Matt Milano built on a respectable debut as a starter against the Cincinnati Bengals with an excellent game against the Buccaneers in the Bills' win Sunday.
He was targeted three times and allowed two receptions for just nine yards. His interception came on a play in which he stayed in the pocket of tight end Cameron Brate down the seam, turned at the right time, and reeled in the pass from Jameis Winston.
Milano's day in coverage was superb, as he allowed a quarterback rating of 30.5, the second-best among linebackers who were targeted at least twice in Week Seven.
PFF credited him with three solo tackles and one assisted takedown. Also, he had two "stops," which are tackles that constitute a "win" for the defense based on down and distance.
Currently, the rookie linebacker has been on the field for Buffalo against 38 run plays. He's made six "stops," which equates to a run stop percentage of 15.8, one tenth of a percent higher than the defender for which he's filling in, Ramon Humber.
(Milano has one other "stop" in pass coverage thus far.)
Out of the 81 linebackers only one player (Chase Allen of the Dolphins) with 40 or fewer snaps against the run has more "stops" than Milano at this point in time — he's been super-efficient with the impact of his tackles.
For perspective on his effectiveness, Miami's Kiko Alonso has six "stops" on 133 snaps against the run this season.
Milano was asked to fill in for Humber — who started the season well — and the youngster's athleticism, run-stopping ability and coverage skills have allowed him to acclimate quickly to the pro game.
Stats courtesy of the Pro Football Focus.
Story topics: Matt Milano