BUF-NYJ grades: Jets end 2016 season on high note
New York Jets 30, Buffalo Bills 10
Here are the top-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Jets’ 30-10 win over the Bills.
Quarterback grade: EJ Manuel, 41.7
Manuel benched in first start of 2016
Bills QB EJ Manuel was ineffective in his first start since Week 7 of the 2015 season, struggling to move the offense before being benched for Cardale Jones in the fourth quarter. Manuel finished just 3-of-12 for 43 yards on passes thrown more than 10 yards, and did not complete a single pass on five attempts under pressure. Jones was not much better in his 19 snaps, outside of a 64-yard completion to WR Justin Hunter after Jets CB Darrelle Revis fell down to leave Hunter wide open.
Top offensive grades:
LG Richie Incognito, 80.8
C Ryan Groy, 75.6
WR Robert Woods, 70.7
LT Cyrus Kouandijo, 69.8
TE Nick O’Leary, 69.5
Bills top-ranked rushing offense overmatched against Jets’ front-seven
Buffalo led the NFL with more than 170 rushing yards per game in 2016, but they totaled just 72 in their final game of the season. HB LeSean McCoy left the game due to injury after just five carries, and the Bills’ offensive line was unable to create space for HB Mike Gillislee. Tackles Cyrus Kouandijo and Jordan Mills were completely overmatched in the run game, earning run-blocking grades of 33.2 and 29.1, respectively. Gillislee was unable to force a single broken tackle on his 15 carries, and 39 of his 40 rushing yards came after contact.
Top defensive grades:
CB Marcus Roberson, 84.3
LB Preston Brown, 81.0
LB Zach Brown, 76.2
CB Kavon Seymour, 74.2
OLB Lorenzo Alexander, 74.0
Bills pass rush falters in blowout loss
Buffalo’s pass rush has been disappointing this season (21st in team pass-rushing grade), especially given the talent in their front seven. DE Kyle Williams (1 hurry in 22 pass rushes) and OLB Jerry Hughes (1 hit in 24 pass rushes) were nearly invisible in this game, and DT Marcell Dareus failed to record a single pressure on 19 pass rushes. LB Preston Brown earned his best overall grade since Week 2, leading the team with 6 defensive stops and an 83.6 run-defense grade. CB Marcus Roberson was also impressive in his 27 snaps off the bench, allowing just 1 reception for 5 yards on 3 targets, and adding a pass breakup.
Quarterback grade: Ryan Fitzpatrick, 73.5
Fitzpatrick excels against the blitz
Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ended a disappointing 2016 season with a solid performance, leading the Jets to a win. Fitzpatrick was nearly perfect against the blitz, completing 8-of-10 passes for 113 yards and a pair of touchdowns when Buffalo sent extra pass rushers. WR Quincy Enunwa was his top target in the game, catching 5-of-8 targets for 81 yards, including a 51-yarder against Buffalo CB Ronald Darby.
Top offensive grades:
HB Bilal Powell, 84.9
LG James Carpenter, 81.7
RT Brandon Shell, 74.1
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, 73.5
LT Ben Ijalana, 73.3
Powell makes his case to start at running back
Despite not receiving more than 8 carries in a game until Week 14, Jets HB Bilal Powell finishes the 2016 with career highs in rushing yards (722), yards per carry (5.5) and yards after contact (3.1 per attempt). Powell was excellent this week, totaling 122 rushing yards (82 after contact) on 22 carries, forcing 3 missed tackles and adding 3 receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown. The Louisville product ranks fourth among all NFL running backs in Elusive Rating in Weeks 14-17, and has made a strong case for a bigger role in 2017. LG James Carpenter was perfect in pass protection, and finishes the 2016 season with the best overall grade of his six-year career after earning above-average grades (both overall, and for run blocking) in each of the past five games.
Top defensive grades:
S Calvin Pryor, 85.0
DE Sheldon Richardson, 83.6
LB Bruce Carter, 82.8
LB David Harris, 81.8
CB Darryl Roberts, 80.8
Jets’ defense smothers Bills in final game of 2016
New York’s defense was dominant against the run throughout the game, and there were some standout performances in coverage as well. DE Sheldon Richardson did not record a single pressure on his 28 pass rushes, but was unblockable on run plays, earning a game-best 95.7 run-defense grade. SS Calvin Pryor recorded a pair of run stops, and added a pass breakup on his only target of the game. CB Darryl Roberts also had a solid day in coverage, allowing just 3 receptions for 34 yards on 8 targets, and recording a pair of pass breakups.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Jets HB Bilal Powell
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