situation is.”

 


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Kyle, Dareus make PFF Pro Bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2013 – 4:01 pm

The stat crunchers and film reviewers at Pro Football Focus have released their Pro Bowl teams and Buffalo’s two interior defensive linemen both got the nod.

Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus were both honored for their play this season. Williams was selected as a “starter” while Dareus was listed as a backup. Here’s what they wrote.

Defensive Tackle: Gerald McCoy (TB), Ndamukong Suh (DET), Jurrell Casey (TEN) and Kyle Williams (BUF)

Backups: Dontari Poe (KC) and Marcell Dareus (BUF)

There are a lot of players who might feel wronged here. The nose tackle types who only play on early downs like Damon Harrison and Brandon Mebane are victims of their own limitations despite their excellent work against the run, while there simply wasn’t the room for Randy Starks or Jason Hatcher. It’s been a tremendous season for the DT spot, with us treating Kyle Williams as one because it’s the role that most closely resembles his on field work.


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Sack plan now is get Dareus to 10

Posted by Chris Brown on December 26, 2013 – 9:03 am

Coming off of Sunday’s resounding season-high seven sack performance, the Bills now have three players with 10 sacks or more on the year with Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Jerry Hughes all in double digits. Their plan now is to get Marcell Dareus to 10 in the season finale at New England.

That according to Marcell Dareus himself, who with 7.5 on the season, will need to have a whale of a day to get Tom Brady on the ground 2.5 times.

“We reached the goals towards the end of the year,” said Dareus. “We wanted to break the sack record. The single season sack record with the team. We want all the guys to get 10, they’re waiting on me now.  They’re going to try to get me free so I can get there.  We reached all the goals, Kyle got his 10, Jerry got his 10, Mario has his 13—everything is coming together.”

Brady has been sacked 39 times this season.


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Best matchup for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on December 22, 2013 – 8:53 am

The Bills defense has some premier level talent on their side of the ball and there’s one matchup where Buffalo looks to have a decided edge against the Dolphins today.

With Kyle Williams playing a bit more end of late, it’s allowed Marcell Dareus to step into the three-technique spot at defensive tackle (outside shoulder of guard). That means Dareus will be matched up against Dolphins LG Sam Brenner.

An undrafted rookie out of Utah, Brenner is a center by trade. He’s made three starts at left guard for Miami since Richie Incognito was suspended in the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal. Brenner began the season on the Dolphins’ practice squad.

Dareus figures to have his way with Brenner if they’re in a one-on-one matchups. The Bills DT is putting together his best NFL season and is a favorite to land his first Pro Bowl berth this season.


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Dareus, Jackson update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2013 – 12:42 pm

Both Marcell Dareus and Fred Jackson came out of last Sunday’s game with injuries and missed some practice time this week, but each appear ready to roll Sunday against the Dolphins.

Both practiced fully on Friday despite their ankle and rib injuries. Dareus and Jackson are both listed as probable for Sunday’s rematch with the Dolphins.


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Dareus, A. Williams update

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2013 – 7:00 pm

Marcell Dareus practiced on Wednesday despite sustaining an ankle injury last Sunday. He was limited. Aaron Williams however, was a non-participant Wednesday after suffering a rib injury last weekend. Head coach Doug Marrone said Williams would be 50-50 for Sunday’s game against Miami. Here’s the Bills official injury report.

DID NOT PRACTICE
WR Stevie Johnson – not injury related
DT Kyle Williams – Achilles
S Aaron Williams – ribs
RB Fred Jackson – ribs

LIMITED IN PRACTICE
DT Marcell Dareus – ankle
CB Brandon Smith – ankle
QB EJ Manuel – knee


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Dareus gets late fan Pro Bowl push

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2013 – 4:26 pm

Marcell Dareus has a big family. No word on whether they’re the ones doing all the voting, but the Bills defensive tackle has vaulted into one of the top two spots at his position with fan voting for the 2014 Pro Bowl.

The latest check on top vote getters by position has Dareus as the second-leading vote getter at defensive tackle in the league right now. The third-year DT is having the most productive season of his career. He’s already set a single-season career high in tackles and sacks with 7.5.

He joins teammate Kiko Alonso as one of the leaders in vote count with just over a week left for fans to cast their ballots for the Pro Bowl.

Here are where some other Bills rank in the fan voting knowing that coaches and players will vote next week.

ILB Kiko Alonso – 1st
DT Marcell Dareus – 2nd
DE Mario Williams – 3rd
DT Kyle Williams – 4th
SS Aaron Williams – 7th
FS Jairus Byrd – 8th

 


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Stat change on a sack last Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2013 – 3:31 pm

In last week’s game the Bills logged five more sacks and now have 49 on the season tying the team’s modern era record of 49 and one short of the all-time team record of 50 set in 1964. But there was a stat change in Buffalo’s sack tally made by the NFL this week.

Marcell Dareus was originally credited with a full sack on a 3rd-and-20 play in the first quarter when Chad Henne was dropped for an eight-yard loss. Upon further review it was determined that Dareus and Kyle Williams split the sack.

So on the season now, Kyle Williams has 8.5 sacks and Marcell Dareus has 7.5.

 


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Aaron, Dareus updates

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2013 – 2:10 pm

Bills head coach Doug Marrone provided an injury update on Marcell Dareus and Aaron Williams, who both left the game Sunday and did not return.

“Aaron has the ribs and we’ll see where he is later in the week,” said Marrone. “He’ll probably sit out practice Wednesday and them we’ll see where he is.

“Marcell is kind of the same thing with the ankle. We think he’ll be okay, but he might be limited on Wednesday.”

