Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills v. Colts

Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills v. Colts
Posted at 9:04 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 21:04:37-04

The Buffalo Bills put the National Football League on alert with a 27-14 win over the Indianapolis Colts, and now have a matchup with one of the premiere teams in the entire league for Week Two.

However, before the Bills move on to New England, first is a detailed look at how each player on the Bills roster performed against the Colts.

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. Before we get to the rankings, first, an explanation of how they are done.

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 ten snaps, unless they have a significant impact on the game, will not be factored into weekly rankings.

Once we get through the second week, season-long grades will be tallied and documented, with each individual game’s grade being weighted for how much the player was on the field in a given week.

Now, the individual player grades of the Bills versus the Colts (with some video):

1) DT Kyle Williams
Plays on the Field: 64/77
Grade vs. Colts: A
- Surprise, surprise. It’s another year, and another one that starts off with Kyle Williams near the top, or at the top, of the player rankings. Williams was spectacular in getting to the backfield to hurry throws from Andrew Luck, he took on blockers to be a thorn in the side of the Colts’ rushing attack, and even without Marcell Dareus, he was the most dominant player of the game. You’d have to think that eventually Williams, 32, will begin to slow down, but his start to the season indicates that that isn’t even close to the case this year.



2) G Richie Incognito
Plays on the Field: 59/59
Grade vs. Colts: A -
- How about that for a debut? Bills fans that have been paying attention the past two seasons aren’t exactly accustomed with seeing an offensive lineman near the top of the rankings, but that’s just how good Incognito was against the Colts. They entrusted him to go one-on-one with Colts defenders and he won every single time, except for one. He was outstanding on pull attempts as you’ll see below, and, he helped out with some of his teammates’ assignments whenever he could.



3) LB Nigel Bradham
Plays on the Field: 77/77
Grade vs. Colts: A -
- Those that don’t know Nigel Bradham’s name will soon learn it, because the linebacker is a natural fit for Rex Ryan’s defense. This isn’t Jim Schwartz’s scheme any longer, and Bradham is now being used as more than just a run-stopping linebacker. Of every player on the defense that is not a defensive lineman by trade, Bradham was sent after the quarterback more times — 15, in fact — than any other Bills player. He has an explosive first step and hurried Andrew Luck a pair of times, he has instincts that show every week (snuffed out a screen play pre-snap), and has the physicality to be a force (fought through an offensive lineman to get a tackle for loss). It’s a contract year, so watch out.

4) DE Mario Williams
Plays on the Field: 71/77
Grade vs. Colts: A -
- No one really heard much from Mario Williams, but he was integral in the dominating defensive effort against Indianapolis. His under the radar plays with setting the edge to force runners inside, bull-rushing his opponent into the pocket to hurry up a throw, and using his length to his advantage in both phases was the best part of his day. Historically, there are some games that Williams has disappeared from, but despite a lack of stats, this game was not one of them.

5) DE Jerry Hughes
Plays on the Field: 75/77
Grade vs. Colts: A -
- This much is certain: Jerry Hughes has turned himself from a potential first-round bust into a top-15 pass rusher in the National Football League. Against Indianapolis, he displayed natural bend around the offensive tackle on a wide-rush, he was explosive in his closing speed to force some Andrew Luck misfires — including the Ronald Darby interception. In fact, he would have been the second-highest graded player if it weren’t for his Achilles heel in the league… penalties. As you’ll see below, his facemask call negated a potential turnover and led to a Colts touchdown. If he can finally rid himself of all the penalties, it could take his game to another level. Easier said than done.



6) CB Nickell Robey
Plays on the Field: 55/77
Grade vs. Colts: A -
- Robey is back home in a defense that best suits his skill-set, and Rex Ryan took advantage of it. Ryan sent Robey on a blitz five different times, allowing him to use his natural speed and ability in that aspect of the game. The nickel corner was also quite impressive in coverage, allowing only a pair of five-yard gains, and flashing incredible closing speed on some underneath routes that are normally completed.

