Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Patriots (11/3/16)

Posted at 8:36 AM, Nov 03, 2016

In Week Eight, the Buffalo Bills faced long odds of beating a New England Patriots team that was armed with the top quarterback in the league, and with a bevy of injuries to several key positions. The Patriots rolled to a victory, leaving the Bills with a 4-4 record.

They’re next up against the Seattle Seahawks, 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 roster.

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 week, 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.

Now, the individual player grades of the Bills versus the Patriots:

The Top Five

1) DL Kyle Williams
Snaps on the Field: 53/69
Grade vs. Patriots: A-minus
- The comeback season after another long rehab is in full force for defensive lineman Kyle Williams. While the rest of the team struggled basically all game long, Williams was simply owning the point of attack and the line of scrimmage against Patriots offensive linemen. He was fighting through double teams, forcing runs to go away from their original destination, forcing Tom Brady to throw the ball earlier than he wanted to… basically, he was just a menace to the Patriots. He was a big reason the ground game never got going for New England.

2) DL Marcell Dareus
Snaps on the Field: 42/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B-plus
- Man, 10 months away from a regular season game… and it’s though Marcell Dareus had never left. Dareus served as a stark upgrade over nose tackle Corbin Bryant, who was as big a reason as any for the Bills to allow as many yards on the ground as they did against Miami. Bryant was relegated to eight snaps, while Dareus came in and made his presence felt early and often. The scariest part of it: he wasn’t playing his full amount of snaps, and probably wasn’t 100-percent. He is a stud against the run, and showed that he still has it on passing downs as well. It was a truly great start for a player the defense sorely needed.

3) RB Mike Gillislee
Snaps on the Field: B-plus
Grade vs. Patriots: 43/78
- Not much was going right offensively for the Bills… except for Mike Gillislee. When the Bills actually decided to run — seeing as how they were down for much of the game and needed to throw — the running back was explosive and showed good vision to find the weaknesses of the defense. It really makes you think about the Miami game, and had the Bills not tried to force the issue with LeSean McCoy in the first half, would there have been a different result for them on the ground and on offense? A big part of that game was the Bills’ inability to sustain drives, and that was due in large part to the ground game not working. Gillislee, against a pretty good run defense in New England, ran right through them when given the chance.

4) CB Ronald Darby
Snaps on the Field: 68/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B
- The secondary had a truly awful day in three out of the five starting spots: right cornerback, nickel cornerback, and one of the safety spots. However, Ronald Darby actually turned in a pretty good game for the Bills. The Patriots didn’t have much success throwing the ball at him, as he came away with some pretty big pass breakups when given the opportunity. The majority of their yardage came against Stephon Gilmore, Robert Blanton, Jonathan Meeks, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and the linebackers in coverage. This was a much needed bounce back game for Darby, who has struggled at times in 2016.

5) LT Cordy Glenn
Snaps on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B
- The offensive line didn’t have an overwhelmingly great day, but left tackle Cordy Glenn was the standout of the bunch. He has settled into a groove as a constant blindside protector of Tyrod Taylor, and kept the pocket clean for the quarterback. He has been a consistent performer over the last several weeks now, and more impressively, doing it on an ankle that isn’t 100-percent.

Everyone Else

6) OLB Jerry Hughes
Snaps on the Field: 46/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B

7) FB Jerome Felton
Snaps on the Field: 21/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B

8) DL Leger Douzable
Snaps on the Field: 31/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B

9) DL Adolphus Washington
Snaps on the Field: 29/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B

10) RG John Miller
Snaps on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

11) TE Charles Clay
Snaps on the Field: 43/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

12) OLB Lorenzo Alexander
Snaps on the Field: 21/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

13) C Eric Wood
Snaps on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

14) LG Richie Incognito
Snaps on the Field: 74/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

15) S Corey Graham
Snaps on the Field: 69/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

16) RB Jonathan Williams
Snaps on the Field: 19/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

17) OLB Shaq Lawson
Snaps on the Field: 37/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

18) WR Brandon Tate
Snaps on the Field: 21/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

19) OLB Lerentee McCray
Snaps on the Field: 19/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

20) ILB Preston Brown
Snaps on the Field: 69/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

21) ILB Zach Brown
Snaps on the Field: 64/69
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

22) TE Nick O’Leary
Snaps on the Field: 44/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

23) WR Justin Hunter
Snaps on the Field: 64/78
Grade vs. Patriots: B-minus

24) WR Walt Powell
Snaps on the Field: 61/78
Grade vs. Patriots: C-plus

25) RB Reggie Bush
Snaps on the Field: 26/78
Grade vs. Patriots: C

26) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
Snaps on the Field: 38/69
Grade vs. Patriots:  C

27) LB Brandon Spikes
Snaps on the Field: 17/69
Grade vs. Patriots: C

28) RT Jordan Mills
Snaps on the Field: 78/78
Grade vs. Patriots: C

The Bottom Three

29) S Robert Blanton
Snaps on the Field: 68/69
Grade vs. Patriots: C-minus
- The immediate replacement for Aaron Williams showed just how much they missed the normal starter. Blanton was picked on at times by Tom Brady, as his coverage was a half-step too slow and gave opportunity for the receiver to get open. His tackling struggles from last week continued as well, making for an interesting decision moving forward at starting safety opposite Corey Graham. That might be a clear weakness moving forward for the Bills.

29) QB Tyrod Taylor
Snaps on the Field: 70/78
Grade vs. Patriots: C-minus
- While Taylor flashed at times with a good throw to Jerome Felton, had some drops by his receivers, and ran for that long touchdown on fourth down,  this was a dreadful game for Taylor from a passing perspective. Granted, he wasn’t working with much from his receiver group, but there were still players getting open. He either didn’t see them because he didn’t properly go through his progressions, or he was inaccurate with the pass to his target. All it did was lead to further questions about his accuracy when the Bills need him to help bring them back from a deficit.  This was Taylor’s worst performance since Week One against Baltimore.

