In Sunday’s crushing loss against the Cincinnati Bengals, the rookies, for the most part, struggled. In a game the Buffalo Bills were supposed to win, the majority of the rookies had a tough time performing at a “playoff caliber” level.
CB Tre’Davious White
White gave up two huge plays, one that went for a touchdown and another that set the Bengals up inside the 5-yard line, both of which went to star wideout, A.J. Green. Unfortunately for White, those plays paved the way for the Bengals, despite his better-than-average play for the majority of snaps. The long touchdown to Green was on White as the defense was in quarters coverage leaving White 1-on-1 with Green. He bit on a double move and Green took the rookie to school. It’s a tough task to ask of a rookie to guard a top-5 receiver with no help over the top, but White will continue to get better.
WR Zay Jones
The chemistry between Jones and Tyrod Taylor just isn't there. On Jones’ 7 targets, he had just 1 catch for 9 yards. It’s unfair to put all the blame on Jones when Taylor has struggled getting him the ball. Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison isn't doing Jones or Taylor any favors with his play-calling. If the two want to get in a rhythm, Dennison will need to focus on plays designed to get Jones the ball. Jones still has shown signs of the yips with his drop total on the year increasing every week.
LT Dion Dawkins
Dawkins, along with the rest of the offensive line, struggled immensely against an underrated Cincinnati defense. Dawkins was beat numerous times by fellow rookie Carl Lawson who had multiple pressures and a sack of his own. With the entire line adjusting to a new blocking scheme that line coach Juan Castillo is implementing, Dawkins has been somewhat of a liability in pass protection.
LB Matt Milano
After the injury to Ramon Humber, Milano had to step in right away to fill his shoes. Milano had a pair of excellent run stops and continues to play the flats on pass plays in good measure. With Preston Brown struggling against the pass, Humber’s return may result in a reduction of snaps if Milano continues to play at a high level.