The Buffalo Bills have one of the NFL's best defenses, and with new head coach Rex Ryan there are a lot of hopes and expectations surrounding the unit. They will get a test from the very beginning of the regular season, as in week one they will host the Indianapolis Colts and an offense that has a lot of hopes and expectations as well. When the Bills face the Colts in week one, however, they will be without one of their best players in defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who today was suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Dareus is one of the top defensive linemen in football, so it's obviously a huge loss for the Bills. He has recorded 202 tackles, 28.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and 12 passes defensed in his four seasons in the league, but as is often the case, those numbers don't come close to telling just how well he has played. He has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons and was named a first-team All-Pro in 2014.
For the Colts, they will catch a break in not having to face Dareus in week one. They already have offensive line questions, and with a player like Dareus who is good at rushing the passer but even better at defending the run game, there could have been issues. That's not to say that the Colts are getting off easy in facing the Bills defense (who have depth along the defensive line, too), but without Dareus they will at least be missing one of their top players. And for Frank Gore's first meaningful game with the team, that's surely going to be a welcome development.