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Week 9: Defense Disappoints In Heartbreaking Defeat
Some good, some bad in tough road loss in Seattle.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Tyrod Taylor did a great job of throwing on the run and was more accurate than usual. He did overthrow Robert Woods in the end zone on one play and missed an open receiver on the ill-fated final drive but most of the game he was excellent especially the 3rd and 21 roll out pass to Woods for 22 yards to keep that drive going.
Grade A-: Best passing game of his career hurt by not finishing the job. He narrowly missed his first 300 yard passing game finishing with 289 on 27 receptions.

Running Backs:

LeSean McCoy looked good running the ball and it didn't seem like the hamstring was bothering him until he slipped down late in the third and then he struggled after that. He faked Richard Sherman out of his cleats on one 10 yard run. He had 85 yards on 21 carries and added 35 yards receiving.
Mike Gillislee had a one yard touchdown plunge and did a nice job spelling McCoy with a 4 yard average per run of his own with 32 yards on eight carries.
Reggie Bush didn't carry the ball but caught two passes for 22 yards.
Jerome Felton dropped the only pass thrown his way. He did carry the ball for a two yard gain on a 3rd and 1 play.
Grade B: Did a nice job against a tough run defense.

Receivers:

Robert Woods had a career day with 10 catches for 162 yards. His sideline catch on 3rd and 21 was a thing of beauty. He was open and caught everything in sight.
Marquise Goodwin had a few nice catches of his own finishing with four catches for 43 yards.
Justin Hunter had one catch and it went for his third touchdown of the year.
Walter Powell had a nine yard reception.
Percy Harvin played only a few red zone plays and didn't have a pass thrown his way.
Charles Clay was a non-factor once again with three catches for just nine yards.
Grade B: Best performance by the undermanned unit in a while.

Offensive Line:

Ryan Groy replaced the injured Eric Wood and whiffed on a pair of blocks as McCoy lost yardage both times.
Jordan Mills was destroyed by Cliff Avril all day long. He was beaten for a sack on the final drive that pretty much killed the Bills chances of pulling off the upset.
Cordy Glenn was called for a holding penalty and a very bad tripping penalty that helped stop a fourth quarter drive.
John Miller did a solid job in run blocking.
Grade C-: Did a nice job opening up holes for a 4.3 yard average per run but gave up five sacks and Taylor's elusiveness avoided several more.

Defensive Line:

Kyle Williams was quiet until a huge sack to force the Seahawks to punt in the final minutes and give the Bills a chance for the win. He did a nice job stuffing the run in the middle of the undermanned defensive line. He finished with four tackles including one for a loss.
Leger Douzable was very disruptive on Seattle's opening series but had no stats.
Jerel Worthy was in on one assist.
Grade B+: Stuffed the running game and got some push for the linebackers to get some pressure.

Linebackers:

Jerry Hughes got penetration and made a stop for a loss on the 2nd play of the game. Then on special teams he blocked a punt. He then got a third down sack of Wilson to force a 2nd quarter punt and had three tackles.
Preston Brown was in on six tackles but five of them were assists as he had a quiet day because the Seahawks only ran the ball 12 times and three were by Russell Wilson.
Zach Brown only had two assists thanks to the lack of running game for Seattle.
Lorenzo Alexander was called for a neutral zone infraction but got his 10th sack of the season. He was in on three tackles.
Shaq Lawson got his second career sack in the third quarter.
Grade B: Struggled in pass protection but allowed nothing on the ground.

Secondary:

Stephon Gilmore was beaten for a 15 yard completion to Jermaine Kearse. Jimmy Graham made him look silly when he leaped over him to turn a short pass into a bigger gain. He was then beaten by Kearse for a 20 yard gain when he failed to look back for the ball. He was just outclassed again. He has gone from one of the best to one of the worst corners in the league right now.
Ronald Darby was beaten by Doug Baldwin for a 50 yard pass. He did have perfect coverage to knock away a 2nd quarter bomb. He was then called for pass interference near the end zone late in the first half. He then left the game with an illness.
Corey White replaced Darby and had three tackles and no glaring coverage concerns.
Nickell Robey-Coleman was beaten for one of the many Bills touchdowns given up. He was called for a devastating pass interference penalty when Doug Baldwin beat him deep in the fourth quarter.
Corey Graham was beaten over the middle by Tyler Lockett for a 17 yard gain.
Kevon Seymour got the surprise start over Robey-Coleman and gave up a nine yard pass completion on the first play.
Robert Blanton was beaten by Jimmy Graham for a 13 yard reception.

Grade F-: They rebounded a bit in the 2nd half but way too much damage was done in the first half.

Special Teams:

Colton Schmidt struggled punting in this game. He had just a 32.7 yard average on three punts and a net of only 26 yards thanks to a long return.
Dan Carpenter hit a 49 yarder that didn't count because of a bogus delay penalty than missed from 54. He did hit a 31 yarder. Showed guts coming back after getting his knee hit.
Reggie Bush returned two punts for 13 yards and had a 13 yard kickoff return. He seems to have lost more than a step.
Coverage Units were awful as Tyler Lockett had a 43 yard kickoff return and a 22 yard punt return. Hughes did block the punt to setup the Bills first touchdown.
Grade C-: The blocked punt was the only positive for this unit.

Coaching:

Rex Ryan lost his cool in that debacle at the end of the half and had to be held back by EJ Manuel. Curious call to run a draw play on 3rd and 20 in the final minutes but they were in position to win. He asked his team to leave it all out on the field and then did. Problem is he called it a must win and they didn't win. Where do they go from here?
Anthony Lynn had a fantastic game plan as they rolled up 425 yards offensively against one of the elite defenses in the league.
Dennis Thurman adjusted nicely after halftime giving up just a field goal after the intermission. Problem is the secondary was just not ready to play in the first half.
Grade C: Average grade for an average team.



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