BUF-TEN Grades: Tyrod Taylor Bills' leading rusher in win
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bills’ 14-13 win over the Titans:
– While the stats may not show this, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (+6.5) constantly created havoc in the Tennessee backfield and had his best outing of 2015 on Sunday. Dareus contributed to the pass rush with two quarterback hits, but his performance in defending the run was even more dominant. He picked up three run stops on 22 run defense snaps; however, he blew up a lot more plays with his disruption behind the line of scrimmage.
– Buffalo Bills players not named Tyrod Taylor (+3.6) really struggled when running the football yesterday. Dan Herron (-2.5) and Anthony Dixon (+0.2) both got multiple touches in the absence of LeSean McCoy, but could not make much of the opportunity. Together with Cierre Wood (-0.2), the three running backs failed to force a single missed tackle on 18 total carries, and Herron also fumbled the ball once.
– While the running backs struggled yesterday, quarterback Tyrod Taylor (+3.6) really shined when he had to beat Tennessee with his legs. He forced a total of five missed tackles in as many runs, excluding kneel-downs at the end of the game. Although Taylor struggled with accuracy on passes early on and earned a higher run grade than pass grade, his deep pass to Chris Hogan (+1.4) on the game-winning drive was one of the best throws made by any quarterback this week.
DT Marcell Dareus (+6.5)
QB Tyrod Taylor (+3.6)
SS Corey Graham (+2.6)
CB Stephon Gilmore (+2.6)
LT Cordy Glenn (+1.5)
– Although cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (-3.5) came into yesterday’s game having allowed a passer rating of only 60.4, which was 14th among all cornerbacks, the Bills did not shy away from targeting Sensabaugh and it paid off for them. The cornerback was targeted three times yesterday, and Bills’ wide receiver Chris Hogan (+1.3) caught all three of these passes for a total of 52 yards and one touchdown. Consequently, Sensabaugh allowed a perfect passer rating of 158.3 to quarterback Tyrod Taylor yesterday.
– While quarterback Marcus Mariota (-1.3) was really accurate throwing within 10 yards—he completed 20 of 24 short passes—he did struggle when he needed to throw deep (only one of his six passes were completed when the ball travelled 10 or more yards). Mariota also struggled under pressure, as he completed only 28.6 percent of his passes when pressured, and also threw an interception and took two sacks on these occasions.
– Similarly to Buffalo’s Marcell Dareus, Jurrell Casey (+2.5) also created all sort of problems for the opposing offensive linemen yesterday. Casey had a team-leading five run stops on 22 run defense snaps, but similarly to Dareus, his play and disruption blew up several other plays behind the line of scrimmage, including a trick play for Buffalo where Percy Harvin was supposed to pitch the football on a reverse, but Casey’s presence forced him to keep it. In addition, Casey showed up rushing the passer, as well, and he recorded two sacks and one quarterback hurry. It is also telling that Tyrod Taylor completed his game-defining 45-yard pass in the fourth quarter, when Casey was not on the field due to injury.
LB Wesley Woodyard (+3.3)
RT Jeremiah Poutasi (+3.2)
RE Jurrell Casey (+2.5)
RE Ropati Pitoitua (+1.4)
FB Jalston Fowler (+1.0)