Bills vs. Buccaneers: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Buffalo

Joshua Cornwall@jcstatsContributor IDecember 8, 2013

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 01:  C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills runs for a 36 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Rogers Centre on December 1, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.Atlanta won 34-31 in overtime.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the Buffalo Bills from beginning to end, as the Bills continue to struggle in games they needed to win down the stretch. Buffalo looked lifeless after their heartbreaker a week ago in a 27-6 loss in Tampa Bay.

Final Score:

Bills: 6

Bucs: 27


Buffalo Bills Game Grades
Positional Unit1st-Half GradesGame Grades
Pass OffenseFF
Rush OffenseDD
Pass DefenseA-A
Rush DefenseD-D+
Special TeamsFD
Buffalo Bills Week 14

Game Analysis for the Buffalo Bills

Pass Offense: EJ Manuel threw four interceptions, which equaled his total for the season coming into the game. Stevie Johnson made a few costly errors and Robert Woods got lit up by Darrelle Revis on a nice catch by the sideline. The worst part of the unit might have been the offensive line, though, which allowed Manuel to be sacked seven times on the day. At times it looked like several players on the line weren’t engaging with a defensive player at all and the results were as expected.

Run Offense: Buffalo got so far behind in the second half that the run game was abandoned after the first drive. Holding penalties eliminated several good runs, which again speaks volumes about how inept the offensive line was against a Bucs defense that rarely rushed more than four guys.

Pass Defense: Mike Glennon threw for 90 yards and two interceptions, but the Bills lost. Go figure. The pass defense played physical and hard. Vincent Jackson was limited to three catches for 70 yards despite being targeted eight times. This was the only unit that played even remotely well.

Run Defense: If you take away the 80-yard touchdown on the game’s second play from scrimmage, the Buccaneers rushed for 85 yards on 35 attempts. Unfortunately you cannot take away plays, but the Bills did a much better job against the run in the second half. Kiko Alonso has had a rough stretch of games after a fantastic start to the season, as he was the main problem on Bobby Rainey’s big run. Buffalo never recovered from that play.

Special Teams: Leodis McKelvin muffed two punts and missed several lanes in the return game. Marquise Goodwin wasn’t much better. Dan Carpenter had a nice day though, as he is now 23-25 in field goal attempts.

Coaching: Penalties and uninspiring offense. Maybe it is time to question just how much different this coaching staff is compared to past coaches. There was sure to be growing pains in year one of the Marrone era, but the resolve that was there earlier in the season is completely gone.

EJ Manuel spent a lot of time in this position on Sunday.
EJ Manuel spent a lot of time in this position on Sunday.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images


First-Half Analysis for the Buffalo Bills

Pass Offense: It might have been a good thing that CBS lost the feed for about six minutes into the first half because the offense has been terrible. Manuel has done a pretty good job of protecting the ball during his rookie season, but his throws have been off since the first drive. The two interceptions—although one was a blatant error by Johnson—were very avoidable and put the Bills defense in tough spots twice in a matter of three minutes. I wrote a piece about Johnson this week and many disagreed with the sentiment that he may be a problem, the first half did not help the criticism directed his way.

Run Offense: The Bills have moved the ball well with the few carries they have attempted, but because they have not opened up the passing game at all, the Bucs are playing the run all the way.

Pass Defense: The pass rush has not gotten to Glennon, but the secondary has played very well aside from the Jackson touchdown. Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore both coaxed Glennon into making very poor throws. It’s a shame that neither could return it back for a touchdown, because the offense looks like it might not score again this afternoon.

Run Defense: Rainey took the first run of the day to the house for an 80-yard touchdown, but the Bills settled down after that. Still, Buffalo has given up big yardage in back-to-back weeks to two teams not known for rushing the ball. Not good.

Special Teams: Is it sad that the best play on special teams today was Brian Moorman earning a roughing the kicker penalty? McKelvin caught the dropsies from Johnson and muffed a punt inside the team’s 25-yard line. Luckily Gilmore bailed him out with an interception two plays later, or Buffalo’s 21-point deficit at halftime could have been much worse.

Coaching: Tampa Bay is not a very good team, so what does that half of football say about the 2013 Bills? The coaching—specifically on offense—has been horrible and predictable. Buffalo gained 70 yards in the first half. 70. Let that sink in for a moment. This team is just too inconsistent to win from week to week and those issues start from the top.


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