Week 13: Bills Collapse In Fourth Quarter
Offense shuts down while defense gets lit up in final quarter.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
J.P. Losman had the best first quarter of his career but didn't do much the final three quarters. On the positive side he hit two long touchdown passes to Lee Evans in the first four minutes of the game. The first throw was perfect, the 2nd one was underthrown but Evans was so open he was able to make a play. He made a nice play on his third touchdown finding Evans in tight coverage. He made a beautiful 26 yard pass to Josh Reed after scrambling away from a blitz to convert a third down. He had two negatives late in the first half. He lost a fumble that stopped the Bills from putting more points on the board late in the second quarter. He also threw a near interception on the next drive. In the third quarter he threw an interception on the goal line on first and goal. A terrible pass that gave Miami life instead of putting the game away by throwing it away and giving the Bills three more chances to put the game away. That fatal mistake helped Miami Win despite Losman throwing for a career high 224 yards on 13 of 26 passing. Grade D: Shut down after a good first quarter.
Willis McGahee showed once again how overrated he is. The team was dominating most of the game but never really put it in his hands. When they did give him the ball he was averaging only three yards a carry finishing with 81 yards on 27 carries. Shaud Williams had a nice 13 yard play on a shovel pass but didn't make first down yardage. He gained only one yard on three carries. Daimon Shelton barely was heard from. Grade F: McGahee is the biggest disappointment of a team of disappointments.
Lee Evans made two big plays early with a 46 and 56 yard touchdown catches in the first four minutes of football. He then caught a four yard TD pass on a third down play for his third touchdown reception in the first quarter. He finished with 117 yards on five catches and the three scores. Sam Aiken played a lot for Eric Moulds. He dropped a sure first down pass and the Bills had to punt but had a big 22 yard reception that setup a scoring opportunity that the Bills squandered with an interception on the next play. Moulds went without a catch for the first time in 121 games. Roscoe Parrish took a snap from center in the shotgun and completed a three yard pass to Evans. He caught two passes for 17 yards. Josh Reed came back to make a nice 26 yard grab in double coverage to convert a third down and caught another nine yard reception. Tim Euhus caught one pass for five yards but gave it back with a false start penalty. Grade C-: Evans is the only hope for this unit at this time.
Jason Peters went up against Jason Taylor and played well. There was time to throw most of the game and even some holes in the running game that McGahee couldn't make more of. Losman was sacked only twice. Grade B. Not their fault for a change why they lost.
Aaron Schobel had a huge interception late in the fourth quarter that could have saved the game for the Bills but the defense collapsed in the end. He also had a sack and five tackles. Chris Kelsay had five tackles and a pass knockdown . Sam Adams did not start but came in on the second possession and played in the rotation but didn't even get a tackle. His Buffalo career is over. Ryan Denney knocked down one pass. Tim Anderson was a non-factor. Grade D: Schobel is the only talent in this unit.
London Fletcher had a sack on the Dolphins' second possession that thwarted a drive. He also knocked down a pass in the final minute of the first half forcing Miami to settle for a field goal. He teamed with Jeff Posey on a sack and safety that inevitably gave Miami the game. Posey also had a big stop behind the line of scrimmage of Ronnie Brown which slowed down a drive that was moving well on the ground. Fletcher led the team with 12 tackles while Posey had three. Angelo Crowell had two pressures in big spots that caused incompletions. He also had the hit on Rosenfels that caused the intentional grounding penalty on a fourth down play. He had seven tackles. Grade B: The best unit on the field defensively.
Terrence McGee recovered a fumble on Miami's first possession that was forced nicely by Nate Clements. The self proclaimed playmaker always comes up big against Miami. He lost a chance at a big play when he dropped a sure interception that would have been an easy touchdown. He was called for a boneheaded unnecessary roughness penalty and was soft on some coverages. Troy Vincent knocked a pass away from Chambers. Lawyer Milloy had a good pressure early on a third down play forcing an incompletion and a punt. Jabari Greer and Jim Leonhard combined for a pressure that forced a third down incompletion. Greer was called for an illegal contact penalty that kept a Miami TD drive going in the fourth quarter and was beaten for the final winning score. Eric King played a lot with McGee out and made some nice plays, finishing with five tackles. Grade F: Collapsed down the stretch with the rest of the team.
Brian Moorman boomed the punts in the Southern Florida finishing with a 44.1 yard average on eight punts. One went inside the 20. Terrence McGee returned to the lineup and took back his kick return duties. He returned his first kick 37 yards to setup a quick touchdown drive. He made a mistake bringing one out of the end zone and getting stopped at the 15 yard line. Roscoe Parrish had a 36 yard punt return that setup the Bills third touchdown but was -2 yards on his other three returns. McGee averaged 26.3 yards on three returns while Parrish returned a kick for 13 yards. Rian Lindell hit his three extra points but didn't attempt a field goal. Coy Wire was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty on a Miami punt return. The coverage teams did an awesome job on Wes Welker all day. He averaged only 2.8 yards on five punt returns and 18.5 yards on four kickoff returns. There were big hits by Eric King, Jabari Greer, and Sam Aiken among others. Grade A: Not the reason for the loss, what else is new.
Mike Mularkey had creative, aggressive play calling that worked offensively in the first quarter but was awful the rest of the game. Using McGahee and Williams in the backfield together on third down worked as getting McGahee downfield in the passing game converted a key third down on the third touchdown drive. He got cute in the second quarter letting Parrish throw a pass when they should have been grinding it out. Made the right move by calling timeout on Miami's no huddle drive late in the third quarter. Why throw on first and goal at the three with a 20 point lead? If they run it three times there, they probably get a touchdown and lock up the win. Instead cuteness cost them a game. Made the wrong play by going deep with just over three minutes to go in the game when a shorter pattern would have given them a first down and moved the chains. Got very conservative after the Schobel pick. Three plays, zero yards and a punt. They put it in the defense's hands and they failed as usual. Jerry Gray did a nice job mixing in blitzes early that slowed down the Miami no huddle attack but went to the prevent defense and watched his unit collapse as usual. Grade F: Didn't know what to do with a lead, got conservative, collapsed. This team isn't tough enough, shame on the coaches.
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