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Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Jets (9/20/16)

Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Jets (9/20/16)
Posted at 10:34 PM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 22:48:06-04

The Buffalo Bills lost their second straight game to start the 2016 season, falling 37-31 to the division rival New York Jets. Now at 0-2, the Bills will need to look for answers to keep the losing streak from extending to a third straight week.

They’re next up against the Arizona Cardinals, 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.
Once we get through the third 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.

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 Jets:

The Top Five

1) OLB Jerry Hughes
Plays on the Field: 70/75
Grade vs. Jets: A
- During the Bills loss to the Jets, there wasn’t a more dominant player on the field for the home team than Jerry Hughes, and it really wasn’t close. Hughes continued to flash in a multitude of ways. He collected his third sack of the season after driving past the blocker in the first quarter. Not just that, he continued to impose his will on the Jets offensive line by collapsing the pocket and forcing an early throw from Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. He contained the edge incredibly well against the run, and even flashed his abilities in coverage again this week. Without a shadow of a doubt, he has been the best Bills player over the first two weeks of the season.

2) ILB Preston Brown
Plays on the Field: 75/75
Grade vs. Jets: A-minus
- The reclamation project known as Preston Brown is off to a great start in 2016. After a down year in 2015, Brown has been extremely solid as the team’s top inside linebacker. For the second week in a row, the opponents’ rushing attack struggled to find any solid ground, and it was the presence of Brown that is responsible for that. The Jets managed only 3.3 yards per carry on 31 attempts against the Bills. There was only one time that I saw Brown get forced back, leading the Jets to a big gain on the ground — but it was far from the norm. He’s off to a fantastic start to his season after another big game. The run defense certainly wasn’t the problem on Thursday.

3) LG Richie Incognito
Plays on the Field: 53/53
Grade vs. Jets: B-plus
- Another week, and another game in which you see Richie Incognito’s near the top of the list for the Bills. He was the best offensive player against the Jets, and helped pave the way in the running game and always kept himself in control in one-on-one pass rushing opportunities. He’s even keeping his head on a swivel, feeling out a delayed blitz and sensing it coming well in advance to get himself in position to pick up the extra attacker. Incognito’s level of play has not dipped this season.

4) ILB Zach Brown
Plays on the Field: 75/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-plus
- His first game with the Bills was not nearly as impressive as the type of free-ranging he did in unison with Preston Brown at inside linebacker. Once again, the run defense was not the problem for the Bills, who often limited what the Jets could do in that facet of the game. Brown was quick in getting to the ball carrier, and helped bring down plenty of ball carriers on the back-end when his teammates had helped thwart their efforts. Brown has been a fine fill in so far for rookie Reggie Ragland.

5) LT Cyrus Kouandjio
Plays on the Field: 53/53
Grade vs. Jets: B-plus
- I’m willing to bet you’re a bit surprised to see Cyrus Kouandjio this high up the list, but his play certainly dictated that he should be there. The Bills did a great job in pass protection against a Jets defense that managed to bring down Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton seven times the week before. Kouandjio was as solid as could be with his technique, footwork, and balance against the Jets pass rush. The only time that the Jets managed to take advantage of him was against the run, but still, that wasn’t that often either. Kouandjio was one of the standout players on the offensive line, and is showing legitimate progress in his third season.

Everyone Else

6) C Eric Wood
Plays on the Field: 53/53
Grade vs. Jets: B

7) DL Kyle Williams
Plays on the Field: 60/75
Grade vs. Jets: B

8) WR Marquise Goodwin
Plays on the Field: 28/53
Grade vs. Jets: B

9) WR Greg Salas
Plays on the Field: 15/53
Grade vs. Jets: B

10) TE Charles Clay
Plays on the Field: 48/53
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

11) RT Jordan Mills
Plays on the Field: 53/53
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

12) WR Sammy Watkins
Plays on the Field: 40/53
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

13) DL Leger Douzable
Plays on the Field: 40/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

14) HB LeSean McCoy
Plays on the Field: 49/53
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

15) OLB Lorenzo Alexander
Plays on the Field:  53/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

