BUF-MIA Grades: Richie Incognito shines against former team

The top takeaways from Sunday’s Buffalo-Miami game, including the highest graded players from each team.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

BUF-MIA Grades: Richie Incognito shines against former team

Here are the top takeaways from Sunday’s Buffalo-Miami game, including the highest-graded players for each team:

Buffalo Bills

– Tyrod Taylor’s (+0.3) decision making was impeccable Sunday. Credit to Greg Roman for scheming a good number of open one-read throws, but when they weren’t open, Taylor wasn’t forcing the issue at all. The Bills’ quarterback took what the Dolphins’ defense gave him over and over, negating their fearsome pass rush with 17 throws coming in in less than 2.5 seconds, and nine other dropbacks using play action. It may not grade out extremely well because of a few missed open receivers and the easy nature of many of his completions, but it was a solid performance from Taylor.

– How jacked up was Richie Incognito (+3.4) to face his old team? Very. The Bills guard was a monster in the run game yesterday. He’s currently our top-rated guard for the season, and on Sunday, allowed his first and only pressure of the season so far. Incognito was locked in block after block against the Dolphins. He didn’t face Ndamukong Suh at all, but he handled Earl Mitchell (-2.4) quite nicely.

– One running back is grabbing the reigns and taking over in Buffalo, and it’s not the one they spent big money on this offseason. Rookie Karlos Williams (+3.3) patient, no-nonsense running style perfectly blends with the Bills power schemes. The fifth-round pick averaged 3.8 yards after contact per attempt and broke two tackles on 12 carries. Conversely, LeSean McCoy (-1.0) looked out of place. The smaller points of attack leave little room for creativity from McCoy, and so far his only impact has come via the passing game.

Top Performers:

DE Jerry Hughes (+5.6)

LG Richie Incognito (+3.4)

DT Kyle Williams (+3.3)

TE Charles Clay (+3.1)

WR Percy Harvin (+2.4)


Miami Dolphins

– Ryan Tannehill (-3.5) was thoroughly outplayed by a career backup, and he still hasn’t taken any sort of step forward from 2014. This was supposed to be his breakout year, but it’s been a dumpster-fire on offense to start the season for Miami. The Dolphins’ receivers did have five drops, but some of that was due to Tannehill’s inaccuracy.

– Cornerback is a big problem spot for the Dolphins, and it cost them any chance in this one. Brice McCain (-3.7), in particular, was picked on, allowing 6/10 targets for 100 yards. Buffalo skirted around Miami’s D-line and attacked straight at their secondary, using the quick passing game or play-action rollouts.

–  This is the Ndamukong Suh (+5.5) that the Dolphins paid for. He’s not—and never will be—a one man defense, but Suh created consistent havoc on his own while his line-mates struggled to make an impact. He had three stops and one hurry, but blew up linemen on a handful of stunts that couldn’t get home due to Tyrod Taylor’s quick release. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, only one other defensive lineman (Derrick Shelby, +1.6) graded positively for the game.

Top Performers:

DT Ndamukong Suh (+5.5)

WR Rishard Matthews (+2.6)

RT Ja’Wuan James (+1.8)

DE Derrick Shelby (+1.6)

RB Lamar Miller (+1.3)

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • crosseyedlemon

    The Dolphins are going to have to start showing up for games against division opponents or a few coaches will find themselves on the hot seat.

    • Curt Fennell

      Will? They’re already sitting on flames. Unless this ship gets turned around immediately, there will be new coaches from top to bottom in January

    • Craig Halcromb

      They need to show up for games period….

  • Antknee

    Usually they start strong and fizzle…Looks like they’ve skipped the strong start and gone straight to the fizzle. Tannehill seems incapable of hitting a throw deeper than 15 yards for the line of scrimmage.

    What the hell is wrong with Lazor? Four throws from the 1 yard line? The coaching staff must hate Lamar Miller, this guy averages 5 yards a touch but never gets the rock!

    • Cant FixStupid

      I agree on Miller, sh!it’s just crazy. It really doesn’t make any sense. Dude gives you 1,100 yards n 9 TDs last year, yet you don’t even really attempt to get him going the following year?? I don’t think he’s had more than 3 carries in any 1st half yet. Seeing the one series drove me crazy. It was later on, Miller just had a 7-8 run down to the 2 yard line setting up 1st n goal, and rather than just let him cap it off, they throw 4 straight times, 4 incompletions for a turnover on downs. Lamar Miller is a very good RB, and it drives me nuts to see him wasted like this. Miami was a much better team last year when they got him going, and they still acted like they didn’t even want to then as he had 0 games of 20+ carries, even though he only had 4 games where he averaged less than 4.2 ypc. I just don’t get it, doesn’t make any sense as Miller has the talent to be a top 10 RB in the NFL given the opportunity.

