Joe B: Buffalo Bills All-22 Review vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10/24/17)

(WKBW) - After a week off to recuperate, the Buffalo Bills returned to their winning ways — defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and improving to a 4-2 record.

Up next, the Bills have a crucial contest with another AFC opponent that is looking like they’ll factor into the playoff race this year: the Oakland Raiders. Before we turn our attention to the Raiders, first, a look back at the week that was.

Each and every week, WKBW.com will review the tape, and bring you how each player graded out in the previous week, with the help of the Game Pass app on NFL.com. You can see a full explanation of how they are done at the bottom of the article.

Now, to the individual player grades of the Bills versus the Buccaneers, along with full explanations of the top five and the bottom three:

The Top Five

1) DE Jerry Hughes 
Snaps on the Field: 50/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: A-
- My sincerest of apologies if this is getting repetitive, but defensive end Jerry Hughes and his effort on Sunday was once again the best performance on the field for the Buffalo Bills. Nevermind the lack of statistical production, he forced plays to unravel earlier than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wanted them to — whether it be on the ground or through the air — and wasn’t caught as the reason for a negative play on defense for the Bills. This is what he is this season, and at the level he’s playing at right now, he has to be one of the highest performing all-around defensive ends in the National Football League this season.

2) LT Cordy Glenn
Snaps on the Field: 58/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: A-
- Now, this is a sight I’m sure every Bills fan likes seeing from the longtime starting left tackle. Cordy Glenn hasn’t started a game since Week Two of this season, and the month-plus of rest time from game action clearly has done wonders for him. He looked like himself again, always in control of his opponent, and getting around on the field with the athletic ease that he did in every season before this one. If Glenn really is at full health, this is a tremendous development for the Bills in their efforts to turn the offensive line and the play of the offense around. It gives them a solid, every-down starter at the position, and it also allows them the flexibility to get rookie Dion Dawkins some more practice time on the right side in the effort to challenge the incumbent Jordan Mills for playing time.

3) WLB Matt Milano
Snaps on the Field: 47/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: A-
- Last week, rookie Matt Milano was solid but not spectacular in his first career start. This time around, Milano was flying all over the field and making multiple impact plays that helped the Bills defense in some pretty key spots. His interception late in the first half should have resulted in points for the Bills had the offense played the clock correctly. However, you can’t take that away from Milano, though, who made an athletic turn and play on the ball and took advantage in some mediocre ball placement from Jameis Winston to come down with a potentially game-changing play. I was also quite impressed, unexpectedly so, with his ability to hold his ground, get off blocks, and make a tackle against the run. If this type of play continues for Milano, I just don’t know how you can take him off the field on defense completely. He’s showed quite a bit of promise and going up against a great offense this coming week, it will get very interesting if he stands out like this again.

4) QB Tyrod Taylor
Snaps on the Field: 68/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+
- It was a slow start for Tyrod Taylor, turning in an average first half and missing some throws along the way. In the second half, though, that’s when the Buffalo Bills offense really got in gear and made multiple clutch plays in the passing attack when they were most needed. Taylor’s ability to get out of trouble in the pocket not only avoided lost yardage on multiple occasions, but he also turned them into positive gains whether it be with his legs, or by finding an open receiver down the field. You also can’t go much longer without considering what he did on the game-tying touchdown drive with under four minutes to play. That ball to Deonte Thompson for 44 yards was a great one for its location upon the first watch. However, after looking at the All-22, it makes it that much more impressive. Taylor spots the zone coverage before Thompson makes his final break, and with a safety slow to react, threw the ball with anticipation and it landed right where it needed to go in such a humongous moment of the game. That gain, plus a 15-yard penalty on top of it, left the Bills in the red zone and on the doorstep of tying the game. There have been a few ‘wow’ throws from Taylor, and that one certainly ranks up there because of what it was — and maybe even more importantly — when it was.

