On Thursday night, Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams put on a show during a national televised game, as he recorded 3.5 sacks against the Miami Dolphins. Although the Bills lost the game 22-9, Williams stole the spotlight, as he once again proved that he is one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL.
Selected first overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the Houston Texans, Williams made an immediate impact in the NFL, recording 47 total tackles and 4.5 sacks. Despite posting solid rookie numbers, Texans fans never appreciated Williams simply because they wanted the team to draft Reggie Bush or Vince Young at number one, instead of Williams. During the team’s home opener, Williams was booed onto the field. The fans never gave him a chance.
Super Mario really took the league by storm the next two seasons, as he recorded a combined 26 sacks, and would earn back to back pro bowls invitations in 2008 and 2009. Williams ended up playing six seasons with the Texans, recording 53 total sacks. Following the 2011 season, he elected to hit the free agent market, rather re-signing with the Texans.
After spending two full days visiting Buffalo, Williams and the Bills agreed on a record six year 100 million dollar contract (50 million guaranteed), making him the highest paid defensive player at the time.
After signing in Buffalo, Williams was bothered by a nagging wrist injury which he sustained during training camp. The injury really hurt Williams’ performance and production, as he recorded only 10.5 sacks. However, he bounced back nicely in 2013, accumulating 13 sacks and setting the franchise record for most sacks in a single game with 4.5. At season’s end, Williams was named to his third career pro bowl.
As we stand ten games into the 2014 season, Williams sits at 10 sacks, and is having himself a career year. His stats indicate that he is a dominant pass rusher; however, he has proved that he can do much more than that.
Most offenses fear running the ball towards Williams’ side. At 6’6 and 292 pounds, the NC State product possesses speed, strength and stellar vision, which allows him to track down the running back. Often in pass protection, Williams has two or three blockers on him, allowing a fellow defensive lineman the opportunity to apply pressure and generate more sacks. The Buffalo Bills lead the NFL in sacks, and a major reason for this is due to the dominance of Mario Williams.
Super Mario will probably never get the credit he deserves, since the expectations are through the roof. The ninth year veteran is on pace to have a career year, and continues to dominate on a week to week basis. Williams will continue to produce through the next six weeks of the season, and help the Bills find themselves contending for a playoff spot come December.