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Bills Today: Strong defensive performances not enough for Frazier

Posted Sep 20, 2017

Buffalo's defense has been very stingy the first two weeks, but defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier wants more from his unit to ensure victory.

Here’s the Bills news of note for Sept. 20th. 

1 - Strong defensive performances not enough for Frazier
In his first year as defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier has bolstered the Buffalo Bills into being one of the league’s best defenses. In last week’s game they didn’t surrender a touchdown, and shut out the Carolina Panthers on red zone opportunities. Despite the strong performance on the defensive side of the ball, the Bills ended up losing 9-3, and that’s all Frazier cares about.

“You’re in it to win it, and when we don’t win, there’s not a whole lot you can get excited about in our business. It’s all about winning the games, that’s what we work so hard for, going all the way back to the offseason program… If we have a poor performance and we win, that’s a happy locker room. It’s all about winning,” Frazier said.

With two strong outings on defense the Bills sit with a record of 1-1. After Sunday’s game, they rank in the top-five in most major stats. They rank first in the AFC in the following team rankings: defensive yards per game (234.5), defensive yards per play (3.88), and defensive first downs per game (15.0). They’re also fourth in the NFL in defensive points per game (10.5). Though Frazier’s main focus is results, he’s happy with what he’s seeing in his unit.

“Just to keep fighting and fighting, and just trying to keep us within striking distance. It was good to see the resiliency of our guys, as they continued to play through each situation,” Frazier said. “The fact that they were 0-for-2 in the red zone, not scoring touchdowns, that was a big deal for our defense. It was good seeing them battle, and continue to battle throughout.”

The defense will be tested again this Sunday at home against the Denver Broncos, who exploded for 42 points against the Dallas Cowboys. 

2 - Kick and punt return position uncertain for Week Three
With Brandon Tate a surprising inactive this past Sunday, it remains a mystery to who will be fielding kicks and punts for Week Three’s matchup. Kaelin Clay was the man back there against his former team in Week Two, but it may be a position Sean McDermott is continuing to evaluate.

“I know what Brandon can do… Brandon’s a valuable member of this football team and I wanted to take a look at (Kaelin) Clay and see what he can do, from a special teams standpoint, first of all, and then also an offensive standpoint. That’s just about, again, no different with evaluating different positions, where we just wanted to look at Clay in that regard,” McDermott said.

With Clay being the subject of evaluation in Week Two, he fielded two balls both coming on punt returns. His longest of the game was for two-yards and the other one he muffed. McDermott commented during Monday’s press conference if Tate would be back there against the Denver Broncos.

“We’ll see, we haven’t had time to really sit down and talk that through yet at this point,” McDermott said.

Last season Tate ranked fifth in the league in punt returns and kick returns. We’ll see this Sunday if it will be Clay, Tate, or another Bill. 

3 - Hughes’ presence felt in 85th consecutive game
In Sunday’s Week Two matchup against the Carolina Panthers, defensive end Jerry Hughes played in his 85th consecutive game in the NFL. The impressive streak ranks fourth among active NFL defensive linemen.

Over the course of all those games Hughes has shown he hasn’t lost a step, this past Sunday was a career day for the eight-year veteran. The Bills tallied six sacks against the Panthers, Hughes accounted for two of them. That ties his single-game career high.

Hughes came to the Bills via trade with the Indianapolis Colts in 2013. The 6-2, 254-pound defenseman has suited up all 65 games with Buffalo, starting in 49 of those games.

This Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos will mark his 86th straight game in the league, we’ll see if it’s going to top his 85th.

SOCIAL MEDIA POST OF THE DAY

FB Pat DiMarco made a trip to ECMC on Tuesday to deliver tickets for this Sunday's game to trauma unit staff. Nice work Pat!