Marrone also said that Kraig Urbik and Kiko Alonso both came through the game fine, but one or both could be limited Wednesday.


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Stevie and Marcell autograph signing

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2013 – 2:45 pm

RealSportsApparel_AutographSession_Graphics_22x28_111413_LR

Bills WR Stevie Johnson and DT Marcell Dareus will be making an appearance north of the border Friday where they’ll be available for autographs.

Johnson and Dareus will participate in a Q&A session hosted by Sportsnet’s Ken Reid for 45 minutes.  Then the players will sign autographs for fans for one hour. They’ll be at the Real Sports apparel store at 15 York Street in Maple Leaf Square at the corner of Bremner Blvd. and York between 5 and 7 pm.


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Best tandem since ‘The Package’?

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2013 – 9:52 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus are a pretty impressive interior tandem. Are they the best interior duo since ‘The Package?’

For those Bills fans that don’t remember, the duo dubbed ‘The Package’ was Ted Washington and Pat Williams. Buffalo was a strict 3-4 front back in the late 90’s and early in his career, Pat Williams was rotated in as a run down defender, while Washington was the full-time two-gap nose tackle. Washington and Williams lined up alongside one another appeared to clog up all three of the front side gaps at times. They were instrumental in leading the Bills 1999 defense to the number one defensive ranking that season.

The two were the main reason why that ’99 defense still ranks number one in team history for fewest rushing yards allowed in a 16-game season. Buffalo’s ’99 defense allowed just 1,370 rushing yards that season. For perspective, Buffalo’s defense this year has allowed 1,307 rushing yards in 11 games.

Washington and Williams were also part of the 1997 defense that finished in the top five in team history in sacks with 46. That appears to be something Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus can help to eclipse this season to move into the top 5 themselves.

Pat Williams was also part of another formidable interior duo for two seasons with free agent signee Sam Adams from 2003-2004. The 2004 unit finished second in the league in total defense.


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Bills DT sacks don’t surprise Marrone

Posted by Chris Brown on November 27, 2013 – 8:11 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today, the combination of Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus has been extremely productive this season. They currently stand second and fourth on the team in sacks. Williams has seven and Dareus has five. But head coach Doug Marrone is not surprised by their pass rush success, particularly that of Williams.

I think years ago when the majority of the football was run to pass ratio, I re starting to see to change a little bit over the past four or five years to a little bit more pass,” Marrone said. “I always thought schematically you can do things to help yourself with those edge rushers, but inside is tougher.

“Depending on what you’re going to do, the center is going to go one way or the other, but that one guard is going to be put one on one quite a bit. I think a lot of it is matchups, but again you have to remember that Kyle Williams is
probably one of the best if not one of the better players at his position in the league right now. He’s playing at an extremely high level.”


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Other Bills in Pro Bowl running

Posted by Chris Brown on November 20, 2013 – 4:04 pm

With the news coming down that Mario Williams and Kiko Alonso are the leading vote getters among fans at their respective positions for the 2014 Pro Bowl, here are some of the other Bills who are in the hunt at their positions for fan votes.

DT Marcell Dareus – 3rd
DT Kyle Williams – 5th
SS Aaron Williams – 6th
K Dan Carpenter – 10th
ST Marcus Easley – 10th

Bills head coach Doug Marrone said just last week that if the team had a better won-loss record that Marcus Easley would have an excellent chance of being a Pro Bowl special teams player with the success he’s had in coverage.


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More kudos for Bills D-line

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2013 – 10:25 am

The stat crunchers and film reviewers at Pro Football Focus are again giving praise to Buffalo’s defensive line. Though their performance came in a loss at Pittsburgh, PFF was impressed with an across the board effort by the Bills men up front.

Here’s some of what they wrote about the Bills D-line from Sunday’s game.

Defensive Line Dominates
It should be obvious by now, but the highlight of the Bills roster is their defensive line and, while we’ve seen big performances from two of the three starters, this was the most complete performance of the year for Alan Branch (+3.5), Marcell Dareus (+5.6) and Kyle Williams (+4.9) as a trio.

The three combined for a grade of +9.9 against the run, while Dareus did even more damage as a pass rusher.
With a sack and three hurries from 29 pass rushes, he finished the game with a Pass Rushing Productivity Rating of 11.2.

While it was against center Fernando Velasco (-4.4) that he found the most success, both as a pass rusher and against the run, his biggest play came against right tackle, Marcus Gilbert on 3rd-and-7 with 8:48 to go in the third quarter. Beating him to the outside with ease, he was able to swat the ball away from Ben Roethlisberger and force a fumble, with only the quarterback’s quick reaction, and a bit of luck, preventing the turnover.

Up until now Dareus’ play has been much more up and down, but he’s been on an impressive run of form for much of this season, as he puts together his best year so far.

The three highest graded players were Marcell Dareus (+5.6), Kyle Williams (+4.9) and Alan Branch (+3.5)

Another solid day rushing the passer for Jerry Hughes who picked up two sacks and a hurry on 18 pass rushes. That was more than Mario Williams (one hurry on 31 pass rushes) managed.

PFF Game Ball
While it may have been in a losing effort, the level of play from the Bills defensive line was the highlight of the day, with Marcell Dareus proving to be the best of the bunch.

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Bills still maintaining resolve

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2013 – 11:42 pm

The Bills have unquestionably fallen on hard times having now lost three straight to fall to 3-7 on the season. But their resolve was unwavering after Sunday’s most recent defeat.

“Of course, it always hurts,” said Marcell Dareus. “But we’re going to continue to stay together and do the best we can, because eventually it’s going to turn for us.  Once it does, I don’t think nobody’s going to be able to stop us.”


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