Bills defense still searching for its identity this season

Sports

Buffalo Bills’ Tremaine Edmunds (49), center, celebrates after recovering a fumble during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Going into this season, it seemed like the Bills defense would once again finish as a top three unit for the third year in a row.

That’s because of the continuity on that side of the ball with so many starters returning, and the veteran talent that was brought in. But six games into the season, the Bills defense hasn’t been performing the way they have the past few years.

“Obviously we’re not getting the takeaways like we would like or holding opponents to short gains and things like that but it’s a year by year league, we know that and we’ve just got to kind of adjust on the run and try to find ways to be the best version of ourselves this year on this defense with the players we have,” Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White said.

“I know it’s week seven but you’re always trying to find your identity as a defense. You want to continue to get better, obviously that wasn’t the case the last couple weeks,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.

The Bills are giving up 387.5 yards per game, that’s 23rd in the league. They’re also ranked 21st in the NFL in points per game allowed (28). They also haven’t been taking the ball away as much forcing just seven turnovers so far this season and only two of those are interceptions. Matt Milano had the first in the season opener against the Jets (Milano has missed the past two games with a pec injury) and the second by Levi Wallace against the Rams in week 3 (Wallace is on injured reserve with an ankle injury).

“We just haven’t found that niche yet of what’s gonna work for us. So is it gonna be us holding teams to lower points? Is it gonna be us holding them to lower yards? Or is it gonna be us taking the ball away? We gotta find which defense is gonna be us,” White said.

“If we take the ball away I feel like that’s the best version we can get. Even if we’re giving up yards, if we’re taking the ball away that’s giving our offense more possessions and with our offense that we have those guys are gonna light it up.”

The Bills defense has also struggled to get pressure on the quarterback with just 11 sacks on the season.

“Finding our identity on defense is huge and we’re still trying to do that. With guys that are in and out of the lineup and all that you know not creating excuses but we gotta find that rhythm to be able to get off the field on third down, tighten up in the red zone, just stuff that we’ve been doing here in the past for so long,” Hyde explained.

“If we can find our identity on defense and what defense we’re gonna be we’ll be find and I feel like we’ll continue to get better, if we continue to get the cohesion and I fee like we’ll be fine if we continue to just believe in each other,” White said.

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