A stifling run defense led the way once again for the Bills in their win over Cleveland Sunday afternoon, allowing only 33 total rush yards and 2.5 yards per carry.
Former Alabama teammates, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and Browns' running back Trent Richardson, went head-to-head today for the first time since playing for the Crimson Tide.
Dareus said it was key for the Bills to be able to stop him.
"I played with him for a couple years," Dareus said. "I talked to the coaches and told the D-line, we just have to hit him before he hits us. He's the type of running back that really gets after it. He hits DBs, he hits linebackers, he hits D-linemen. We got to hit him and swarm the ball."
Linebacker Nick Barnett agreed with Dareus on getting to Richardson before he gets to you.
"That's what it is," Barnett said. "We wanted to keep him running east and west and get on top of him before he gets going. We can't let him out there in the open field and run the screen, he almost got loose on that screen, so you got to get on top of him, and get guys running and hitting and everybody jumping on him."
Defensive end Mark Anderson said stopping the run was one of the team's main goals.
"How many yards did they have like 30-something?" Anderson said. "That's a great game for the defense. Hats off to everybody, we played well. And we're looking forward to next week."
Defensive tackle Kyle Williams made his presence felt early, tackling Richardson for a two-yard loss and sacking Weeden on back-to-back plays on the Browns' second drive.
The Bills' starting front four sacked Browns' rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden four times on the day, but none were bigger than Anderson's, early in the fourth quarter.
Buffalo held a 17-14 lead to start the fourth, but the Browns were driving on Buffalo's 49. On 3rd and 12 Anderson got by his blocker and sacked Weeden from behind for an 11-yard loss. The Bills' would end up scoring on the ensuing possession.
"I don't even remember," said Anderson. "I was off the edge. It was a key third down play. I think Mario caused him to scramble, and I was able to come around and get the sack. It was a big time play for us."
Defensive end Mario Williams, the Bills' marquee free-agent acquisition this summer, recorded his first sack as a Bill while also hitting the quarterback twice to lead the team.
"It's great," Williams said. "Anytime you can get in there and make a play and get in there and get that first sack is huge. It feels great. It also feels better when you can go out and perform and play off one another and you can take up two blocks and take up three blocks across the board. They had to pick and choose the poison. It was either the left side they were going to or right side they were going to and at the end of the day we were playing off one another and we made it happen."
Linebacker Bryan Scott, who had an interception late in the fourth to seal the win, said the defense did their job today and never let the Browns get too much momentum.
"This is huge," Scott said. "To win on the road. To come out and show that we can stop the run, we can get after the passer. Our offense can score points – it's great for us."