Editor’s note: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Bills-Raiders matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at O.co Coliseum.
Bills LDE Mario Williams vs. Raiders RT Khalif Barnes
Tale of the tape:
Williams (94): 6-foot-1, 292 pounds, ninth season, North Carolina State
Barnes (69): 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, 10th season, Washington
Raiders right tackle Khalif Barnes is in the midst of a tough two-week stretch. He had to deal with 3-4 edge rusher Justin Houston and his league-leading sack total. Houston is quick and agile and roughly 40 pounds lighter than Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams.
[RELATED: Bills-Raiders Matchup No. 3: Sammy Watkins vs. D.J. Hayden]
He’s the next tough assignment in as many weeks for the veteran offensive tackle, who must fare a bit better than last week. Barnes is a powerful guy and might be better suited for a rusher lining up right across from him.
He’s generally fared well against the pass rush, with two sacks, five quarterback hits and 14 hurries in 12 games split between left guard and right tackle.
Williams, however, will be a chore. And, with so many talented rushers along the defensive line, Barnes must quite often win this matchup one-on-one.
That hasn’t been easy for anyone.
Williams has 37 tackles, 13 sacks and two forced fumbles this season, with a sack in 10 of 14 games.
“He’s got a really good skillset for that position and temperament for that position,” Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “The guy has always played hard. I’ve always had a really high opinion of Mario because of the way the guy has played. Those kind of guys I like watching and I like competing against.
“Mario is a guy that can ruin a game, and I’ve been in some situations where he has ruined the game. You’ve got to pay attention to him, but as we said before, they have two or three of those guys. So we’ve got to be really conscious of what’s going on there up front. I know they’re proud of their front and I’m proud of mine.”