      • Conservativeanarchist

        Lamar Miller wouldn’t even make the Bills 53. He is a bottom 5 starter in the league. He had a good year last year because Miami throws 70% of the time and ran him out of passing downs when the defense was in a nickel or dime just like they ran the ball on Sunday in the 4th quarter.

  • Harvey

    “– Ryan Tannehill (-3.5) was thoroughly outplayed by a career backup,”
    What a stupid statement! The only reason Tyrod Taylor was a backup in Baltimore was because he was behind a Super Bowl winning QB. Did the author consider Aaron Rodgers a career backup the 1st year he started too? I guess in the author’s mind, every player who didn’t start from day 1 is a career backup.
    Well, considering he’s the Bills starter, I’d say Tannehill got beat by a QB who has been the starter every (real) game of his Buffalo Bills career.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      the majority of his career has been as a backup, thus by definition making it a true statement

    • Mike Renner

      He was a sixth round pick, started 0 games in the first four years of his career, and has a cap hit of less than $1m this year. I think the statement is accurate.

    • corners

      he never started a game till this year, hes been in the nfl for 5 years now. How is that not a career back up?

      • Harvey

        You can’t be labeled as a career backup when you’ve been with the one team that drafted you when you’re sitting behind a franchise QB.

        Are you ready to label Brock Osweiller in Denver a career backup? Ryan Nassib in NY? Once again, by your definition, Aaron Rodgers was a career backup until Brett Favre moved on. I could go on with other examples of guys who sat a few years with their 1st team & either took the reigns a few years later or moved on and became successful starters, but I’ve already made my point. To label a guy a career backup who has NEVER had a chance to start, moves on & immediately wins the starting job is ridiculous.

        A career backup QB is a player who has been with multiple teams and has been beaten out for the starting job by more than a Super Bowl winning QB. A good definition of a career backup would be a former Bills player-Todd Collins. When given the chance to start by the Bills, he failed and moved on. He spent years backing up in KC, then moved on to Washington, where when called upon he did have limited success, went back to the bench and ended his career backing up in Chicago.

    • bbies1973

      In addition to everyone else’s statement about Taylor, Rodgers was a first round pick who not only was not only expected to, but actually did succeed Favre in Green Bay. Do you honestly believe that Baltimore ever considered Taylor to be Flacco’s successor?

      • Harvey

        NE didn’t draft Tom Brady in the 6th round to be Drew Bledsoe’s successor. But then Bledsoe got hurt. Flacco never came out of a game with an injury. So, nobody got to see his 6th round backup. If Taylor had been given the opportunity to show his talents while in Baltimore, the Ravens would have done the smart thing & traded him for a high pick. Flacco’s durability made that a moot point & immediately upon being granted free agency, Taylor moved on.

        The thing is, because of Flacco, Taylor was unknown outside of Baltimore. It’s no coincidence that the 2 teams that wanted him had coaches with ties to the Ravens. Rex Ryan had heard about Taylor from his friends in Baltimore, where he coached under Billick & Harbaugh. The other guy who wanted him was the Ravens OC last year.

  • TincanJoey

    Happy for Incognito. Miami’s miserable O-line would be better by leaps & bounds if they still had him. Unfortunately, because of the “un-scandal” that the league with their head witch hunter (Ted Wells) blew completely out of proportion in the name of political correctness and to prove how powerful the NFL front office is; the phins lost their best O-lineman. And why? Because some sissy-boy with mental problems “didn’t feel comfortable” with behavior that he himself participated in. Thanks Goodell for another brilliant display of the “I’m-the-king-all-bow before-me” leadership style.

    • corners

      You are exactly right.
      Think about how much better our team would be if we still had Incognito, Clay and Carpenter?

      • Ivan Echenique

        And Vontae Davis and a linebacker that could tackle and if Dion Jordan could stop doing drugs

        • bbies1973

          or if they had a head coach who was worth getting paid higher than the lowest in the league?
          or if there was anyone on the coaching staff that had a clue about how to run a defense?

    • bbies1973

      Incognito is a power guard and struggled in the spread/zone scheme Philbin brought into Miami, and is still struggling to implement. The bully scandal was just an excuse to replace the line personnel. The Dolphins line wouldn’t be any better with Incognito, until the coaching staff learns how to implement and coach their scheme, or fit their scheme to the players that they have.