1 - Brown tallies fourth straight 100-tackle season
With eight tackles in Sunday's game, linebacker Preston Brown recorded his fourth straight 100-tackle season. Since being drafted by Buffalo in 2014, he's been one of the NFL's top tacklers.
"That's one of the things you look for in your middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme," said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. "A guy who can, when he has a chance, makes tackles directly at him. He can do it, but yet can make plays from tackle-to-tackle as well and sideline-to-sideline. Preston is one of those guys. He can run, and when he gets there knows how to finish plays."
Brown's 100 tackles ranks seventh in the league. He's just one of seven players to notch triple-digit tackles this season. The LB is the first Bills player with four consecutive 100-tackle seasons since London Fletcher (2002-2006).
The Louisville product was a third-round draft pick and he's in the midst of his fourth season. In his rookie year, he led Buffalo in tackles with 109. In 2015, he recorded 120 tackles and was second on the team, only trailing Corey Graham. Last season, he posted a career high with 139 tackles. That was second on the team, only trailing Zach Brown who currently leads the league in tackles (117).
Brown's a vital part to Buffalo's defense. He has 25 more tackles than the next closest player. That's Jordan Poyer with 75. On top of his impressive numbers, he's also the quarterback of the defense.
"He's a smart football player," said Frazier. "He's helped us so much in this first year of introducing this new scheme to everybody on our defense. He's been everything we wanted at the middle linebacker position from a tackling standpoint."
2 - Pass rush made positive strides vs. Pats
On Sunday, Buffalo's defense recorded their most sacks since Week Three. With three first-half sacks, the Bills pass rush appears to be trending upwards.
"It's something we're always working on and trying to improve," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said. "It's hard to play good defense, pass defense, without a good rush. Our guys did a good job of that on Sunday."
With the three sacks in the first half, the team tied their season-high in the first 30 minutes of play. Adolphus Washington, Kyle Williams, and Shaq Lawson all had a sack against the Patriots. For Lawson, Sunday's game took a toll on him. He suffered a sprained ankle and his status is week-to-week. He currently leads Buffalo in sacks with four.
"Well, he's our starting left defensive end. It will be a loss for us for sure," said Frazier. "But, that also means it gives other guys opportunities. Like, Eddie Yarbrough and Ryan Davis. You'd hate to lose Shaq Lawson. He's done a really good job for us. He's improving and he needs those snaps. Hopefully we will get him back soon."
For Williams, Sunday's sack was extra special. It was his 163rd career game, the most by a Bills defensive tackle. Additionally, his take-down on Tom Brady was sack number 42.5 of his career. That's also the most in team history by a DT.
"He is the consummate pro, without question. Congratulations to him," Frazier said. "He was fired up throughout the week and it was evident in the way he played. He had a terrific game. And that sack, you saw the emotion after he got that sack. It was important to him and our defense at that moment. He came prepared like he always does. He had a heck of a football game."
The team tallied 10 sacks in the first three games this season. Though, they only managed seven sacks in eight games prior to the Patriots matchup. With the trio of takedowns on Brady, the Bills pass rush has some momentum moving forward.
"That's not an easy guy to sack. He gets the ball out even when people have free runners at times," Frazier said. "To come away with those sacks was big, but it's something we're working on and want to improve on. Glad to see it come together on Sunday."
3 - Coaches thoughts on making in-game adjustments
Buffalo's offense got things going early against New England on Sunday. After a turnover and missed opportunity, it went south for that side of the ball.
Offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison, discussed making in-game adjustments.
"I was off the script after about two plays. We had a couple of things go wrong. So we had to change some things up early, and then went back to the script," said Dennison. "That's all give and take as you go through [the game]. I try to script the first 15 [plays] just to get formations and some information for us so we can make adjustments throughout the game. You get different down-and-distances to change your script. Whatever happened, we had to make some adjustments pretty early."
Coming out after halftime, the adjustments didn't seem to work well as the offense failed to score on their five possessions. For the second time this season, the team posted a season-low of three points.
Head coach, Sean McDermott, gave his input on the topic during Monday's press conference.
"I think there's a lot that goes on there with what you're talking about. It's about 60-70 plays in a game and it's never one guy, one person, one play," said McDermott. "It's one thing how a game starts. How a game flows during the course of the game. And making proper adjustments is important."
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