First up is Mario Williams' dominating performance against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football in Week 11. While Williams' performance came in a 22-9 loss, he made life a nightmare for Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins.
Run DefenseWilliams didn't have much to show in terms of tackles in run defense against the Dolphins in Week 11. His dominance mostly came from the pass rushing perspective. That said, here is the one tackle credited to Super Mario against the run. The Dolphins line up in the shotgun formation and right before the snap Charles Clay, now with the Bills, comes into the frame to line up against Williams. A tight end against Williams will always end up in a win for Super Mario. Williams uses his left hand to hold off Clay and uses his right arm to tackle Lamar Miller. This wasn't the only time the Dolphins put Clay against Williams 1-on-1.
Pass DefenseDown 6-3 late in the second quarter, the Dolphins attempted one last drive before halftime. Williams had two key plays during the drive that resulted in negative plays. The first play came on 2nd and 3 with Tannehill trying to throw the ball out out to Damien Williams. Knowing he wouldn't be able to get to Tannehill, Williams jumped in the air and extended his left arm. In doing so, Williams batted Tannehill's pass back to the quarterback who caught the ball and then slid for a four yard loss on the play.
Defensive players are told to always get their hands up if they can't get to the quarterback and that's exactly what Williams did on the play.
The second play of this drive that resulted in a negative play by Williams was his first sack on Tannehill. Poor Dallas Thomas never stood a chance on the play. Williams starts by rushing towards Thomas' right arm, takes one step inside and then returns to rushing outside of Thomas' right arm. The right tackle gets crossed up and completely whiffs on his attempt to block Williams. The play results in a three yard loss for the Dolphins.
The drive resulted in no points and Williams' two plays contributed to Buffalo holding onto a small lead at halftime.
On Miami's first drive of the second half, Williams gets his second sack. It resulted in a loss of 10 yards. Williams' second sack may have been a missed assignment. Williams has no one bump him at the line and no one stopping him on his path for Tannehill. Dion Sims comes across the line late on the play and has no chance of getting to Williams in time. Three plays later, the Dolphins had to punt.
Williams' final 1.5 sacks came midway through the fourth quarter with the Bills down 19-9. On 2nd and 2, Williams split a sack with Corbin Bryant. On the play, Williams was once again lined up 1-on-1 with Clay. Jerry Hughes looked like he'd record the sack as he blew past Ja'Wuan James' inside shoulder, but James pulled Hughes down at the last second. It was a clear hold that wasn't called but Hughes' pressure caused Tannehill to move up in the pocket where he was swallowed up by Williams and Bryant.
The play should have resulted in a third and medium situation for the Dolphins but Hughes was furious about the blatant hold going uncalled. Hughes approached a referee and made contact with the referee. That mistake led to a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that gave the Dolphins a first down.
Three plays later, Williams put an end to the Dolphins drive by recording his last sack of the game. The defensive end didn't need any fancy footwork on the play. He simply power rushed Dallas Thomas and drove him right into Tannehill.
Williams' dominant display wasn't enough to help the Bills win on Thursday Night Football but it was his best individual performance of the season. Pro Football Focus gave Williams an overall rating of +6.1 for the game, his second best score from the analytics site in 2014 was a +3.1.
No one should have been surprised by Williams' performance versus Miami. Since joining the Bills, Williams has 8.5 sacks in six games against the Dolphins. In 2015, it wouldn't be a surprise if Williams' best individual performance came against Miami.