The current longest-tenured Buffalo Bill will most likely play his final home game at New Era Field this weekend. Defensive tackle and multi-time team captain Kyle Williams, after being swayed from retirement by teammates, returned for his 12th season with the Buffalo Bills this year.
At 34 years old, Williams has registered 607 defensive snaps this year, according to Pro Football Focus. Of his 353 passing snaps, Williams ranks 22nd among defensive tackles in pass rushing productivity with a 5.7 rating, which includes 26 total pressures, good for 14th overall.
In his 12th season Williams has played himself into a Pro Bowl ballot. If voted in, it will be his sixth appearance overall and second consecutive.
Williams’s return to the team was greatly influenced by the hiring of Sean McDermott this offseason. Solely based on his performance on the field, it is evident that Williams personifies what McDermott wants out his players; hard work, aggressiveness, leadership, grit, and consistency are all a part of the famous “process”. To be one of the few players not involved in the large overhaul just speaks to the reputation he has built over his career.
He will most likely go down as one of the all-time great Buffalo Bills players, and without a doubt a huge fan favorite. The love that fans have for this team does not go unnoticed by Williams.
Following the “Snowvertime Classic” last week against the Indianapolis Colts, Williams said, “Before I answer any questions, I want to say that our fans and the people here are the toughest damn people in the world. They’re why I’ve been here so long, and the reason I enjoy being here so much.”
But for his long-time consistency and efficiency, his efforts have not rewarded him with meaningful games in late December. Williams has not seen a playoff game and has rarely seen a winning record with the Bills. In the past, with three games left in the regular season he and his teammates have been playing for pride.
This year with three games left on the schedule and tied for a second wildcard spot, the team is playing to end one of the longest playoff droughts in all of sports.
So, in what might be his final home game as a member of the Buffalo Bills, a matchup against division rival Miami Dolphins this week would be fitting.
Although, for a player who could be considered one of the all-time great Buffalo Bills, a playoff appearance would be the perfect salute to cap-off a career.