Grades for Browns-Bills
Here are the top takeaways from Thursday’s Browns-Bills game, including the highest-graded players for each team:
–Mitchell Schwartz (-4.3) allowed two hurries from just 14 pass-blocking snaps, and didn’t look great against the run, either. With the Browns drafting Cameron Erving (-0.8) as the long-term replacement to center Alex Mack, more performances like this from Schwartz might open the door for the first-rounder to see some time at offensive tackle as a rookie.
–If Thursday night was anything to go by, the play of the offensive line will be key to the play of the quarterbacks in Cleveland. While neither had a poor outing, both Josh McCown (-0.4) and Johnny Manziel (-0.6) struggled heavily under pressure. McCown had a QB rating of just 16.7 on plays under pressure. Manziel struggled when the Bills sent the blitz, with a perfect QB rating of 158.3 when they didn’t send any extra players after him, but a QB rating of just 44.9 when they did.
–Desmond Bryant (+3.7) recorded a hit and two hurries from just 12 pass-rushing attempts. He struggled last year, finishing the year with a grade of -6.5.
Top 5 graded players
Desmond Bryant (+3.7)
Nate Orchard (+2.8)
Armonty Bryant (+2.6)
Ibraheim Campbell (+1.9)
Tank Carder (+1.7)
–With injuries galore at the running back position, Bronson Hill (+0.2) led all running backs with 37 snaps. None of the running backs made much of an impact, however, with just one missed tackle forced by all running backs combined. They did very little beyond the help of their offensive line, with just 39 yards after contact on the 21 carries by designated running backs. In fact, it was quarterback Tyrod Taylor (+2.0) who led the team in rushing on the night.
–Speaking of Taylor, he did little to dent his chances of opening the season as the Bills’ starting quarterback. He was smart with the football as a passer, and had a nice throw on the sideline on a pass 22 yards downfield, to go along with his work as a runner. Doing it on designated runs and quarterback scrambles, he can make big plays with his legs, and has now started to add some big plays with his arm too.
–Once thought to be out of the quarterback race in Buffalo, former first-round draft pick EJ Manuel (+1.3) kept himself in the hunt with an impressive game-winning drive. He fumbled on a careless play, drifting back into pressure and not looking after the football, but he made some big-time throws in the red zone to give the Bills the win.
Top 5 graded players
Marcell Dareus (+3.0)
Tyrod Taylor (+2.0)
Chris Gragg (+2.0)
Jerry Hughes (+1.9)
Corbin Bryant and Nigel Bradham (+1.6)