One play stood out for Buffalo Bills right tackle Jordan Mills as he watched video of Oakland sackmaster Khalil Mack in last week's game against Kansas City.
Mack used one arm to bull rush Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher backward into the lap of quarterback Alex Smith.
"I looked at that play about 10 times and looked at what not to do," Mills said after the Bills' 34-14 victory over Oakland Sunday. "You have to have perfect technique against him or he's going to take advantage and it's going to be a long day. It was a great week of preparation for us."
Mills blocked Mack one-on-one on 13 pass plays and came away unscathed. Mack had no sacks. Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn blocked Mack one-on-one on eight pass plays. The Bills' tackles each gave up just a single hurry in the game but no hits on the quarterback.
The one-on-one blocking was a surprise. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor dropped back to pass 28 times. Not once did the Bills give their tackles extra blocking help. There were no chips from the backs. No double-teams with the tight ends.
To be sure, offensive coordinator Rick Dennison did build help into the game plan for his pass protectors. Taylor was throwing quickly most of the time. And by sending five receivers out into the pass pattern, Taylor usually had a quick receiving option.
The Bills' defense and running game also helped a lot. Mack was a wrecking ball against the Bills last year when Buffalo fell behind. This time the Bills played with a lead and were able to give LeSean McCoy 27 carries.
Nevertheless, Mack has made a lot of offensive tackles look bad, even against quick-passing plays. The Bills' tackles were admirable.
"It was just getting my hands on him first, getting the first significant touch and then trying to anchor as best I can to hold off that bull rush," Mills said.
Mills' good moments included a solo block on Mack on a third-and-13 conversion that went for 36 yards to Andre Holmes. Mills also held off Mack well enough on the 6-yard TD pass to Holmes. Even on a third and 8 that went incomplete, Mills was good enough to allow Taylor to escape the pocket.
Glenn had to block dangerous edge rusher Bruce Irvin 11 times. On the third-and-13 play, Glenn did a good job shoving Denico Autry inside then getting a piece of Irvin. Glenn shut down Irvin on the third-and-13 play and on the TD pass.
Mills wasn't in a gloating mood afterward.
"I'm not the one to get into self-wins," he said. "It was a great effort from everybody. It feels great to go against a guy like that and every play just battle."
"It was a great week of preparation," Mills said. "Eric Lee, on the scout defense, gave me great looks in practice. Shout-out to Connor McDermott and my boy De'Ondre Wesley doing the walk-throughs. The offensive linemen were giving me and Cordy great looks trying to imitate him and Bruce Irvin the best they could."