Take a look at the NFL defensive metrics this season and you'll find the Bills ranking at the top — or close to it — in every category:
- +91 point differential (1st)
- 8 INTs (T-1st)
- 12.2 points allowed per game (T-1st)
- 7 second half points allowed (1st)
- 77.8 rush yards per game (2nd)
- 260.4 total yards allowed (2nd)
Even with those standout numbers, that's not the most impressive thing this season for defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
"There are so many superlatives when I think about some of the things our guys are doing," Frazier shared. "But one of the things that sticks out is the way they really bond together."
Buffalo's defense has battled through a plethora of injuries to key players up to this point, with DT Ed Oliver, DT Jordan Phillips, S Jordan Poyer, CB Dane Jackson, LB Tremaine Edmunds and more missing time. Not to mention S Micah Hyde going to IR and CB Tre White still on the PUP list.
Through all of the injuries and different players that have had to step up into larger roles on any given week, the Bills have still managed to remain one of the NFL's most complete defenses.
"Just to see how the guys never blink," Frazier said. "They have come to work every single day and just work to improve with new guys in and out of the lineup."
This past Sunday was another example of that as LB Tyrel Dodson had to fill in for starting LB Tremaine Edmunds and the safety tandem of Damar Hamlin and Jaquan Johnson had to step up with Poyer out. Frazier said the ability for those players in particular to not only play well together, but to also be supportive teammates is what gives him joy in coaching the defense.
"That's what encourages you man. Because then you know you have a chance to weather whatever storms may come because the guys are playing together," Frazier said.
Allen's displays pinpoint accuracy in the wind on record-breaking TD
Now in his fifth year, BIlls QB Josh Allen is used to playing in windy conditions, especially in Orchard Park. But what has perhaps flown under the radar is the QB's ability to stay accurate while throwing into the wind.
In two home games, Allen has completed 46 of 69 passes (66%) for 741 yards and 8 touchdowns. Sunday's conditions were especially gusty but Allen navigated them with ease much of the day.
"He's got a good feel of what he has to do going into the wind versus going with the wind in terms of how much to put on it, take something off, let the wind take it a little bit," offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey said before adding, "it really helps us to have a guy with the type of arm strength he does."
Allen's first TD of the day was a prime example of the quarterback's improvement in that area. Standing in his own end zone and throwing into the wind, Allen wasn't able to fully step up into the pocket and get off a clean throw with a Pittsburgh defensive lineman creating traffic upfront.
Even in unfavorable circumstances, Allen's throw was on the money to Davis who took it 98-yard for the score, the longest score from scrimmage in NFL history in the first 90 seconds of regulation. Dorsey gave a breakdown on how that play unfolded.
"It's hard to do. But I think it just goes to show just the work that (Allen) put into, one, just the overall mechanics in which he has. A lot that you're able to do is because your lower body is in good position. So you're able to hitch up, because a lot of the power of what you throw with comes from your lower body and your legs and the torque in which you create with your legs.
"Those things are obviously big for us as we always try to stress, you know, not only just the X's and O's of things, but the teaching of the techniques and the teaching of mechanics and those different things that help guys," Dorsey explained.
Are the Chiefs the Bills' biggest obstacle?
The question above was posed to both Dorsey and Frazier during their media availability this week and both coordinators explained that it's a new season and previous matchups aren't looming in their minds heading into this week.
"It's hard to answer that question this year in Week 5 or 6, you know? There is still a lot of football left to play and all we can control is where we're at right now. It's really something where all that stuff kind of takes care of itself," Dorsey said.
Frazier stated that he doesn't see a reason to revisit last year's AFC Divisional Playoff loss as extra motivation.
"We'll cover scenarios that we may be put in during the course of the game and I don't think I'll specifically go back to 2021, haven't done it in any of our other games up to this point. I don't see the need to do it for this ball game either," he said.
For Frazier and the Bills defense, they'll be tasked with stopping a more balanced Chiefs offense this season. Kansas City still boasts the NFL's highest-scoring offense (31.8 PPG) — the Bills are 2nd (30.4 PPG).
With the departure of WR Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs have spread the ball around this season as six different players have a receiving touchdown through five games. To no one's surprise, TE Travis Kelce has 7 TDs and is coming off a 4-TD performance on Monday Night against the Raiders. But even without Hill, it's still going to be a challenge for Frazier and Co. to work through in their game planning.
"It's definitely somewhat different. It's hard to sit here and say it's not when you take a player of the caliber of Tyreek out of the equation. He was such a big part of what they did in creating the explosives for their offense, but they still are very efficient. They still are doing a very good job of scoring points and attacking defenses. And as long as you have Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, there's not going to be a huge drop-off," Frazier said.
Check out the best on-field and locker room photos from Sunday's win over Pittsburgh.