Through the first four games of the NFL season, the Buffalo Bills are on pace to threaten their team record for fewest points allowed in a single 16-game regular season.
The record, set in 1999, is 229 total points, which is 14.31 points per-game. The current Bills have allowed an average of 15.8 points per-game through the first quarter of the season. That number is currently good for fifth in the NFL.
There’s no doubt head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier have built one of the better defenses in the league. Last year, even after a really rough start, the group finished second overall in the NFL in total yards allowed and first against the pass.
But what makes a defense truly elite? What separates the really good defenses with the all-time great ones that fans remember and talk shows reference?
Frazier knows what a defense like that looks and feels like. He not only played on what is widely regarded as the greatest defense in NFL history in the 1985 Chicago Bears, he led that Super Bowl championship team with six interceptions during their 15-1 regular season, and had another during that season's NFC Championship game.
So I asked Frazier, McDermott, Bills defensive end Lorenzo Alexander, and safety Micah Hyde: What makes a defense truly elite? Are there any common threads that separate the good ones from the greatest?
Here's what each had to say: