Buffalo Bills Week 12 Positional Grades

The Buffalo Bills had one of their best efforts of the season as they defeated the New York Jets 38-3. The offense, defense and special teams all made plays on Monday night.

The Buffalo Bills found themselves in a must-win situation. They didn't have a full week of practice due to a snowstorm in Buffalo. Their home game? It took place in Detroit. There were many reasons why the Bills could have collapsed against the lowly New York Jets, but they didn't. Instead, they dominated the Jets to move to 6-5.

Quarterback: A-

Kyle Orton was certainly efficient on Monday night. He completed 24-of-32 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns. He added 10 yards on the ground as well. It's a bit difficult to criticize a quarterback who completed 75 percent of his passes, but his receivers, most notably Robert Woods, made some difficult catches. Receivers won't always be as consistent as they were on Monday, but Orton did a good job overall. One area that Orton needs to improve upon is his deep ball. His passes were off by a good amount against the Jets.

Running Backs: B+

Buffalo scored two rushing touchdowns on Monday, but the run game was a bit inconsistent. The Jets have a strong defensive line, so this wasn't too surprising. Anthony Dixon led the way with 54 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Fred Jackson had 32 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown and Bryce Brown added 20 yards on six carries. The unit combined for 106 yards on the ground and 21 receiving yards. The only negative play that really stands out in Dixon's failure to gain a yard on 4th and 1. Buffalo turned the ball over on downs, but it truly wasn't Dixon's fault. Erik Pears whiffed on his block, which prevented the back from ever having a chance to get the first down.

Wide Receivers: A

Robert Woods led the way on Monday night. He caught nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. The receptions and yards were both career highs for the receiver. It was Woods' first 100 yard game in the NFL. Woods bailed out Orton on Monday by making some spectacular receptions. He stepped up when the Jets game planned for the Sammy Watkins.

Watkins caught three passes for 35 yards against the Jets. New York rolled their defense towards Watkins so his final stat line wasn't too impressive. That said, it's clear that the Jets and other teams view Watkins as a No. 1 receiver since they're game planning for him. Chris Hogan was also limited on Monday. He caught two passes for five yards.

Tight Ends: C

Scott Chandler scored a touchdown against the Jets and finished with 28 yards on three receptions. Lee Smith had one reception for 12 yards and Chris Gragg caught two passes for 11 yards before leaving the game with an injury. The trio was involved in the offense, albeit limited.

Offensive Line: A-

Buffalo's offensive line is starting to come together. Cordy Glenn had another terrific outing at left tackle and Kraig Urbik may have had his best start of the season. It's still confusing as to why the Bills didn't start Urbik all season long. He's helped the unit significantly. Eric Wood was solid and even Pears had his moments, minus the missed block on 4th and 1. Seantrel Henderson probably had the worst outing among all of the linemen, but he's gaining valuable experience this season and has held his own. The group gave up one sack, three hits and three hurries. Next week will be a big test for the Bills as Mike Pettine will surely send some exotic blitzes at the Bills.

Defensive Line: A+

Buffalo had seven sacks during the game, and five of them were credited to the defensive line. Mario Williams was dominant on Monday and had two sacks. Jerry Hughes also had two sacks, one coming on the last play of the game. Kyle Williams also added a sack for the Bills. Buffalo's defensive linemen also added three quarterback hits and nine hurries, five of which were credited to Hughes. It was another dominant performance from one of the best defensive lines in the league.

Linebackers: A-

Nigel Bradham led all tacklers on the Bills with 10 total tackles (6 solo). He had six stops during the game. Preston Brown added five tackles and Brandon Spikes finished with two. Ty Powell, a reserve linebacker, had his first career sack against the Jets. There aren't really many stats that jump off the page for the linebackers, but they played a big role in limiting the Jets to three offensive points.

Secondary: A-

Duke Williams intercepted Michael Vick's last pass of the game. Duke read Vick's eyes and jumped the route. Stephon Gilmore, Corey Graham, Aaron Williams, Nickell Robey, Da'Norris Searcy and other members of the secondary played well. The biggest problem with the secondary is that they missed quite a few opportunities at interceptions. Graham had a pass bounce off of his chest. This was the third consecutive game that he missed an interception. Robey also had an opportunity to intercept a pass. The near interceptions didn't hurt the Bills on Monday, but the team needs to create as many turnovers as possible.

Special Teams: A

Monday was an excellent outing for the special teams unit. Dan Carpenter only attempted one field goal against the Jets but connected from 53 yards out. Colton Schmidt averaged 46.5 yards per punt, with his longest going for 60 yards. Jordan Gay did a great job on kickoff duty as well.

Percy Harvin returned nearly every kickoff, although most of the time they were deep in the end zone. The coverage team limited Harvin to 16.6 yards per return. John Conner also had one kick return for seven yards. In the punt return game, Jeremy Kerley broke off a 41 yard return. This was their only poor play of the evening. For the Bills, Marcus Easley had one kickoff return for 13 yards and Fred Jackson returned one punt for five yards.

The biggest play of the evening on special teams was Anthony Dixon's blocked punt. The punt rolled into the end zone where it was recovered by Manny Lawson for a touchdown.

How would you grade Buffalo’s positional units based upon their play in Week 12? Let’s discuss it in the forums!


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