The Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line woes have been well-documented since the team dropped its first game of the season last Thursday in St. Louis.
Over the last two games, the unit has surrendered a franchise-record 18 sacks and has provided very little leverage — 83 yards on 32 combined attempts — for the running game to get started.
But if you think they have it bad, lay your eyes on the Buffalo Bills and their No. 31 ranked defense.
Despite throwing money out right and left this offseason to bolster their front seven, the Bills have started the 2012 season 2-3, largely due to an inability to get a substantial pass rush (five sacks) on opposing quarterbacks.
Coming into their Week 6 game against the Cardinals, the Bills’ defense has allowed 278 passing yards per game and set the dubious honor of becoming the first team since 1950 to allow over 1,200 total yards over a two-week span.
“It’s just been terrible,” John Clayton told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Thursday. “The plan has been for the front four to get the pressure. Well, guess what? The front four isn’t getting the pressure.”
The centerpiece of that front four, two-time Pro Bowler Mario Williams, has not lived up to the six-year, $50 million guaranteed contract he signed in March. In five games this season, he has just 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
“Mario Williams is being manhandled and its not just double-team blocks, it’s single-team blocks as well,” said Clayton. “100-million dollars and 1.5 sacks is probably the biggest disappointment.”
Clayton also called out defensive tackles Marcell Dareus (former No. 3 overall pick) and Kyle Williams.
“These are two very talented guys, and they be crunching the pocket,” said Clayton. “I watched them in training camp, and they were destroying people in the pocket, at least in practice. They haven’t been able to do it in games.”
To add insult to injury, defensive end Mark Anderson, the Bills’ other highly-touted free agent acquisition, has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals and will consult Dr. James Andrews about undergoing potential knee surgery.