There has been a lot of criticism pointed towards both the Buffalo Bills and Mario Williams in the months following their agreement on a six-year, $96 million contract prior to the 2012 season. It was an “out of the box” move for the usually frugal Bills and by the end of the season Williams had no effect on the outcome of the Bills season as they finished with a 6-10 record for the 2nd year in a row. It seemed like a colossal waste of money for the Bills to not get a return in the standings on their huge investment.
Williams had a good enough season for the Bills last year judging by the numbers. He led the Bills with 10.5 sacks, the most that he’s had since the ’08 season and the first Bills player to have 10 sacks since Aaron Schobel in 2010. His 46 tackles and two forced fumbles were also high numbers since his 2008 season. He set a new career best mark in passes defensed last year with four as well. Those are solid numbers, maybe even a bit above average, but certainly not what you expect when you give a guy $96 million especially when $50 million of it is guaranteed. You pay a guy that kind of money to take over a game. Mario didn’t do that really at any point last year. On Sunday, he finally did.
It wasn’t just that Williams broke the Bills single game sack record with 4.5 sacks. It’s that he an absolute monster all day on the field. He was blowing up his offensive lineman on nearly every play. He had about as many pressures on Cam Newton as he did sacks. He forced bad throws; he forced offensive linemen to be in the wrong position. He helped free up his fellow D-linemen. To put it simply, the Bills finally got the guy that they paid for after 17 games. How many more games that they get this guy is a question for another day. But if it becomes more often than not, the Bills may become one of the elite pass rushing teams in the NFL.