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Jim Harbaugh throws bouquets at Bills defensive line

By Tim Graham

The San Francisco 49ers have faced some formidable defensive fronts this season.

They've gone up against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets. That means they've tangled with defensive linemen B.J. Raji, Jared Allen, Ndamukong Suh and Sione Pouha.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh, however, claimed the Buffalo Bills' front four are more formidable than them all.

"This will be the best defensive line that we've played so far this year," Harbaugh told 49ers reporters Wednesday. "And solid defense, again, very aggressive. [They] can make things happen."

The 49ers have had some success against these defenses. They're 3-1 and are averaging 5.4 yards per rush attempt, but they have allowed 12 sacks. 

Harbaugh was asked to explain how the Bills' defensive line is better than the Vikings or the Lions.

"Just look at the players they have," said Harbaugh, who then compared Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams to the 49ers' star interior lineman. "You'll see the equivalent of [49ers defensive tackle] Justin Smith on their side, extremely athletic on the edges. ... Just their skill and talent and the way they work, it's very impressive."

Harbaugh also suggested Marcell Dareus is the NFL's most physically gifted defensive tackle.

"That is maybe the most powerful, athletic tackle in the game," Harbaugh said. "And he doesn't come out ever. He's in there on the pass-rush downs as well. Big, 330-plus guy that can move.

"It's impressive when you watch the film, the end-zone shot of him lined up in there. He's a big powerful man that can run."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |