BUF-NE grades: Tyrod Taylor excels under pressure in Bills win

The highest-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Bills' shutout win over the Patriots.

| 2 months ago
(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

BUF-NE grades: Tyrod Taylor excels under pressure in Bills win


Buffalo Bills 16, New England Patriots 0

Here are the highest-graded players and biggest takeaways from the Bills’ shutout win over the Patriots:

Buffalo Bills

Quarterback grade: Tyrod Taylor, 79.6

Taylor showed he can still deliver under pressure in this game, and statistically you could argue he actually performed better on throws when the Patriots got there with pressure. He was pressured on 14 of his 44 dropbacks, but managed to complete 60.0 percent of the 10 passes he attempted on those plays. More impressive was the fact that his quarterback rating under pressure was 103.8, which was actually better than his 91.5 QB rating without pressure.

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Top offensive grades

WR Robert Woods, 80.8
TE Charles Clay, 77.6
HB LeSean McCoy, 76.4
OT Jordan Mills, 76.0
C Eric Wood, 74.9

Robert Woods steps up

With Sammy Watkins out injured for the Buffalo Bills, they need someone to step up and make an impact if they are to continue their push back into the race for the playoffs after an 0-2 start. While he wasn’t as electric as Watkins, today that player was Robert Woods. He caught all seven catchable passes thrown his way, and his yards per route run average was the best of any Buffalo receiver on the day. More games like this won’t completely offset the loss of Watkins, but it will help the offense be more efficient.

Top defensive grades

LB Zach Brown, 84.8
S Aaron Williams, 82.0
CB Stephon Gilmore, 81.5
S Corey Graham, 74.4
CB Ronald Darby, 73.3

Big game in the secondary for Aaron Williams

Following up a strong showing in coverage last week with more of the same this week, safety Aaron Williams was active against the pass in this game. He ended the game with three pass breakups, coming against tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receivers Chris Hogan and Danny Amendola. Williams has never recorded more than eight pass breakups in a single season, but he’s already at four through the first four weeks of the 2016 season.

New England Patriots

Quarterback grade: Jacoby Brissett, 48.2

The Bills wanted to get pressure on the rookie, and they found success when they did. Under pressure on 10 of his 33 drop backs, Brissett saw his completion percentage drop from 71.4 percent without pressure, to just 33.3 percent with pressure, while his quarterback rating dropped from 99.3 to just 42.4. Brissett’s struggles against pressure were a key factor in the Patriots being shut out in this one.

Top offensive grades

TE Martellus Bennett, 87.5
OG Joe Thuney, 83.4
TE Rob Gronkowski, 73.9
C David Andrews, 72.4
OT Nate Solder, 72.1 

Big day on limited opportunities for Bennett

Arguably the best football player on the field in this game, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett was limited to just 17 snaps as a receiver against the Bills. However, he certainly made the most of them, catching all five passes thrown his way for 109 yards. By the end of the game he had produced a yards per route run average of 6.41, a huge performance for any receiver, let alone a tight end.

Top defensive grades

LB Dont’a Hightower, 79.9
ED Jabaal Sheard, 79.2
LB Jamie Collins, 78.3
S Devin McCourty, 77.7
CB Malcolm Butler, 76.9

Bust day for Logan Ryan

Few cornerbacks around the NFL will have had as busy a day as Patriots CB Logan Ryan had against the Bills. They went after him 16 times in coverage, resulting in 12 receptions for 111 yards, but that works out at just 9.5 yards per catch. Often found making a tackle near the line of scrimmage, Ryan saw nine of his 15 tackles in the game result in a defensive stop. The only real negative was that he also missed two tackles against the run, which dampens his day somewhat.

PFF Game-ball winner: TE Martellus Bennett, 87.5

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • Sam Serra

    Brissett is very physical and athletic, if he learns how to do a forward pass he can become a pretty good QB.

  • rogue

    Brissett had a heavily taped thumb on his throwing hand. He’s just a rookie. Good to see positive analysis on Logan Ryan. He’s getting unfairly destroyed on the Boston talk shows. Bad day for the Pats interior DL. Poor gap control vs the run.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Sam may have been wrong about the Bills winning a SB but give this team some credit for not just rolling over and playing dead after a dismal start to their season. The Patriots are hurting some but probably not as much as the tablet Bill Belichick destroyed on the sidelines.

  • Thomas W

    Interesting to see an offensive player win the game ball when his team was shut out, but that’s how they score them I guess. After watching the game I’d have said Zach Brown, though he was beaten downfield in coverage.

  • Engaged Reader

    Not sure what Ryan’s score was (I apologize if I missed it), but he was really shaky. They went after him consistently with success all day.
    NE tackling was poor, but should improve. Hightower looked rusty early.

  • Bob Barker

    I know you’re basing the game ball on the highest PFF grade, but Zach Brown was a man possessed Sunday. Beyond what showed up on the stats sheet, he also chased Edelman down on that 90 yard play called back early in the first. And after the play, it was Edelman who went to the sideline to catch his breath. Not the much larger LB who managed to catch him before he found the end zone.