ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — All week long, the national media said the Bills defense wouldn't have enough. Just watch Stephen A. Smith in an interview earlier this week.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was too good. The Bills defense isn't what it used to be. They won't be able to keep the Ravens out of the end zone.
The Bills defense heard those thoughts and turned them into one of their most dominating performances of the season.
"We enjoy football. It's our job and our passion. When we see guys on TV talking about how we don't play defense in Buffalo and we're gonna give up 30 points, that's a challenge we all see and accept it," defensive end Jerry Hughes said. "We went out there and played like we had something to prove."
What NFL fans saw was a defense who held the Ravens to their lowest score all season. They were able to not just contain Jackson but make him uncomfortable. After rushing for 136 yards in last week's win over Tennessee, Jackson finished with just 34 yards on the ground and was sacked four times.
"I thought our coaches did a hell of a job preparing us to play this offense," safety Jordan Poyer said. "Everybody had to do their job. Everybody had an assignment on every play. We knew they might gash a couple of runs but at the end of the day we were able to go up and make the plays we needed."
"We were ready to go and we did a great job at executing," linebacker Tremaine Edmunds added.
But it was more than just stopping Jackson. When things weren't going for the offense and special teams unit in a windy night, the defense made sure that lack of finding the endzone early wasn't going to be an issue.
"We talk about complementary football all the time and we feed off each other," wide receiver Cole Beasley said. "It's easy to go out there when the defense is playing lights out."
The Bills defense is truly playing their best football at the right time and the players say the confidence inside that locker room could never be greater as they gear up to face another tough offense in the AFC Championship round.
"It's not done yet. We're trying to get to the big show," cornerback Taron Johnson said. "We're gonna give it our best shot and see what happens."