Alabama in the Pros

Former Alabama CB Levi Wallace comes up big for Bills’ defense in win over L.A. Rams

Levi Wallace emerges from tunnel for 2019 game with Buffalo Bills
RICH BARNES - USA TODAY SPORTS

Of the eight undefeated teams in the National Football League, the Buffalo Bills are one of them.

Despite the improvement of Josh Allen, the defense has been the real story. Since it signed Levi Wallace as an undrafted free agent in 2018, the Bills have formed a legitimate secondary.

The former University of Alabama cornerback led the team in tackles (10) with one pass breakup in its 31-28 win over the Miami Dolphins on last week. In his second year as a starter, Wallace faced the high-powered Los Angeles Rams and head coach Sean McVay on Sunday.

Even with its offense blowing a 25-point advantage — Bills led 28-3 in the third quarter — Wallace found a way to rally the defense and pulled out a 35-32 victory.

He collected a turnover in the second quarter, but Wallace finished with nine total tackles.

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The walk-on turn national champion picked off Jared Goff and it helped the Bills carry a 21-3 lead into halftime. Prior to the game, Wallace assisted the Bills to having the NFL’s fifth-best total defense (664 yards allowed; 332 yards/game), No. 3 run defense (75.5 ypg allowed) and No. 10 in first down defense (43 allowed). During his second year in the league, Wallace had 76 total tackles (fourth on team), four tackles for loss, nine pass breakups and two interceptions through 16 regular season games.

He has 21 tackles in three games and at this rate, Wallace may tally 100-plus stops on the campaign. A native of Tucson, Ariz., Wallace started one season for the Crimson Tide.

In 2017, he was responsible for 48 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, 15 pass breakups (team-high) and three interceptions through 14 games. All three of Wallace’s picks came against Ole Miss, with one returned for a touchdown.

He dominated receivers on the field and played a huge role on a defense that allowed 11.9 points per game and secured a national title.

Sean McDermott, head coach of the Buffalo Bills, knows he has a leader in Wallace.

The team has a chance to win the AFC East and it will be done with defense. Wallace will face his former college teammate, Josh Jacobs, next week as the Bills face the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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