Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Cardinals (9/28/16)

Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Cardinals (9/28/16)
Posted at 1:48 PM, Sep 28, 2016

The Buffalo Bills finally got to put a tally in the ‘win’ column, following their complete 33-18 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. They saw some great individual efforts, and improved the season record to 1-2.

They’re next up against the New England Patriots, but before we turn the page to the next week’s opponent, first is a detailed look at how the game went for the players that make up the Buffalo Bills.

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 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. You can find those below all the weekly rankings at the bottom of the article.

You’ll also see an explanation of both the best and worst five players from a given week as part of the breakdown.
Now, the individual player grades of the Bills versus the Cardinals:

The Top Five

1) DL Kyle Williams
Snaps on the Field: 64/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: A
- If Sunday was any indication, the Kyle Williams of old is back — and in a big way. Williams was consistently forcing the pocket back and creating an absolute mess of the backfield. He forced penalties on the offensive line, he helped his teammates get into the backfield by taking on double teams, and he even fought through double teams to make plays at or near the line of scrimmage. Williams was the best player on the field for either team, and at times was the only defensive lineman on the field for the Bills. Had it not been for his efforts and his versatility, the Bills might not have been able to get away with the type of unique defensive packages that they were against Arizona.

2) OLB Jerry Hughes
Snaps on the Field: 80/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: A-minus
- Roughing the passer penalty be damned: Jerry Hughes was a force to be reckoned with for the third straight week. Even though Kyle Williams had the overall better game, Hughes was not far behind in how well he was getting into the backfield to make Carson Palmer nervous. He worked in unison with Williams and the rest of his defensive linemen to make Palmer’s day an absolute nightmare in the first two-and-a-half quarters. The roughing the passer penalty is one that you never want to see out of the top edge rusher on the team, but, with how well he played, you can certainly see the reason why the Bills weren’t in any hurry to discipline Hughes for the ill-timed gaffe.

3) CB Stephon Gilmore
Snaps on the Field: 81/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: A-minus
- Now that, that was an answer by Stephon Gilmore. One week ago, Gilmore had one of his worst games since he’s been in the National Football League and was consistently beaten down the field by his assignments. Gilmore, this week without Ronald Darby, made his presence felt in coverage with multiple pass breakups. On top of that, he forced two turnovers with interceptions — the phase of his game that really has been the only thing missing for him to be considered one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks. Gilmore surely didn’t let the previous poor week of play get to him, because he was a dominant player for the Bills on Sunday.

4) RG John Miller
Snaps on the Field: 64/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: A-minus
- Quietly, second-year right guard John Miller has put together a fantastic start to his season in 2016. The Bills were quite hopeful that Miller would put his last season performance behind him and regain the form he had at training camp and in the preseason during his rookie year, and three games through, that’s precisely what’s happened. Against the Cardinals, Miller led the way on several rushing attempts for LeSean McCoy, and was just as effective against defenders in one-on-one situations while pass blocking. Not only has his performance been a revelation for the Bills so far, it’s helped the line really make strides through all three games — even if their quarterback has left a bit to be desired.

5) HB LeSean McCoy
Snaps on the Field: 48/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-plus
- In the first two games of the season, LeSean McCoy really struggled to get going consistently enough, but that was not the case against Arizona. McCoy was used early and often in the contest, and got up over 100 rushing yards for the first time this season. The slight shift in offensive philosophy with new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn helped get him and the rushing game going. They utilized some triple option plays, direct snaps, and plenty of runs that featured a pulling guard to help get McCoy some running room. McCoy also showed his abilities by planting his foot in the ground, and cutting it up the field as soon as he saw some room. Now, there was at least two examples of him not seeing the hole properly and instead bouncing it outside, but by and large McCoy was an incredibly effective runner. It’s clear he’s the only runner they really trust on the roster, considering his snap percentages and how many more touches he’s getting in comparison to all the other runners.

Everyone Else

6) S Aaron Williams
Snaps on the Field: 67/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-plus

7) C Eric Wood
Snaps on the Field: 64/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-plus

8) S Corey Graham
Snaps on the Field: 82/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-plus

9) LG Richie Incognito
Snaps on the Field: 64/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B

10) DL Corbin Bryant
Snaps on the Field: 32/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B

11) TE Charles Clay
Snaps on the Field: 53/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B

12) FB Jerome Felton
Snaps on the Field: 16/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B

13) DL Adolphus Washington
Snaps on the Field: 30/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B

14) ILB Zach Brown
Snaps on the Field: 49/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B

15) DL Leger Douzable
Snaps on the Field: 26/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

16) ILB Preston Brown
Snaps on the Field: 82/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

17) WR Robert Woods
Snaps on the Field: 61/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

18) RT Jordan Mills
Snaps on the Field: 64/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

19) OLB Lorenzo Alexander
Snaps on the Field: 56/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

20) S Duke Williams
Snaps on the Field: 35/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

21) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
Snaps on the Field: 49/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

22) OLB Lerentee McCray
Snaps on the Field: 21/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

23) WR Marquise Goodwin
Snaps on the Field: 53/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: B-minus

The Bottom Five

24) WR Walt Powell
Snaps on the Field: 41/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: C-plus
- Powell ended the game with three receptions for 28 yards, and saw the most amount of time on the field that he’s had all season long. Powell even managed to be targeted five separate times. In a game where most the players on the Bills roster played relatively well, only a couple of slip-ups pushed Powell down into the bottom five. He let a pass go right through his hands, and slipped on his 14-yard reception that he could have turned up the field and gotten even a bigger gain if he stayed on his feet. It wasn’t a bad game by any means for him, just a couple of things to work on.

