Cornerback E.J. Gaines has become an impactful member of the Bills defense, and his positive influence was on full display in Week 12 in Kansas City.
Against the Chiefs, Gaines received a +1.1 overall grade, which included a +1.1 grade in coverage, grades which ranked 25th and 22nd respectively out of 104 qualifying cornerbacks.
He was thrown at a whopping nine times and surrendered six receptions for just 28 yards.
While he did miss a tackle, he also turned in five stops on eight total tackles.
Gaines is a force as a tackler. He has 15 stops — which constitute a "loss" for the offense considering down and distance — on just 403 snaps in 2017. That means he's currently making a stop every 26.8 defensive plays, which is the fourth-best figure among 119 qualifying quarterbacks.
In the eight games in which Gaines has played this season for Buffalo, the Bills have allowed 21.2 points per game. In the three without him, they've surrendered an average of 28.7 points.
More specifically, opposing quarterbacks have mustered a passer rating of 83.2. Without Gaines, Buffalo's given up a passer rating 10 points higher.
This season, Gaines quietly has the No. 29 overall grade among cornerbacks (+5.5), sandwiched between Malcolm Bulter (+5.6) and Xavier Rhodes (+5.3). Signal-callers have a 75.3 passer rating when throwing into his target area, which puts him at No. 32 at his position.
He's 19th in PFF grade per snap, with a figure slightly ahead of Aqib Talib.
Gaines will have to be at his best — in coverage and against the run — facing the Patriots high-powered offense in Week 13.
(Grades and stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus)
Story topics: E.J. Gaines