Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Rams (10/11/16)

Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Rams (10/11/16)
Posted at 1:44 PM, Oct 11, 2016

During Week Five, the Buffalo Bills captured their third straight win to get themselves to a 3-2 record on the season. It shouldn't have been as close as it was, but many strong individual performances helped lead the Bills to a 30-19 victory over the Los Angeles Rams

They’re next up against the San Francisco 49ers, 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 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 see an explanation of the best five players of the week, and the bottom three performers as well. At the bottom, you'll also find individual snap counts for every player that has been a part of the Bills this season.

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

The Top Five

1) OLB Jerry Hughes
Snaps on the Field: 67/67
Grade vs. Rams: A-minus
- While Lorenzo Alexander stole the statistical show, the man that was setting the pace on defense for the Bills was Jerry Hughes. It’s become quite a familiar sight, having Hughes at or near the top of the rankings, seeing as how he has been the best Bills player through five weeks — and it really hasn’t been that close. Hughes pushed the pocket back on multiple occasions, which helped set the table for Alexander, Kyle Williams, Adolphus Washington, and others to get in the backfield and distrust the Rams passing attack. It didn’t matter which side he was on, Hughes tormented Rams left tackle Greg Robinson and right tackle Rob Havenstein. He even showed his versatility, setting the edge well against the run and forcing the backs inside, and nearly came away with an interception when dropping back into coverage.

2) HB LeSean McCoy
Snaps on the Field: 44/55
Grade vs. Rams: A-minus
- McCoy had one of those days where it seemed like every time he touched the ball, it felt like he could take it the distance. McCoy was making defenders look silly, utilizing a great blocking day by the offensive line to total over 150 yards on the ground. He showed speed and his vintage one-cut running style to get up the field in a hurry. It was a tad surprising that they didn’t involve him more in the passing attack, otherwise his day could have been even bigger based on the way he was running. When a running back gets that type of volume in a game, he’s bound to miss the correct running lane once or twice, and that’s what happened with McCoy. Only twice, he tried to bust it outside rather than taking guaranteed yardage by going north-south, and ended up gaining less yardage than he could have. But, really, that’s just nitpicking after the day that he had. He was the best offensive player on the field for either team.

3) OLB Lorenzo Alexander
Snaps on the Field: 31/67
Grade vs. Rams: A-minus
- The NFL’s leader in sacks came away with three against Los Angeles, and nearly added a fourth on the Rams’ final offensive play of the game. In a limited role, Alexander has more than taken advantage of the opportunity without Shaq Lawson in the lineup. He’s showing great speed off the edge for a player that at 33-years-old, one would think is near the end of his career. He, like Hughes, took advantage of some poor play at offensive tackle — and even on the interior when he lined up over the guard — to have an incredible impact on the game in the second half. The big question will be, what happens to Alexander when Shaq Lawson comes back? Well, as you can see above, Alexander didn’t even take 50-percent of the snaps on defense Sunday. There is a clear role for Lawson on the field, taking the snaps that Lerentee McCray and Brandon Spikes had been getting. Alexander has been so good, that they can’t afford to take him out of the defensive picture completely.

4) RG John Miller
Snaps on the Field: 55/55
Grade vs. Rams: A-minus
- Now five weeks through the season, I believe we’ve seen enough evidence to make one conclusion: the second-year right guard John Miller has turned the corner in his career. Last season he battled injuries and a sudden loss to his family, and ended up having a pretty poorly graded out year. Now, Miller is living up to the potential he flashed his rookie year at training camp, and is playing at a dominant level. He’s pulling to the edge with speed and authority, showing a bit of a nasty streak when he gets to his blockers, and is showing incredibly well in one-on-one pass blocking. Sunday might have been his most impressive performance because of how he performed in one-on-one situations against Aaron Donald, who might just be the best defensive tackle in the National Football League. Donald made some noise in the game, but it was not when he was going up against Miller. The Bills have to be incredibly happy with how much he’s improved in his second season.