5) C Eric Wood
Snaps on the Field: 68/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+
- If you’re a weekly reader of these, you’ll have noticed that seeing two offensive linemen this high on the rankings hasn’t happened. However, what occurred on Sunday was by far the most all-encompassing and productive start from the offensive line in total since the start of the season. If not for Glenn controlling everything out left, Wood likely would have been the top-rated offensive lineman from the day. He was quite impressive in the first half in controlling defenders on run plays. He helped set the table for multiple big LeSean McCoy runs, and took advantage of a weak matchup against a poor Tampa Bay front seven. I also think Wood had his best grade of the season because of both his efforts and because the play of the two players next to him were as good as it was. If the Bills can build off this offensive line effort, we could be in line to see a lot more fruitful days on the ground for LeSean McCoy and company.

The Middle

6) WR Deonte Thompson
Snaps on the Field: 21/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+

7) RB LeSean McCoy
Snaps on the Field: 57/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+

8) CB Tre’Davious White
Snaps on the Field: 72/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+

9) TE Nick O’Leary
Snaps on the Field: 54/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+

10) DE Shaq Lawson
Snaps on the Field: 30/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+

11) S Jordan Poyer
Snaps on the Field: 72/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+

12) DE Ryan Davis
Snaps on the Field: 22/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B+

13) WR Jordan Matthews
Snaps on the Field: 55/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

14) FB Patrick DiMarco
Snaps on the Field: 16/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

15) DT Kyle Williams
Snaps on the Field: 45/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

16) RG Vladimir Ducasse
Snaps on the Field: 68/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

17) CB EJ Gaines
Snaps on the Field: 41/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

18) DT Marcell Dareus
Snaps on the Field: 41/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

19) LG Richie Incognito
Snaps on the Field: 59/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

20) DT Jerel Worthy
Snaps on the Field: 29/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

21) G Ryan Groy
Snaps on the Field: 15/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

22) TE Logan Thomas
Snaps on the Field: 29/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

23) DE Eddie Yarbrough
Snaps on the Field: 29/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B

24) S Micah Hyde
Snaps on the Field: 72/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B-

25) MLB Preston Brown
Snaps on the Field: 72/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B-

26) RT Jordan Mills
Snaps on the Field: 68/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B-

27) DT Adolphus Washington
Snaps on the Field: 27/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: B-

28) WR Zay Jones
Snaps on the Field: 55/68
Grade vs. Buccaneers: C+

The Bottom Three

29) SLB Lorenzo Alexander
Snaps on the Field: 60/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: C
- It appeared that Tampa Bay found a particular weakness to exploit when the Bills were on defense, and unfortunately for the normally solid Lorenzo Alexander, they were pitting his aggressiveness against him. The linebackers in the defense are schooled to be fast and aggressive in getting downhill to stuff the run — to which they do so admirably. However, Tampa Bay really opened things up when they went to a lot of play action looks, and it got Alexander to bite on some pretty big plays. Alexander is a good pass rusher, but as an every down backer he has a very hard time changing direction quickly, so if he’s got a full head of steam heading towards the line of scrimmage, it’s going to take him a bit longer to change his body’s momentum and get back into coverage. And by that time, the receiver has shown to be in an open area and ready for a pass. It happened on both OJ Howard touchdowns for Tampa Bay and quite easily could have contributed to the Bills losing the game. I wonder if it’s also a byproduct of Alexander being on the field for more than his usual role — and still taking a high percentage of special teams snaps to go along with it. However, with the way Matt Milano played on Sunday, and with Ramon Humber not a guarantee to play Sunday against Oakland, I wonder if we’ll start to see Alexander’s snap count go down and Milano’s go up — especially in two-linebacker nickel defense situations. 

