Pretty much the entire Buffalo Bills team registered sub-par performances in the team’s 37-5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and the team’s rookie class was no exception. While the rookies on offense were mostly spared by being out with injury (or just plain “out”), through four quarters the rookie defenders were weighed, measured and found wanting. More about the performance of each rookie below.
LB Tremaine Edmunds
Edmunds’ schizophrenic season continued in Indianapolis, as he was confused in his run fits all day. The Colts utilized several diverse blocking schemes and formations when running the football, all of which seemed to get Edmunds’s head spinning during the early going. The rookie didn’t seem to know which gap to fill or even where the ball was on some snaps, which lead to some huge gains by Marlon Mack. Edmunds even had a down day in coverage, as Andrew Luck wasn’t afraid to challenge him over the middle of the field and made sure to deliver the ball quickly.
DT Harrison Phillips
It was more of the same for the rookie from Stanford. Lining up in the A-gap, Phillips held his own against double teams when runs come directly at him, but didn’t display the lateral agility or quickness necessary to penetrate and blow up runs in the backfield. Then, in passing situations, Phillips was inevitably stonewalled by the guard and the center.
CB Taron Johnson
Johnson was tied for the team lead in tackles, some of which can be attributed to successfully aggressive plays near the line of scrimmage and some of which is attributable to the running back breaking to the second level and being tackled by Johnson after a sizable gain. In coverage, Johnson wasn’t targeted very much, but his lowlight of the day came early in the fourth quarter when he was schooled by T.Y. Hilton and gave up a red-zone touchdown. Johnson wasn’t physical enough on the route and gave up too much ground to the veteran receiver.
S Siran Neal
Neal was left off of special teams work against the Texans but made a return in Indianapolis. He was assigned to the punt return team and didn’t make much of an impact considering the Colts only punted four times.
WR Ray-Ray McCloud III
McCloud was inactive for the game, and did not even make the trip to Indianapolis, under somewhat suspicious circumstances. The team stated that it was for a “non-injury reason.”
WR Cam Phillips
Phillips was called up from the practice squad after the team cut fellow undrafted free agent Robert Foster. Phillips saw 16 snaps on offense, and was not targeted.
P Corey Bojorquez
Once again, Bojorquez carries the dubious distinction of having earned the rookie MVP award for his work. Of his four punts, three were downed inside the 20-yard line.
- Starting quarterback Josh Allen was inactive against the Colts as he continued to recover from his elbow injury sustained against the Houston Texans.
- Rookie guards Wyatt Teller and Ike Boettger were again inactive.