5) DL Kyle Williams
Snaps on the Field: 56/67
Grade vs. Rams: A-minus
- Another week, and another one that shows Kyle Williams is still playing at an incredibly high level. The defensive lineman forced his way into the backfield multiple times, forced running plays back the opposite way, and even got the Rams to commit a crucial holding penalty late in the game down in Bills territory. With how well he’s playing after being a bit of a question mark this summer, the Bills have to be simultaneously excited to pair him with Marcell Dareus in this version of Rex Ryan’s defense, and disappointed because they were merely one practice rep away from having both on the field this past Sunday.

Everyone Else

6) ILB Zach Brown
Snaps on the Field: 67/67
Grade vs. Rams: B-plus

7) C Eric Wood
Snaps on the Field: 55/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-plus

8) DL Adolphus Washington
Snaps on the Field: 31/67
Grade vs. Rams: B-plus

9) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
Snaps on the Field: 24/67
Grade vs. Rams: B-plus

10) TE Charles Clay
Snaps on the Field: 50/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-plus

11) OLB Lerentee McCray
Snaps on the Field: 13/67
Grade vs. Rams: B-plus

12) LG Richie Incognito
Snaps on the Field: 55/55
Grade vs. Rams: B

13) RT Jordan Mills
Snaps on the Field: 55/55
Grade vs. Rams: B

14) ILB Preston Brown
Snaps on the Field: 67/67
Grade vs. Rams: B

15) WR Justin Hunter
Snaps on the Field: 11/55
Grade vs. Rams: B

16) FB Jerome Felton
Snaps on the Field: 21/55
Grade vs. Rams: B

17) QB Tyrod Taylor
Snaps on the Field: 54/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

18) LT Cordy Glenn
Snaps on the Field: 55/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

19) CB Ronald Darby
Snaps on the Field: 66/67
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

20) DL Leger Douzable
Snaps on the Field: 24/67
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

21) WR Robert Woods
Snaps on the Field: 48/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

22) TE Nick O’Leary
Snaps on the Field: 17/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

23) S Corey Graham
Snaps on the Field: 67/67
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

24) WR Marquise Goodwin
Snaps on the Field: 38/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

25) WR Walt Powell
Snaps on the Field: 25/55
Grade vs. Rams: B-minus

The Bottom Three

26) DL Corbin Bryant
Snaps on the Field: 40/67
Grade vs. Rams: C-plus
- While Bryant certainly showed he can get up the field, he struggles when he has to hold the point of attack when opponents run the ball up the middle. That’s an area where the Bills clearly miss Marcell Dareus, and a reason why this defense could get even better upon his return. The Bills have to get more from the middle of their defense, but Bryant’s lack of size as a nose tackle is likely getting the best of him in those scenarios. When Dareus gets back, Bryant would work well as a rotational hybrid nose/defensive end to get up the field in one-on-one situations.

27) CB Stephon Gilmore
Snaps on the Field: 66/67
Grade vs. Rams: C-plus
- There are a few plays from this game that Gilmore would love to have back, and coincidentally, that’s what landed him in the bottom three performers in the game against the Los Angeles Rams. The first, a busted coverage where he thought he had safety help over the top on Tavon Austin, and then let him run free up the left sideline. It was a huge gain, and with a better throw from Case Keenum, it probably could have — and should have — been a touchdown for the Rams. Gilmore then missed a tackle in the second half on a big third down, where it seemed like he had Todd Gurley stopped, but he couldn’t wrap him up, the Rams converted, and ended up scoring a field goal to make it 16-16. Lastly, he was called for a holding penalty that extended the life of another Rams drive, one of the several sloppy penalties that kept Los Angeles in the game when it should have been over long before it was. It wasn’t a terrible game for Gilmore by any means, but in comparison to the rest of the team, he was one of the poorer performers.

28) S Aaron Williams
Snaps on the Field: 67/67
Grade vs. Rams: C
- In Week Four, Aaron Williams showed really well and started to put the injuries from last year and this summer in the past. Against the Rams on Sunday, the defining characteristics of his game were missed tackles and blown coverages. He whiffed on a few tackle attempts in the game which helped the Rams to more yardage than they should have had. Then, in coverage, Williams was caught overrunning a play in zone coverage, let his standing still man find space, and it went for a big gain. Another one that likely should have been a touchdown: a deep throw to Brian Quick that Keenum just flat out missed in the first half was due to Williams losing a step-and-a-half on the wide receiver… unable to catch him. Luckily for him, Keenum’s accuracy is not that great, but that could have potentially turned the whole game around for Los Angeles. As is the case with Gilmore, Williams wasn’t incredibly bad by any means, but he struggled more than any of his teammates by comparison.

