Beyond the eye test, there are the NFL’s Next Gen stats, which in most cases back up what we see. How many Buffalo Bills performances were measured in Sunday’s 35-0 shutout against the Miami Dolphins were prime examples.
Defensive end AJ Epenesa, although held bagless, may have had the biggest impact. He produced the best nine games of his team’s staggering 25 pressures (in 50 attempts) and delivered the free kick that knocked quarterback Tua Tagovailoa out of the game in the first quarter.
But it wasn’t just Epenesa. The whole pass rush was a force on a day the quarterback was sacked six times and hit five more.
Here are the relevant figures in addition to those of Epenesa:
Defensive end Greg Rousseau: seven pressures, two sacks.
Linebacker Matt Milano: six presses, one sack.
For Epenesa, the transformation from a two-hole defensive end who played 290 pounds in Iowa to a 260-pound passer in the Bills’ 4-3 now appears to be over after a full offseason in their schedule. Epenesa didn’t have this as a rookie in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and struggled to reach her appropriate weight.
“[The offseason] definitely gave me a lot more confidence, a lot moreâ¦ juice in the game, âhe said,â And then having my teammates there too, you know, gives you the confidence to keep playing, and with OTAs and this offseason, you know, it definitely helps a lot in having more reps and more experience and getting ready for the season.
âOur D line can get it. I mean, it shows that all the hard work we’ve done is paying off and all the details we’re working on in practice, I mean they’re going to show up in the game. worked on this inner movement, then [Justin Zimmer] coming up, I mean, we’ve worked this and that and it turned out perfectly in the game. So we’re proud of what we’re doing here that will also show up on the playing field. “
More encouraging news for Bills Mafia: Next Gen Stats reported that running back Devin Singletary hit the fastest speed of his career at 20.29 mph on his 46-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
The race also earned him a rating of +42 Rushing Yards Over Expected (RYOE).
This proves once again that her intense offseason schedule, which rivaled that of Epenesa, is also paying off.