16) S Corey Graham
Plays on the Field: 75/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

17) S Aaron Williams
Plays on the Field: 45/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

18) RG John Miller
Plays on the Field:  53/53
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

19) DL Jerel Worthy
Plays on the Field: 18/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

20) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
Plays on the Field: 45/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

21) DL Corbin Bryant
Plays on the Field: 38/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

22) OLB Lerentee McCray
Plays on the Field: 26/75
Grade vs. Jets: B-minus

23) WR Robert Woods
Plays on the Field: 46/53
Grade vs. Jets: C-plus

The Bottom Five

24) QB Tyrod Taylor
Plays on the Field: 51/53
Grade vs. Jets: C
- Taylor deserves credit in this game for two plays in particular — both of which being touchdowns. He had the two deep TDs to Marquise Goodwin and Greg Salas, and delivered a near perfect pass to get them in that position. You cannot take those plays away from him by any means. However, the Bills have seen a similar problem creep back into Taylor’s game: he’s not taking advantage of the middle of the field in the intermediate areas. That was his biggest weakness one season ago, after he proved that he’s willing to take chances deep down the field to get the ball to his playmakers. The trouble is, it’s either exclusively on the outside, or it’s when the play breaks down in the pocket and he becomes a more natural passer. Against Baltimore, there were five or six opportunities, in which he had the time, to hit wide open receivers for more yardage and potentially a better outcome. Against the Jets, there were four more of these opportunities — including one where Taylor had a Grade-A chance to hit Charles Clay in the end zone right before the end of the first half. New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn must help him in these areas, or the Bills will continue to see defenses game plan for Taylor from the outside in.

25) S Duke Williams
Plays on the Field: 20/75
Grade vs. Jets: C
- After a promising summer, Duke Williams has struggled significantly in coverage to start the season. There were three separate plays against the Jets that wouldn’t have been made if Williams had played the receiver properly. The worst of the bunch came in the red zone, where he clearly misread a play, came off his responsibilities to chase the play action runner, and Fitzpatrick delivered an easy touchdown pass to the area that he should have been. His teammate, Ronald Darby, was livid with him after the fact. As Aaron Williams gets closer to taking 100-percent of snaps, it really can’t come soon enough for the Bills.

26) CB Ronald Darby
Plays on the Field: 74/75
Grade vs. Jets: C-minus
- In Week One, Darby was the best player on the field for the Bills. In Week Two, he took a definitive step back. Now, he still flashed that playmaking style against both the pass and the run while the Bills took on the Jets, but he was getting beat in coverage quite a bit with quick movements from the opposition’s receiving group. Darby is much better than what he showed on Thursday night, and I suspect he’ll be eager to prove that Sunday against another good receiving group in Arizona.

27) G Ryan Groy
Plays on the Field: 4/53
Grade vs. Jets: C-minus
- It was a rough go for Groy, who only took a total of four snaps against the Jets. Of those four snaps, Groy struggled to keep his ground against his assigned, 1-on-1 defender and it led to multiple plays going awry against the Jets. Without Cordy Glenn or Seantrel Henderson, he is the top option to take over for any spot on the offensive line in the event of an injury.

28) CB Stephon Gilmore
Plays on the Field: 74/75
Grade vs. Jets: D-plus
- This is an anomaly for Stephon Gilmore. Normally one of the top-10 players on the field for the Bills, Gilmore uncharacteristically couldn’t seem to find his footing against the Jets. Every time the Jets threw his way, it seemed like they completed a pass — and a lot were for big yardage, too. Gilmore is an extremely talented player and will have plenty of opportunities to get back to his normal ways against a pass-happy Arizona Cardinals offense.

Players with less than 15 snaps

DL Adolphus Washington (14)
CB Kevon Seymour (13)
TE Jim Dray (11)
S Robert Blanton (9)
WR Walt Powell (8)
FB Jerome Felton (5)
QB EJ Manuel (4)
HB Mike Gillislee (4)
TE Nick O’Leary (3)
HB Reggie Bush (2)
S Jonathan Meeks (2)

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia