Formation switch on Bills' D-line leads to improvement

Posted Dec. 23, 2010 @ 4:45 p.m.
Posted By Eli Kaberon

During their stretch of four wins in six games, the Bills' defensive line has shown major improvement compared to the start of the year. NT Kyle Williams has played at a Pro Bowl level all season long, and as he has started to see more double-teams from opponents, other players have stepped up as well.

Since switching to a four-man line midway through the season, the team has improved the pressure it has put on quarterbacks. Next to Williams on the line is DT Marcus Stroud, a veteran run stuffer whose main priority is taking on blockers, allowing the team's linebackers to come up and make plays. DE Spencer Johnson is another solid run stopper, and OLBs Arthur Moats or Chris Kelsay often play a stand-up end position, attacking from the outside. The new formation has resulted in increased sack totals and takeaways.

In the six-game stretch, the Bills recorded 13 sacks; in their first eight games they had 12 total. Turnovers improved at an even greater rate, as they forced seven turnovers the first part of the season and 14 over the past six weeks, including nine of their 10 interceptions on the season.