25) QB Tyrod Taylor
Snaps on the Field: 64/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: C-plus
- The Bills quarterback, for the third straight game, carried one of the lowest individual grades from the Bills roster. His running game, and some of the decisions he made was outstanding from that perspective. Seeing him carry the ball was a good reminder of how dynamic a player he can be, but the pocket passing was the main issue once again. Once again, Taylor missed players that were running open over the middle of the field — in his field of vision —  that could have gone for much bigger plays. The trouble for the Bills offense is this: if that part of his game doesn’t improve, teams will likely try to pin Taylor into the pocket and force him to operate from there, to try and thwart the threat of rushing. The Cardinals did it successfully a couple of times, but nowhere near to the degree needed to stop the Bills offensive progress. Taylor did deliver one fantastic pass — the one to Robert Woods that was a questionable catch — but the pass was right on the money. The accuracy isn’t the issue, he just needs to see more of the field — and most importantly, he needs to anticipate route progression and how the defense is playing them. That’s how they’re going to unlock Taylor to take the next step as a quarterback.

26) S Robert Blanton
Snaps on the Field: 32/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: C-plus
- He didn’t have a ton of time on the field, but Blanton whiffed on a coverage, and a tackle on another play that led to bigger gains for Arizona in the game. I do like his athleticism for the safety position, but he seems to be a bit of a ‘tweener between cornerback and safety. He hasn’t shown well against the run, and coverage needs to be where he shines… but he hasn’t yet.

27) CB Corey White
Snaps on the Field: 81/82
Grade vs. Cardinals: C
- The day for White was mostly defined by his interception late in the fourth quarter, but besides that, his game was mostly a disappointing one. White gave way too much room to his assignment on offense, and was a split second slow to react to try and break up passes. The Cardinals likely could have taken advantage of him a lot more than they did, but White and the Bills got away relatively unscathed. He mostly went against Michael Floyd, and Floyd was winning the matchup more often than not. Credit the Bills pass rush and defensive line for getting there as much as they did.

28) LT Cyrus Kouandjio
Snaps on the Field: 64/64
Grade vs. Cardinals: C-minus
- After a great game against the New York Jets, Cardinals edge rusher Chandler Jones really forced Kouandjio into his poorest showing by far this week. Kouandjio struggled with his balance against both the strength and speed of Jones, and the pass rusher really sped up the clock in the pocket quite often during the game. The Bills passing attack really didn’t get going and the job Jones did on Kouandjio was a big reason for that. He’s been playing well for the most part in 2016, so the Bills will be hoping if he has to play, that this game was just the exception to the rule with the developing Kouandjio.

Players with less than 15 snaps

TE Nick O’Leary (14)
CB Kevon Seymour (13)
S Jonathan Meeks (12)
HB Mike Gillislee (10)
OL Ryan Groy (7)
HB Jonathan Williams (6)
WR Brandon Tate (6)
TE Jim Dray (5)
ILB Brandon Spikes (5)
DL Jerel Worthy (3)
ILB Ramon Humber (1)

Season Grades (at least 50 snaps to qualify)

1) OLB Jerry Hughes - 3.78
2) DL Kyle Williams - 3.46
3) ILB Preston Brown - 3.20
4) LG Richie Incognito - 3.20
5) RG John Miller - 3.15
6) C Eric Wood - 3.04
7) ILB Zach Brown - 3.03
8) S Aaron Williams - 2.99
9) DL Adolphus Washington - 2.93
10) OLB Lorenzo Alexander - 2.92
11) S Corey Graham - 2.91
12) DL Corbin Bryant - 2.89
13) DL Leger Douzable - 2.87
14) WR Sammy Watkins - 2.84
15) HB LeSean McCoy - 2.80
16) CB Stephon Gilmore - 2.79
17) TE Charles Clay - 2.79
18) WR Marquise Goodwin - 2.77
19) RT Jordan Mills - 2.67
20) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman - 2.67
21) CB Ronald Darby - 2.63
22) WR Robert Woods - 2.56
23) OLB Lerentee McCray - 2.54
24) T Cyrus Kouandjio - 2.47
25) S Duke Williams - 2.31
26) CB Corey White - 2.04
27) QB Tyrod Taylor - 2.03

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia