The Buffalo Bills look to keep their hot start as they take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Bills, who hold an AFC East-best record of 3-1, are once again expected to lean on their vaunted defense that had helped them get over the hump in the previous games. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is very much aware of the capability of the Bills’ ball-hawking secondary defense.

New Identity in the Secondary

The arrival of head coach Sean Mcdermott also ushered in a new identity in the Bills’ secondary line of defense. Safety Micah Hyde has been a beast in four games, recording three of Buffalo’s six interceptions (tied for 3rd in the NFL) this season.

Dalton might be coming off his best game of the season against the Cleveland Browns (286 yards on 25 of 30 passes), but he knows who is coming for his passes the moment he releases the ball off his hand.

“The way they are playing is tight coverage. A lot of the throws are contested. You’ve got to make the tough catch,” Dalton said of the Bills’ D during his media availability via “They’re opportunistic, the ball is getting tipped in the air, and they’re making interceptions.”

Unfortunately for Dalton and the Bengals, the Bills’ secondary isn’t just the only reason behind the team’s strong start. The Bills’ entire defensive unit is currently the best in the league when it comes to limiting their opponents’ point production (13.5 points on average).

Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has also had a great start as he has passed for 744 yards with 5 TDs through four games.

Taylor shows passing improvement

Playing in his 7th NFL season, Taylor is off to arguably the best start of his career, thanks to the Bills’ much improved offensive line and trust given to him by coach McDermott.

Over the past few weeks, the Bills signal caller has shown the confidence to throw more long-ball passes than he ever had in his career. NextGen Stats showed that nine of Taylor’s 20 passes against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4 travelled at least 20 yards. The Bills quarterback said he simply seized the opportunity of stretching the field vertically against the previously undefeated Falcons.

On Sunday, Taylor’s ability to stretch the field will be tested against the Bengals defense, which is ranked third in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (175 ypg). Another big performance from Taylor and the Bills defense against Cincinnati will further build the team’s momentum heading into the midpoint of the 2017 NFL season.