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Defense And Christie Lift Bills To 16-13 Win
Eric MouldsThe Offense struggled mightily for more than two quarters and the coverage and return teams were bad as usual. The defense played a solid game and the kicking of Steve Christie was enough to give the Bills the win. The inconsistency is highlighted in our grades. Here are the position by position breakdowns:


Doug Flutie was solid in the first half and awful in the second half until he showed his usual poise on the final two drives. He shook off the awful second half and hit some big passes on those drives. He also had a very Flutie like 11 yard run on a third and 10 on the game tying drive. Grade C+: Despite his struggles, he won the game as usual.

Running Backs:

There was a running game in this one. Sammy Morris was off to his best game as he had 86 yards in offense before getting hurt. He was responsible for 60 of 79 yards on the first field goal drive. Shawn Bryson was the workhorse after that and led the way with 60 yards on 13 carries. He also had two big runs in overtime to setup the winning kick. Antowain Smith was off the missing persons list with three carries in spot duty including the last carry of the game. Grade B+: 4.5 yards per carry is the best this season as a unit.


The wide receivers were held to just 8 catches in this game but three came on the only touchdown drive. Eric Moulds only had four catches. Peerless Price had two big catches on the touchdown drive and had a sensational catch by the goal line at the end of regulation but was called for a questionable offensive interference call. Jeremy McDaniel made his only catch count with a 24 yard reception to kick start the tying drive. Jay Riemersma caught 6 passes including the only touchdown. Grade C+: Made some plays when it counted. Riemersma is rounding back into form.

Offensive Line:

The O-line continues to play very well for Flutie. He was sacked only once and the line opened up holes for the backs to gain 4.5 yards per carry. Grade A: Best game of the season.

Defensive Line:

This unit was able to put pressure on the quarterback and stop the running game as usual. Marcellus Wiley has fully recovered from off season back surgery and it has showed the last two weeks. He had 10 tackles and a sack. Shawn Price played well in place of Phil Hansen. Grade B: Solid job as usual.


The unit continues to be the best on the team. Despite being shaken up twice, Sam Cowart had his usual phenomenal day. He had 14 tackles and a huge sack on third down in overtime. Sam Rogers was active in the nickel defense getting a sack and pressuring on Wiley's sack. John Holecek showed nice concentration on his end zone interception as he got hit by his own teammate when Cowart went for the ball too. Kenyatta Wright played on the goal line and made two touchdown saving tackles. Grade A: Another Superb effort.


The secondary played better as a whole but still had a few breakdowns. The most notable being on 3rd and 17 giving up enough yardage over the middle for a first and goal situation inside the 1. Henry Jones had a pass interference call as did Keion Carpenter. Ken Irvin picked off a pass but was burned on a few plays. Antoine Winfield was banged up but returned and played well in coverage. Grade B: Did the job as a whole but still shaky at times.

Special Teams:

What more can you say about Steve Christie. He kicked his 16th game winning field goal and fourth this season. He was 3 for 3 on the game and his 48 yarder in tough field conditions to tie it was as clutch a kick as you get. The coverage units were awful all day as the Bills lost the field position battle because of them. Some blocking penalties on Patriot returns saved the unit from further embarrassment. The return game isn't any better as Chris Watson fumbled a punt and is tentative on returns. Grade C: Christie gets in A the rest of the unit gets in F.


The two penalties in the last 13 seconds are inexcusable especially the delay of game call when trying the tying field goal. Phillips played it safe and kicked the field goal on 4th and 1 in the first quarter. If he was going to do that, why not try a pass on 2nd or 3rd down? Great call sending Cowart on a blitz in overtime. Grade D: Despite the win too many penalties and too much confusion on the sidelines exists for this point of the season.

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