Players with less than 15 snaps (And didn't have a large impact)

ILB Brandon Spikes (12)
HB Mike Gillislee (11)
CB Kevon Seymour (11)
DL Jerel Worthy (10)
S Robert Blanton (10)
TE Gerald Christian (5)
OL Ryan Groy (4)
RB Reggie Bush (2)
S Duke Williams (2)
S Jonathan Meeks (1)

Season Grades (Last week’s rank)
*At least 75 snaps (15 per game) to qualify

1) OLB Jerry Hughes - 3.69 (1)
2) DL Kyle Williams - 3.48 (2)
3) ILB Zach Brown - 3.21 (3)
4) RB LeSean McCoy - 3.15 (4)
5) RG John Miller - 3.13 (7)
6) ILB Preston Brown - 3.08 (4)
7) C Eric Wood - 3.08 (6)
8) OLB Lorenzo Alexander - 3.08 (9)
9) DL Adolphus Washington - 3.00 (12)
10) TE Charles Clay - 2.94 (14)
11) LG Richie Incognito - 2.94 (10)
12) WR Sammy Watkins - 2.84 (16)
13) S Corey Graham - 2.83 (13)
14) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman - 2.82 (20)
15) RT Jordan Mills - 2.81 (18)
16) CB Stephon Gilmore - 2.79 (11)
17) WR Robert Woods - 2.78 (17)
18) S Aaron Williams - 2.75 (8)
19) DL Leger Douzable - 2.74 (19)
20) DL Corbin Bryant - 2.73 (15)
21) WR Marquise Goodwin - 2.72 (22)
22) CB Ronald Darby - 2.72 (21)
23) OLB Lerentee McCray - 2.66 (23)
24) WR Walt Powell - 2.55 (24)
25) LT Cordy Glenn - 2.51 (26)
26) T Cyrus Kouandjio - 2.47 (25)
27) QB Tyrod Taylor - 2.40 (28)
28) S Duke Williams - 2.32 (29)
29) CB Corey White - 2.04 (30)

*S Robert Blanton removed for not having enough snaps to qualify

Total Snaps

1) ILB Preston Brown - 348
2) S Corey Graham - 348
3) CB Stephon Gilmore - 345
4) OLB Jerry Hughes - 333
5) ILB Zach Brown - 307
6) LG Richie Incognito - 297
7) C Eric Wood - 297
8) RG John Miller - 297
9) RT Jordan Mills - 296
10) QB Tyrod Taylor - 294
11) DL Kyle Williams - 279
12) TE Charles Clay - 268
13) CB Ronald Darby - 264
14) WR Robert Woods - 263
15) S Aaron Williams - 257
16) RB LeSean McCoy - 236
17) OLB Lorenzo Alexander - 229
18) WR Marquise Goodwin - 191
19) CB Nickell Robey-Coleman - 188
20) DL Corbin Bryant - 176
21) LT Cordy Glenn - 152
22) DL Leger Douzable - 147
23) T Cyrus Kouandjio - 145
24) WR Walt Powell - 117
25) DL Adolphus Washington - 116
26) OLB Lerentee McCray - 104
27) CB Corey White - 86
28) WR Sammy Wakins - 82
29) S Duke Williams - 78
30) TE Nick O’Leary - 64
31) S Robert Blanton - 64
32) FB Jerome Felton - 63
33) DL Jerel Worthy - 53
34) RB Mike Gillislee - 50
35) CB Kevon Seymour - 43
36) WR Greg Salas - 36
37) G Ryan Groy - 31
38) TE Jim Dray - 30
39) ILB Brandon Spikes - 30
40) S Jonathan Meeks - 28
41) WR Brandon Tate - 11
42) WR Justin Hunter - 11
43) RB Reggie Bush - 8
44) FB Glenn Gronkowski - 8
45) RB Jonathan Williams - 7
46) ILB Ramon Humber - 6
47) TE Gerald Christian - 5
48) QB EJ Manuel - 4
49) T Michael Ola - 4

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia