ReFo: Packers @ Bills, Week 15

Cole Schultz includes Kyle Williams and Eddie Lacy among the notable performers in Buffalo's Week 15 home win over Green Bay.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Packers @ Bills, Week 15

2014-REFO-WK15-GB@BUFThe announcers mentioned several times during the broadcast how the Buffalo offense would need more than field goals to beat the Packers, but a solid coverage effort combined with numerous Green Bay miscues ensured that Dan Carpenter’s four field goals (along with a punt return score and a safety) would more than suffice. Buffalo guaranteed their first non-losing season in a decade, and with this win keep themselves right in the thick of things in the AFC wild card race.

The Packers’ offense saw its leader play what was easily his worst game of the year, as Aaron Rodgers set a season-low in terms of grading and a career-high in incompletions, though the latter was helped by six dropped passes. The defense did well to keep the Bills out of the end zone, but they also squandered opportunities just as the offense did, three times catching a running back deep in the backfield only to miss the tackle and give the offense a positive run in the process. This loss knocks Green Bay to a still respectable 10-4, but that record now sees them in a four-way tie for the second-best mark in the NFC.

In a game that saw 19 penalties, double digit dropped passes and over 20 missed tackles between the two clubs, let’s look at some standout players from Sunday’s game.

Green Bay Packers –Performances of Note

Jordy Nelson, WR: -1.8

Breakdown: A rare down day for Nelson whose dropped pass on what could have been a 94-yard touchdown will undoubtedly be replayed countless times over the coming week. He left more points on the board with a drop in the end zone on a free play late in the first quarter, though he did convert a few first downs to help mitigate the damage some.

Signature Stat: Nelson posted his first grade below-1.0 since Week 3 of 2012.

Eddie Lacy, HB: +1.9

Breakdown: With a floundering passing game, Lacy saw to it that Green Bay’s offense wouldn’t be left dead in the water with his fourth green grade in the last five weeks. Playing just 42 snaps as Mike McCarthy moved Randall Cobb into the backfield for stretches, Lacy still put up nearly 100 yards on the ground and earned a healthy 6.5 yards per carry.

Signature Play: At the 2:38 mark of the second quarter, Lacy snags a check down and makes two guys miss, only going down when three Bills gang-tackled him past the sticks.

Tramon Williams, CB: +2.6

Breakdown: A major contributor in the Bill’s lack of offensive success, Williams shone brightly in coverage, surrendering a single 10-yard catch while picking one off for the Packers’ only turnover. With several young corners and three viable safeties on the roster, it will be interesting to see what the Packers plan to do with the 31-year-old this offseason as he is scheduled to become a free agent in March.

Signature Stat: Playing 91.8% of Green Bay’s defensive snaps this year, Williams has allowed more than 80 yards in just two games.

Buffalo Bills – Performances of Note

Kyle Williams, DT: +4.4

Breakdown: Since most of the postgame discussion will focus on Rodgers’ poor performance, Williams should comfortably remain one of the league’s most underrated defensive tackles in spite of his dominant day. Earning pressure against both T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton alike, the long-time Bill made waves as a pass rusher and still did well enough in the running game too.

Signature Play: Not content to beat guards all day, Williams lined up outside and took left tackle David Bakhtiari for a hurry with 5:00 to go in the fourth quarter.

Mario Williams, DE: +1.2

Breakdown: It would be more than fair to say he lost his battle with Bryan Bulaga, doing very little as a pass rusher prior to Bulaga leaving the field with an injury. Beating the overmatched J.C. Tretter for a hurry and a sack in Bulaga’s absence, Williams contributed to the Bills’ strong special teams performance with a blocked field goal as well.

Signature Play: Williams nipped the Packers’ comeback hopes with a strip-sack-turned-safety on Green Bay’s only play of their final drive, beating Tretter around the edge to clip Rodgers’ arm during his throwing motion.

Sammy Watkins, WR: -2.9

Breakdown: We’ve all seen how Watkins is capable of superb games, but against Green Bay he showed his penchant for disappearing at times. His lone 28-yard reception was a fine exhibit in body control and adjusting to the ball, but the rookie came up empty on his other five targets, and two penalties didn’t do him any favors in our grading either.

Signature Stat: The Clemson product has four games over 100 yards this year, but also has nine games below 40 yards.

PFF Game Ball

Going against one of the league’s better offensive interiors, Kyle Williams (+4.4) made no excuses and simply beat the man in front of him.


