Week 6: Bills Pass The Test
Everyone contributes to big win.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Kelly Holcomb had an up and down day. For the most part he managed an efficient game as they scored a season high 27 points. He completed 18 of 26 passes for just 172 yards and threw two touchdowns. The downside was that he also threw two interceptions. Grade B+: Mularkey can't hide that Holcomb is the number one QB anymore.
Willis McGahee ran well and with purpose gaining 69 yards in the first quarter alone on his way to a career high 143 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown. He added 24 yards on three receptions. Shaud Williams did a nice job in spelling McGahee gaining 34 yards on six carries, including a nice 21 yard run. He was used a lot on pitch sweeps. Daimon Shelton dropped a screen pass on third and one that may or may not have gone for a first down. He did open up holes for the running game. Grade A: Nice game for the Bills best player.
Jonathan Smith made a nice move on his first drive touchdown reception, it was his only catch. He was helped by a block from Sam Aiken. Eric Moulds had a nice touchdown reception and led the team with seven catches for 63 yards. Lee Evans was quiet, catching only three passes for 22 yards. Josh Reed has disappeared again, catching just one pass for 17 yards, but it was a big one late in the game to keep the clock moving. Mark Campbell caught a 27 yard pass as he went downfield once, that setup a Lindell field goal. He also had a seven yard reception. Ryan Neufeld did some nice things in the blocking game. Jason Peters caught one pass. Tim Euhus made his season debut in the fourth quarter after Campbell's big catch to spell him for a play. Grade B+: Making more plays with Holcomb at the control.
They opened up huge holes for the running game and dominated the line of scrimmage against the much talked about Jets front four. They downside was a flurry of penalties from this unit. Mike Gandy was called for two holding penalties. Mike Williams returned to his starting role and opened up big holes for McGahee. Holcomb was only sacked once. Grade A: Solid effort from a unit that is finally healthy.
Ryan Denney had sacks on back to back plays in the first quarter as he is really coming into his own. Aaron Schobel had a nice pressure that forced an incomplete pass and a nice tackle for a loss. He was very active with five tackles and a pass knockdown. Chris Kelsay was quiet in the game. Sam Adams seemed to know the Jets snap count as he was getting an amazing jump off the line, once he jumped too quick and was called for offsides. He disrupted the middle a lot and had a sack. He also was pushed around on some long runs. Tim Anderson had a big sack, Justin Bannan was in on two tackles. The unit had four sacks in all. Grade A-: Got pressure and dominated their side of the line.
London Fletcher was very quiet as he had only three tackles and was nowhere to be seen on long runs by Martin. He did recover a fumble late in the game to help clinch it. Jeff Posey was active early with a pressure and good defense to force a Jets punt but disappeared after that. Angelo Crowell had a sack and an interception as he was in on four tackles. Grade C: 8.2 yards a carry for Martin gets stuck on this unit.
Terrence McGee had a nice pass breakup in the end zone late in the first half, one of three pass breakups. He also had an interception and four tackles. Nate Clements had a terrible series when the Jets went 91 yards just before halftime. He gave up a long pass play to Justin McCariens and was called for pass interference in the end zone on a long pass to Coles. He did lead the team with seven tackles, mainly because he was getting beat. Rookie Eric King was called for an illegal hands in the face penalty that gave the Jets a first down on their first drive. His personal foul negated McGee's outstanding 72 yard interception return. Troy Vincent wasn't in proper position on back to back long pass completions on the Jets scoring drive late in the 2nd quarter. Lawyer Milloy had six tackles and was helpful on Anderson's sack. Grade B: Gave up a couple of big plays but only 161 gross yards passing.
Brian Moorman averaged 42.8 yards on four punts. He kicked a touchback late in the game when they were trying to pin the Jets deep. Terrence McGee had an electrifying 42 yard kickoff return in the closing seconds of the first half to setup a field goal that took back the momentum. He also returned the opening kickoff 43 yards. Rian Lindell's first kickoff went out of bounds giving the Jets good field position. He hit a very tough 50 yard field goal into the swirling winds just before halftime that gave the Bills the momentum back. Then he nailed a 38 yarder late in the game and followed it with a touchback on the ensuing kickoff. The kick coverage team gave up a rare 39 yard return in the third quarter. Jonathan Smith had one punt return for 8 yards. Grade A-: The best of the team's three units.
The Bills tried to get too cute on offense once again. With McGahee barreling through the Jets defense, they decided to throw a screen pass on third and one in the fourth quarter that was dropped. Way too many penalties. Blitzing worked for the first time in a few games. The coach finally came around and already announced Holcomb will start next week. Grade C: Made the necessary halftime adjustments finally.
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