The Buffalo Bills are looking to build on a league-leading defensive performance in a number of statistical categories during their 2021 campaign.
They’ll have a chance to do just that, and two of the players on their roster entering the 2022 season could help them do so as they were at the top of their position group in some significant defensive stats, according to Pro Football Focus.
Bills rookie Greg Rousseau had the most defensive stops (35) against the run last season among edge rushers while his new teammate Von Miller’s tackles for loss/no gain (17) was also the most among edge rushers.
Rousseau headlined the Bills 2021 draft as the 30th overall selection in the first round and was a big addition both physically as well as in terms of defensive performance.
While he did experience some drop-off in performance late in the season, he still was able to post this important stat after a year off during a college career in which he excelled in applying pocket pressure.
The reason it matters for Buffalo is that they were and are looking to improve their run defense, and this effort by Rousseau in his first year helps to provide them with improvement in that area.
As for Miller?
If you’ve watched professional football, you know the story there. He’s been one of the best players in the NFL throughout much of his career.
That he was the top player in the loss/no gain category bodes well for the Bills, as it adds to a defensive unit that already was at the top of the league while also giving them a big one-two punch with his ability to pressure the pocket and Rousseau’s ability to stop the run.
But what might also help them is Miller’s impact on the team’s young talent.
The pro bowler has quickly taken to helping players like Rousseau that are looking to build and expand on their rookie campaign, as well as players like A.J. Epenesa and Boogie Basham who could take the next step towards contributing with greater consistency and making more of an impact in games.
The addition of Miller and the first-year on-field impact of Rousseau are reasons for optimism that the team could put forth a championship-caliber defense in this season’s pursuit of a Super Bowl victory.
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