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Stats: An impressive climb by Buffalo's defense

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No one who has watched the Bills defense over the last four weeks needs to be told how well they have been playing. Sunday’s effort in Houston was no different. Buffalo’s defensive unit surrendered just 216 total net yards, logged seven sacks, held the Texans to 3.1 yards per rush and picked off Deshaun Watson twice in the game. This kind of production has effectively lifted the Bills defense from the bottom half of the league in a host of categories to top 10.

Here's a look at some of the categories where Buffalo’s defense has made a considerable jump since their first two games.

Table inside Article
Defensive Category Rank in Week 3 Rank in Week 7 Statistical Improvement
Total Defense 18th 3rd 359 Yards to 311 Yards/Game
Run Defense 22nd 8th 113 yds to 92.5 Yards/Game
Pass Defense 16th 6th 246 yds to 219.2 Yards/Game
Sacks Per Play 16th 7th 6% to 9% (Sack Percentage)
Red Zone Defense 30th 27th 90% to 68.4% (TD Percentage)
Points Allowed/Game 31st 12th 39 PPG to 23 PPG

NFL STREAKS
The Bills now lead the league for the longest streak of games without allowing a 300-yard passer. Houston QB Deshaun Watson came into the game with four consecutive 300-yard passing games on Sunday, but Buffalo held him to just 177 yards passing. It marked the 15th consecutive game in which the Bills have held the opposing passer to under 300 yards passing.

Stephen Hauschka is now third in the NFL for most consecutive field goals of under 50 yards with 22 after his two successful kicks Sunday. Only Carolina’s Graham Gano (35) and New England’s Stephen Gostkowski (26) have streaks that are longer.

BILLS NOTES AND NUMBERS
With 1.5 sacks on Sunday, Jerry Hughes (38.5) moved into a tie for seventh place on the team’s all-time sack list with Wall of Famer Darryl Talley (38.5).

The last time the Bills had a punt blocked was on Nov. 20, 2011 when Brian Moorman’s punt was blocked by the Dolphins in Miami. The Dolphins recovered the block in the end zone for a touchdown.

LEAGUE NOTES AND NUMBERS
Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had 11 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 27-17 victory over Arizona on Sunday.

Thielen has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of Minnesota’s first six games this season and joined Charley Hennigan (seven consecutive games in 1961) as the only players in NFL history with 100 or more receiving yards in each of his team’s first six games to start a season. Thielen’s 58 catches, which lead the NFL this season, are the most by a player in his team’s first six games of a season in league annals.

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards and had two touchdown runs in the Rams’ 23-20 victory at Denver.

Gurley leads the NFL with 11 scrimmage touchdowns this season and is the fifth different player since 1970 with at least 11 offensive touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season. Gurley joins Shaun Alexander (12 in 2005), Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (11 in 1995) and LaDainian Tomlinson (11 in 2005) and Priest Holmes (11 in 2002 and 11 in 2004) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

New York Jets kicker Jason Myers converted all seven of his field goal attempts and made three-of-three extra points in the Jets’ 42-34 win against Indianapolis.

Myers’ 24 total points are the second-highest single-game total by a player who did not score a touchdown in NFL history. Only the Titans’ Rob Bironas (26 on October 21, 2007) scored more points in a single game without scoring a touchdown.

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