The Buffalo Bills visited the New England Patriots this week, managing to keep the game close before the Patriots inevitably pulled away due to a blown call and some mistakes by the Bills. As far as the team’s rookies were concerned, few had much of an impact on the game, with the exception of a certain fifth-round linebacker.
CB Tre’Davious White
It appeared that the Patriots game plan was to target Leonard Johnson and Shareece Wright, who started in place of E.J. Gaines, in the passing game as the only time the rookie first-rounder was targeted was on a deep pass to Brandin Cooks. Cooks had a step on White but Brady overshot his receiver. White managed to make his presence felt in the run game a bit, limiting some of Dion Lewis’s gains.
WR Zay Jones
Another player only targeted once, Jones was open a handful of times in the contest but Tyrod Taylor never looked his way. Jones’ snaps have also gone down as Deonte Thompson has proven to be more productive.
LT Dion Dawkins
Dawkins had an average day protecting Tyrod Taylor’s blindside. His opponent for the game, Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise, used his freakishly long arms to get into Dawkins chest and push him back. Whenever Dawkins got the best of Wise, it was because the left tackle was the first to engage with his hands. Tyrod Taylor also didn’t do the rookie many favors either, when he scrambled into a sack by Wise after Dawkins had managed to wall him off. In the run game, the team called few runs going towards the left side of the line.
LB Matt Milano
Matt Milano had probably his worst day as a professional football player. Rotating quite a bit with Humber, the rookie got sucked up by play-action fakes a couple of times leading to some big gains by the Patriot tight ends. On one particular play early in the fourth quarter, Milano got mixed up in coverage, allowing Dwayne Allen to leak out across the formation, then missed the tackle on Allen when he eventually recovered from his mistake. In the run game Milano was too often forced to take on guards and was not quick to shed those blocks. While Milano has exceeded expectations, this game shows that he still has much to improve upon.