Bills LB A.J. Klein says it’s ‘imperative’ for Bills defense to play their best football down the stretch

Buffalo Bills

Arizona Cardinals tight end Dan Arnold (85) is hit by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker A.J. Klein (54) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Expectations for the Bills defense coming into this season certainly don’t match what the results have been so far.

Given the continuity and consistency on that side of the ball mixed with the veteran talented they added in the offseason, it seemed like they would finish as a top three defense for the third year in a row.

But the past few games the defense has shown flashes of what most expected this season and it seems like they’re starting to get in somewhat of a groove. Cornerback Tre’Davious White said he thinks they found their identity on defense and it all started with the Jets game when they started to gain confidence.

And even players that had a rough go in the beginning of the season, have also started to pick up their game lately, guys like linebacker A.J. Klein.

“I think the last few games even though the last game that we played ended how it did we’ve been stringing some games together defensively whether it’s quarterback pressure, sacks, turnovers, turnover differential we’ve been positive,” Klein explained.

The past two games especially, Klein has been all over the field. Against the Seahawks he sacked Russell Wilson twice, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. He also had four quarterback hits and five tackles plus a pass breakup in that game.

He continued to build off that performance against the Cardinals where he had 11 tackles and sacked Kyler Murray once.

“So to stay on that momentum that we’ve had even though we did lose to the Cardinals, is influential to being a good team from now through the end of November into December and then hopefully a long stretch run into the playoffs. I think that’s the mentality for every team in the NFL but especially for us because early in the season we obviously had some tough games and moving forward it’s imperative for us to play our best ball to help this team win,” Klein said.

Now the Bills defense gets ready to face another explosive offense, this time as Justin Herbert and the Chargers come to town. The Bills are allowing 238.7 passing yards per game (17th in the NFL) while the Chargers average 279.6 passing yards per game led by the red-hot Herbert who has looked like anything but a rookie quarterback.

“For us to execute our game plan to the best of our ability and whether that’s pressure or zone coverage looks to try and get him to make his decisions off time because if he has time he can make all the throws, he can make the off schedule throws if he has to and in the run game he can use his legs to either run or to throw on the run so I mean he’s a dynamic quarterback and he’s been playing really good football,” Klein said.

“Their record overall is not indicative of how they’ve been playing as an offense. This is a very high-powered offense, they’ve played good football and they’ve been tough to stop all of the games that I’ve watched. For us focus on what we have to do not necessarily worry about him and if we execute our scheme I think they’ll put us in good position to win.”

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