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Defensive Notes

Buffalo Bills

Floyd looks like a nice addition

With the Bills Defense, I've had some hesitation. They've been excellent for takeaways ever since Sean McDermott showed up, but the pass rush has been lacking. I'm feeling better about them today with the addition of Leonard Floyd.

It's the second time in two offseasons the Bills have brought in a big name pass rusher, and the second time they've dipped into the Rams defense that won the Super Bowl after the 2021 season. Von Miller got hurt 11 games into last season. Ideally they'll have both him and Floyd for 2023.

Floyd in the past three seasons with the Rams had 10.5, 9.5 and 9 sacks; his 29 over those three years ranks 10th. Miller missed all of one of those years (2020) due to injury, but he has 9.5 and 8 the last two years. Over the last two seasons, those guys both rank in the top 25 in sacks. The Bills this year will be one of four teams, with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and San Francisco, to start at least two such players. Miller made the list in fewer games than all but two of those pass rushers.

SACKS, 2021-2022
Nick Bosa, S.F.3334.0
Myles Garrett, Cle.3332.0
Matt Judon, N.E.3428.0
T.J. Watt, Pit.2528.0
Haason Reddick, Phil.3327.0
Micah Parsons, Dal.3326.5
Chris Jones, K.C.3124.5
Trey Hendrickson, Cin.3122.0
Brian Burns, Car.3321.5
Cameron Jordan, N.O.3221.0
Maxx Crosby, L.V.3420.5
Cameron Heyward, Pit.3420.5
Alex Highsmith, Pit.3320.5
Yannick Ngakoue, UFA3219.5
Robert Quinn, UFA2919.5
Leonard Floyd, Buf.3418.5
Javon Hargrave, S.F.3318.5
Josh Sweat, Phil.3218.5
Quinnen Williams, NYJ3118.0
Aaron Donald, LAR2817.5
Von Miller, Buf.2617.5
Preston Smith, G.B.3317.5
Denico Autry, Tenn.2917.0
Jonathan Allen, Was.3316.5
Danielle Hunter, Min.2416.5

Buffalo the last four seasons has ranked in the top 10 in takeaways each year (top-4 the last three years), but has finished 12th, 15th, 11th and 14th in sacks. If they can keep both guys on the field this season, it should be a top-10 pass rush.

Coming back from a torn ACL, Miller isn't certain to be ready for Week 1. He says he will be, but players are usually optimistic; another recent report was less encouraging. Regardless, if Miller isn't ready, Floyd provides a nice insurance policy. And once both are available, the Bills defense will look a lot more promising in fantasy leagues.

--Andy Richardson

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