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Connor Barwin— A
His second sack of the year and one of the six tipped passes were nice, but he was in the Bills’ backfield almost as much as Watt. His coaches and teammates kept repeating he was getting penetration, but just not sealing the deal. That seems to have changed for the better.
C.J. Spiller did beat him off tackle more than once, and did the same to Brooks Reed on the other side. But Spiller does that every week, and still the Bills keep losing.
Brooks Reed— B
Reed is now into his own little rotation of moving over from left OLB to left ILB on passing downs. The Bills ran so many oddball, college-style formations Brooks could have easily been befuddled by it all. He played a steady game regardless of where he lined up.
Whitney Mercilus— A
Mercilus is beginning to show why a first-round pick was not wasted on him. He was in on some running plays and did over-pursue at times. But he also picked up a sack, caused a fumble, and made a proper nuisance of himself.
Bradie James— B+
It is hard to know how to measure this fellow. When he is out of position on interior plays, he lacks the makeup speed to overcome the gap. When the action comes his way, experience and instincts allow him to make the play.
For this game at least, there were some plays “in space” where he knew exactly what to do. Up against Scott Chandler and Fred Jackson, he showed what he is capable of. Now if he could just do it every week.
Tim Dobbins— B+
The Texans miss Brian Cushing’s ability to get after the passer. Which is why Dobbins comes out on passing downs and Reed covers his spot.
But on running downs, Dobbins is almost as solid as Cushing in plugging the gaps. This was another game where the other team failed to gain 100 yards, and Dobbins shares in that accomplishment.