The Buffalo Bills defense has been stellar this season. They were No. 1 in most major defensive categories and feature some of the best players in the league on that side of the ball. However, the defense doesn’t get the respect it deserves from NFL fans and national media, which doesn’t sit right with Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
The Buffalo Bills defense was No. 1 in the NFL in 2021
The Buffalo Bills defense is one of the most underrated and disrespected units in the NFL. This season, the Bills D was the No. 1 scoring defense (289 points allowed). They were also No. 1 in total yards allowed (4,637 yards allowed) and against the pass (2,771 yards) and No. 13 against the run (1,866 yards).
The Bills have tremendous talent at every level, yet, the whole is still greater than the sum of its parts.
Buffalo’s D is led by the best safety duo in the league in Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde. Linebackers Tremaine Edwards and Matt Milano are dynamic and versatile, and the D-line is loaded. Up front, decorated vets like Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, Harrison Phillips, and Star Lotulelei perfectly compliment budding young stars like Ed Oliver, Gregory Rousseau, Boogie Basham, and A.J. Epenesa.
Even without All-Pro CB Tre’Davious White, who went out for the season in Week 12, the D still carried the team through its offensive struggles at times this season.
With the way the Buffalo Bills defense performed this season, you’d expect a boatload of Bills would be on the AFC Pro Bowl squad.
However, you’d be wrong.
Not a single Bills defender made the Pro Bowl this season, despite the unit’s No. 1 ranking.
This didn’t sit well with a lot of Bills fans, not the least of which is the guy who gets to watch the Bills D from the best seat in the house, Josh Allen.
Buffalo QB Josh Allen talked about the lack of respect for the league’s top D
During an appearance of the Pat McAfee Show, Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen discussed the lack of respect that the Bills get in general this year and the defense specifically.
McAfee asked if the lack of respect helps motivate the Bills as they push for the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl in 2022. Allen responded:
I think, as men, we want respect. I think that’s just something that’s in nature. We want the respect that we deserve. But at the same time, I could give two s***** about all that. … But again, our defense, no Pro Bowlers. They’re number one statistically in every other category, and it is a little mind-boggling. And all the sudden, you see Po [Jordan Poyer} and Micah [Hyde] be All-Pro guys, and it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. But at the same time, we’re so internally motivated here in Buffalo, and we want to win for each other, and that’s what we plan on doing.Josh Allen on the Buffalo Bills defense
Allen brought up the extremely perplexing situation of Poyer and Hyde making the All-Pro team — reserved for the single best player at every position — but not the Pro Bowl team that takes the best few players at each position from both conferences.
After an incredible season, the Bills’ defense received a stunning lack of respect. However, it sounds like the whole team is appropriately focused on the task at hand, which should be a tough challenge.
The Bills D faces its toughest challenge yet in the Divisional Round game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs
As lofty as the Buffalo Bills defense’s rankings are this season, the Kansas City Chiefs offense is not that far off. The team ranks fourth in scoring (480), third in total yards (6,746), fourth in passing yards (4,791), and 16th in rushing yards (1,955).
Those numbers could be even higher, too, if the Chiefs didn’t struggle so much early in the season. The team started the year 3-4 (including a 38-20 Week 5 loss to the Bills).
Patrick Mahomes and company turned it around starting in Week 8, though. The Chiefs won their next eight in a row and nine of their last 10. In the Wild Card round, they made light work of the Pittsburgh Steelers, beating them 42-21.
After Josh Allen’s near-perfect game against the New England Patriots, the Bills O vs. Chiefs D is getting the majority of the pub leading up to the game. But, the Bills know the game will likely be won or lost on the other side.
If the No. 1-rated Bills D can play its best and slow down the potent Chiefs’ attack, Buffalo has a great chance to win. Maybe a Super Bowl appearance is the only thing that will get the Bills the respect they deserve, and that road continues in Arrowhead on Sunday.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference