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Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Dolphins

Posted: 9:31 AM, Sep 30, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-30 09:31:43-04
Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Dolphins

For the second time in three weeks, the Buffalo Bills completely embarrassed their opponents. This time, it was a 41-14 road victory over the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins.

The performance has fans of the team buzzing about what could happen with another beatable opponent coming to town. However, before the Bills move on to the New York Giants, first is a detailed look at how each player on the Bills roster performed against the Dolphins.

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.

Season-long grades are tallied and documented, with each individual game’s grade being weighted for how much the player was on the field in a given week. The season-long grades are at the bottom of the column:

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

1) DE Jerry Hughes
Plays on the Field: 61/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: A -
- Heading into the game against the Dolphins, Hughes had the biggest matchup of any player on the Bills to exploit. Normal starting left tackle Branden Albert was ruled out with an injury, and the less-than-ideal Jason Fox replaced him. Hughes had a huge opportunity to terrorize the Dolphins, and he did exactly that. He batted down passes at the line of the scrimmage, he was in the backfield before Ryan Tannehill knew what was happening, and he affected throws all game long — even helping force an interception — because of the pressure he put on the quarterback. He got caught a couple of times not setting the edge against the run, but Hughes was an unstoppable force, as seen below:

 

 

2) LG Richie Incognito
Plays on the Field: 65/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: A -
- For the second time in three weeks, Richie Incognito has found himself as the top-rated offensive player, and in the top three Bills players for that given week. Incognito has been a steadying force with the Bills attempting to establish themselves on the offensive side of the ball, and he’s certainly helped make both left tackle Cordy Glenn and center Eric Wood better than they showed in 2014. He pulls on run plays and crushes his assignment, he’s consistent in one-on-one pass protection, and provides an edge for the offensive line. If it weren’t for a rough series in the third quarter where he was caught lunging a few times, Incognito would have been the top player from the game.

 

 

3) DT Marcell Dareus
Plays on the Field: 49/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: A -
- It wasn’t a normal week like in 2014 where Marcell Dareus made a play that let everyone know that he was in the game. However, what he did instead was offer up as complete a game from a defensive tackle as you’ll find. He never got pushed off the spot against the run, he was able to get through his man against the pass, and threw a few defenders around in the process. He lacked the ‘wow’ play, and the Dolphins attempting to get the ball out quickly like New England lessened Dareus’ chances of making a big play on Tannehill. However, Dareus had more than just a solid day despite a lack of statistics.

4) QB Tyrod Taylor
Plays on the Field: 62/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: A -
- After the Patriots found a way to confuse, and to essentially neutralize what Tyrod Taylor did the first week against Indianapolis, it was on both him and offensive coordinator Greg Roman to figure out a way to not let that problem continue. Boy, did they ever figure it out. Taylor pushed aside the hesitance and lack of vision down the field from the previous week, and made the Dolphins pay when they tried to take away all the short stuff from the Bills. Taylor displayed poise in the pocket, top notch accuracy — even when throwing on the run, and continuously put his receivers in a spot to make a play after catching the pass. It’s only three games in to his starting career, but Taylor is a fascinating prospect as a starter. The moment certainly has not been too big for him just yet.

5) HB Karlos Williams
Plays on the Field: 21/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: A -
- When the Bills selected Karlos Williams in the fifth round, they hoped they could develop him over time to become a solid running back in the NFL. He still has some things to learn, certainly, but he’s a lot more ready for the bright lights than many expected. Williams has been an explosive runner, scoring a touchdown in each of his first three games. He landed in the perfect situation with Buffalo, in a system tailor made for a north-south runner that likes to punish defenders. That’s Williams, and he’s got incredible size and speed to go along with it. Runs like this one below make him seem like a steal:

 

 

