In our weekly Tuesday feature this season at Buffalo Sports Daily, here’s a quick little rundown of four players who’ve seen their stock go up after Sunday’s last second victory over the Carolina Panthers—and vice versa.
Robert Woods: Four catches for 68 yards, not including a critical diving catch for a two point conversion. Woods is a rookie by title only. The reality is Woods already looks like a seasoned pro out there and is quickly developing a solid chemistry with fellow rookie E.J. Manuel. If he stays healthy Woods should have no problems reaching plateaus of around 60 catches and 600 yards this season. As an aside, go back and watch the first two games—the kid is a willing blocker in the running game as well.
Colin Brown: The Bills starting left guard was crucified for his performance against New England last week and rightfully so, because he was rotten. However, it appears Brown redeemed himself with a stellar showing against a talented Carolina front seven on Sunday. I haven’t re-watched the game with a focus solely on the offensive line (I will at some point today), but from what I have seen, he looked pretty good.
C.J. Spiller: Paranoid Bills fans and fantasy owners can breathe easy again, Spiller’s first week struggles were put behind him. The electrifying one rushed for 103 yards on 16 carries, and lost 28 yards because of a stupid holding penalty by Lee Smith, who come to think of it should be on my “Stock Down” list. Spiller looked more decisive hitting seams than he did against the Patriots and offered some of the explosion fans became quite fond of last year. As the offense gets more comfortable around their rookie quarterback, I suspect Spiller’s stock will continue to rise.
Kiko Alonso: Having two of the four players in this category be rookies says something about this draft class. Alonso was a beast against the Panthers; racking up 10 tackles to go with a sack and an interception to thwart Carolina’s opening drive. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but Alonso already appears well on his way to becoming a big-time linebacker in the NFL.
T.J. Graham: Drafted in the third round (ahead of Russell Wilson) last year as a potential game-changer, Graham has one catch for eight yards in two games and has glaringly been surpassed by Robert Woods as the second receiver after Stevie Johnson. For all his speed, Graham appears to have difficulty getting open on anything other than deep sideline routes. Perhaps it’s time for Doug Marrone to give an extended look at Marcus Easley or Chris Hogan in more offensive sets.
Alan Branch: The Bills gave $3 million to Branch as a free agent this offseason, and other than typing his name in this space I’ve often forgot he was on the team. It’s easy to forget when he’s had just two tackles in two games, no quarterback pressures and in general, nothing noteworthy to offer. I’ll pay more attention to him today when I review Sunday’s game on the Game Rewind “All-22”, but my naked eye has yet to see a single positive quality about his presence yet.
Nigel Bradham: Through all of training camp and most of the preseason, Bradham was being hyped as a valuable every down linebacker alongside rookie Kiko Alonso. For whatever reason, that hasn’t happened. Bradham has been passed on the depth chart by Arthur Moats and in fact, the second-year pro received just one defensive snap against Carolina— one! Clearly, Mr. Bradham is in the proverbial doghouse.
Frank Summers: He was singlehandedly responsible for a special teams penalty that directly led to a Carolina touchdown in the second half, and he missed a block that resulted in a sack and lost fumble on E.J. Manuel. In reality, the youngster should feel fortunate to have a job. Had the Bills lost Sunday, he would’ve (deservedly) received the lion’s share of blame.