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After slow start, Trent Murphy provides pass-rushing spark for Bills vs. Vikings

Trent Murphy really showed up for Buffalo in its win over Minnesota in Week 3.

The newcomers on the Bills' defensive line didn't have the most productive start to the season.

The trio of Murphy, Star Lotulelei and Harrison Phillips combined for six quarterback pressures on 98 pass-rushing snaps in the first two games and provided just five impact tackles (tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage) with four coming from Phillips, the rookie from Stanford.

Murphy, who didn't play in the preseason because of injury, found his groove against the Vikings. Lotulelei got involved, too. Here are their statistics in Week 3's impressive win.

at Minnesota Star Lotulelei Trent Murphy Harrison Phillips
Pressures / Pass-Rush Snap 1 / 19 4 / 30 1 / 10
Impact Tackles 1 1 0
Missed Tackles 0 0 0


Murphy forced the fumble on Minnesota's opening possession when he stuck with the play and chased Kirk Cousins from behind when he attempted to scramble. His impact tackle came on a dropped snap.

Lotulelei was much more active than he was in the first two outings of the season and even showcased quick lateral agility to beat a blocker early in the game. His impact tackle was more legitimate than Murphy's, as he scraped down the line of scrimmage to tackle the Vikings' ball-carrier before yardage was gained.

Phillips got his pressure late and was only used on 23 defensive snaps.

Here's how the trio has fared through three weeks of action.

Through Week Three Star Lotulelei Trent Murphy Harrison Phillips
Pressures / Pass-Rush Snaps 2/58 7/65 2/34
Impact Tackles 1 2 4
Missed Tackles 0 1 1


According to Pro Football Focus, there are currently 36 edge-rushers with more pressures than Murphy heading into Week 4.

Phillips currently leads all rookie defensive linemen with four impact tackles.

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