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Dareus Review: Nondescript game vs. Bengals still earns Bills DT positive grades

Another game, another seemingly nondescript performance from Marcell Dareus that received positive reviews from Pro Football Focus.

Against the Bengals, the Bills' defensive tackle was given his second-highest grade of the season (+1.6). Interestingly, he played 22 snaps after a 23-snap outing against the Falcons in Week Five.

Dareus' +1.6 overall grade was the 19th-highest score among 72 qualifying players at his position.

He registered two run-game "stops" – tackles deemed "wins" for the defense – and only 11 other defensive tackles registered more in Week Five.

Dareus also recorded his first sack of the season, which came after Buffalo's coverage blanketed Cincinnati's receivers.

What we don't know right now is why Dareus is not playing a high amount of snaps. Against the Bengals, Adolphus Washington out-snapped him 33 to 22. Is Dareus still not 100 percent? Or is there another reason his snaps are being limited?

Thus far on the season, the former first-round pick is PFF's fourth-highest graded Bills defender. Playing in much more of a space-eating role than he did in Jim Schwartz's 4-3 defense in 2014, Dareus only has three quarterback pressures (one sack, two hurries) on 53 pass-rushing snaps.

How Dareus is used and how he plays after getting ample time to rest during the bye week will indicate a great deal. There's no reason Washington should be playing more than him. Dareus has performed well this season, but the splash plays he created frequently in his first handful of years in the NFL haven't been the so far in 2017.

Stats and grades courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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