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At 6-foot-3 and 340 pounds, Sam Adams is a little hard to miss. But the Arizona Cardinals' blockers couldn't seem to lay a glove on him Sunday.

The Buffalo Bills defensive tackle spent a lot of time in the Cardinals' backfield. On one play, he almost stole the handoff from Arizona quarterback Josh McCown to running back Emmitt Smith.

Adams has remarkable quickness for a man his size, but he was off the ball so fast Sunday the Cardinals must have wondered if he knew the snap count.

"A lot of people think I guess (on the snap), but I watch the ball," said Adams, who finished with six tackles and created opportunities for others to make plays. "That's one of my blessings as a football player. I have good reaction. I'm explosive.

"I was tuned in and focused. But it wasn't about me. It was about everyone collectively, all 11 of us stepping up and doing what we do best to make the plays we needed to win the game."

Indeed, Adams was a part of a dominant effort by the entire Bills defense, which put a blanket over the Cardinals' offense during a 38-14 victory.

The high winds swirling through Ralph Wilson Stadium didn't help the Cardinals' ability to move the ball. But the Bills' defense provided more resistance than the weather.

The Cardinals were forced to punt 10 times in 14 offensive possessions. Buffalo held Arizona to five plays or less on 11 offensive series, including eight three-and-outs.

The Cardinals had 130 yards on their two scoring drives (the last coming in garbage time) but gained just 83 yards on 12 other possessions.

"They played extremely well," Bills coach Mike Mularkey said of his defense. "The two drives that (the Cardinals) did get touchdowns on, I think it was in large part some of the things we did. Not being in position, one or two guys, on each drive that really made the difference.

"But the defense was very, very stout, very confident in what they're doing. When they're in the right place at the right time, just like they did in practice, it was tough to move the ball on them, especially in those conditions."

The Bills' defense was most impressive during the second and third quarters when the Cardinals' offense had the wind at its back.

Despite starting five straight drives near midfield or in Bills territory, the Cardinals managed just one touchdown. Three other possessions ended with punts and another ended on a missed 64-yard field goal at the end of the first half.

"In those situations, we have to step up to that," Adams said. "When they start at midfield, that's a short field for them. They go 20, 30 yards and they're in field-goal range. It was a test (Sunday), but we were prepared for it."

The Cardinals weren't able to take advantage of good field position because the Bills' defense bottled up the running game, and gave McCown a heavy dose of blitzes.

McCown seemed bewildered by whatever Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray threw at him. McCown was sacked just three times, but he was under tremendous pressure all day.

"Jerry just said, 'Go get him,' and that's what we did," said Adams, who played a larger role in the pass rush than he had this year. "We were able to put a little bit of pressure on him. We started out a little slow. Gave up too many yards on the ground. But when it came time to get there, we were there."

Thanks to some strong play over the past three games, the Bills' defense is No. 1 in the AFC and tied for second in the NFL. Buffalo has held five of its seven opponents under 300 total yards.

Of course, the Bills' last three opponents (Miami, Baltimore and Arizona) rank among the worst offenses in the league. But the defense can prove its ranking is no fluke against the New York Jets on Sunday.

Jets quarterback Chad Pennington burned the Bills for 304 passing yards last month, and the Jets converted 57 percent of their third downs (8 of 14) en route to a 16-14, come-from-behind win.

But the Bills have given up an average of just 82 net passing yards and limited opponents' third-down success rate to 31.7 percent over the last three games.

The Bills' secondary also will be more prepared for Pennington with strong safety Lawyer Milloy, and possibly cornerback Troy Vincent, back in the lineup.

"We have experienced guys that we can disguise a little better," Mularkey said. "When you have a Lawyer Milloy I think you're already better off as far as a feel thing. You can tell in practice how fast things are happening back there and the communication that goes on with all those guys. I know we'll be better off. We obviously got stung the last time we played these guys with the passing game. We've addressed it, and we've been better since then."


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