6) WR Percy Harvin
Plays on the Field: 48/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: A -
- At the beginning of the season, many expected LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins to lead the way for playmakers on offense, but so far it’s been the aforementioned Karlos Williams, and wide receiver Percy Harvin. Three games in, it’s clear that Harvin has become an incredibly reliable target for Tyrod Taylor, and he can make a play out of nothing with the ball in his hands. He exhibited that multiple times against the Dolphins, and became the go-to target when Sammy Watkins went out with a calf injury. As long as he stays healthy, plays like the one below will make the Bills want to get the ball in his hand even more:

 

 

7) CB Ronald Darby
Plays on the Field: 74/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: A -
- The Bills had to feel a bit nervous heading into the season with rookie Ronald Darby starting on one side, but he’s been very good through the first three weeks, and really shined against the Miami Dolphins. No matter the assignment, Darby ran with his man and got his head turned around with the ball in the air. The cornerback came down with an interception, and was consistently in a position to make a play. He was only beaten for a couple catches in man-to-man coverage, but didn’t surrender anything substantial to the Dolphins.

8) DT Kyle Williams
Plays on the Field: 50/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B +
- Normally Kyle Williams is a lot higher on these lists, but, the team had such a fantastic game against Miami that there were multiple standouts from the contest. Williams, though, wasn’t any sort of slouch against the Dolphins. In fact, his effort on a few plays against the pass helped speed up Tannehill enough to rush a throw and misfire. He also drew multiple double-teams, allowing the rest of his teammates to have a one-on-one matchup to exploit.

9) CB Stephon Gilmore
Plays on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B +
- You might be thinking to yourself, ‘why is Gilmore this high on the list? I don’t remember him doing anything.’ That, in essence, is exactly the point. Much like an offensive linemen, the less you hear from a cornerback, normally the better. Teams are just not throwing at Gilmore as much as they used to, and when they do, he is doing a fantastic job in coverage so far this season.

10) TE Charles Clay
Plays on the Field: 58/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B +
- This game, fittingly, was the first time where we saw the Bills large plan for the well-compensated Charles Clay. The entire first drive of the Dolphins essentially featured him, and he flashed the athleticism and run-after-catch ability that made him such an intriguing free agent target. During the first half, he even provided a boost in run blocking, which made him one of the best players from the first thirty minutes. However, Clay didn’t finish the game nearly as strong as he started — specifically in run blocking — which dropped him down from a grade and ranking perspective.

11) C Eric Wood
Plays on the Field: 65/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B +
- For the second straight week, center Eric Wood had a solid performance indicative of the level of play he’s capable of. He was driving his defender backwards, getting to the second level on run plays, and provided help to either one of his guards whenever necessary. In addition to the rise of Incognito within the offensive system, the return of Wood to this level of play has been one of the biggest reasons for the offensive line turnaround through three games.

12) LB Preston Brown
Plays on the Field: 73/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B +
- Brown’s game was defined by his two interceptions, one of which were returned for a touchdown. Those were two completely game-changing plays that must not be ignored. However, Brown gets covered up and can’t shield blockers as well as some other linebackers in the league, and it made the rest of his day, outside of those two interceptions, rather pedestrian.

13) LT Cordy Glenn
Plays on the Field: 65/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B
- Glenn still has his trouble against really quick defensive linemen, but that wasn’t an issue at all against the Miami Dolphins. The most impressive part of his performance, with this offense, is his athletic ability really shining through when he has to pull to the left on designed runs. Even though he’s a humongous left tackle, Glenn moves rather well and can get his helmet on a defender.

14) WR Chris Hogan
Plays on the Field: 31/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B
- In his first extended opportunity on offense of the young season, Hogan showed well on a few plays. He is more than a willing run blocker, and really gives it his all when plays break into the open field. Hogan’s fantastic stop-and-go route, mixed with a clear miscommunication between the cornerback and safety on the play, opened him up for a 39-yard touchdown from Taylor in the second half. If Watkins has to miss any time, the Bills seem to be quite confident in Hogan to step in.

