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Week 11: Tale Of Two Halves On Defense
Defense picks up slack for banged up offense in second half.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Tyrod Taylor was tentative and seemed a tad slower than usual. He did throw a bad pass that was should have been picked but ended up being caught by Woods off a deflection. He then tried to force the ball and was picked off at the one yard line late in the first half. He overthrew an open Harvin on 3rd and 3 in the final minutes. If he completes the pass the game is over right there and the defense doesn't need to come up with another stop.
Grade D: Still not showing he's a franchise quarterback. They won despite his play not because of it.

Running Backs:

LeSean McCoy had a beautiful 21 yard run and walked into the end zone for the Bills first touchdown. He left the game before halftime with a thumb injury and didn't return.
Mike Gillislee was solid in replacing the injured McCoy. He led the team with 72 yards on just 14 carries.
Jonathan Williams had four big late carries for 26 yards.
Reggie Bush had an 18 yard catch and run.
Jerome Felton got a third and one carry and got the first down.
Grade A: They ran very well in this game following their blocks nicely.

Receivers:

Robert Woods had three catches for 41 yards including a big catch on the Bills first scoring drive. He then left with a knee injury in the 2nd quarter.
Marquise Goodwin was quiet again considering he was likely the number one receiver in this game. He finished with two catches for 15 yards.
Percy Harvin had an 11 yard run and two catches for six yards on four targets.
Charles Clay was targeted seven times and caught five passes but for just 23 yards a pathetic 4.6 yard average per catch.
Grade D: Battered and bruised.

Offensive Line:

Ryan Groy got the start at center for the injured Eric Wood and you never heard his name which is a very good thing.
Richie Incognito was called for a devastating holding penalty that negated a Taylor TD scramble. The penalty cost them four points as they had to settle for a field goal.
Jordan Mills got the start despite his job being on the line this week. He did rotate out for Henderson. He was called for a false start penalty in the third quarter.
Seantrel Henderson saw action in a game for the first time in almost a year to the day as he has battled Crohn's Disease. He split time with Mills at right tackle.
Cordy Glenn called for an illegal motion penalty on Bills first drive.
Grade B: Pass protection could have been better but the holes were there for the running game.

Defensive Line:

Marcell Dareus drove through the middle for a tackle for loss on the goal line in the 2nd quarter. He also knocked down a pass in the final seconds of the first half. He had four tackles and a half a sack
Kyle Williams broke up a running play that went for a loss. He came through the line to tackle Jeremy Hill for a six yard loss. He bulldozed his way into the backfield and hit Andy Dalton hard to force a third down incompletion in the fourth quarter.
Adolphus Washington had a half a sack.
Leger Douzable was called for an offsides penalty in the red zone in the second quarter. It helped lead to a Bengals touchdown.
Grade B+: Had a great push and held the running game at bay.

Linebackers:

Jerry Hughes head butted a player and was called for his obligatory personal foul. He was then called for a neutral zone infraction later in the series. He only had one tackle.
Preston Brown was solid in coverage on the goal line knocking down a pass for Tyler Eifert in the end zone in the 2nd quarter. He had four tackles.
Zach Brown was in on twelve tackles.
Lorenzo Alexander had a quiet five tackles.
Shaq Lawson got a tackle for loss on a play that Kyle Williams blew up.
Grade B+: Did a solid job against the run and did well in pass protection too.

Secondary:

Stephon Gilmore was beaten for a 16 yard completion on a 3rd and 14 pass to James Wright. He had a big second quarter interception that he returned to the Bengals three yard line. Unfortunately the Bills couldn't convert and had to settle for a field goal. He then was beaten by Tyler Boyd for a touchdown on a third and goal pass from the one late in the first half. He was beaten by Brandon LaFell for an 11 yard completion on the final drive.
Ronald Darby did take his usual starting spot at corner after being benched briefly during practice this week. He was called for a third down holding penalty on the Bengals second series.
Nickell Robey-Coleman was beaten on a slant pass for a 13 yard completion by Tyler Boyd to give them a first down in the second quarter.
Kevon Seymour got the majority of the work in the nickel spot this week. He knocked the ball away on a third down pass on the opening possession of the 2nd half for Cincinnati.
Robert Blanton did not get the start at safety but came in for the second play and struggled mightily with his play and with injuries.
Corey Graham knocked away a pass with a perfectly timed hit on a 3rd and 10 pass in Bills territory. He was in on six tackles.
James Ihedigbo got the start even though he's been with the team less than a week. He did come out for the second play.
Grade C-: Really struggled in pass coverage.

Special Teams:

Colton Schmidt punted five times and droppped three inside the 20 which negates a poor 33.8 net.
Dan Carpenter was perfect hitting all three field goals including a whopping 54 yarder.
Brandon Tate got a few yards on his first punt return but it was brought back by a block in the back penalty on Kevon Seymour. He did average 11 yards on three punt returns and 33 yards on two kickoff returns.
Coverage Units gave up punt returns of 13 and 10 yards and kickoff returns of 36, 26, and 10 yards.
Grade A: Solid effort.

Coaching:

Rex Ryan gambled by kicking a 54 yard field goal instead of going for it on 4th and 2 and it paid off. He also went for it on 4th and 1 later in the game and converted it. His team came out flat with way too many penalties but adjustments were made.
Anthony Lynn could be questioned for abandoning the run on the goal line when it was working real well.
Dennis Thurman made some great adjustments as the defense struggled mightily in the first half then allowed only 52 yards in the second half before the final drive.
Grade B: Got out of their with a road win no matter how ugly it was.



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