Joe B: Buffalo Bills All-22 Review vs. Atlanta Falcons (10/3/17)

Joe B: Buffalo Bills All-22 Review vs. Atlanta Falcons (10/3/17)
Posted at 2:41 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 14:41:58-04

The Buffalo Bills, for the second week in a row, shocked plenty of people around the National Football League on the way to an upset victory. This time, however, they did it on the road against a prolific offense in the Atlanta Falcons.

Up next, the Bills will look to extend their winning streak to three games on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, but before we turn our attention to Week Five of the season, first we’ll take a look back at the week that was.

Each and every week, 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 You can see a full explanation of how they are done at the bottom of the article.

Now, to the individual player grades of the Bills versus the Falcons, along with full explanations of the top five and the bottom three:

The Top Five

1) S Micah Hyde
Snaps on the Field: 75/75
Grade vs. Falcons: A
- It’s hard to imagine what this game could have been without Micah Hyde on the field for the Bills. Hyde picked off two passes, and quite often, made huge plays that saved the defense from giving up big plays to the Falcons offense. He was collected and always where he needed to be, which made up for a few areas that the Bills were lacking against Atlanta. He single-handedly saved a touchdown on a perfectly designed and executed running play to Tevin Coleman on a stretch to the right side. Had Hyde not taken the perfect angle, and secured the tackle as the absolute last line of defense, the Falcons would have scored a touchdown. Atlanta had to settle for a field goal on that drive. The two interceptions were a great example of being where he needed to be, and coming down with the game-changing play. Plus, his return on the second interception put the Bills in field goal range to make it a six-point lead, which forced Atlanta to need a touchdown to win it. He created and saved points, and couldn’t have been much better on Sunday.

2) DE Jerry Hughes
Snaps on the Field: 55/75
Grade vs. Falcons: A-
- Another week, and another game in which Jerry Hughes was one of the best players on the field for the Bills. While he only had one sack, his huge impact on the game in getting constant pressure on quarterback Matt Ryan. He forced early throws, incompletions, and continued being an outright nuisance to the opponent’s passing game. While it might have been an incomplete pass, Hughes forced the referees to make a decision by getting back to Ryan so quickly, caused the fumble, and rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White scooped it up for the score. Hughes has been outstanding this season, and with another great performance, is now atop the season-long player rankings.

3) TE Charles Clay
Snaps on the Field: 48/60
Grade vs. Falcons: A-
- To this point in the 2017 season, Charles Clay has had his best as a member of the Bills. However, Sunday’s win over the Falcons was the first one that he really took over. He was blocking well, he made defenders miss in the open field, he found the soft spot in the defense when Tyrod Taylor was scrambling, and he made tough, contested catches all game long. It was his individual effort, along with a great throw from Taylor, to put the Bills in field goal position to go ahead by three points in the fourth quarter. Clay’s athleticism was on display all game long, and he’s become a go-to weapon in this Bills offense.

4) CB Tre’Davious White
Snaps on the Field: 75/75 
Grade vs. Falcons: A-
- There really isn’t more the Buffalo Bills could have asked for in the first four games of the season from the rookie first-round pick and cornerback Tre’Davious White. After a bit of a challenging start to the game last week against Denver, White showed impressive poise in coming back with an incredibly strong effort. He transferred that right into the Falcons game and looked calm and confident all the while in doing so. Mohamed Sanu, when healthy, could not beat White in the open field. The rookie was physical, strong, showed the ability to flip his hips on double moves, and kept his assignments from making a true impact. The fumble return for a touchdown was just the cherry on top to a great game. The early returns on White are really good — and if he keeps this up, the Bills might have found an outright steal of a draft pick at the end of the first round.

5) LT Dion Dawkins
Snaps on the Field: 60/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B+
- As White was outstanding on the defensive side of the ball, the team’s second-round pick Dion Dawkins just so happened to have his best game as a professional on Sunday. Dawkins was starting at left tackle in place of the injured Cordy Glenn for the second straight week, and really, he was the best offensive lineman on the field against the Falcons. This week, it was a bit easier on him from a matchup perspective as the Falcons had a backup player in the game due to injury. However, Dawkins showed much better in pass blocking than he had previously, and helped pave the way for some solid gains for LeSean McCoy on the ground. Dawkins’ most recent performance should just reinforce the point that the Bills just need to let normal starter Cordy Glenn all the way without feeling like they have to force him back into the lineup.

The Middle

6) DT Jerel Worthy
Snaps on the Field: 23/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B+

7) QB Tyrod Taylor
Snaps on the Field: 60/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B

8) SLB Lorenzo Alexander
Snaps on the Field: 64/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B

9) DE Eddie Yarbrough
Snaps on the Field: 54/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B

10) RB LeSean McCoy
Snaps on the Field: 43/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B

11) FB Patrick DiMarco
Snaps on the Field: 30/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B

12) LG Richie Incognito
Snaps on the Field: 60/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B

13) WR Jordan Matthews
Snaps on the Field: 30/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B

14) RT Jordan Mills
Snaps on the Field: 60/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

15) DE Ryan Davis
Snaps on the Field: 31/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

16) WR Andre Holmes
Snaps on the Field: 39/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

17) C Eric Wood
Snaps on the Field: 60/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

18) CB E.J. Gaines
Snaps on the Field:  49/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

19) S Jordan Poyer
Snaps on the Field: 75/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

