Each Wednesday during the NFL season I’m compiling power rankings of the best Buffalo Bills players for 2017. The rankings are cumulative, which considering Sunday was their opener means nothing for now.
Here’s my rankings after Week one, a 21-12 victory over the New York Jets.
1. Lesean McCoy: Simply put, there’s no doubt Shady was the best player on the field Sunday for either team. 110 yards rushing on 22 carries and 49 more yards on five receptions. McCoy did everything but find his way to the end zone—something he’ll do plenty of this year if he stays healthy.
2. Jordan Poyer: Phenomenal debut after an unobtrusive training camp and preseason . Three tackles, a sack and an interception had Poyer looking like Ed Reed Sunday.
3. Richie Incognito: Minus a holding penalty Incognito was in Pro Bowl form Sunday. I don’t always put much stock into Pro Football Focus grading, but the fact they gave Incognito the highest mark of any NFL offensive lineman (89.3) Sunday demonstrates how dominant he was.
4. Ramon Humber: Team-high 13 tackles vs the Jets. Nobody including myself thought much of Humber this summer, but maybe he’s this year’s Zach Brown.
5. Tyrod Taylor: As the Bills know all too well, there’s good Tyrod and there’s bad Tyrod. Against the Jets, fans were mostly treated to the former. Taylor completed 16-of-28 passes for 224 yards while tossing two touchdowns and an interception. He also ran for 38 yards. He mixed in some bad throws and held on to the ball too long a handful of times but overall it’s a showing the team will gladly take every week.
6. Tre’Davious White: Staying on the PFF kick one more time, White had the highest grade of any NFL rookie corner (84.8) by a comfortable margin against the Jets. Stats and grades aside you can tell White’s compete level is through the roof. Fans will this kid before 2017 is over. He’s everything we hoped Leodis McKelvin would be.
7. Charles Clay: Statistically Clay gave the Bills the type of game expected when handing him a monster contract in 2015; catching four passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. What keeps him from a higher ranking is two drops, badly missing a few blocks and committing a false start penalty.
8. Kyle Williams: He played nearly three quarters of the snaps and was far and away Buffalo’s most effective tackle Sunday—both a compliment to Williams and an insult to Marcell Dareus. Williams didn’t do much statistically but was effective taking on double teams and collapsing the pocket all day long. He’s a marvel for this team at 34 years old.
9. Micah Hyde: He just looks good out there, like he knows exactly what he’s doing. He didn’t have a flashy but also wasn’t tested much by a weak Jets passing game. Along with Poyer the Bills may potentially have their best safety tandem in many years.
10. Jordan Matthews: Two receptions for a team-high 61 yards. Considering he missed the preseason with an injury, the Bills will take that. For me he can be this year’s Robert Woods and Sunday was a pretty good start.