Newly-signed S Bacarri Rambo provided an unexpected boost on the back end of the defense in the win over Green Bay.
Everyone knew heading into Sunday’s game that it was going to take some big plays to stop Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. But no one – not even himself or many of his teammates – knew the man who would make them pay would be safety Bacarri Rambo.
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“No I didn’t, I’m going to be honest,” said CB Nickell Robey on if thought Rambo would step up like he did. “We need that from him. We need that from guys the guys when somebody goes down, somebody will step up and play a huge role in the defense.
“I was the backup safety if Aaron (Williams) or Duke (Williams) would have went down, I was going to go in,” Rambo said. “I’ve been preparing like I was starting because you never know when your chance is going to come.”
Not only was Rambo the back up to Duke and Aaron Williams, this was his first time he was active for a game since signing with Buffalo November 17th after Leodis McKelvin was placed on injured reserve.
When safety Da’Norris Searcy was ruled out for this week, Rambo knew he would be dressed for the game. Then when Duke Williams went down in the third quarter on Sunday with concussion-like symptoms, Rambo was given his chance.
Coach Doug Marrone explained that the Bills were fortunate to still have Rambo on their roster.
“We made good choices as we were switching some people out of the roster,” he said. “He’s someone that, at one point, I remember we talked about him and said, ‘Hey, listen. We don’t want to lose this kid. We think he can play.’
“And sure enough, I’m glad everything went in that direction.”
Following a Bills field goal to give them a 16-10 lead, Green Bay took the field with 4:18 to go in the quarter; Rodgers handed the ball off to RB Eddie Lacy for a three-yard gain. The next play, Rodgers looked deep, going after Rambo; the pass intended for WR Randall Cobb was picked off by Rambo to give the Packers QB just his fourth interception of the year.
Me and Robey just communicated, studying film and just talking to those guys,” Rambo said. “We knew once 18, Cobb, once he ran that route, I was going to take him and he was going to free up. When it happened I was like ‘Oh, here it comes.’ And I just saw Rodgers eyeing his guy, and I just broke on the ball and made a play.”
In addition to being Rodgers’ fourth interception of the season, it is the first clean pick he’s throw all year. His three prior to Sunday were all tipped and then caught by the defense – which is exactly how Rambo caught his second interception and on the very next Green Bay possession.
Rambo said making his first two career interceptions against Rodgers is a huge confidence boost for him. To go from not on a team just over a month ago, signing to the Bills’ practice squad in November, and then in the thick of it in arguably the most important game of the season for Buffalo reassured to him that he belongs in this league.
nd while much of the focus is on him and his play, he gives the credit to the rest of the defense and the coaches.
“The 10 guys in front of me: the rest of the secondary, the d-line, and our linebackers, they make my job a whole lot easier,” he said. “And also Coach (Jim) Schwartz. That was a great play call by him, and he puts us in good position to make plays, so it all comes down to the other guys.
“We believed in each other all week. The coaches, the team, the players, everybody just believed in each other. We knew that we could come in here, do the right things, and do what the coaches ask us to do, and we could stop this team. We believe in each other, throughout this whole week. We still believe in each other. This is a huge confidence boost for the whole defense. To not allow not one quarterback, but two of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL to no passing touchdowns, this is a huge, huge confidence boost for us.”
All this being said, Rambo recognizes how valuable his play was and is very proud of his accomplishments. So much so that he made sure to keep the balls from those plays, the first two interceptions of his NFL career.
“Those are going in a frame, man,” he said. “Those are going in a frame and those aren’t getting touched ever again.”
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