What a disappointing loss it was for the Buffalo Bills.
Full of hope to get their season back on track against a very beatable opponent, the Bills saw their offense get stuck in the mud time and time again.
There were some standout performances, but some weak ones to go along with it. Who did what on offense? Here's a position-by-position review. The defense will be out on Wednesday.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been underwhelming for most of the season, but over the past five games he has limited his interceptions whilst doing so. For the first time this season he hit a wide receiver down the sideline for a big gain, opening up the passing game in a way that hasn't been seen in 2012. The 63-yard gain by Stevie Johnson helped lead the Bills to a field goal -- and that has been a huge problem with this offense for three out of the past four games. The Bills have had to settle for field goals in 9 of their potential 11 scoring drives in the Houston, Miami and Indianapolis games. They missed a field goal against the Texans and managed to put one in the end zone against the Colts. Fitzpatrick did a solid job in adjusting to hit Lee Smith for the touchdown, which was originally a play intended to be thrown to Kyle Williams. He had a few other good throws in stride to Scott Chandler, Donald Jones and Johnson, but failed to convert on a lot of humongous opportunities. Having time in the pocket, Fitzpatrick missed on down-the-field throws to Jones, C.J. Spiller, T.J. Graham as well as Chandler. And of course, he was intercepted without even accounting for the safety underneath in zone coverage. He almost did the same thing in a near interception that was dropped by linebacker Moise Fokou. It's just more of the same with number-14. Grades (Snaps, Plus/Minus)
Fitzpatrick: C- (60, -5)
In a limited amount of touches, C.J. Spiller was once again a dynamic player for the Bills. He displayed the vision on many different carries that helped him to a 100-yard performance on the ground with a mere 14 carries. He still has some deficiencies in pass protection, though, that allowed a sack in the first half. Fred Jackson actually had more snaps on the field than Spiller, but was much less of a contributor on offense. He's still the clear-cut best option for pass protection, which may limit how much time Spiller sees on the field. Corey McIntyre had eight snaps, to which he whiffed on a block, made a block and suffered a stark knee injury. Grades (Snaps, Plus/Minus)
Jackson: B- (32, +1)
Spiller: B+ (30, +3)
McIntyre: B- (8, Even)
The main three of this group for the Bills really had a nice afternoon in Indianapolis. The efforts were led by Stevie Johnson, who's lone negative play came when he elected to cut-back on his 63-yard gain rather than continuing to run down the sidelines with a three-yard cushion in front of Darius Butler. Taking in to account their individual timed speeds, it would have been close, but at the worst Stevie would have been able to get the ball down within the 10-yard line. The move he put on Butler to get that open was impressive, as were most of his other receptions. Johnson also made the play post-interception to strip Tom Zbikowski and recover the fumble. It was a great presence of mind. Donald Jones had a solid afternoon in his blocking down the field as well as a pair of receptions. He was a big reason why T.J. Graham was able to gain 24 yards on his screen play and also why C.J. Spiller was able to get down the field in a hurry on three 10-plus yard plays. Jones had a drop on a slant throw right on him, but that was his lone downfall. Graham showed good poise to read the blocks from Jones and Scott Chandler on that screen play and also displayed good strength in picking up more yardage. He came free on a deep pattern in which Fitzpatrick targeted him, but the ball was batted at the line of scrimmage. Ruvell Martin was used as a blocking wideout primarily, and Brad Smith was barely noticeable. Grades (Snaps, Plus/Minus)
Johnson: B+ (57, +5)
Jones: B+ (48, +5)
Graham: B (30, +2)
Martin: B- (5, Even)
Smith: B- (5, Even)
Scott Chandler has struggled through his last few games in a blocking capacity, and that really has put a damper on his performances. Against Indianapolis, however, Chandler got back to basics and was an effective blocker on a few different plays. He also picked up a pair of first downs, displaying strong hands on one of them with a defender draped all over him. Lee Smith, normally a good blocker, really struggled to get a handle on his assignments. However, he did have the Bills' lone touchdown. Dorin Dickerson only had two plays on the field and was targeted once, an underthrown ball that was delivered under duress. Grades (Snaps, Plus/Minus)
Chandler: B+ (53, +3)
Smith: C+ (27, -2)
Dickerson: B- (2, Even)
It definitely wasn't an overpowering performance by the men up front like we've seen in the past, but it wasn't a terrible performance either -- in fact, you might term it as slightly above average. Left tackle Cordy Glenn struggled at times with Dwight Freeney, as any rookie offensive tackle would, but did a better job as the game went on. Andy Levitre was a key component to a few of C.J. Spiller's longer runs throughout the game. He did whiff on one of his pull attempts, however. Eric Wood and Kraig Urbik were both solid but unspectacular. Wood, in unison with Glenn and Chris Hairston help make key blocks to spring Spiller for a 41-yard run. Hairston had some issues with defending Robert Mathis, getting beat on a pair of third downs including once for a sack. Against less quick-twitch opponents however, he played much more effectively. Grades (Snaps, Plus/Minus)
Glenn: B (60, +2)
Levitre: B (60, +3)
Wood: B (60, +2)
Urbik: B- (60, +1)
Hairston: B- (59, Even)
Young: B- (2, Even)
- 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.