As the 'Upon Further Review' series continues, next we take a look at the linebackers, running backs and tight ends of the Buffalo Bills, and how they performed individually against San Francisco.
While it was a game to forget for most, there was at least one player amongst these positional groups that made some waves for the Bills.
Kelvin Sheppard Time on Field: 90.5% snaps played; 57 total Stats: 2 tackles (solo), QB hit Plus/Minus: Even Observations: It was the most time Kelvin Sheppard spent on the field in any one game, and the middle linebacker had an average showing. He's getting a lot better in the positioning department as to where he provides run support and is also improving in pass coverage. He had a very nice read on a screen play that would have been a tackle for loss if completed. He still bites on play action which was one of the Bills' major problems against San Francisco, and he even got bulled in to the end zone near the end of the game by a running back. Grade: B-
Season GPA: 2.80
Nick Barnett Time on Field: 81.0% snaps played; 51 total Stats: 4 tackles (solo) Plus/Minus: Even Observations: Nick Barnett shined early on in the game against San Francisco, serving as the main reason the Bills were able to keep the 49ers out of the end zone on their first scoring drive. Barnett made two consecutive plays to stop Frank Gore from breaking the plane. His other big play of the game came at the end of the first half when he forced Colin Kaepernick to fumble. He struggled a few times as the game wore on, getting swallowed up blockers once and getting blocked eight yards down the field another time. It was an improvement from last week, but not near the standard he set through the first three games. Grade: B-
Season GPA: 2.82
Nigel Bradham Time on Field: 61.9% snaps played; 39 total Stats: 6 tackles (solo) Plus/Minus: +1 Observations: Rookie Nigel Bradham saw his most extensive time of the season on defense, and more than doubled his total snap count for the entire year in this one game. Arthur Moats struggled mightily, which caused the Bills to put Bradham in to the mix. Early on, Bradham was on fire. He was solid in coverage and run support. He only had one negative play in the first half, where he missed a tackle on Vernon Davis that went for a big gain. The next play, however, Bradham wrapped up Davis on a short route for a minimal gain. As the game went on, Bradham made a few more mistakes that you'll get from a first year player. By the amount of solid efforts he had in the contest and by the amount of times he flashed, Bradham showed worthy of getting more looks on defense as the season continues. Grade: B
Season GPA: 2.83
Bryan Scott Time on Field: 36.5% snaps played; 23 total Stats: 3 tackles (solo) Plus/Minus: -2 Observations: As a smaller linebacker, Bryan Scott struggled to disengage off blocks a pair of times. More of a coverage linebacker, Scott did a good job of finding Vernon Davis in space and sticking with him on one play. He also made a nice change of direction play to keep Colin Kaepernick at bay on a rollout late in the game. The run support, like last week, was an issue though. Grade: C+
Season GPA: 2.73
Arthur Moats Time on Field: 25.4% snaps played; 16 total Stats: 2 tackles (solo) Plus/Minus: -6 Observations: Play-action passes were the biggest enemy of Arthur Moats against San Francisco. Perhaps nervous to give up a huge gain on the ground, Moats bit on the play-fake a lot and lost his man -- which was normally Vernon Davis. As anyone around the league will tell you, that is the wrong guy to lose. His angle of pursuit on some wide run plays needs to get better as well. Overall, it was a game to forget for Moats and he'll have to really work hard to keep the rookie Nigel Bradham from taking some playing time. Grade: D
Season GPA: 2.64
Fred Jackson Time on Field: 50.0% snaps played; 23 total Stats: 9 carries, 29 yards; 1 reception, 5 yards Plus/Minus: Even Observations: Perhaps it was because he was a bit disjointed with a real lack of rushing attempts by the Bills on the whole, but Fred Jackson just couldn't quite get going against the 49ers. Jackson offered up his usual tough runs a pair of times, but it was a bit surprising on one play that he elected to go east-west rather than north-south to pick up just a couple of yards. That's not his game. Jackson has failed to regain his form of last season since coming back from the knee injury, but it's still early in that process. Grade: B-
Season GPA: 2.74
CJ Spiller Time on Field: 50.0% snaps played; 23 total Stats: 7 carries, 24 yards Plus/Minus: +2 Observations: Spiller looked to be a bit back to normal against the 49ers in his limited time on the field. He offered up a pair of cutback runs that looked dead in the backfield that his quickness helped keep alive. He made something out of nothing, which is a huge thing for NFL running backs to do. His pass protection is still a little bit of a work in progress. Going for a cut block early in the game, Aldon Smith recognized it the second time around and just ran right by him. It wasn't a great game by any means, but Spiller was among the best on the offensive side of the ball so far. Grade: B
Season GPA: 3.52
Corey McIntyre Time on Field: 2.2% snaps played; 1 total Stats: None Plus/Minus: Even Observations: McIntyre's only play came when the Bills kneeled the ball to end the first half. Grade: B-
Season GPA: 2.75
Scott Chandler Time on Field: 91.3% snaps played; 42 total Stats: 4 receptions, 40 yards Plus/Minus: -2 Observations: The 49ers game will be defined by his fumble late in the first half, but Scott Chandler had a couple other gaffes as well. The normally sure-handed Chandler dropped a pass along the right sideline that was right in his grasp. Without knowing what he's coached to do on one play, I found it rather odd that Chandler didn't at least chip Ahmad Brooks on a naked bootleg by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Perhaps he's told not to, but Brooks had a clear lane to Fitzpatrick for a big loss. To his credit, Chandler made a nice catch thrown behind him for his first reception of the game. Grade: C+
Season GPA: 3.01
Lee Smith Time on Field: 10.9% snaps played; 5 total Stats: None Plus/Minus: Even Observations: Nothing really stood out about Lee Smith's day, who saw only five plays on the field for the second straight week. Grade: B-
Season GPA: 2.66
- Those that did not appear in the game on offense or defense were not graded.
- For obvious reasons, this is a report that highlights my findings and opinions from the individual games.
- The GPA's attached at the bottom are an overall grade of how I felt that player performed, basing it all on the play-by-play film review done throughout the week. B- is considered average on my scale, not C.
- Plus/minus scores and GPAs will be tracked as the season goes along. An individual game's GPA will be weighted with how many snaps that player has on the field in the contest when figuring out a season long average.