Continuing with our team grading after the first preseason game, we will look at the defense.
DE- Carrington and Williams started the game off and looked to be in control. Williams looks to have taken a leadership role on the D-line and was making changes and moving the line around. This is promising. Carrington made positive moves in camp to get the start but I think he was the favorite going in and made it happen. Branch looked to be slow off the ball at times and Blatnick showed some life as well getting to the QB a couple of times and putting some pressure on them. Cross didn’t seem to be in the mix at least he was very quiet. Overall the DE looked to be in good shape for the 1st preseason game. Grade: B+
DT- Williams and Dareus looked good in the start and showed pressure in the middle of the line. A miss communication on a trap play left them high and dry but overall they did a good job. Past these two, there wasn’t a lot of mention of the other guys, but you start at the D-line and the Colts were unable to move the ball o the ground consistently and that is what you look for; shut down the run game. Grade: C+
LB- The LBs looked good. Bradham, Lawson and Alonso started the game off and made their prescience known. Lawson was in on a couple of plays and Alonso broke up a play in the end zone and showed his speed tracking a couple of players down from behind. Overall the backers did not look to be the major concern of the defense which is good news. There does still need to be work. Grade: C+
CB- This is the major issue with the defense in my opinion. Besides Gilmore, the rest of the CBs looked lost or confused on the field. Gilmore looked like he was ready and started where he left off from last year. Brooks is not a number 2 corner and I don’t think that McKelvin is either. Buffalo needs to find a diamond in that heavy rough for the number 2 spot or go out and get one of the veterans that are still on the free agent list and make something happen. This is the weak point and we will lose games because our corners can’t cover. Still on the list are Will Allen, Jason Allen, Chris Gamble and Stanford Routt to name a few that might be able to play across from Gilmore and bring a little bit more to the CB spot. Grade: C
S- Williams and Searcy started the game off and didn’t look too bad. Williams had a couple of good hits on players coming out of the back field and Searcy was able to recover a fumble caused by Brooks but had a couple of missed tackles as well. Duke Williams didn’t look too bad as well and had a couple of plays but also missed a couple as well. Meeks had an opportunity for an INT but dropped the ball, literally and figuratively. Overall the safeties did not look to bad and had good coverage. Grade: B-
Overall Defensive Grade: B