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

Joe B All-22 Review: Grading Bills vs. Texans
Posted at 10:32 AM, Dec 09, 2015

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 Texans:

1) HB LeSean McCoy
Plays on the Field: 46/62
Grade vs. Texans: A-
- McCoy has been on fire since returning from his hamstring injury, easily establishing himself as one of the best five running backs in the NFL — and boy, have the Bills sorely needed it. Even without Karlos Williams available, McCoy was still a dominant player against a defense that had been playing lights out in recent weeks. He made plays and got into open field even when it looked to be dead in the water. McCoy has an innate ability to find the tiniest of creases — or even create those creases — to optimize his rushing attempts. As it has been the case against some of the stout defensive lines they’ve played in 2015, the Bills wanted to get them moving with some east-west runs — McCoy’s specialty. Even without a touchdown this week, McCoy was a star.

2) DE Jerry Hughes
Plays on the Field: 69/76
Grade vs. Texans: A-
- As opposed to what they were able to do a week ago, the Buffalo Bills were able to get a lot more pressure on the opposing quarterback. The biggest reason for that, as it has been in most cases in 2015, was due to the efforts of Jerry Hughes. He has become Rex Ryan’s favorite weapon on defense, getting lined up all over the place to get them the best matchup. There are even times where he and Mario Williams wait for the offense to set up, just to decide which side would be the ideal for him to rush from. He was caught a couple of times out of position from his rush lane, which opened up area for the Texans to roam on the ground. Even though that was the case, his impact on the game was quite noticeable.

3) LT Cordy Glenn
Plays on the Field: 62/62
Grade vs. Texans: B+
- Another week, and another performance turned in by Cordy Glenn that just affirms what will be a fact of life this upcoming offseason. In today’s NFL, where offensive line play has suffered all over the place, Glenn is going to get paid quite handsomely as an unrestricted free agent, whether it be in Buffalo or elsewhere. To counteract J.J. Watt, they used Glenn either at left tackle, or they attached him to Jordan Mills’ right side on select plays for an unbalanced look. The thing about Glenn, he doesn’t do anything that makes you stop the play and think to yourself, ‘wow.’ What he does as a left tackle, is always look in control in pass protection, using the defensive end’s moves against him. He also is an imposing run blocker, which just adds more value. He has become the player that the Bills thought he would be when they drafted him in the second round in 2012.

4) QB Tyrod Taylor
Plays on the Field: 62/62
Grade vs. Texans: B+
- The Bills didn’t need Tyrod Taylor to dominate the game the way some teams in the NFL operate with their quarterbacks, but the impressive part about Taylor’s game against the Texans was some of his progress as a starting quarterback in the league. Taylor only completed 11-of-21 passes, but he was one of the biggest reasons that the Texans defense could never get comfortable, and why the Bills offense always seemed a step ahead. Taylor did a good job of reading the defense pre-snap and recognizing when an opportunity could be had deep down the field for Sammy Watkins. Then, with that knowledge, he threw two accurate passes that set the Bills up for more points after big gains. He was in control, and might have even been robbed of more completions, yards, and points due to a drop (Charles Clay), or falling in the end zone (Robert Woods). When things break down and Taylor starts to rush around, that’s when he becomes a fascinating quarterback to watch operate. He’s very in control of himself, and borderline robotic when operating solely from the pocket. However, he let’s his instincts take over when he’s on the run, and he makes great decisions and sees the whole field very well. The biggest thing Taylor and the Bills have to do in the offseason for him to progress as a quarterback, is to get him to feel more natural and instinctive when operating from the pocket. If that happens, the Bills may have themselves a quarterback. However, he’s not there quite yet.

5) LG Richie Incognito
Plays on the Field: 62/62
Grade vs. Texans: B+
- With due respect to all the other guards in the NFL, I can’t speak to Rex Ryan’s assertion that Incognito might be the best guard in the league in 2015. What I can say, though, is that Incognito has been one of the best players on the team, and with noticing how poor the guard play has been for many of the team’s opponents in 2015, he has to be one of the best this season, and a candidate to make the Pro Bowl. Incognito is an asset when he pulls and is in the open field. Could he be a little quicker? Sure, but, if he makes contact with the defender, odds indicate that the player isn’t going to make an impact on the play. An obvious candidate to be re-signed — but he won’t be cheap.