7) QB Tyrod Taylor
Plays on the Field: 59/59
Grade vs. Colts: B +
- In his first game as the full-time starter of the Buffalo Bills, Tyrod Taylor was as good as the Bills wanted him to be. He displayed poise in the pocket to not scramble in the face of adversity, he accurately put his throws in position for the receiver to gain yards after the catch, and he had a few ‘wow’ throws (including the 12-yard gain to Robert Woods below) to boot. Taylor was spectacular in the first half, hitting Charles Clay in the face of pressure on a 26-yard gain, and also on the 51-yard touchdown pass to Percy Harvin that was on the money. Taylor flinched a bit in the second half, missing an open Sammy Watkins in the end zone during the fourth quarter, and also nearly turning the ball over at the line of scrimmage because of a batted pass. Even still, his mobility gave him an entirely different feel to the offense, and they didn’t even utilize the read-option against Indianapolis. Teams will get more of a book on Taylor as he plays more, but, it’s hard to ignore how good of a start it was to his career as the top quarterback on the Bills roster.



8) CB Stephon Gilmore
Plays on the Field: 77/77
Grade vs. Colts: B +
- The small contingent of fans out there that are convinced Stephon Gilmore isn’t a good cornerback got some contrarian evidence against the Colts. Gilmore was very good against the most prolific passing attack from 2014, putting forward four passes defensed, and coming quite close to adding an interception in the game. Gilmore was confident, showed good physicality, and showed some closing speed for underneath routes. He played a significant role in never allowing the Indianapolis passing game to get going when it was still a game. Following an impressive end to his 2014 season, Gilmore once again shined for the Bills, and started off the 2015 season in a similar fashion.

9) S Aaron Williams
Plays on the Field: 77/77
Grade vs. Colts: B +
- The game from Aaron Williams was defined by his fourth quarter interception to lock up the game, and a near diving interception in the first quarter on a poorly thrown pass by Luck. Williams wasn’t depended on too heavily, nor was he picked on by Luck and the Colts. He was a consistent and solid force in the secondary, which is exactly what they needed him to be with an injury early in the game to the normal starter Corey Graham.

10) WR Percy Harvin
Plays on the Field: 37/59
Grade vs. Colts: B +
- The Bills got their first glimpse of Harvin on the field and had to come away impressed. Despite his consistent hip problems through the summer, the Bills gave him the keys to be the second-most used wide receiver in the offense ahead of the healthy Robert Woods. And as for those hip problems, they didn’t seem to be bugging him on Sunday during both the 51-yard touchdown reception, and on his jet sweep handoff that went for nine yards in the first half. Harvin was the team’s leading receiver, but don’t expect that to be a trend you can count on. The Bills are not picky about who gets the ball, they just want the offense to move down the field. This week, it was Harvin’s one to shine.

11) DL Alex Carrington
Plays on the Field: 18/77
Grade vs. Colts: B
- Kept on the roster for his versatility and for his ability on special teams, Carrington got some time on the field on defense when the Bills went to looks that featured five defensive linemen. It was mostly on rushing plays, but Carrington was quite stout at the point of attack. He teamed up with Kyle Williams on the play you saw above to help set the table for a huge Preston Brown hit. Carrington’s role could decrease with Marcell Dareus coming back, but the Bills are still in need of defensive end depth, so Carrington could see some time behind Mario Williams.

12) CB Mario Butler
Plays on the Field: 26/77
Grade vs. Colts: B
- Whenever Mario Butler’s name is brought up, Rex Ryan gives a similar refrain: “All he does is make plays.” That was once again the truth, but this time, in a regular season setting. Butler batted down a few passes — one of which in the end zone — and also made a play to bat Luck’s final pass into the arms of Aaron Williams for an interception. He did allow a 16-yard reception, but, it was a nice debut for the one-time roster longshot.

