Bills' DT Dareus having great season

Bills' DT Marcel Dareus coming into his own in third NFL season

9/30/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

When you think of the Buffalo Bills' defensive linemen, the first name that comes to mind is probably Mario Williams (even though he is now technically an outside linebacker), but it may be a lesser known player who is making the biggest impact up front for the Bills this season.

Sep 29, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (99) celebrates a sack on Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (not pictured) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY SportsThrough the first four games of 2013, nose tackle Marcel Dareus is having the best season of his young career, and he may have had his best game as a pro in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens. Dareus was a monster against Joe Flacco and company on Sunday, constantly collapsing the pocket and eating up ball carriers. He finished the game with seven tackles and 2.0 sacks. The Ravens ended up running the ball for only 24 yards thanks to Dareus' dominant showing.

The strong performance gives Dareus 19 tackles and 3.0 sacks on the season, putting him on pace for 76 tackles and 12.0 sacks - those would be phenomenal numbers coming from an interior defensive lineman. Dareus has rated in the top-10 of Pro Football Focus' interior pass rusher ratings through four weeks, and the 23-year-old will look to get better as the season goes on and he continues to master his craft.

Dareus has seemingly become the player that the Bills thought they were drafting when they selected him third overall out of Alabama in 2011. Dareus never had the look of a draft bust, as he showed promise as a rookie and put together a strong second season, but he appears to be truly breaking out and becoming one of the league's dominant forces in the middle of a defense.

$96 million teammate Mario Williams may rank third in the NFL with 5.5 sacks, but 4.5 of those came in one game, and Dareus has made a much more consistent impact for Buffalo.

The Bills have been ravaged by injuries this season, but they still have some nice pieces in their front seven - Dareus arguably being the best one. Once defensive players like Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore get healthy, this unit could be better than expected.
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