30) CB Leonard Johnson
Snaps on the Field: 53/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: C
- When it comes to reading a short play, reacting, and making a tackle, Leonard Johnson is a solid player as the nickel corner — and has shown that multiple times. However, one of the key aspects of the job is to be quick enough to change direction in the middle areas of the field — and that’s where Johnson struggled on Sunday. He was beaten on multiple occasions before a new target arose shortly after the start of the second half…

31) CB Shareece Wright
Snaps on the Field: 30/72
Grade vs. Buccaneers: C-
- …And that’s where Shareece Wright comes in. His prominent involvement on the defense almost cost the Bills a victory for the second week in a row. The Buccaneers successfully targeted Wright multiple times, whether it was with Mike Evans or DeSean Jackson. There were also a couple of plays that the receiver had Wright beat, but Winston was unable to connect with them on those plays. The most prominent of those was when Jackson ran right past Wright from the right side of the offense to a deep area of the field down the left. He had at least a step-and-a-half on Wright, but Winston was just a couple of yards too far out in front of him. Like Johnson, Wright is a sound tackler but is also a bit of a liability in coverage. The Bills desperately need EJ Gaines to get healthy — especially in time for their Week Eight matchup against Oakland.

Players with less than 15 snaps
LT Dion Dawkins - 11
RB Mike Tolbert - 10
TE Khari Lee - 5
RB Taiwan Jones - 2
WR Brandon Tate - 2

Active players without an offensive or defensive snap: QB Nathan Peterman, QB/WR Joe Webb, LB Tanner Vallejo, LB Deon Lacey, S Trae Elston, S Shamarko Thomas

Inactives: T Conor McDermott (4), WR Kaelin Clay (2), G John Miller (2), LB Ramon Humber (2), TE Charles Clay (1), T Seantrel Henderson (1), DT Cedric Thornton (1)
*(Total games inactive)

Season Grades (Last week’s rank)
*At least 90 snaps to qualify

1) DE Jerry Hughes - 3.67 (1)
2) S Micah Hyde - 3.34 (2)
3) DE Shaq Lawson - 3.26 (4)
4) DT Kyle Williams - 3.25 (3)
5) CB Tre’Davious White - 3.24 (5)
6) S Jordan Poyer - 3.20 (6)
7) RB LeSean McCoy - 3.09 (10)
8) WLB Matt Milano - 3.08 (NR)
9) DE Eddie Yarbrough - 3.06 (7)
10) CB E.J. Gaines - 3.05 (8)
11) WR Jordan Matthews - 3.02 (11)
12) TE Charles Clay - 2.98 (12)
13) LG Richie Incognito - 2.87 (13)
14) SLB Lorenzo Alexander - 2.84 (9)
15) TE Nick O’Leary - 2.83 (18)
16) FB Patrick DiMarco - 2.82 (15)
17) QB Tyrod Taylor - 2.81 (16)
18) C Eric Wood - 2.79 (19)
19) LT Cordy Glenn - 2.78 (NR)
20) WR Andre Holmes - 2.78 (14)
21) DE Ryan Davis - 2.77 (20)
22) RB Mike Tolbert - 2.73 (17)
23) DT Marcell Dareus - 2.71 (23)
24) WLB Ramon Humber - 2.66 (21)
25) RG Vladimir Ducasse - 2.66 (NR)
26) MLB Preston Brown - 2.62 (22)
27) DT Adolphus Washington - 2.58 (25)
28) DT Cedric Thornton - 2.57 (24)
29) OT Dion Dawkins - 2.56 (26)
30) WR Zay Jones - 2.46 (27)
31) CB Leonard Johnson - 2.24 (28)
32) CB Shareece Wright - 2.10 (29)
33) RT Jordan Mills - 2.06 (30)
34) G John Miller - 1.87 (31)

How they’re graded:

Every Tuesday, when the All-22 film becomes available, we’ll go through and watch each play and every player on each play as many times as necessary, to assess a letter grade for that game to the player. It is subjective analysis, and it’s important to note that we do not know the play calls and full responsibilities. With that written, the grades stem from technique, outstanding efforts, and presumed liability.

Only players that take a snap on offense or defense are accounted for, and players with under 15 snaps, unless they have a significant impact on the game, will not be factored into weekly rankings. 

Season-long grades have been tallied and documented, with each individual game’s grade being weighted for how much the player was on the field in a given week. Those can be seen above.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

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