The number nine overall pick in the draft has done his job in all three games so far. Ed Oliver has been a solid pick through three games by helping stop the run and closing off any kind of interior gaps. The Buffalo Bills drafted him for his run-stopping ability in the three-technique. Overall, the Bills defensive line has done exceptional up to this point in this season. Let the pressure begin…
Oliver and company now will be just a few feet away from Tom Brady this Sunday. A player who can play under pressure very well and knows how stay calm in stressful situations. If you watch Brady and the way he plays in the pocket, he responds to outside pressure very well by stepping up in the pocket. With Oliver as the main interior guy, he will have to create pressure to collapse the pocket for Brady to crumble.
The only way to stop Brady from driving down the field is to consistently pressure him and get in his face. Jerry Hughes, Shaq Lawson and Trent Murphy should have no problem closing the pocket, but it will be up to Oliver, Jordan Phillips and Star Lotulelei to completely bring the pocket down.
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With the loss of Harrison Phillips for the season (torn ACL), Bills fan can expect little rotation now at defensive tackle, unless they do indeed promote someone like Kyle Peko from the practice squad.
Pressure. Pressure. Pressure. The Bills defense has to create pressure on Brady and the Patriots offense through all four quarters. Oliver has yet to record his first sack. Will Sunday be his calling? Will the Bills defense break under pressure or allow to get the ball into Allens’ hands to keep it out of Bradys’? Sunday will be a fun sighting between these two teams.
-Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the Buffalo Bills. Make sure to follow Brandon on Twitter at @brandon_ray79.