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Hits and whiffs: The best and worst Buffalo Bills tacklers

By Tim Graham

Pro Football Focus tweeted an amazing stat this afternoon.

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller last season missed one tackle on 576 passing snaps and one tackle on 339 running snaps. The average distance downfield that Miller made a tackle was 0.25 yards away from the line of scrimmage.

With that in mind, I wanted to see who the Buffalo Bills' most efficient tacklers were in PFF's play-by-play review.

Free-agent safety Jairus Byrd was the most impressive. He missed two tackles (tied for second-fewest in the NFL among safeties who played at least 50 percent of their team's snaps) on 404 run plays and two missed tackles (tied for third-fewest) on 570 pass plays.

For every miss, Byrd made 19.8 tackles, the highest ratio among all safeties in PFF's analysis.

Recently released safety George Wilson tallied six misses (tied for 20th-most) on 364 run plays and two misses on 494 pass plays. His eight whiffs led the team.

Rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore had four missed tackles -- three against the run and one against the pass -- to rank ninth at his position in efficiency. He played 1,082 snaps. Ron Brooks was the shakiest. He missed four tackles on just 162 snaps.

Nick Barnett missed four tackles (tied for 14th-most among inside linebackers) on 425 running snaps and two on 529 passing snaps.

Bryan Scott missed two tackles on 170 running snaps and two on 395 passing snaps. Young linebackers Kelvin Sheppard and Nigel Bradham each had four total misses.

Mario Williams was tagged for four misses (tied for seventh-most among 4-3 defensive ends) on 382 run plays. Mark Anderson didn't miss any, but a knee injury limited him to 108 run snaps.

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kyle Williams missed three tackles (tied for eighth-most at his position) on 315 run snaps. Marcell Dareus was charged with just one miss on 324 run snaps.


Bryan Scott | George Wilson | Jairus Byrd | Kelvin Sheppard | Kyle Williams | Marcell Dareus | Mario Williams | Mark Anderson | Nick Barnett | Nigel Bradham | Stephon Gilmore
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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 |