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Week 7: Offense Has Coming Out Party
Perfect gameplan and execution gets running game going
by Steve Saslow

The Bills woke up from their doldrums by moving the ball offensively on the ground and in the air while the defense soundly shutdown the Redskins big play offense. Our position by position grades are on the high side as the Bills dominated the Redskins in every phase of the game:

Quarterback:

Drew Bledsoe executed a very good ballgame as he was 19 of 26 for 244 yards and a touchdown. He did throw one interception and fumbled the ball away on an ill advised QB sneak. He found his receivers open and executed well with a number of different packages being used. Grade B+: Orchestrated confusing gameplan very well.

Running Backs:

Travis Henry where have you been? He was the Henry of old today as he rumbled for 167 yards on 31 carries and caught one pass for 13 yards. He added two more touchdowns as he ran hard on every play finishing them off with punishing hits. Joe Burns got three carries in mop up time. Sam Gash saw some time in the backfield but caught one pass for 16 yards but had the catch knocked lose luckily into the arms of teammate Bobby Shaw. Grade A+: Finally got the ground game moving!

Receivers:

With Eric Moulds still sidelines Josh Reed stepped up big time. He caught eight passes and only dropped one. He had his second career 100 yard game finishing with 109. His one touchdown was a perfect fake out job by Reed letting him get wide open. Bobby Shaw was quiet only catching three balls for 23 yards but he was Johnny on the spot on Gash's fumble. Mark Campbell caught three balls for 36 yards and Ryan Neufeld had his first catch as a Bill and it went for 25 yards. Antonio Brown saw the field on offense and rumbled 17 yards with a reverse. Clarence Coleman contributed 2 receptions for 22 yards. Grade A: Came through without their leader.

Offensive Line:

The line made a statement by dominating the line of scrimmage as they opened up the running game for 196 yards. They also gave Bledsoe time to throw for the most part as he was sacked only once. Jonas Jennings kept Bruce Smith from getting the sack record although he came close a few times and Jennings and Ruben Brown were called for holding Smith. Penalties continue to bite this unit. Brown was called for three in all including an unsportsmanlike conduct call. Trey Teague was also called for holding. Grade B: Gotta stop getting called for penalties.

Defensive Line:

Sam Adams returned to the lineup and helped stuff the run in the middle. Pat Williams was active in run stopping also. He was called for a stupid roughing the passer call. Aaron Schobel had a sack. Ryan Denney was active as he pressured Redskin QBs on a few pass attempts. The entire unit had many pressures but no sacks until Rob Johnson entered the game in the fourth quarter. Grade A: Held the Redskins to just 56 yards on the ground.

Linebackers:

London Fletcher led the team with nine tackles. Takeo Spikes knocked a ball down that he almost intercepted and was in on four tackles. Jeff Posey may have had his best game as a Bill. He was very active and was in on six tackles to go along with a sack. Grade A: Too quick for the Redskins offense.

Secondary:

Nate Clements had a very quiet day as they didn't throw to his side too much. Antoine Winfield was beaten deep by Coles but made up for it by stopping a Redskins receiver on the goal line keeping them from scoring. Lawyer Milloy had his best game since opening day. He finished with four tackles and a fumble recovery. Kevin Thomas seemed to move back ahead of Danion Sidney on the depth chart. He was solid in coverage for the most part but was beat for the Redskins lone touchdown although he had pretty good coverage. Izell Reese now appears entrenched as a starter at free safety. Grade A: Kept the Big plays to a minimum holding the Redskins to a paltry 119 yards through the air.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman continues his pro bowl run. He averaged 48.5 yards on 6 punts. Rian Lindell hit his lone field goal attempt a chip shot from 20 yards out. Antonio Brown needs to be replaced as a punt return, he goes east/west instead of north/south and averaged only 2.2 yards on six returns. He only got 17 yards on his one kickoff return and that is against a weak coverage team. The kick coverage team did a solid job but the punt coverage unit allowed a 17.7 yard average on four returns by Chad Morton. Much better than last year's two touchdowns though! Grade B: Did the job.

Coaching:

Gregg Williams had the team ready to play and deserves credit for that since it has been a month worth of doldrums. Kevin Gilbride used a lot of motion plays to get the Bills the best possible matchups. He deserves credit for confusing the Redskins defense. Dick LeBeau's zone blitz schemes didn't yield any sacks until the game was in hand, but the pressure shutdown the passing game and eventually knocked Ramsey out of the game. It was a bit embarrassing to have to take a timeout before even running a play in the 2nd quarter. The team had to waste way too many timeouts in this game. Penalties remain an issue as they were called for 9 of them for 95 yards. Somehow, someway, the need to control the number of flags that hit the field. Grade B: Got a rather convincing 'W' and that deserves a good grade.



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