ReFo: Patriots @ Bills, Week 6
The 3-2 New England Patriots traveled to Buffalo yesterday to face the 3-2 Bills in an early battle for AFC East supremacy. The Bills kept it close, but were unable to slow down the Patriots’ passing offense. The win proved costly for the Patriots, who lost starters Jerod Mayo and Stevan Ridley to serious-looking knee injuries. Here are the notable performances from the game.
New England Patriots – Performances of Note
Tom Brady, QB: +4.7
Breakdown: Brady’s season-best +4.7 overall grade was even more impressive given the Patriots’ complete inability to run the ball. He finished 7-of-11 for 201 yards on passes thrown 10+ yards, and had a QB Rating of 151.3 when not pressured.
Signature Stat: After starting the season 2-of-19 on deep passes (20+ yards in the air), Brady went 3-of-4 for 132 yards and two touchdowns yesterday. His perfectly thrown strike to Brian Tyms at 12:30 of the 2nd quarter beat triple coverage for a 43 yard touchdown.
Rob Gronkowski, TE: +3.9
Breakdown: Gronkowski also had a season-best grade in this game, earning a +3.7 receiving grade and a respectable -0.1 run blocking grade. He caught 7-of-9 passes against four different defenders, and was tough to bring down after the catch.
Signature Play: At 9:34 of the 4th quarter, Gronkowski used his size to beat Duke Williams for a touchdown, only for the play to be nullified by a Jordan Devey holding penalty.
Josh Kline, RG: -2.7
Breakdown: The Patriots line has been improved in recent weeks, but it’s not without fault. Second-year guard Josh Kline had only appeared in nine snaps before starting this week as the team put forward another different combination, and registered the lowest grade of his peers for his troubles. Kline played all 75 snaps in first game as a starter since last season, and may see more time after the team lost G/C Dan Connolly to a head injury.
Signature Stat: The Kent State product allowed 2 hits and a hurry, earning a -2.2 pass blocking grade.
Buffalo Bills – Performances of Note
Duke Williams, FS: -2.9
Breakdown: Williams’ -3.3 coverage grade was a game worst, and his stats would look even worse if the holding penalty on New England had not bailed him out on the Gronkowski touchdown.
Signature Stat: Gronkowski caught 4-of-5 passes for 60 yards when covered by Williams.
Jerry Hughes, DE: 0.0
Breakdown: Hughes had an excellent game effectively nullified by penalties. Hughes earned a +3.1 run defense grade after recording stops on all four tackles, and added a sack, hit and two hurries as a pass rusher. His 3 penalties for a -2.8 penalty grade resulted in his overall grade coming out to an even 0.0.
Signature Play: After stopping Stevan Ridley short on a 3rd-and-1 at 3:22 of the first quarter, Hughes’ unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the Patriots a free first down that extended their drive.
Seantreal Henderson, RT: -2.1
Breakdown: Henderson had trouble with Rob Ninkovich all game long. Henderson allowed two sacks, a hit and three hurries in pass protection, and was ineffective in the run game as well. The Bills struggled to run the ball as a team, gaining 68 yards on 23 carries, and Henderson was a big part of the problem.
Signature Stat: Henderson’s -1.7 run blocking grade trailed only Eric Wood for the worst of the game.
PFF Game Ball
Tom Brady earns the game ball after proving that he can still throw the deep ball. The Patriots ran for just 50 yards on 27 carries, making his performance even more impressive.