Friday, March 16, 2012
Health vs. Production for Mario Williams
By James Walker
Mario Williams' production has never been questioned. When the Buffalo Bills' new defensive end is on the field, he wreaks havoc on opposing defenses.
ESPN's Stats & Information furthers the point by proving Williams is one of the NFL's most impactful and efficient players. Williams averages a productive .73 sacks per game the past five seasons, which translates to nearly 12 sacks every 16 games played. But staying healthy is key.
Williams hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2009. He's missed 14 games total the past two years, including 11 last season following a pectoral injury. Before that, Williams never missed a game his first five years in the NFL.
The Bills are obviously secure with Williams' injury history. Otherwise, they wouldn't be comfortable giving Williams a six-year, $100 million contract with $50 million guaranteed. It is the richest contract ever for a defensive player and shows the Bills are serious about winning next season.
It is likely that Williams simply had freak injuries two seasons in a row in 2010 and 2011. But Buffalo needs that run of bad luck to end this year, because Williams is a productive game-changer when he's on the field.