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Week 1: Offensive Struggles Kills Bills In Opener
Ugly offensive performance ruins solid defensive effort.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Tyrod Taylor struggled early with his accuracy throwing several passes high. He then made a play only Tyrod can, spinning away from a sack and finding Charles Clay downfield for a 33 yard gain to setup the Bills first touchdown. Had a nice scramble to convert a 4th and 1 play. Just couldn't get the offense moving well finished 15 of 22 for just 111 yards. That's five yards in attempt.
Grade D: Awful effort made nightmare of his homecoming.

Running Backs:

LeSean McCoy struggled running early but heated up late in the first half on the Bills only scoring drive then cooled down again. Finished with 58 yards on 16 carries.
Mike Gillislee had one catch and lost four yards on it.
Reggie Bush was awful. He ran backwards and lost six yards which knocked the Bills almost out of field goal range. They would then miss the kick. He finished with -4 yards on three carries
Glenn Gronkowski was called for a holding penalty.
Grade C: May want to play Jonathan Williams instead of Bush on Thursday night.

Receivers:

Sammy Watkins had four catches for 43 yards on six targets. Also couldn't come down with a pass downfield in tough coverage.
Robert Woods had four catches for just 20 yards on five targets and had a great tip toe catch for a first down.
Charles Clay had two catches for 40 yards including a nice grab and run for a 33 yard gain on the Bills lone scoring drive.
Grade F: Nine catches by this unit and only 63 yards by wide receivers.

Offensive Line:

Cordy Glenn left the game in the 2nd quarter with an ankle injury and didn't come back.
Cyrus Kouandjio came in for Glenn and looked good. He played a lot there in the preseason.
Grade D: Struggled in opening up holes for the running game. Taylor was sacked twice.

Defensive Line:

Kyle Williams got great pressure to force a screen pass to go for negative yards.
Corbin Bryant had three tackles.
Adolphus Washington had no stats in his first game.
Jerel Worthy was called for a leverage penalty on a field goal. The Ravens took the points off the board. Got hurt in the final minutes.
Leger Douzable got robbed of a sack when officials ruled it wasn't intentional grounding when Flacco threw it away. He did end up getting 1½ sacks as he was a force in the backfield.
Grade A: Solid effort giving up three yards per carry on the ground and getting pressure on Flacco.

Linebackers:

Jerry Hughes had a big sack just before the half that kept the Ravens from getting into field goal range. Was called for a roughing the passer call that kept a Ravens drive going. He then stopped Terrance West for no gain on a 4th and 1 reception. He had his second sack of the game in the fourth quarter.
Preston Brown recovered an errand snap for the Bills first takeaway of the season.
Zach Brown was beaten downfield by TE Dennis Pitta for a 27 yard gain.
Lorenzo Alexander was in the backfield in awful lot in this game. He pressured Flacco into at least one incompletion and had a half a sack sharing it with Douzable.
Lerentee McCray saw a lot of time rotating in for Alexander. He had two tackles
Grade B+: Solid communication and execution.

Secondary:

Stephon Gilmore was beaten on two receptions in the first quarter. He was beaten by Wallace for a third down conversion and then Perriman on a deep sideline pass. Finished with five tackles and a pass defensed.
Ronald Darby was beaten for a 16 yard gain by Kamar Aiken while Flacco was running for his life. He was then called for unsportsmanlike conduct on the extra point from the Ravens first touchdown. He did come back to knock away a downfield pass late in the first half. He dropped an interception that would have been a pick six.
Nickell Robey-Coleman was called for a face mask penalty when the Bills had the Ravens hemmed in deep in their own territory. Had some solid coverage in the game.
Aaron Williams did not start but saw time in a heavy defensive back rotation as the Bills tried to combat the heat and the Ravens fast paced offense. He finished with three tackles including one for loss
Corey Graham was very quiet with one tackle.
Duke Williams was beaten by Mike Wallace for a 66 yard touchdown pass early in the 2nd quarter to put the Ravens in control.
Grade B: Solid rotation of players in the heat and they did a nice job for the most part.

Special Teams:

Colton Schmidt did a good job keeping the ball away from Devin Hester and had three balls downed inside the 20 and just one touchback on seven punts for a 41.7 net and 44.7 gross average.
Dan Carpenter had a solid preseason but missed the first kick that counted when he was wide right from 49 yards out. It would have tied the game in third quarter.
Reggie Bush had no returns as Nick O'Leary returned the only kickoff for 13 yards on a short kick.
Brandon Tate rotated with Bush on punt return duties and had a 21 yard return on a daring catch inside his 10.
Coverage Units kept one of the best at bay as Hester had two kickoff returns for just 37 yards and one yard on two punt returns.
Grade C: Penalties killed this unit just like last year as Garrison Sanborn was called for two of them.

Coaching:

Rex Ryan didn't have his team ready for the fast paced offensive attack of the Ravens. He tried to combat it with a lot of rotation of players but they were dominated. There was no discipline as there were four unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Greg Roman didn't have a good game as the offense was confused and had to waste two timeouts and take a delay of game penalty.
Dennis Thurman had his defense ready to play they played hard until the end despite the heat and no support from the offense.
Grade D: For dud in the opener.



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