ReFo: Bills @ Patriots, Week 17
Entering Week 17, the Buffalo Bills had already been eliminated from the playoffs, while the New England Patriots had already clinched the AFC’s top seed. These circumstances gave this game the feel of a preseason contest, as New England pulled most of its starters after halftime. Here are the notable performances from the game.
Buffalo Bills – Performances of Note
Jarius Wynn, DT: +2.3
Breakdown: Replacing the injured Pro-Bowler Marcel Dareus, Wynn more than held his own, and his +2.3 overall grade led the defense. Wynn converted 27 pass rushes into two sacks and two hurries, and added two stops in run defense.
Signature Stats: This game was Wynn’s first start of the season, and he matched his season high with four pressures.
Preston Brown, LB: +2.0
Breakdown: Brown earned positive marks in run defense, pass rushing and coverage. He had two stops and a hurry, but his best work came in coverage of running backs.
Signature Stats: Brown was targeted three times in pass coverage, allowing just one catch for 3 yards.
Eric Wood, C: +2.7
Breakdown: Wood’s up-and-down season came to a close with his best performance of the year. He allowed just a single hurry, and his +2.5 run blocking grade was his best of 2014.
Signature Stats: Wood had a tough stretch during Weeks 6-10, compiling a -11.1 cumulative grade. His overall grade for the other 12 games this season was +5.6.
New England Patriots – Performances of Note
Jamie Collins, LB: +1.9
Breakdown: Collins enjoyed another strong performance, and finishes the season as our third-highest ranked inside linebacker, trailing only Luke Kuechly and teammate Dont’a Hightower. Collins leads his position in Pass Rushing Productivity, converting 81 pass rushes into 27 total pressures.
Signature Play: With 8:43 left in the second quarter, Collins did it all himself: he sacked Kyle Orton, forced a fumble and recovered the fumble to give New England’s offense the ball at the Buffalo 44-yard line.
Marcus Cannon, OT: -2.7
Breakdown: Cannon started the game at right tackle, before replacing the injured Nate Solder at left tackle. Cannon had trouble containing Jerry Hughes in pass protection, and allowed four hurries in the game. The Patriots may have reason to be concerned, should Solder’s injury prove to be serious heading into the playoffs.
Signature Stats: Cannon has now earned red grades in six games in 2014, despite starting only four. He has yet to earn a green grade.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB: -0.9
Breakdown: Garoppolo played the entire second half in relief of Tom Brady, and enjoyed more success in the running game than as a passer. The Patriots clearly felt comfortable allowing the rookie to try to move the ball using his legs, even calling a bootleg on 4th-and-1 that came up a yard short. He also ran himself into trouble at times, especially in the pocket. He was directly responsible for at least one sack due to holding onto the ball too long and trying to make a play with his legs rather than throwing the ball away. The rookie was pressured on 14 of his 22 drop-backs, and finished with a QB Rating of 61.3 on these snaps.
Signature Stats: On his two scrambles, Garoppolo picked up 13 yards, including 31 yards after contact and broke three tackles.
PFF Game Ball
Jarius Wynn replaced our fourth-highest rated defensive tackle in 2014 and the defense hardly missed a beat, earning him the game ball.