The Buffalo Bills fell to 2-4 on the season following a Week 6 loss overtime loss to the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals.The Bills managed to push the game into overtime despite trailing by a pair of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, but were unable to keep the magic alive as the game was pushed to overtime.
So how did the Bills grade out on the game? On one hand they managed to push a very good team into overtime despite starting a practice roster quarterback, on the other their poor special teams play may have cost them the game in overtime.
Thad Lewis A+
I know that this wasn’t a great quarterback performance, if this was any other starting quarterback in the NFL Lewis’ 216 yards on 19/32 passing with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions would probably have been a C+ performance, but this wasn’t any other starter, this was Thad Lewis, a guy that went undrafted and is in just his second season of the NFL, most of which has been spent on a practice roster.
Thad seemed under control for most of the game, he was able to read the defense and make the necessary throws for the most part. While he’s nobodies quarterback of the future, Lewis has moist certainly proved that he has the ability to be a solid #2 in this league while having the ability to make the occasional spot start.
Defensive Line C-
Andy Dalton racked up 337 yards on 26/40 passing. In those 40 drop backs (plus 7 rushes) the Bills pass rush only managed three sacks and five quarterback hits, clearly not at the level the Bills required in order to successfully contain the Cincinnati offense.
With the personnel on the Bills defensive line (not to mention the way that they are compensated), much was rightfully expected out of this unit, and aside from a few flash in the pan moments, they have been pretty disappointing thus far. They have been ineffective getting to the passer, and not much better when trying to stop the run, and that didn’t change today.
If the Bills expect to build a playoff contender within the next couple of years, this is going to have to change.
Punt Coverage D
Brian Moorman had just about as good of a performance that you can ask for from a punter in his season debut on Sunday against the Bengals. He was able to pin the Bengals down on several occasions and ensure that the Bills defense didn’t consistently start with poor field position.
His performance however did not prevent the blown coverage that led to a big return in overtime that led to the Bengals game winning field goal. If this had been an isolated incident, the coverage team would most certainly get the benefit of the doubt and I would move on, however this has been an issue in just about every single game this season, and unless it improves, will cost the Bills more games as the year goes on