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Thursday, October 22, 2009
Can Buffalo's run D give up 3,000 yards -- again?


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills could become the first NFL franchise to allow 3,000 yards rushing twice.

The Bills rank dead last in rushing defense, yielding an average of 181.8 yards on the ground per game.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Thomas Jones rushed for 210 yards against the Bills on Sunday.

That puts them on pace to give up 2,909 rushing yards, an alarming number that gets even more troubling when you consider they allowed just 130 yards in their first two games combined.

Yes, the Bills' past four opponents have amassed an incredible 961 rushing yards.

Elias Sports Bureau poured over the stats and discovered the last time the Bills had allowed that many yards in a four-game stretch was in 1978, when they set the NFL record for most rushing yards allowed in a season at 3,228.

If the Bills somehow maintain the 240-yard pace they've set over their past four games, then they will break their record by allowing 3,494 yards.

Here's the week-by-week breakout of rushing yards the Bills have surrendered to date:
The Dolphins rank first, the Jets second and the Saints fourth in rushing offense with the help of their games against the Bills. The Browns rank 18th.

The Bills will visit the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers, propelled by DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, rank eighth in rushing offense at 131.2 yards a game.

"We focus on it," Bills coach Dick Jauron said. "We stress it. We walk through it. We fit it up. We run through it.

"I believe that Perry [Fewell, the defensive coordinator], and his staff are doing everything they can. We've just got to get better and we'll keep working at it."