It’s that time of the year if you’re a bad team, like the Buffalo Bills, that misses the playoffs by a mile. It’s end of season positional review time!
Over the coming days, yours truly is going to break down each position group by three factors: depth, reliability and performance. They’ll be graded on all three of these factors accordingly.
Today, we’ll be looking at one of the least noticed positions on the field (unless you have Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham): Tight end.
This position wasn’t a strength before the year began, and while it looked as though the team got a bit of a surprise, the depth simply wasn’t there. It was Scott Chandler the whole way as the primary tight end with Lee Smith and Chris Gragg backing him up (the team later signed Tony Moeaki but it was understood that he probably wouldn’t see the field this season).
Smith saw limited snaps in blocking situations, and Gragg saw very little time at all. It seems as though an injury to Chandler that keeps him out for the long-term could have really hurt the passing game even more than it already struggled.
The team needs more options in the event Chandler misses time. Grade: C+
This is a tricky thing to grade. Sure, Chandler started all 16 games, which is all the more impressive considering he had ACL surgery in January. He provided stability at the position and gave the Bills an idea of what they could expect week in and week out.
That said, how reliable was Chandler, really? He had a few key turnovers and dropped passes were a critical issue. He’s a solid player, but the team needs something more and they won’t get it from Chandler alone. Grade: B-
It’s really hard to argue with the numbers in regards to the rest of the team. Chandler led the team in receptions (53) and yards (655) with a pair of touchdowns (one off the team-lead).
That said, he had a penchant for drops and could not provide a real threat down the seam for the Bills. He’s an okay tight end, and that’s likely all he’ll ever be. But you can’t really be upset about his performance this season. Grade: B