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Mario Williams: Thin secondary makes D-line feel 'a lot of stress'

Mario Williams - McCoy
Bills defensive end Mario Williams said the thin defensive backfield adds a lot of stress. (File photo by James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

By Tim Graham

The Baltimore Ravens have shown a substandard offense through three games.

The Ravens enter Sunday's game versus the Buffalo Bills ranked 30th in total offense, 25th in rushing offense and 20th in passing offense.

Then again, the New York Jets looked pedestrian before thrashing the Bills' defense Sunday.

Buffalo's secondary was vulnerable at the Meadowlands. When cornerback Leodis McKelvin left the game with a hamstring injury on the first series, the added strain impacted the entire defense.

Rather than harass rookie quarterback Geno Smith as expected, Buffalo recorded zero sacks.

"It's a lot of stress," Bills defensive end Mario Williams said of the thin defensive backfield, "but for us up front, we definitely welcome it. We're going to bring it regardless.

"As long as we're out there and humming, we're going to do everything we can regardless of the situation to get after the quarterback and most importantly stop the run."

Three-quarters of Buffalo's starting defensive line departed New Jersey with an injury. Quadriceps surgery put defensive end Alex Carrington on injured reserve. Williams and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus hurt their ankles.

Baltimore ranks 12th in sacks allowed per pass play.

"The biggest thing is I think if we can protect some of the guys that are on their front and get some time to work in the back end, then we'll be able to accomplish what we want to accomplish," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "But it all starts up front. If we can block them, then I think we’ll have time and those guys will make some plays on the back end."


Alex Carrington | Geno Smith | Joe Flacco | Leodis McKelvin | Marcell Dareus | Mario Williams
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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 |