SF-BUF grades: Kaepernick struggles in season debut
The biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Bills' win over the 49ers.
SF-BUF grades: Kaepernick struggles in season debut
Buffalo Bills 49, San Francisco 49ers 16
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Buffalo Bills 45-16 win over the San Fransisco 49ers.
Quarterback grade: Tyrod Taylor 82.8
Tyrod Taylor makes Niners pay for lack of pressure
Tyrod Taylor took advantage of the 49ers lack of a pass rush by doing what he does best, getting outside the pocket where he can make plays with his legs or looking downfield for open receivers. He did both today as he ran seven times for 52 yards to go along with his 179 pass yards. When blitzed he completed 83 percent of his throws for 133 yards and two touchdowns, which goes to show that Tyrod is comfortable when he’s moving the pocket. Going into today Taylor had the highest time to throw in the league at 3.22 seconds, most of that being contributed to him moving around giving his receivers time to separate. When he attempted passes 10 yards or farther down the field, there was success to be had as he completed five of seven for 103 yards and a TD.
Top offensive grades:
FB Jerome Felton 83.2
WR Robert Woods 81.6
T Cordy Glenn 81.5
G Richie Incognito 78.7
T Jordan Mills 78.8
LeSean McCoy, Bills have a big day on the ground
With help from FB Jerome Felton and his offensive line, LeSean McCoy made it two consecutive games with over 140 rushing yards. McCoy forced four missed tackles and 55 of his 140 rush yards came after contact. The Bills utilized him in a variety of formations as he took a number of direct snaps from center, often with FB Jerome Felton as his lead blocker who finished with an 84.9 run block grade. The 49ers had a difficult time containing McCoy and Taylor as they combined for 192 yards on the ground.
Top defensive grades
DI Leger Douzable, 82.8
LB Zach Brown, 80.2
DI Kyle Williams, 77.9
ED Lorenzo Alexander, 77.4
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, 76.2
Buffalo defense continues to roll
It seems like every week a new player has stepped up to lead the Buffalo defense, and in Week 6 it was Leger Douzable’s turn. Douzable was especially effective against the run, earning an 83.9 run defense grade to lead the Bills defensive line. Douzable only had two tackles (both of which went for stops) but he dominated the interior of the 49ers offensive line all game long, squeezing gaps shut and clogging up the point of attack. Zach Brown continued his impressive stretch of play to start this season, leading the defense with four stops, with one of those being a sack. In the secondary Buffalo was led by Robey-Coleman who allowed just three catches on seven targets for a total of 35 yards; Robey-Coleman had one pass breakup and held Kaepernick to a 58.6 QB rating.
Quarterback grade: Colin Kaepernick, 40.2
Kaepernick struggles in season debut
It was an ugly season debut for Kaepernick, who in addition to being inaccurate for much of the day also made a few careless plays. Kaepernick’s 59.3 adjusted completion percentage was the worst among all QBs through the 1:00 pm Sunday games and he really struggled to throw the ball when Buffalo was able to apply pressure, completing just four of 11 passes for 43 yards to go with a 48.7 QB rating while under duress. Kaepernick did have success running the football, especially on scrambles where he was able to gain 53 yards on four attempts, but he’s going to need to improve both his decision-making and his accuracy as a passer if he’s going to provide the spark that this offense desperately needs.
Top offensive grades
WR Quinton Patton, 74.2
TE Vance McDonald, 67.3
TE Garrett Celek, 66.0
HB Shaun Draughn, 56.8
Michael Davis, 56.6
Offense lifeless in Buffalo
One clear indicator that this offense had an awful day on Sunday is two players cracking their top five with overall grades in the 50s. The offensive line was abysmal, allowing 17 total pressures between them in pass protection and the interior part of the line was especially bad at run-blocking, with LG Zane Beadles, C Daniel Kilgore and RG Joshua Garnett earning run-blocking grades of 35.4, 37.1 and 34.5 respectively. Quinton Patton had a reasonably productive day, hauling in four of six targets for 50 yards to go with some nice run blocks on some runs that made it to the outside or downfield.
Top defensive grades:
CB Trumaine Brock 83.9
DE Arik Armstead 79.5
DT Quinton Dial 76.1
DE DeForest Buckner 73.1
CB Keith Reasor 71
Defense struggles to contain Taylor/McCoy
CB Trumaine Brock was one of the few bright spots for San Francisco’s defense as he only allowed one catch on the day for three yards while also breaking up a pass. The majority of the 49ers issues came stopping the run as they allowed an astounding 287 yards on 41 carries. They missed six tackles on the day which led to 117 yards after contact. The linebackers had a tough time getting off blocks at the second level, which in turn freed up some rushing lanes and also led to Micheal Wilhoites 40.5 run defense grade and Nick Bellores 57.1 grade in that department.
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