Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano celebrates the game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Since taking over the Buffalo Bills organization, Head Coach Sean McDermott and General Manager Brandon Bean have worked hard to recruit the right people to build the organization.
They practically built the list from scratch. On defense, Jerry Hughes was the only player for McDermott and Beane, who were looking to change the culture.
Saturday’s defensive performance against the Baltimore Ravens was another example of Buffalo’s play, with players struggling to get stronger at some of the more important times of the season.
Nickel Taron Johnson’s corner put Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on the goal line and returned a 101-yard interception for a touchdown, giving the Bills a 17-3 win. Senior defender Trent Murphy recorded just one tackle, but with a tackle for loss and a quarterback shot, he helped contain Jackson all night and put him behind the line of scrimmage at the crucial moment of the game.
It’s a people thing, and the X’s and O’s are certainly important, but you have to have the right people because, in a nutshell, it hasn’t been easy all year for a guy like Taron, and he’s tenacious, McDermott said in the post-game video conference. Trent is the same, and there are many more. We have other guys who want to be there and play, but they don’t play as much. But it has to remain a team, and that takes special people, because it’s certainly not easy.
Although he was on the list all season, Murphy was on the inactive list from week 12 to week 16 before finally playing the Buffalo game against the Miami Dolphins. He also missed the Week 6 game in Buffalo against Kansas City.
But with Darryl Johnson out of the game on Saturday, Murphy jumped in and played well. He recorded 26 strikeouts and his quarterback took pride in his play.
Trent hasn’t been in much demand this year, but the games he’s played and the way our defense has stopped the race has been impressive. The game plan was executed perfectly, Bills quarterback Josh Allen said in a post-game video conference.
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Taron Johnson will long be remembered
Johnson has done great things for the Bills this season.
The 13th. In December, in the Buffalo game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. Johnson finished the regular season with a total of 94 tackles, placing him third behind Jordan Poyer and Tremaine Edmunds.
What Johnson accomplished last Saturday will be a boost to the young cornerback’s career.
It’s just an incredible game, Allen said during the post-game video conference. It’s one of those pieces we’ll remember for a long time.
The Buffalo defense is back to full.
The Bills’ defense struggled early in the year, but Saturday was their best performance of the season and it was largely due to their key players finally regaining full health.
Linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano were injured several times during the season. Milan spent several weeks on reserve due to injury and Edmunds struggled with a shoulder injury at the start of the season.
On Saturday, Edmunds totaled nine tackles, a defensive pass and a quarterback shot. Milan finished second on the team with seven tackles, and he also made two assists for the decisive win.