Here are my thoughts on the Bills game after analyzing the coaching film....
EJ was a lot better than I initially thought. He did a great job of looking off the defense and even on his incompletions, he made good decisions. Some of the incompletions and throws into coverage were just due to good defense. If I have a criticism of him, it is that he probably should have kept it a few times on the read option (he didn't read it properly) but coming off the surgery, I’m not sure how much I could fault him for it. It probably was by design. Overall, EJ did not look like a rookie at all, let alone first game ever. Even that 2nd quarter pass where EJ showed inaccuracy where he missed Chandler for a big pass (10:42 mark of 2nd quarter), EJ helped Chandler get open by looking him off oh so slightly. Another great thing about that play, by the way, was the Pats rushed 5 and the Bills protected with just our olinemen and EJ still had a lot of time to throw that pass. Too bad he slighlty overthrew him.
Dareus was great. He was a lot better on film then after my initial reaction. Lawson was good when he got a chance. He is a lot better at setting the edge than Hughes or Mario. Mario, I thought, was better when they moved him around rather than at just RE. Maybe he is just more comfortable at LE (where he was in Houston) and the occasional interior spot is a good change of pace for him.
Searcy basically was a starting LB for us. Searcy was often in even when Pats had a base offense. The Bills had Leonhard and Aaron Williams (both were average and Aaron Williams just does not fill the gap well or take good angles) as the traditional safeties and Searcy basically playing a LB position. I guess its similar to Bryan Scott's role was for us. I really, really liked Kiko’s game. He certainly made mistakes and was out of position a couple times and obviously once he is being blocked, like any LB, struggled to get off the block, but he was flying around there yet still was in control and often in good position. He also finished plays. I think he has a decent shot at being defensive rookie of the year if he stays healthy all year.
Colin Brown is far from a star but he’s also far from a scrub. It was him and Wilfork one on one for a lot of the game and Brown definitely held his own often. He completely was burned by a LB on a blitz on the play where EJ scrambled and found Stevie (if I’m not mistaken) but overall, he was fine. Wood stood out for missing quite a few blocks in space, which could have really made the difference between some long runs versus 2 yard or less plays. Glenn is much better at pass pro then run blocking so far.
In general, I’m just a lot more excited about our offense. I think the Pats played very discipline against us and really showed a lot of gap control. I don’t think most teams will be that discipline versus us and even against a good defense, EJ and co. were solid. I'm very optimistic about EJ moving forward, especially when he keeps teams more honest by keeping it on the read option more (which should open it up a lot more for spiller and jackson).