The Buffalo Bills had a rough game against the New England Patriots, to say the least. After looking into the aspects of each major category of the game, here is how the Bills graded out in this game.
- Rushing Offense: LeSean McCoy was incredible. Simple as that. He looked like the best player for the Bills on Sunday. How the Eagles decided to let him go is a mystery… McCoy was quick, slippery and looking very healthy for having a hamstring issue. In addition to McCoy, Karlos Williams had a good game spelling McCoy as well. If the coaches didn’t bail on the run so early (more on that later), McCoy and Karlos Williams would have been able to control possession of this game. Add in that the RBs did a great job in pass protection. FINAL GRADE: B+
- Passing Offense: Tyrod Taylor was inconsistent, to say the least. Taylor had issues with being contained in the pocket, and had to scan the field more often. Taylor struggled to get the ball out quickly, and some of the 8 sacks let up by the offensive line were on Taylor’s shoulders. After the game got away from Buffalo, Taylor built momentum for the next week, as well as got the Bills within 8 points against New England. However, his 3 interceptions were all from high throws, even when 2 were dropped. It was nice to see every passing weapon get involved though, as every big weapon (Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Percy Harvin and Charles Clay) had at least 3 catches each. However, when it mattered, the Bills passing game helped put Buffalo in a hole early. GRADE: C
- Rushing Defense: With the Patriots only calling 12 rushing plays, it was not easy to evaluate the usually stout run defense. It didn’t help that they allowed 60 yards on the 12 called carries (Tom Brady had -4 yards rushing from passing plays). The Bills did force a fumble early on in the game to remain in it at halftime. GRADE: INCOMPLETE
- Passing Defense: Wow. If someone told any Bills fan or analyst that Tom Brady would throw for 466 yards on this emerging Bills defense, they would not have believed you. Well, it came true. Brady blasted the Bills secondary, with deadly speed and accuracy from quick passes and precise reads. Brady had that ball out within 2 seconds on a majority of his throws, negating the Bills’ stellar pass rush and coach Rex Ryan’s penchant for blitzing. With receivers open right away because of the Bills playing off coverage, Brady was able to dissect this talented Bills defense. Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore did well for corners that helped allow 466 yards. A lot of the bigger plays were against the safeties and linebackers, as they did not contain Rob Gronkowski very well either. But 466 yards later, there is only one grade you can receive… GRADE: F
- Special Teams: A holding call on a kickoff led to a rough drive start for Buffalo on their third drive of the game. Then Dan Carpenter missed a PAT try, which could be worrisome for his job status. Against New England, you need a boost, not negative effects. Also, 3 of the 4 personal fouls called against the Bills occurred on special teams. GRADE: D-
- Coaching: This was an awful day in the coaching aspect. Rex Ryan admitted to being out-coached in this game. However, he wasn’t alone. Here are a few examples:
- After the first drive of 6 rushes and 2 passes that opened the scoring, Buffalo abandoned the running game. Buffalo called 6 of the next 9 and 10 of the next 13 plays to be passes. To no surprise, the Bills sudden desire to pass created two Patriots drives on a short field (BUF 14 and BUF 30) that resulted in a 21-7 hole. After that, Buffalo couldn’t dictate the pace of possession and forced themselves into playing catch-up.
- For some reason, the Bills didn’t attempt to jam the Patriots receivers at the line very often. Brady was allowed to throw to receivers very quickly and have no disruption in the quick paced offense New England deploys. The wideouts for New England were allowed to come off of the line clean, which helped spell the demise for the Bills secondary, to the tune of 466 yards.
- Of course, the 5 personal fouls were a huge issue. While one was declined, it was only because another personal foul happened on the same play. The Bills now have 9 personal foul calls against them in just two weeks. The lack of discipline is disturbing, and a huge issue for this Bills team. DT Kyle Williams said it was embarrassing, as the team didn’t do themselves any favors.
- Coaching was a huge issue in this game, simple as that. GRADE: F
Overall for the Buffalo Bills’ 40-32 loss to New England: GRADE: C-
Well, the Bills talked the talk, but it felt like just another Bills-Patriots blowout, a common occurrence in the past 14 years against Brady and coach Bill Belichick. So talk is cheap. Until you beat New England with Brady at QB, doubters will always be there.
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