15) WR Sammy Watkins
Plays on the Field: 12/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B
- Despite only being on the field for a total of 12 snaps, Sammy Watkins still jumped off the screen a few times. The 39-yard reception is the most notable, but like Hogan, Watkins is a fierce blocker in the open field and helped the ball carrier gain an extra five-to-six yards a couple of times against Miami. It looked like he was on the way to having a very, very good game for the Bills, but a calf injury ended his day prematurely.

16) FB Jerome Felton
Plays on the Field: 30/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B
- The Bills invested quite a bit in Felton, and they certainly got a solid return on some key plays throughout the game versus Miami. Felton delivered a few bone-crushing blocks that helped spring a run into the open-field. There were a couple of occasions where Felton whiffed on his block, and he was noticeably upset with himself on one of them. However, so far, the Miami game showed he’s a valuable bit player to the offense.

17) DE Mario Williams
Plays on the Field: 72/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Through the first three weeks, many have complained about the lack of big plays made by Mario Williams. While it’s true that Williams has only one sack on the season, he has done so much for the Bills on defense that is not taken into account for statistical purposes. His length can affect a quarterback on a play, he’s very good at setting the edge against the run to force a ball carrier back inside, and he’ll power an offensive tackle into the backfield and force the quarterback to move. His game against Miami was the worst of his three thus far, but, Williams has been a very good part of this defense in 2015. A prime example of that from this game is below:

 

 

18) HB LeSean McCoy
Plays on the Field: 34/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- A week after looking like his hamstring injury was behind him, McCoy appeared a bit slower, and less decisive when he was running the ball. That, mixed with him having to come out of the game for a series or two at a time, and it was clear that LeSean McCoy was not the player that we saw at the beginning of training camp. He had the touchdown reception which helped his day, but when he was running the ball, he was a massive disappointment.

19) RT Seantrel Henderson
Plays on the Field: 64/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Through three games, Seantrel Henderson has flashed a great deal of potential to be a longterm option at right tackle for the Bills. The problem is this: Henderson lacks an overall consistency, even in a one game example, to be considered a good player at his position just yet. He’s gotten a lot better this season in one-on-one pass protection, and did a very nice job on Miami’s Cameron Wake. He’ll also deliver a bone-crunching run block to help open a play up for the ball carrier. But, all that is coupled with him lunging at a defender and missing, or, failing to pick up a defender entirely. The potential is there, and he has made progress from what he was last year.

20) CB Nickell Robey
Plays on the Field: 65/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Robey had a tough matchup against second-year wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and while Robey flashed at times, Landry got the better of the matchup for the most part. They weren’t matched up every time, but, Landry still won the majority of times that they were.

21) DT Corbin Bryant
Plays on the Field: 29/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- The immediate backup for the Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams duo, Corbin Bryant provides a flash play when he gets in the game. The one you’ll see below is Bryant taking advantage of the inexperienced rookie right guard Jamil Douglas, and dominating the play on the way to a negative play for Miami. Bryant got turned around a time or two in run support later on, but this play sticks out like a sore thumb:

 

 

22) S Corey Graham
Plays on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Graham racked up the tackles on the stat sheet, but he was slow to get over to the play at times against the run. Still learning the position, Graham did show great instincts in flying up to Jordan Cameron on a shovel pass attempt to drop the tight end for a loss on the play. He is also one of the better tacklers on the team, which certainly helped his day.

23) DT Stefan Charles
Plays on the Field: 28/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Charles was inactive against the Patriots, and mostly served as a role to plug the middle of the offensive line as opposed to getting upfield. His day was blatantly average.

24) WR Robert Woods
Plays on the Field: 49/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Getting a larger role with Sammy Watkins leaving the game due to a calf injury, Woods didn’t make a big impact from a receiving perspective. He blocked very well down the field when the ball carrier was by him. However, when the Bills went back to pass the ball, Woods was clearly just the third option in the offense behind Harvin and Clay.