30) CB Stephon Gilmore
Snaps on the Field: 68/69
Grade vs. Patriots: C-minus
- It’s time to start asking the question: What in the world is wrong with Stephon Gilmore this season? He’s lacking physicality at the line of scrimmage, he’s not showing that killer edge when the ball is in the air, he’s not looking confident to take chances on underneath routes either, and he’s not on the same page on some calls with his teammates either. All of these were on display against New England, and Tom Brady took advantage of him. Something needs to change, and change quickly for Gilmore if he wants to cash in on the type of money that he wanted before the season began.

Players with less than 15 snaps

QB EJ Manuel (8)
DL Corbin Bryant (8)
CB Kevon Seymour (7)
S Jonathan Meeks (5)
OL Ryan Groy (4)
TE Gerald Christian (2)
S Duke Williams (1)
T Cyrus Kouandjio (0)
ILB Ramon Humber (0)
CB Corey White (0)
CB Marcus Roberson (0)

Inactives: QB Cardale Jones (8), RB LeSean McCoy (1), WR Marquise Goodwin (1), OL Patrick Lewis (8), T Seantrel Henderson (3), DL Jerel Worthy (1), S Aaron Williams (1)

Season Grades (Last week’s rank)
*At least 120 snaps to qualify

1) OLB Jerry Hughes - 3.49 (1)
2) DL Kyle Williams - 3.41 (2)
3) RB LeSean McCoy - 3.18 (3)
4) LG Richie Incognito - 3.06 (4)
5) ILB Zach Brown - 3.03 (5)
6) OLB Lorenzo Alexander - 3.03 (7)
7) RG John Miller - 3.00 (6)
8) RB Mike Gillislee - 2.99 (NR)
9) C Eric Wood - 2.98 (8)
10) TE Charles Clay - 2.94 (9)
11) LT Cordy Glenn - 2.94 (11)
12) DL Adolphus Washington - 2.90 (12)
13) FB Jerome Felton - 2.90 (13)
14) TE Nick O’Leary - 2.87 (10)
15) WR Robert Woods - 2.80 (15)
16) ILB Preston Brown - 2.79 (16)
17) CB Ronald Darby - 2.79 (20)
18) WR Justin Hunter - 2.78 (14)
19) S Corey Graham - 2.77 (18)
20) S Aaron Williams - 2.73 (21)
21) DL Leger Douzable - 2.72 (24)
22) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman - 2.69 (19)
23) WR Marquise Goodwin - 2.68 (23)
24) CB Stephon Gilmore - 2.65 (17)
25) DL Corbin Bryant - 2.61 (25)
26) RT Jordan Mills - 2.59 (22)
27) OLB Lerentee McCray - 2.57 (28)
28) WR Walt Powell - 2.52 (26)
29) T Cyrus Kouandjio - 2.47 (29)
30) QB Tyrod Taylor - 2.45 (27)
31) S Robert Blanton - 2.14 (30)

Total Snaps (Last week’s rank)

1) ILB Preston Brown - 548 (1)
2) S Corey Graham - 540 (3)
3) CB Stephon Gilmore - 540 (2)
4) RG John Miller - 511 (5)
5) RT Jordan Mills - 510 (7)
6) LG Richie Incognito - 506 (6)
7) C Eric Wood - 506 (8)
8) OLB Jerry Hughes - 499 (4)
9) ILB Zach Brown - 490 (9)
10) QB Tyrod Taylor - 488 (10)
11) CB Ronald Darby - 464 (11)
12) DL Kyle Williams - 433 (13)
13) TE Charles Clay - 426 (12)
14) WR Robert Woods - 364 (16)
15) LT Cordy Glenn - 359 (19)
16) OLB Lorenzo Alexander - 346 (15)
17) S Aaron Williams - 339 (14)
18) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman - 328 (18)
19) RB LeSean McCoy - 308 (17)
20) WR Marquise Goodwin - 272 (20)
21) DL Leger Douzable - 256 (22)
22) WR Walt Powell - 235 (23)
23) DL Corbin Bryant - 234 (21)
24) DL Adolphus Washington - 179 (24)
25) S Robert Blanton - 176 (29)
26) WR Justin Hunter - 174 (28)
27) TE Nick O’Leary - 166 (27)
28) OLB Lerentee McCray - 149 (26)
29) T Cyrus Kouandjio - 145 (25)
30) RB Mike Gillislee - 132 (31)
31) FB Jerome Felton - 127 (30)
32) S Duke Williams - 90 (32)
33) CB Corey White - 88 (33)
34) WR Sammy Watkins - 82 (34)
35) DL Jerel Worthy - 74 (35)
36) ILB Brandon Spikes - 72 (37)
37) CB Kevon Seymour - 63 (36)
38) WR Brandon Tate - 56 (41)
39) RB Reggie Bush - 55 (43)
40) OLB Shaq Lawson - 51 (47)
41) OL Ryan Groy - 48 (38)
42) S Jonathan Meeks - 44 (39)
43) DL Marcell Dareus - 42 (NR)
44) WR Greg Salas - 36 (40)
45) RB Jonathan Williams - 34 (46)
46) TE Jim Dray - 30 (42)
47) QB EJ Manuel - 25 (45)
48) ILB Ramon Humber - 18 (44)
49) OL Michael Ola - 11 (48)
50) FB Glenn Gronkowski - 8 (49)
51) TE Gerald Christian - 7 (50)

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia