Throughout this season, the Buffalo Bills defense has struggled, in fact, they’ve been one of the worse in the league.
On Sunday, after the Bills beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-17, Bills head coach Sean McDermott praised his defense after they limited the Chargers to 367 total yards, their fifth-lowest total of the season.
They also forced one interception, sacked rookie quarterback Justin Herbert three times, tallied seven tackles for a loss, and recorded eight quarterback hits. The Bills also allowed the Chargers to convert just three of their 16 third-down attempts.
“That’s the defense I expect every week,” McDermott said during his post-game video conference.
It was the fifth-lowest amount of total yards that the Bills have allowed this season. But it wasn’t their effort throughout the game that allowed the Bills to come away with a victory, it was their performance at certain times.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game, the Chargers had the ball on their own 48-yard-line, after benefitting from another Bills turnover, and were driving down the field.
Herbert dropped back on third-and-six and fired a pass that was intended for Hunter Henry. Cornerback Tre’Davious White slipped into the passing lane and picked off the pass for his second of the season. He also picked off Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in Week 9.
Sunday’s victory was exactly what the Bills needed after falling to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10. It was a situation where the offense, which has carried the team for most of the season, couldn’t get anything going and the defense responded. McDermott recognized that.
“I feel good about the win, these are hard to come by, really hard, and that’s a really good football team,” McDermott said.
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A.J. Klein Steps Up For Another Big Game
The veteran linebacker has been criticized for his play throughout this season, but in Buffalo’s last three games, Klein has risen to the occasion. On Sunday, he did it again.
He tallied 14 tackles – his second straight game with double-digit tackles – got to Herbert for 1.5 sacks and also deflected a pass. His sack came in one of the biggest moments of the game too.
The Chargers were driving down the field after the two-minute warning and were facing a third-and-seven situation. Klein broke through the line unblocked and tracked down Herbert for a crucial sack that forced a fourth-down conversion.
Josh Allen Thankful for Performance of Bills Defense
Josh Allen had one of his worst games of the season. He threw an interception, fumbled a snap, and threw for just 157 yards, averaging 5.7 yards a throw.
The offense committed three turnovers – two fumbles and an interception – on three straight drives late in the game and needed the defense to bail them out.
That’s just what they did.
White picked off his pass, Klein came up with a big sack, and the defense made a few key stops at the end of the game to preserve a 10-point lead.
“That’s a sign of a good team,” Allen said in his post-game video conference. “When one side of the ball is not doing their job the other side can pick it up.”
For most of this season, the Bills offense has been the one carrying the load but on Sunday the defense stepped up and the Bills moved to 8-3 for the second straight season.
“We’re 8-3, that was our goal heading into this game, whatever it takes and we got it done,” Allen said. “Our defense played outstanding and obviously on the offensive side of the football we can do a lot more to help us out.”
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