The Buffalo Bills have had one of the best, most consistent secondaries in the NFL since 2017. That’s the year the team hired Sean McDermott as head coach and he immediately revamped the position group.
Fast forward to today and the unit has continued to produce at a high level. Look no further than last season when Buffalo was the best team against the pass in the entire league.
So what gives, PFF?
Pro Football Focus continued their positional-group rankings and upon getting to the secondary, the Bills were ranked as the sixth-best in the NFL. How can such a strong group land there?
It’s actually a bit logical and the football analytics outlet still admits Buffalo has a good group roaming their defensive backfield.
Here’s the breakdown:
A lot of how the Bills ultimately perform as a secondary falls on Tre’Davious White’s health after he tore his ACL last season. It also falls on how quickly first-rounder Kaiir Elam can adjust to the NFL game. That being said, Buffalo still fields the most consistent safety duo in the NFL — both Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer earned top-eight grades at the position last season.
The Hyde-Poyer safety tandem has continued to produce dynamite production. That does bring to light Poyer’s current contract situation with the team, but bare minimum, when the 2022 regular season rolls around Buffalo’s going to be able to count on them.
The question marks at cornerback holding the Bills’ ranking back are unfortunately valid.
White’s knee injury might cause him to lose a bit of a step. Even if he does come back early next season, often times an ACL injury will take another year to fully get back to 100 percent.
Can White prove that theory wrong? That’s a big question mark, as is Elam.
Elam is a talented player taken in the first round of the draft… but Elam hasn’t played a single professional football snap yet.
Regardless, this operation doesn’t hold much weight once the players get onto the field. The Bills will still sport a defense and secondary that’s amongst the league’s best, sixth ranking or not.
Even though back at No. 6, the Bills are still a “Tier 1” secondary in PFF’s mind. Those are described as “Where do offenses even attack?”
Such a category is one Buffalo rightfully is placed in.
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