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The Times
  • REPORT CARD: Buffalo Bills offense failing to find consistency across the board

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  • Quarterbacks: Rookie EJ Manuel looked like a guy who hadn’t played since week five, finishing only 22-of-39 for 155 yards and one touchdown. It wasn’t just that Manuel’s timing with his receivers was off, but he also got himself in trouble by taking too many hits. C
    Running Backs: Disappointing showing for this unit as the talented CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson weren’t as big a part of the game plan as they should have been rushing for 78 yards on 20 carries. After gashing the Chiefs run defense last week, an 11-yard run was their longest carry against Pittsburgh. C
    Wide Receivers: Another unimpressive effort from the group as reserve tight end Chris Gragg led the Bills with four receptions. Stevie Johnson was targeted 10 times but finished with only three catches, while TJ Graham had only one reception for five yards. D+
    Offensive Line: The holes weren’t there as much for the running backs, as they finished with 95 yards rushing on four carries. Manuel was sacked three times and hit three times. C+
    Defensive Line: Nose tackle Kyle Williams continued his impressive season, recording a sack and three tackles for loss. An up-and-down afternoon for Marcell Dareus included four tackles and an offsides penalty on a field goal. Mario Williams, somehow, finished with zero tackles. B-
    Linebackers: Another week where rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso led the Bills with tackles (10), but he had plenty of help in the unit. Jerry Hughes finished with two sacks and four tackles, while Arthur Moats had six tackles. B+
    Defensive Backs: Another tough game for cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who struggled with Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown finished with six receptions for 104 yards. Jairus Byrd played well finishing with five tackles and an interception. B
    Special Teams: The punt team was certainly busy, as at one point they had kicked it away on eight straight possessions. Moorman struggled on the windy afternoon averaging only 36.9 yards per kick. Dan Carpenter’s 20-yard field goal opened the scoring for Buffalo. C
    Coaching: The Bills were too conservative on Sunday, including punting from the Steelers 36-yard line down by 17 points. While Manuel was coming back from a long layoff, you have to have more faith in your offense than to punt four times inside the 50. C

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