The Buffalo Bills dropped to 3-5 on the season following a 35-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. While the Bills were heavy underdogs, many hoped they would step up against the Saints and make a game of it. Instead Drew Brees threw for 5 TDs while the Bills failed to score 20 points for the first time this season.
OFFENSE – D+
Thad Lewis isn’t really a starting quarterback in the NFL, and their best skill player C.J. Spiller wasn’t dressed for the game, but even with those things taken into consideration, the Bills offense didn’t look good at all. Playing against an offense like the Saints, you need to score points, and the Bills failed to do so.
Bills quarterback Thad Lewis threw for 234 yards and one touchdown but also turned over the ball 3 times with an interception to go along with two lost fumbles. Turning over the ball is killer no matter who you’re playing (except for the Cowboys I guess), but even more so when Drew Brees is the opposing quarterback.
Fred Jackson started off pretty well in his chance as a feature back, breaking a few decent runs early. As the game moved forward, he became less of a factor. Controlling the clock through the run game was a key to the Bills in this game, and between Jackson and Tashard Choice the Bills failed miserably.
Despite a groin injury, Stevie Johnson had a good game, catching seven passes for 72 yards including a touchdown. TE Scott Chandler also caught seven passes for 72 yards, while Marquise Goodwin had an okay performance, with three catches for 56 yards.
DEFENSE – C-
While the Bills managed to get a little pressure on Drew Brees to the tune of four sacks and were able to contain the dynamic Darren Sproles, the Bills were still lit up to the tune of 35 points. The Bills did manage to hold the Saints rushing attack to 77 yards, however the Saints have averaged just 85.3 yards per game on the ground, so it wasn’t much of a victory.
Jerry Hughes had one of the worst games in recent memory for a Bills player. While he’s a decent pass rusher, Hughes looked absolutely lost in coverage. Having a poor coverage LB attempting to cover Jimmy Graham is a recipe for disaster, and it came back to bite the Bills. It was in this aspect of the game that the Bills missed Manny Lawson, whom would normally be the one covering the likes of Graham. With Lawson on the mend, the Bills had to make due, but Hughes showed quickly he was not the answer.
SPECIAL TEAMS - B
Dan Carpenter missed his first field goal of the season, but it was a 50-yarder, so it’s hard to blame him for that, while Brian Moorman had just 3 punts on the day thanks to the plethora of Bills turnovers. Moorman did manage to keep Sproles from returning any punts, which is a small victory given how dangerous he can be.