After coming off a loss against the New York Jets in which many fans deemed “embarrassing,” the Buffalo Bills more than made up for that as they handed the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens a defeat in week four.
Starting with the defense, Buffalo absolutely dominated. The Bills allowed the Ravens only 345 yards of total offense and forced five Baltimore turnovers, all coming at the hand of Joe Flacco.
Linebacker Kiko Alonso and safety Aaron Williams both picked off Flacco twice each on the day, with safety Jim Leonhard grabbing the fifth. Leonhard was thoroughly excited about the win.
“Obviously, we’ve had our share of adversity, and I think we’ve proven through four weeks that we a room full of guys on the back end that will fight,” the safety said after the game.
Flacco was also sacked four times on the day, two of which came from defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
“It surprises people, but we controlled it the way we needed to,” Dareus said, who also posted two tackles for loss and seven tackles total. “We were not going to let them push us around.”
Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel had somewhat of a tough day, tossing only one score and two picks of his own. In the end, though, it was his fellow rookie Robert Woods who made the plays that counted and allowed for the Bills to put points on the board through the air.
Woods ended with four catches for 80 yards and an all-important 42-yard touchdown in the first half.
The Bills got it done primarily on the ground, offensively. rushing for 203 yards as a team. Manuel, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller were phenomenal in controlling the line of scrimmage and pounding the rock.
Only four weeks into the season, the AFC East is still wide open despite the Bills being at 2-2. Their defense is arguably the best in the division all-around, but they still need to play consistently up to the level they’re capable of. If clicking on all cylinders, this defense could be one of the top units in the NFL — I realize to many that may sound crazy. But, Buffalo has a boatload of playmakers on that side of the ball.
Coming into the year, the Bills’ defense said they wanted to play angry football; not necessarily to hurt anyone, but with an intensity that is unmatched. At this point in the season, they look as if that mentality is emerging
When looking at the division as a whole, each team will play competitively all year long the way I see it right now — all for maybe except the Jets. Buffalo is one of those teams that will hang around all year and could be a team that nobody wants to play down the stretch. Keep your eye on these Bills, they’re going to be a tough out every week.