NFL News & Analysis

BUF-NE grades: Tyrod Taylor excels under pressure in Bills win

Buffalo Bills 16, New England Patriots 0

Here are the highest-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Bills' shutout win over the Patriots:

Buffalo Bills

Quarterback grade: Tyrod Taylor, 79.6

Taylor showed he can still deliver under pressure in this game, and statistically you could argue he actually performed better on throws when the Patriots got there with pressure. He was pressured on 14 of his 44 dropbacks, but managed to complete 60.0 percent of the 10 passes he attempted on those plays. More impressive was the fact that his quarterback rating under pressure was 103.8, which was actually better than his 91.5 QB rating without pressure.


Top offensive grades

WR Robert Woods, 80.8
TE Charles Clay, 77.6
HB LeSean McCoy, 76.4
OT Jordan Mills, 76.0
C Eric Wood, 74.9

Robert Woods steps up

With Sammy Watkins out injured for the Buffalo Bills, they need someone to step up and make an impact if they are to continue their push back into the race for the playoffs after an 0-2 start. While he wasn't as electric as Watkins, today that player was Robert Woods. He caught all seven catchable passes thrown his way, and his yards per route run average was the best of any Buffalo receiver on the day. More games like this won't completely offset the loss of Watkins, but it will help the offense be more efficient.

Top defensive grades

LB Zach Brown, 84.8
S Aaron Williams, 82.0
CB Stephon Gilmore, 81.5
S Corey Graham, 74.4
CB Ronald Darby, 73.3

Big game in the secondary for Aaron Williams

Following up a strong showing in coverage last week with more of the same this week, safety Aaron Williams was active against the pass in this game. He ended the game with three pass breakups, coming against tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola. Williams has never recorded more than eight pass breakups in a single season, but he's already at four through the first four weeks of the 2016 season.

New England Patriots

Quarterback grade: Jacoby Brissett, 48.2

The Bills wanted to get pressure on the rookie, and they found success when they did. Under pressure on 10 of his 33 drop backs, Brissett saw his completion percentage drop from 71.4 percent without pressure, to just 33.3 percent with pressure, while his quarterback rating dropped from 99.3 to just 42.4. Brissett's struggles against pressure were a key factor in the Patriots being shut out in this one.

Top offensive grades

TE Martellus Bennett, 87.5
OG Joe Thuney, 83.4
TE Rob Gronkowski, 73.9
C David Andrews, 72.4
OT Nate Solder, 72.1 

Big day on limited opportunities for Bennett

Arguably the best football player on the field in this game, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett was limited to just 17 snaps as a receiver against the Bills. However, he certainly made the most of them, catching all five passes thrown his way for 109 yards. By the end of the game he had produced a yards per route run average of 6.41, a huge performance for any receiver, let alone a tight end.

Top defensive grades

LB Dont'a Hightower, 79.9
ED Jabaal Sheard, 79.2
LB Jamie Collins, 78.3
S Devin McCourty, 77.7
CB Malcolm Butler, 76.9

Bust day for Logan Ryan

Few cornerbacks around the NFL will have had as busy a day as Patriots CB Logan Ryan had against the Bills. They went after him 16 times in coverage, resulting in 12 receptions for 111 yards, but that works out at just 9.5 yards per catch. Often found making a tackle near the line of scrimmage, Ryan saw nine of his 15 tackles in the game result in a defensive stop. The only real negative was that he also missed two tackles against the run, which dampens his day somewhat.

PFF Game-ball winner: TE Martellus Bennett, 87.5

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.


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