  • Football

    I’ve been telling everyone how overrated the Packers are

    • Brian Dugan

      Well aren’t you a regular Skip Bayless! The Broncos lost to the Rams, The Pats lost to KC (as did Seattle), but those teams aren’t overrated, right? This is a concerning loss for the Packers, but I’m pretty sure they just lost to the 8-6 Bills, a team with one of the best defenses/home field advantages in the NFL.

      • Football

        Aaron Rodgers can’t do anything against a top defense. They’ll choke in the playoffs

        • SeattleSteve

          Didn’t he light up the no.1 defense in the Superbowl?
          And he’s had success against the Niner’s defense these last couple of years, if only his own defense could quit making Colin look like an All Pro.

      • Elliot Berkey

        Bills do not have one of the best home field advantages tbh.

  • Billy Pelton

    Green bay has played 3 top-5 defenses. they’ve lost to all 3….

    • Brian Dugan

      Illuminating stuff, Billy. You had to dig deep for that stat. I’m guessing that the end of your sentence was “… on the road in 3 of the toughest venues in the NFL?”

      • Billy Pelton

        Right, say good night, as they’ll be on the road in the playoffs…

        • Brian Dugan

          They’ll have at least 1 home playoff game if they win out or have you already seen into the future?

  • Jason Williams

    That dropped touchdown pass by Nelson was just a stunner. They win that game and probably get a 1-seed in the playoffs with that catch and run. That drop just might put them on the road on wildcard weekend.

    • killabstingz

      Nelson did save them on a sure pick 6 breakup, does it get him off the hook (somewhat)?

      • Jason Williams

        I don’t think so (I only saw the last 30 minutes or so of the game and only when RedZone cut to it so I’m not sure when that play happened or what was the game situation) but I did see the replay of it and it was a great play.

        but it’s not like when Jordy broke up the pick 6 he turned a loss into a win. He merely prevented an even bigger loss, so while it was a huge play, it didn’t change the outcome.

        The dropped TD was a winning play (most likely given Kyle Orton’s relative ineptitude on the other side). It would have turned a loss into a win – so in that regard it was far more important than the broken up pick 6.

        • killabstingz

          I’d tend to agree there. There’s a chance, a very very small one, the safety coming over on that play could have tripped him up but I’d have to see a better angle. Speaking of which I’d love to see that Bryce Brown 40 yard catch again, looked like he had blockers set up for a sure TD if he followed them up the sideline but instead cut back to the middle and got tackled.

          The way that Bills offense was playing they were only going to win with GB leaving something on the field and their D/ST putting points up, which is exactly what happened.

          • Kevin

            Yeah, it was the worst performance I’ve seen from GB’s offense in years. You wont see Rodgers that out of Sync with his WR’s for years to come. It was actually shocking to see.

            Bills defense deserves credit but probably not as much as they’re getting. Throws were way off target and to make things worse, there was nearly 2 handfuls worth of drops from usually sure handed WR’s. Unless I’m mistaken, Nelson hasn’t dropped a deep pass all season. That was a fairly easy 95 yard TD. I haven’t seen Nelson be caught from behind, possibly ever.

            The Bills weren’t getting pressure, GB’s OL held up really well actually. The starting OL gave up 1 hit and 5 hurries against a VERY good DL. It wasn’t until a backup Center came in for an injured Bulaga that they were able to get home. Like this article stated, Bulaga won the battle for 3 quarters and that probably doesn’t happen.

            Also, was that INT that went off GB’s WR’s hands not a penalty. He was being bear hugged and tackled 2 seconds before the ball got there. Very surprised by that no call.

    • Elliot Berkey

      Aaron Williams would have brought him down. No way was that a sure TD.

      • Jason Williams

        Nelson was clear of the defense and I have yet to see someone catch Nelson from behind. Good luck with that.

        • Elliot Berkey

          Sure Nelson could have ran toward the sideline but still no way thats a sure TD

          • killabstingz

            Tough to say, there’s generally a hesitation step to catch a ball but I’d think Nelson is still fast enough not to be caught. What is sure though is that he looked at the safety while bringing it in, and it distracted him enough to miss it. So it’s a hands free pass defended!

  • mutzki

    I’m curious about the grading process. If you can make a point in saying a QB was protecting his receivers by not leading them into traffic, but the receiver failed to sit down in the zone and the throw is behind him, is that a negative pass grade for a QB?

  • Bills

    Bills Defense gets a -7.7 rating overall after holding A Rog to 2 INTs, 0 TDs, under 200 yards & to a 34 QBR? I’ll take that negative PFF grade all day baby!