Examining the recent struggles of the Bills linebacker trio - The Buffalo News

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Examining the recent struggles of the Bills linebacker trio

Earlier, I chronicled the Bills' recent lack of production at the edge-rusher position.

But all of Buffalo's recent defensive woes can't be tied solely to a limited pass-rush.

The play of the linebackers has been a major factor in the drastic downturn in production on defense in the last three games.

Over the past three weeks, the lowest-graded linebacker in Pro Football Focus' system is Ramon Humber. Preston Brown owns the eighth-lowest grade over that time frame. Lorenzo Alexander, who's asked to rush the passer and handle "off-ball" linebacker duties as well, has PFF's third-lowest grade among "3-4 outside linebackers."

They've combined to makes 50 tackles and have missed 11 tackles.

Combine a struggling trio of linebackers with issues on Buffalo's defensive line, and you get a three-game stretch of historically bad defense, particularly against the run.

The Bills have surrendered 5.14 yards per rush in their last three contests (683 yards on 124 carries), which makes up 53.2 percent of the total amount of rushing yardage they've allowed the entire season (1,199).

And for as much as that starts up front, Buffalo's linebackers need to make a bigger impact as the second level of defense for the Bills to improve on that side of the football.

Grades courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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