6) WR Sammy Watkins
Plays on the Field: 61/62
Grade vs. Texans: B+
- Watkins didn’t have to do a ton of heavy lifting in the game, but his presence made an impact on the game. With him in the game, one safety couldn’t do anything but to shade coverage to Watkins side of the field for fear of getting beat deep, and if he didn’t, then the Bills burned them. Watkins was robbed of a fourth catch in the game because of a holding penalty, but even with limited catches (3), he was one of the best players on the field. His conversion on deep balls enabled the Bills to hit intermediate passes on the open field, and prevented the Texans from cheating up to try and cut out LeSean McCoy’s effectiveness.

7) DT Corbin Bryant
Plays on the Field: 46/76
Grade vs. Texans: B+
- Against the Texans, Bryant’s first half really stood out. He made a couple of ‘wow’ plays to bring down the ball carrier. The first, he worked through a double team and forced the runner back into a tiny spot, and then collapsed on him with another defender. The second, he tossed aside his defender to make a stop on the ground. He certainly isn’t of the same playing level as Kyle Williams when he was healthy, but, he has been a suitable replacement player.

8) S Bacarri Rambo
Plays on the Field: 76/76
Grade vs. Texans: B
- Rambo had a rough start to the game, but then took over in the second half. He made multiple plays on the ball to force incompletions, was an asset as a blitzer when called upon, and really just proved to be a nuisance for the Texans down the stretch. He’s been on fire for the last five games or so, and has helped the Bills do two things: they don’t have to rush back Aaron Williams from a neck injury, and, now they don’t have to try and force Duke Williams into the lineup — who has proved to be a liability in coverage.

9) DT Marcell Dareus
Plays on the Field: 66/76
Grade vs. Texans: B
- It wasn’t a typical Dareus type of day, but like Watkins, his impact on the game was more about him being on the field. On one play, he uncharacteristically was pushed back out of the way of a rushing attempt by only one blocker. Other than that play, though, Dareus took on multiple blockers more often than not and help set the table for his other defenders. The Bills struggled against the run in spots, but that was mostly due to the sub-par play of the linebackers as opposed to the double-team eating Dareus.

10) TE Charles Clay
Plays on the Field: 58/62
Grade vs. Texans: B
- It was a Clay day for the first time in about a month-and-a-half. Clay was able to shake off a bad drop earlier in the fourth quarter to secure the game-winning touchdown pass — but that wasn’t the entire reason Clay had one of his better games of the season. Specifically in the first half, Clay was a monster run blocker, even blocking a defender with such force that he pushed him straight to the ground on one of McCoy’s runs to the left side of the line. He had to be docked for the drop, but, he had a great game in his own right.

11) C Eric Wood
Plays on the Field: 62/62
Grade vs. Texans: B

12) DE Mario Williams
Plays on the Field: 72/76
Grade vs. Texans: B

13) LB Manny Lawson
Plays on the Field: 73/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

14) S Corey Graham
Plays on the Field: 76/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

15) WR Chris Hogan
Plays on the Field: 22/62
Grade vs. Texans: B-

16) HB Mike Gillislee
Plays on the Field: 14/62
Grade vs. Texans: B-

17) CB Stephon Gilmore
Plays on the Field: 37/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

18) WR Robert Woods
Plays on the Field: 46/62
Grade vs. Texans: B-

19) FB Jerome Felton
Plays on the Field: 27/62
Grade vs. Texans: B-

20) CB Leodis McKelvin
Plays on the Field: 44/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

21) DE IK Enemkpali
Plays on the Field: 14/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

22) CB Ron Brooks
Plays on the Field: 15/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

23) CB Nickell Robey
Plays on the Field: 50/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

24) TE Matthew Mulligan
Plays on the Field: 14/62
Grade vs. Texans: B-

25) DT T.J. Barnes
Plays on the Field: 12/76
Grade vs. Texans: B-

26) RG Kraig Urbik
Plays on the Field: 62/62
Grade vs. Texans: C+

27) TE Chris Gragg
Plays on the Field: 15/62
Grade vs. Texans: C+

28) LB Tony Steward
Plays on the Field: 4/76
Grade vs. Texans: C

29) CB Ronald Darby
Plays on the Field: 76/76
Grade vs. Texans: C

30) LB Kevin Reddick
Plays on the Field: 17/76
Grade vs. Texans: C
- Forced into action because of injuries to both Nigel Bradham and Tony Steward, the former practice squad player really struggled to gain his footing in limited action. What ended up happening was that the Bills went away from having Reddick in the lineup, and instead opted to keep Manny Lawson out on the field for all but three snaps, as opposed to his normal 45-to-60 percent of snaps in a given game. Reddick got covered up on many rushing opportunities, and was one of the direct reasons to some of the bigger plays that the Texans busted open on the ground.