13) DT Corbin Bryant
Plays on the Field: 52/77
Grade vs. Colts: B
- In Bryant’s first career start, he certainly flashed some of the ability he showed in training camp. He did get caught playing too high a couple of times and couldn’t get a push into the backfield, but still made enough plays, including the one below, to warrant a good amount of playing time when Dareus comes back this week.



14) LB Preston Brown
Plays on the Field: 77/77
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- At first glance, Brown had an impressive showing against the Colts, but that’s why the All-22 film review is so important. While Brown did have a few plays that stood out (a big hit on a run play, batting down a pass in coverage), he also had his share of gaffes. He was covered up a couple of times, and his most glaring mistake, was a blatant personal foul penalty on a hit on Luck at least a half-a-second after the quarterback slid on the ground. He needs to be a little bit smarter on plays like that, but, there is no reason for concern. Brown still had a solid game.

15) DT Stefan Charles
Plays on the Field: 23/77
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- Going on the third season, Charles has been in the shadow of both Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus. That trend will continue unless an injury happens, but, Charles continues to show we he’s such a talented player. In limited time, he pulls off plays like the one below to remind you of how much potential he has. Defensive tackle is the deepest position on the Bills roster.



16) WR Robert Woods
Plays on the Field: 28/59
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- Woods was the recipient of the 12-yard out throw from Taylor that was one of the best of the quarterback’s day, and it was set up by a very good route by the receiver. His other reception could have went for much more, but he bobbled the pass and was quickly tackled after the reception. His lack of usage (28 plays) was perhaps the most surprising part of the game.

17) WR Sammy Watkins
Plays on the Field: 50/59
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- Zero catches for zero yards, so how can Sammy Watkins still grade out well? For one, Taylor missed him on a throw to the end zone in the fourth quarter that would have put an exclamation point on the game. Watkins flat out beat cornerback Vontae Davis on that play, and then again on the first half play below. The wideout also showed very good blocking skills in the run game, which led to his better-than-expected grade.



18) HB Karlos Williams
Plays on the Field: 13
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- Williams was the most impressive rusher on the day, and capped it off with his 26-yard touchdown run. However, the rookie did struggle one two separate occasions with an area that was thought to be a strength of his. When brought in the game to pass protect, Williams whiffed on one defender for his first attempt, and then was slow to recognize a blitzed on Taylor’s opposite side, and it led to an easy batted pass. He’s a tough runner that showed a lot of ability in the game, but he still needs to work on some things.

19) HB LeSean McCoy
Plays on the Field: 42/59
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- McCoy never really got much going, and not a lot of it was his fault. The offensive line in front of him, for the most part, left much to be desired. There were times where it looked as though McCoy could have planted and taken it up field rather than using an east-west style of running, but, many of the small yardage rushes was due to the ineptitude of the offensive line. McCoy did flash in the passing game, and showed he’ll be a weapon for the Bills in that role this season.

20) CB Ronald Darby
Plays on the Field: 47/77
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- One of the biggest question marks heading into the game with the Colts, the rookie Darby certainly came to play to earn a better grade than many expected him to. He did allow more than a few catches underneath, but, Darby stepped up when it mattered most to make a play on the ball. On his interception, T.Y. Hilton ran right by him while Darby was still looking at his teammates, but Jerry Hughes helped force an under throw, allowed Darby to catch up to Hilton, and to make a phenomenal play on the ball. The Bills have to be happy with his first performance.

21) FB Jerome Felton
Plays on the Field: 31/59
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- When the Bills are rushing the ball, it’s easy to see why they liked Felton. He helped out on five separate rushing plays that actually went somewhere. His biggest problem area is in the passing game, where he has shown more than once since coming to Buffalo that he’ll drop some passes. His drop on Sunday when Taylor was under duress was the most glaring of his negative plays.

