You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Three reasons to be wary of the Bills

Mario Williams (right) is a force on the Buffalo defense. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Mario Williams (right) is a force on the Buffalo defense.

1. The front seven is stout. The Bills can flat-out get to the quarterback, finishing second in the NFL last year with 57 sacks — even more impressive when you consider that they didn’t play with the lead often in the second half. They had three players in double digits — Mario Williams (13), Kyle Williams (10½), and Jerry Hughes (10) — while Marcell Dareus added 7½. The run defense wasn’t great, but with Jim Schwartz now the coordinator, and Brandon Spikes running the defense at middle linebacker, the Bills should be tough to score against.

2. The secondary can cover. The Bills finished second in the NFL with 23 interceptions last year, and even with Jairus Byrd and Kiko Alonso (a combined eight picks) unavailable, they have plenty of talent in the secondary. They have former first-round picks at both cornerback spots in Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin. Free safety Aaron Williams had four interceptions and 11 passes defended last year. And Da’Norris Searcy, taking over for Byrd at free safety, had 3½ sacks and two touchdowns last year.

Continue reading below

3. Team speed kills. The Bills don’t quite know what they have at quarterback with EJ Manuel, but they have a lot of speed and talent around him. C.J. Spiller is coming off a disappointing season with 933 rushing yards and only two TDs, but he still averaged 4.6 yards per carry, and Fred Jackson added 890 yards and nine touchdowns. Robert Woods had a respectable rookie season (597 yards, three touchdowns), Marquise Goodwin has Olympic-caliber track speed, and first-round pick Sammy Watkins looks like a bona fide superstar.

Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.