31) LB Preston Brown
Plays on the Field: 70/76
Grade vs. Texans: C-
- The linebacker play, outside of Manny Lawson playing just about everywhere in the front-seven against Houston, was really lacking. And it wasn’t just the younger players that were replacing Nigel Bradham in the lineup, Preston Brown struggled mightily against the run all game long, with the exception of two plays. He really had trouble disengaging from blocks to fill the run lanes, and even when he had a free shot at the lane, he was hesitant to fill and the runner still had the time to pick up solid yardage. Especially without the instinctive Bradham, they needed Brown to step up in a big way. Against some lackluster running backs, his performance was uninspiring to say the least.

32) RT Jordan Mills
Plays on the Field: 62/62
Grade vs. Texans: C-
- Those that were hoping that Jordan Mills would be the player to push the struggling Seantrel Henderson out of the lineup, they’ll need to hope that Mills starts again and has a much better performance than what he offered up against the Texans. Mills drew a tough assignment for much of the game, but the Bills didn’t go a lot of plays without giving Mills help. In the instances where he was in a one-on-one matchup, Mills gave up ground to his opponent, and even got caught with his head down (a no-no for offensive linemen), which allowed his assignment to get right by him. Henderson hasn’t been good in 2015, but, he at least shows flashes of big ability from time to time.

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

DT Stefan Charles (9)
HB Boobie Dixon (2)
WR Marcus Thigpen (2)
T Cyrus Kouandjio (2)
G Ryan Groy (1)
S Jonathan Meeks (1)
QB EJ Manuel (0)
WR Marcus Easley (0)
LB Randell Johnson (0)
S Duke Williams (0)

Season-to-date GPAs (minimum 100 snaps)

1) DT Marcell Dareus  3.37 (1)
2) DT Kyle Williams  3.32 (2)
3) HB LeSean McCoy  3.28 (4)
4) G Richie Incognito  3.25 (3)
5) LT Cordy Glenn  3.22 (5)
6) WR Sammy Watkins 3.20 (6)
7) DE Jerry Hughes  3.18 (7)
8) CB Stephon Gilmore 3.08 (8)
9) WR Percy Harvin  3.01 (10)
10) CB Ronald Darby  2.96 (9)
11) T Cyrus Kouandjio  2.95 (11)
12) DE Mario Williams  2.92 (13)
13) DE Alex Carrington  2.92 (12)
14) DT Corbin Bryant  2.91 (15)
15) HB Karlos Williams  2.88 (14)
16) S Aaron Williams  2.84 (16)
17) QB Tyrod Taylor  2.83 (18)
18) TE Charles Clay  2.77 (20)
19) WR Chris Hogan  2.75 (21)
20) CB/S Leodis McKelvin 2.75 (19)
21) TE Chris Gragg  2.73 (17)
22) CB Nickell Robey  2.71 (23)
23) WR Robert Woods  2.70 (24)
24) LB Nigel Bradham  2.69 (25)
25) FB Jerome Felton  2.68 (26)
26) DT Stefan Charles  2.68 (27)
27) C Eric Wood   2.64 (29)
28) LB Preston Brown  2.64 (22)
29) TE Matthew Mulligan 2.63 (28)
30) DE IK Enemkpali  2.62 (NR)
31) S Duke Williams  2.60 (30)
32) S Corey Graham  2.57 (31)
33) LB Manny Lawson  2.53 (32)
34) S Bacarri Rambo  2.49 (34)
35) RG Kraig Urbik  2.45 (33)
36) RT Seantrel Henderson 2.17 (35)
37) RG John Miller  2.15 (36)
38) QB EJ Manuel  1.35 (37)

**Last week’s rank in parentheses

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia





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