25) TE Matthew Mulligan
Plays on the Field: 13/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Mulligan had an average day, minus one run attempt that went wide to the right that was blown up because Mulligan didn’t solidify his block. Other than that, it was a mostly ho hum performance.

26) G John Miller
Plays on the Field: 17/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: B -
- Miller had to leave the game in the first half due to a groin injury, and didn’t stand out for either a good or a bad reason. On the positive side of things, Ndamukong Suh didn’t take advantage of him like other defensive linemen had been doing through the first two weeks.

27) LB Manny Lawson
Plays on the Field: 33/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: C +
- Really for the first time, the Bills were starting to use Lawson in a pass rushing role to give Jerry Hughes a few plays off. Lawson offers little as a pass rusher, and really didn’t make an impact on the plays that he was on the field.

28) HB Boobie Dixon
Plays on the Field: 12/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: C +
- In his five carries, Dixon looked slow, and was quickly gobbled up by defenders. He’ll likely have a bigger role if LeSean McCoy has to miss any time with the hamstring injury, but Dixon really seemed like he lost a step based on how he played against Miami.

29) RG Kraig Urbik
Plays on the Field: 48/65
Grade vs. Dolphins: C +
- The replacement for John Miller, Urbik missed on his assignment a couple of times. Other than that, it wasn’t too poor of a performance for the replacement player. He and Miller are at about the same level at this point in time, so if the rookie has to miss any time, the Bills aren’t exactly downgrading.

30) LB Nigel Bradham
Plays on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: C
- When most of the players on the field for the Bills were having an extremely good day, the linebacker Nigel Bradham was really disappointing with how he played against the Dolphins. He was getting consistently covered up by block attempts against the run, and uncharacteristically missed some tackles. Even worse, the Bills didn’t use him to rush Ryan Tannehill nearly as much as they did Week One against the Colts. Bradham, who could be a weapon in this defense, needs to be much better than he was against Miami going forward.

31) S Bacarri Rambo
Plays on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Dolphins: C
- Rambo made a huge play to fire through the offensive line on a blitz, and forced Ryan Tannehill to throw the ball into the arms of Preston Brown for the pick-six. However, Rambo showed once again to be a bit of a liability in coverage. Not to mention, he delivered two huge hits on his own teammate Ronald Darby, both of which forced the rookie to leave the game.

Players with below 10 snaps (that were inconsequential to the game)

TE MarQueis Gray (8)
LB A.J. Tarpley (5)
WR Marcus Easley (4)
T Cyrus Kouandjio (4)
CB Mario Butler (4)
QB EJ Manuel (3)
LB Randell Johnson (3)
WR Marcus Thigpen (1)

Season-to-date GPAs (minimum 50 snaps)

1) DE Jerry Hughes  3.54
2) DT Kyle Williams  3.43
3) WR Percy Harvin  3.31
4) LG Richie Incognito  3.30
5) DT Marcell Dareus  3.28
6) CB Stephon Gilmore 3.21
7) CB Ronald Darby  3.18
8) HB Karlos Williams  3.17
9) DE Mario Williams  3.10
10) HB LeSean McCoy   3.06
11) CB Nickell Robey  2.98
12) QB Tyrod Taylor  2.94
13) C Eric Wood   2.93
14) WR Sammy Watkins 2.88
15) TE Charles Clay  2.88
16) LB Preston Brown  2.88
17) DT Corbin Bryant  2.82
18) FB Jerome Felton  2.81
19) LT Cordy Glenn  2.78
20) S Aaron Williams  2.76
21) RT Seantrel Henderson 2.67
22) WR Robert Woods  2.67
23) DT Stefan Charles  2.67
24) LB Nigel Bradham  2.64
25) S Corey Graham  2.33
26) LB Manny Lawson  2.13
27) S Bacarri Rambo  2.12
28) RG John Miller  1.65

Previous All-22 Reviews

Week 1 - Bills 27, Colts 14
Week 2 - Patriots 40, Bills 32

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

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