LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WROC) — The Von Miller effect is real. In his first game as a Buffalo Bill, the future Hall of Famer recorded two sacks and three TFLs to lead the Bills’ defensive line.
“Having a boy like Von in there gives them boys confidence,” said safety Micah Hyde.
But it wasn’t just the Miller show. As a unit, the Bills’ defensive line had seven sacks and fifteen quarterback hits making Rams quarterback Matt Stafford uncomfortable all night. The Buffalo defense wreaked havoc without blitzing the Rams’ offense once.
“Got to be able to get there with four and we were able to do that tonight,” said head coach Sean McDermott.
The seven sacks broke the team record for most sacks in a season-opening game. It was also the most sacks that Stafford had suffered as a Ram.
“Everybody was ready to go,” said Miller. “You can look in their eyes and tell everybody was hungry. Everybody wanted this game and expected success today.”
Five of the eight defensive linemen that saw snaps recorded a sack much to the delight of the head man in charge.
“I felt the d-line,” said McDermott. “You can feel them make an impact and factor into the game. When you can do that it helps you on the back end as well.”
Brandon Beane and the Bills’ front office have made it an emphasis to pour resources into their front four. Buffalo has spent four Day 1 or Day 2 draft picks on defensive linemen since 2019.
This past offseason, Buffalo added Jordan Phillips, Tim Settle, and Daquan Jones to go along with Miller.
“The addition of Von is making that group so much better,” said safety Jordan Poyer. “Greg, Tim, Jordan Phillips, Boog all of them work extremely hard on their craft and it makes our job on the back end so much easier.”
Due to the constant pressure up front, the Bills secondary sat back and reaped the benefits of the Rams’ mistakes. Dane Jackson, Jordan Poyer, and Boogie Basham all recorded an interception.
“Anytime our front is getting after the quarterback like that we just sit back and wait on it,” said Hyde. “It’s eventually going to get tipped and overthrows when the front is getting after it. They’ve been doing it since the beginning of training camp so we know what they’re about.”
The NFL’s top-ranked defense from a season may have tapped into another level with the ascension of this dynamic pass rush.