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Bob Angelo

Thoughts On The Game
  • Writer's pictureBob Angelo

His Defense Never Rests

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

After the first two weeks of the 2022 NFL season, the consensus among media types was to cancel the remainder of the schedule and proclaim the Buffalo Bills Super Bowl champions.

All hail Josh Allen, King of Professional Football!!!

Fantasies aside, if Buffalo’s defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier does his job over the next five weekends, the Bills just might win their first ever Super Bowl—in spite of quarterback Josh Allen’s heroics.

Frazier already owns two Super Bowl rings. He earned his first playing CB for the 1985 Chicago Bears, and his second as assistant head coach/ DB coach for Tony Dungy’s 2006 SB champion Indianapolis Colts.

Since Frazier’s arrival in 2017, Bills’ defenses had recorded more total takeaways and allowed fewer scoring passes and total passing yards than every other NFL team—until this season!

In 2022, time-loss injuries to Bills safeties Micah Hyde and Damar Hamlin made a dent in Buffalo’s pass coverage numbers. The loss of future Hall of Fame edge rusher Von Miller also took a toll. Yet only the San Francisco 49ers allowed fewer points per game than the Bills, and only the L-A Rams allowed fewer red zone scores.

This would explain why Buffalo’s average margin of victory was 13.6 points. In the Bills three losses, they were outscored by a cumulative total of 8 points. That’s how close they came to a perfect season.

In Week 3, they suffered an inexplicable 21-19 loss to Miami, during which Buffalo more than doubled Miami’s total yardage output while controlling the football for 40+ minutes.

But a Josh Allen fumble gave Miami a 7-yard field and an easy first quarter TD. Alas!!! Allen and the Bills were human after all.

Suddenly, the King of Pro Football started tossing up ill-conceived red zone interceptions. Then he injured his right elbow. Then he fumbled a snap in his own end zone—and poop hit the propeller. Media doomsayers began leaping off Buffalo’s seemingly sinking Super Bowl bandwagon.

But Frazier kept doing what he does. His depleted defense combined timely blitzes with lots of nickel pass coverages and an abundance of old-fashioned heart to keep Buffalo competitive in every game.

Not surprisingly, the Bills reconnected with their winning ways, closing out the season with seven consecutive wins, including a memorable, last-minute 32-29 redemption over Miami in a Buffalo snow storm.

Along the way, they survived Damar Hamlin’s painful near-death experience and celebrated Josh Allen’s triumphant return to superstardom.

But make no mistake—Leslie Frazier’s defense was at the heart of it all!

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