While he hasn't had a Marcell Dareus-type of impact on the Buffalo Bills run defense of late, Deandre Coleman has quietly been a key facet in Buffalo's recent improvement against opposing ground games.
Since the two defensive breakdowns against the Saints and Jets, the Bills have allowed 201 yards on 54 carries (3.72 yards per carry) in outings against the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.
The 6-foot-3, 330-pound-ish Coleman was signed after the loss to the Saints to add more bulk on the interior to eat blocks — and, at times, shed blocks — on the interior to free up others.
In his two games back with the Bills this season, here are Coleman's PFF run-defense grades:
- at Chargers: +0.2
- at Chiefs: +0.3
Over that two-week span, Coleman's combined +0.5 run-stopping grade places him at No. 33 among 72 qualifying defensive tackles.
And while that's not tremendous, his presence alone has represented a sizable step up from what Buffalo's defensive tackles mustered in the two previous games against the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets.
In those outings, Adolphus Washington (-2.7), Kyle Williams (-3.1) and Cedric Thornton (-3.2) were all in the bottom seven out of 64 qualifiers at their interior defensive line spot in the run-stopping department.
Even Jerel Worthy, whom Coleman replaced, had a -0.8 run-defense grade in those two contests.
Coleman has accounted for three tackles — all of which were labeled by PFF as "stops" — and missed one tackle.
In 56 snaps against run plays in 2017, Dareus accumulated a run-stop grade of +3.1, meaning he averaged +0.055 points on those plays.
Coleman's average is currently +0.025 per run play.
So while he hasn't been the perfect Dareus replacement, Coleman's run-halting skills, size, and anchoring power have helped Buffalo to get back on track against opposing run games.
(Grades courtesy of Pro Football Focus)
Story topics: Deandre Coleman