20) WLB Ramon Humber
Snaps on the Field: 29/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

21) CB Shareece Wright
Snaps on the Field: 26/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

22) DT Kyle Williams
Snaps on the Field: 58/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

23) TE Nick O’Leary
Snaps on the Field: 32/60
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

24) MLB Preston Brown
Snaps on the Field: 75/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

25) DT Cedric Thornton
Snaps on the Field: 36/75
Grade vs. Falcons: B-

26) RB Mike Tolbert
Snaps on the Field: 15/60
Grade vs. Falcons: C+

27) WR Zay Jones
Snaps on the Field: 44/60
Grade vs. Falcons: C+

28) WLB Matt Milano
Snaps on the Field: 32/75
Grade vs. Falcons: C+

The Bottom Three

29) DT Marcell Dareus
Snaps on the Field: 22/75
Grade vs. Falcons: C+
- Of any player on defense that took a snap Sunday, no one took fewer than Marcell Dareus on Sunday. On Monday, head coach Sean McDermott said that it was a combination of wanting to rotate the defensive tackles and Dareus’ most recent ankle injury. Near the end of the game, you could see Dareus favoring the ankle a tad after plays were completed, and it also impacted how he played. All too often, Dareus was being pushed back off his spot, or taking one or two steps and falling down to a knee as he was being blocked by opponents. If the ankle continues to bug him the way that it did on Sunday, he just doesn’t look like the same player that we’ve come to know. It might be worth their time to allow him some time to get it right again — much like with Cordy Glenn. Otherwise, they aren’t getting much from the highly paid defensive tackle.

30) RG John Miller
Snaps on the Field: 60/60
Grade vs. Falcons: C
- This game started off a lot better than it had in recent weeks for the starting right guard John Miller. He seemed like he was getting a good push on run blocking and helped open up some things for LeSean McCoy in the early stages of the game. As the game went on, the same problems that we’ve seen from Miller during the other three games kept popping up. It’s the movement ability or lack thereof, that keeps Miller from making the blocks that he should be making. Yet again, you have to wonder how long until the Bills start to consider a change at right guard — especially with someone like Ryan Groy on the bench.

31) NCB Leonard Johnson
Snaps on the Field: 45/75
Grade vs. Falcons: C
- The Bills were fortunate for a few different reasons on Sunday, but perhaps none more so than when it was announced Julio Jones would not be returning to the game. The Falcons were starting to go after Leonard Johnson in the slot by lining Jones against him. When the Bills cornerback had to follow him around — and didn’t pass him off as part of zone coverage — Jones was getting a ton of separation. The nickel corner also took a penalty late in the game, on the Falcons final drive, that both negated a sack and gave the opponents a fresh set of downs. He’s much better in run support than pass coverage which helps keep him on the field. However, that was a matchup to exploit, and the Falcons were doing so until Jones had to miss the rest of the contest.

Players with less than 15 snaps
WR Kaelin Clay (13)
TE Logan Thomas (9)

Active players without an offensive or defensive snap: QB Nathan Peterman, QB/WR Joe Webb, RB Taiwan Jones, C/G Ryan Groy, OT Conor McDermott, DE Eric Lee, LB Tanner Vallejo, LB Deon Lacey, S Colt Anderson, S Robert Blanton

Inactives: G Vladimir Ducasse (4), TE Khari Lee (4), RB Joe Banyard (3), WR Brandon Tate (2), LT Cordy Glenn (2), DT Adolphus Washington (1), DE Shaq Lawson (1)
*(Total games inactive)

Season Grades (Last week’s rank)
*At least 60 snaps to qualify

1) DE Jerry Hughes - 3.59 (2)
2) DT Kyle Williams - 3.45 (1)
3) S Micah Hyde - 3.43 (6)
4) DE Shaq Lawson - 3.35 (3)
5) CB Tre’Davious White - 3.27 (9)
6) S Jordan Poyer - 3.13 (4)
7) DE Eddie Yarbrough - 3.13 (5)
8) LB Lorenzo Alexander - 3.08 (8)
9) CB E.J. Gaines - 3.06 (7)
10) RB LeSean McCoy - 3.05 (10)
11) WR Jordan Matthews - 3.03 (11) 
12) LG Richie Incognito - 2.99 (12)
13) TE Charles Clay - 2.98 (17)
14) QB Tyrod Taylor - 2.89 (14)
15) FB Patrick DiMarco - 2.88 (15)
16) WR Andre Holmes - 2.84 (13)
17) LT Dion Dawkins - 2.77 (26)
18) RB Mike Tolbert - 2.70 (16)
19) TE Nick O’Leary - 2.69 (18) 
20) MLB Preston Brown - 2.67 (19)
21) DE Ryan Davis - 2.67 (20)
22) WLB Ramon Humber - 2.66 (22) 
23) DT Adolphus Washington - 2.66 (23) 
24) C Eric Wood - 2.58 (24)
25) DT Marcell Dareus - 2.57 (21)
26) DT Cedric Thornton - 2.56 (25)
27) WR Zay Jones - 2.43 (27)
28) CB Leonard Johnson - 2.27 (28) 
29) LT Cordy Glenn - 2.08 (29)
30) RT Jordan Mills - 2.00 (31)
31) RG John Miller - 1.87 (30)

How they’re graded:

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. Those can be seen above.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia