By Tim Graham
CLEVELAND -- At his locker stall after the game, Buffalo Bills linebacker Nick Barnett was stumped.
My question: Which of the Bills' defensive linemen had the best game today?
"Wooo," Barnett said with a wide smile after the Bills beat the Cleveland Browns 24-14. "That's a hard one to answer.
"I think all of them were playing fast and running around. They were causing havoc and making plays. That's the way we envision that line playing."
Each of Buffalo's starting defensive lineman got in on the sack attack, and they were phenomenal against the run, holding dangerous Cleveland running back Trent Richardson to 27 yards on 12 carries.
"We came out with the mindset we have to make them one-dimensional," Bills safety George Wilson said. "We did that."
Cleveland had 33 rushing yards as a team and managed only four rushing first downs.
Richardson, last year's Heisman Trophy runner-up at Alabama, did have a 6-yard touchdown, his longest gain of the afternoon. Buffalo bottled him up, and when Barnett over pursued in the backfield, Richardson bounced outside.
"I told the coaches and I told the D-line, 'We have to hit him before he hits us' because he's the type of running back who gets after it," Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said. They were Alabama teammates. "He hits DBs. He hits linebackers. He hits D-linemen. We've got to hit him and swarm the ball."
The Bills swarmed rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, too.
Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, the Bills' big-ticket free-agent defensive ends, notched their first sacks with their new team. Anderson's came on a third-down from the Bills' 49-yard line in the fourth quarter and forced a punt.
"Across the board, they had to pick their poison," Williams said of the Browns' troubles. "At the end of the day we played off one another and made it happen."
Defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Dareus also had sacks. Dareus shared his with Mario Williams in the fourth quarter. Weeden threw an interception on the next play to seal the game.
"Wish we could do it every week," Kyle Williams said. "We had guys that stepped up in big parts of the game. Everybody along the front made some plays. We did a great job in the run game, so we're pretty happy with how things went today.
"That's what we have the guys to do. Everybody can make plays at any point in the game. When you've got guys all along the front who, when they get one-on-one [blocking], they have the chance to win and can win."