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Bills defensive line worth its weight in gold

Buffalo Bills' Marcell Dareus (99), Kyle Williams (95)

Buffalo Bills' Marcell Dareus (99), Kyle Williams (95) and Jerry Hughes (55) run onto the field before an NFL game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. Photo Credit: AP / Gary Wiepert

There are many ways to measure defensive lines: sacks, tackles, rushing yards against. Usually it's not a financial yardstick.

The Bills may be an exception.

"I think two guys on the d-line are $100-million guys, so they're expected to play well and they have played well," Giants offensive lineman Justin Pugh said of Buffalo's wealthy and wily duo of Mario Williams and Marcel Darius.

This week it is up to the Giants to make sure the Bills' defensive front doesn't bother their own $100-million investment, Eli Manning. It will be a difficult task against a team that has led the NFL in sacks the past two years.

"Every single guy on that defensive starting front would be the best player on another line, you know what I mean?" Pugh said. "You have Pro Bowlers all the way across the board, so we've got to go out there and it's going to be a great competition for us. You've got to go and look back on what teams did that were successful against them and try to do some of those things."

The Patriots in Week 2, for example.

"Getting the ball out quick, that really neutralizes the rusher," Pugh said. "You can't sack a quarterback or get to him if he's getting the ball out very quick. So we've just got to make sure we're putting ourselves in the right position and having a chance to put ourselves in a successful situation."

One of the other keys for the Giants should be rookie Ereck Flowers, who missed last Thursday's game against Washington with an ankle injury. He was limited in Wednesday's practice but is improving and showing signs of being able to play on Sunday.

That would give the Giants their "original" five linemen with Flowers at left tackle and Pugh at left guard. They should have their best blocking tight end available too; Daniel Fells (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday, but Tom Coughlin said he thinks Fells will "make it."

Of course, against a Rex Ryan-designed defense, physicality is just a sliver of the challenge.

"I think it's going to be one of the most mental games you play throughout the year," Pugh said. "We're putting in extra time to make sure that we're ready to go. We've got to get that second win, get us to 2-2, get us right back into the thick of things. This is a huge game for us, we've got to make sure that we're putting everything we have into this and go out there and get a win on Sunday."

New York Sports