Mario Williams was the talk of the NFL when he signed a six-year deal worth $96M last offseason, however his play on the field did not quite live up to the Buffalo Bills‘ enormous expectations. Although Williams set himself up for failure by signing such a big deal, I think that he will come on strong in 2013.
Many remember Williams’ inaugural season in Buffalo as a failure, but the ex-Houston Texan was at his peak for the Bills. Even with a torn ligament in his wrist for the first half of the the season, Williams was able to rack up double-digit sacks for the first time since 2008. It’s easy for players to go under-the-radar while in Buffalo and I think that is what happened to Williams in 2013.
Buffalo started off the season on an awful note as they gave up 52 points to the New England Patriots in Week 4. This is probably the point that causal NFL fans chalked the signing up to a failure–these fans would be sorely mistaken when the season finally came to a close. For the first seven weeks he was in Buffalo, Williams notched a lousy 3.5 sacks, but once he had surgery to his torn ligament during the Week 8 bye, he was considerably better with seven sacks.
Williams put on a show versus the Indianapolis Colts as he sacked Andrew Luck three different times in a Week 12 matchup. I think the two time All-Pro deserves the benefit of the doubt from Bills faithful considering he played half of the season on pretty much one arm and still managed to have a great year.
Either way, Williams is going to be expected to do a lot of different things again in 2013, and one of them is to fix a running defense that allowed opposing running backs to rush for five yards per carry.