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PFF Grades: O'Leary, Thomas underrated keys to Bills' win over Buccaneers

The Bills needed Nick O'Leary and Logan Thomas to step up in the absence of Charles Clay, and the two tight ends certainly did that against the Buccaneers.

In the first five games of the season, Clay was targeted 27 times and made 20 receptions for 258 yards with two touchdowns. He was Buffalo's most reliable and productive pass-catching option for the first month of the season.

Collectively, O'Leary and Thomas were outstanding in the victory over Tampa Bay.

(Grades courtesy of Pro Football Focus.)

Thomas received PFF's third-highest grade among qualifying tight ends in Week Seven, and O'Leary wasn't far behind in fifth place.

Thomas caught his only target for a 22-yard touchdown and stood out as a run-blocker. His grade blocking for the ground game trailed only Marcedes Lewis and Rob Gronkowski.

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O'Leary surrendered a sack, which led to a negative grade in pass protection, yet he flourished paving lanes for Buffalo's running game, as his grade in that area was the 12th-highest among 60 qualifying tight ends before "Monday Night Football."

LeSean McCoy carried six and times for 36 yards on runs outside the left tackle with a tight end blocking.

O'Leary caught both of his targets for 58 yards, which featured 31 total yards after the catch.

On the season, the former Florida State star owns the No. 40 tight end grade overall. However, his receiving grade ranks 12th out of 66 qualifiers. Among all 109 tight ends who've played a snap thus far in the 2017 season, Thomas ā€” who's been on the field for 76 offensive plays ā€” has the 15th-highest PFF overall grade.

Together, Thomas and O'Leary hauled in three passes for 80 yards and had "positive" days as run-blockers against the Buccaneers.

In Rick Dennison's offense, one that's known for its use of tight ends, the Bills are fortunate to have not one but two well-rounded, quality backups behind Clay.

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