22) LT Cordy Glenn
Plays on the Field: 59/59
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- Glenn’s solid summer led some to believe that his play in 2015 would match his efforts from 2012 and 2013 as opposed to his injury-riddled one in 2014. That’s the way it started out, too. Glenn was quite good in the early going in both pass blocking and run blocking, but then, Trent Cole and company started getting by him. His second half, in which the Bills tried to run the ball quite a bit, is where Glenn struggled the most. But, there are obvious tools to work with, and it seems from his performance early on, can be correctable to make him into an above average starter again.

23) TE Charles Clay
Plays on the Field: 56/59
Grade vs. Colts: B -
- Clay had four catches for 43 yards, but a fumble, and really poor run blocking early on made the day into one that really didn’t stand out much. They’ll be expecting much more from him, especially considering he played all but three offensive snaps.

24) TE Matthew Mulligan
Plays on the Field: 20/59
Grade vs. Colts: C +
- Mulligan’s holding penalty negated a touchdown, in an otherwise innocuous performance by the tight end. He went out on a few routes, but was mostly in when the Bills were trying to run the ball.

25) T Seantrel Henderson
Plays on the Field: 59/59
Grade vs. Colts: C +
- Seantrel Henderson is frustrating to watch for one reason in particular. On one play, he’ll flash with a brilliant effort and showing all the proper technique you’d want out of a starting right tackle. And then on the next, he’ll lunge at the defender, get off balance, and be the reason a play blows up. The latter happened more than the former against the Colts, including on the play below. Henderson actually graded out positively in the second half, so that is an area to work from as they approach Week Two.



26) C Eric Wood
Plays on the Field: 59/59
Grade vs. Colts: C
- The Bills starting center didn’t have a lot of one-on-one opportunities with the blocking scheme the Bills brought forward, but performed at a below-average level when he did. The highest paid player on the offensive line, they need Wood to help lead an inexperienced group rather than what they saw against the Colts. He has the ability to be better, it just wasn’t his best day.



27) S Bacarri Rambo
Plays on the Field: 69/77
Grade vs. Colts: C
- Rambo is solid against the run, but his deficiencies come in the passing game. Rambo, for failing to recognize a pick play and staying with his man, was the reason that the Colts got on the board for the first time in the game — and he was promptly yelled at by both Nigel Bradham and Aaron Williams. Another example, on the Darby interception, Rambo was caught flat-footed while he was supposed to be playing the center field role, and instead, Hilton got behind the entire defense. If Graham can’t play Sunday, he’ll be a likely target of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

28) LB Manny Lawson
Plays on the Field: 28/77
Grade vs. Colts: C -
- Now 31 years old, with how he looked against the Colts, it seems as though Lawson has lost a step. He still has the length teams like for a defender to set the edge, but Lawson didn’t appear to have the explosiveness he once had. He got caught flat-footed in the open field on a tackle attempt, and offers very little when asked to rush the passer, to which he did on 11 separate occasions against the Colts. The Bills have an intriguing second-year player in Randell Johnson — that specializes in getting after the passer — who is backing up Lawson at the moment. If he doesn’t improve quickly, Lawson could be liable to be replaced.

29) RG John Miller
Plays on the Field: 59/59
Grade vs. Colts: D +
- It was a tough debut for the third-round pick John Miller. He looked a bit slow, and never seemed in control. Still, he showed some signs of life as the game went on, but the Colts were easily getting by him to potentially impact a play, and the video below was one of those examples. The concern is about his lack of arm length. Going against a longer-limbed Kendall Langford, Miller got caught getting too close early on in the snap, and Langford ripped right by him. It’s only one game, so there’s no reason for alarm just yet, but the rookie was the worst starter on the Bills roster on Sunday.



Players with below 10 snaps

TE MarQueis Gray (8)
CB Ron Brooks (5)
S Duke Williams (5)
WR Chris Hogan (4)
HB Boobie Dixon (4)
T Cyrus Kouandjio (2)
QB Matt Cassel (1)
S Corey Graham (1)

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia





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