Bills vs Browns: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Buffalo

Brandon Croce@@BrandonCroceAnalyst IOctober 6, 2013

Bills vs Browns: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Buffalo

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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    The Buffalo Bills have to be disappointed after their 36-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns in their Week 5 Thursday night matchup. The game saw a number of injuries to key players that had an effect on the final outcome.

    The team must now regroup and get ready for their game against the Cincinnati Bengals without starting quarterback EJ Manuel. Luckily for Doug Marrone and the rest of the coaching staff, they have a few extra days to figure out their plan.

    Here are the final grades for the Bills roster from their Week 5 contest against the Browns.


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    Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

    EJ Manuel: B

    Manuel continued to rely on the short passing game and did not take many shots down the field. He didn't make many mistakes and was effective in leading Buffalo on four scoring drives in eight attempts before getting injured.

    Jeff Tuel: F

    Tuel had to step into the game when Manuel went down with the knee injury, and he simply looked overwhelmed.

    He only completed 8-of-20 pass attempts for 80 yards. He also threw the only interception of the game, which was returned for a touchdown by Browns safety T.J. Ward at the end of the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach.

Running Back

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    Fred Jackson: A-

    He was the primary running back against Cleveland with C.J. Spiller being hobbled with an ankle injury. The Browns have one of the best run defenses in the league, but Jackson finished the game with 93 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.

    C.J. Spiller: B

    Spiller was battling an ankle injury that he suffered against Baltimore in Week 4, but he still had enough speed to break off a 54-yard touchdown run early in the second half. Outside of that run though, he was kept in check with 12 yards on seven carries.

    Tashard Choice: C

    Choice only had five carries but did gain 22 yards for a 4.4 yard per carry average. 

Wide Reciever

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    Stevie Johnson: Incomplete

    It is hard to give Johnson a grade when he did not play much against Cleveland due to a back injury suffered early in the first quarter. He did finish with two receptions for 19 yards.

    Robert Woods: A-

    With Johnson out, the rookie wide receiver stepped up and was the team's best player at the position. He was targeted 13 times and finished with five receptions for 64 yards.

    T.J. Graham: D+

    Graham has had more of an impact in recent weeks in this offense, but he has still been underwhelming. With Marquise Goodwin getting closer to return, Graham could potentially lose playing time if he is not able to perform better.

    Chris Hogan: D+

    With all the injuries, Hogan saw extended playing time at the wide receiver position for the first time this season. He finished the game with two receptions for 16 yards.

Tight End

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    Scott Chandler: B

    It looks like with each passing game, Scott Chandler is getting stronger and more comfortable after having ACL surgery at the end of last season.

    The tight end is a great weapon in the red zone and has started to build good chemistry with Manuel. He finished second on the team in receptions and yards against Cleveland, posting totals of four receptions for 49 yards.

Offensive Line

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    Pass Protection: C

    The offensive line struggled in keeping the Browns' defense off the Bills' quarterbacks, as the Browns finished with four sacks and 12 quarterback hits. It did not seem like Manuel and Tuel had as much time to throw the ball as they have had in the past.

    This group will have their work cut out for them against a strong Bengals defensive line next Sunday.

    Run Protection: A

    The Bills did a great job opening up lanes for the running game. In fact, they were able to run the ball 31 times for a total of 155 yards, amounting to an average of five yards per carry. The team also finished with three rushing touchdowns.

Defensive Line

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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Mario Williams: A

    Williams continues to have a career year, as he posted with two more sacks on Thursday and brought his season total to 7.5. Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine has been lining him up all over the field, and Williams has excelled early this year.

    Kyle Williams: A-

    Kyle Williams had his best game of the season with eight tackles and a sack. Williams was continually getting through the Browns' offensive line and disrupting their rhythm.

    Marcell Dareus: B

    The third-year defensive tackle continues to justify Buffalo's front office decision to draft him at No. 3 overall in 2011. He has bounced back this year after a subpar sophomore season, and he had a solid game against Cleveland. He finished the game with five total tackles.

    Alan Branch: C-

    Branch had a fairly uneventful game and finished with only one tackle. 


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    Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

    Kiko Alonso: A+ 

    Even though Alonso's streak of at least one interception per game ended, he continues to make plays like this one.

    He has not made many mistakes this season and has become one of the leaders of the team's defense. He led the Bills in tackles on Thursday with 12.

    Jerry Hughes: A-

    Jerry Hughes had his best game of the season. He finished the day with 1.5 sacks, five tackles and a forced fumble.

    The offseason trade for Hughes that sent linebacker Kelvin Sheppard to Indianapolis looks better with each passing game.

    Manny Lawson: A-

    Manny Lawson is another offseason addition by the Bills that went under-the-radar but has paid big dividends. The outside linebacker had another good game with seven total tackles and one tackle for a loss.

    Arthur Moats: B

    Moats has been a very consistent linebacker this season, and Thursday's game was another example of this. He finished the game with five tackles.


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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Leodis McKelvin: D

    After having a decent game against the Ravens, the Bills secondary seemed to struggle against the Browns. Leodis McKelvin is part of this problem, as he finished the game with three tackles, no interceptions and zero passes defended.

    Aaron Williams: C-

    The cornerback-turned-safety-turned-cornerback had a decent game but was beaten by Josh Gordon on a 37-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. If Gilmore is able to return next week, expect Williams to return back to one of the safety positions.

    Nikell Robey: C-

    Robey is one of the smallest players on the Bills at 5'8", 185 pounds, but he has played pretty well when given the chance. He was the only cornerback to tally a pass defended against Cleveland.


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    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Da'Norris Searcy: B-

    The third year safety had a good game in terms of run support, but he was not able to have much of an impact in defending the Browns' passing attack.

    He finished the game with six tackles and may return to his backup role if Byrd and Gilmore are available to come back next week.

    Jim Leonhard: B-

    Leonhard has been a great signing for Buffalo. Buffalo has had a number of injuries in the secondary and Leonhard has seen much more playing time than what was initially expected from him.

    Like all of the players in the secondary, however, his performance was lackluster against the Browns.

Special Teams

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    Oct 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter (2) kicks a fuel goal during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Dan Carpenter: A+

    Carpenter was perfect on the day, hitting his only field goal attempt of 52 yards. He also finished the day 3-for-3 on extra-point attempts.

    Shawn Powell: F

    Unfortunately for Powell, this game seemed to be his last chance, as the Bills cut the second-year punter after the game.

    He had eight punt attempts in the game, averaging 45.8 yards per attempt. He had a long of 58 yards, but he lacked accuracy and did not put enough air under his punts to allow the coverage team to get down. Travis Benjamin took advantage of this by returning a punt for a touchdown.

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