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Marcell Dareus on his way to destroying last year's stat line

By Tim Graham

On the subject of breakout seasons, Buffalo Bills fans are most likely to think of rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso.

But as Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan wrote for today's paper, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus consistently has been showing elite skills so far.

The third overall pick of the 2011 draft was pretty good as a rookie but took a step backward last year while dealing with the death of a younger brother in a shooting.

Dareus is on pace to obliterate his stats from last year, when he finished with 26 tackles, five for losses and 5.5 sacks.

Through seven games, he has 34 tackles, three for losses and four sacks.

Analytics site further illustrates Dareus' emergence.

PFF, which tracks and tags every NFL play, credits Dareus with 21 run stops, already more than the 17 he had last year and in half the number of snaps. He has played 167 run snaps so far this year, compared to 350 last year.

Dareus is the only defensive tackle with a positive grade in all four of PFF's primary categories for the position (pass-rushing, run-stopping and coverage). Dareus ranks 16th overall among defensive tackles, 21st in pass-rushing, 10th in run-stopping and tied for first in coverage, although that's a negligible stat for interior linemen.


Kiko Alonso | Marcell Dareus
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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 |