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Top 5 sack leaders in Bills history

Posted Dec 5, 2013

With the Bills at the top of the NFL in sacks and on pace to set the single-season franchise sack record set in 1995, here’s a look back at the five most prolific pass rushers in Bills history.

5) Ben Williams (1976-1985): 45.5 sacks

Nicknamed “Gentle Ben,” Ben Williams was chosen by the Bills in the third round of the 1976 draft and started all but seven games at left defensive end during his 10 years with the team. Though not part of the infamous trio of Bills dubbed the “Bermuda Triangle,” his pass rushing ability and contributions to the run defense allowed the “Triangle” to become such a force. In a four year stretch from ’80 to ’83, he tallied 35.5 sacks alone. With 45.5 sacks in his career, he retired as the Bills all-time sack leader at the time.

4) Cornelius Bennett (1987-1995): 52.5 sacks

After being drafted by the Colts in 1987 and holding out until he was traded to the Bills, Cornelius Bennett became a prolific linebacker for the team whose contributions are measured by more than just his sack tally. In his nine year Bills career, “Biscuit” amassed 751 tackles (third in team history), 22 forced fumbles (second in team histoy) and 19 fumble recoveries (first in team history) in addition to his 52.5 sacks which put him fourth on this list. In 1988 alone, Bennett was a first team All Pro after a career high 9.5 sacks in addition to his two interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 103 tackles. The five-time Pro Bowler finished his career with the Falcons and the Colts totaling 71.5 sacks in his 14 years in the NFL.

3) Phil Hansen (1991-2001): 61.5 sacks

Another on the elite Super Bowl-era defense, Phil Hansen played his entire career for the Bills after being drafted in the second round in the 1991 draft out of North Dakota State. The defensive end set records at ND State for sacks and pass breakups in a single season and continued seamlessly into his rookie year, starting the first game of the ’91 season for an injured Bruce Smith and eventually making the All-Rookie team. He had his best season in 1995 with a career-high 10 sacks and was inducted to the Bills Wall of Fame in 2011.

2) Aaron Schobel (2001-2009): 78.0 sacks

Aaron Schobel played his entire career with the Bills after he was drafted in the second round of the 2001 draft out of TCU, quickly becoming a mainstay on the defensive line. He tallied 78 sacks in his career with a career-best 14 in 2006, the first of two Pro Bowl seasons for the defensive end. That same year, Schobel set the record for longest sack streak in Bills history with sacks in six games in a row.

1) Bruce Smith (1985-1999): 171.0 sacks

NFL Hall of Famer, Bills Wall of Famer and arguably the best defensive player ever to call Ralph Wilson Stadium home, Bruce Smith sits atop the Bills career sack list by more than double. Smith racked up 171 sacks during his 15 year career with the Bills and tacked on another 29 in his final four years in the league for the Washington Redskins, making his 200 career sacks the most in the history of the NFL. The 11 time Pro Bowler and nine time All-Pro selection also set the single-season franchise record for sacks in 1990 with 19. Smith previously held the Bills single-game sack record with 4.0 before current Bills DE Mario Williams broke it during the September 15, 2013 game against the Carolina Panthers with 4.5 sacks on the day.