Week 17: Special Teams Meltdown Costs Bills
Big return, turnovers overshadow decent performances.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Kelly Holcomb had an up and down day. He completed 23 of 37 passes for 184 yards including two nice touchdown passes to Eric Moulds and Roscoe Parrish. He also threw four interceptions, three of them were tipped but they were inaccurate throws anyway. Grade D: Made a few plays, made even more mistakes.
Willis McGahee ran for over 100 yards for the first time in the 2nd half of the season. He hit the holes nicely and even added two receptions. Shaud Williams carried the ball three times for zero yards and had one catch. Daimon Shelton caught two passes for six yards but couldn't hold on to one that was picked off and returned for a score. Grade B-: McGahee needs to play the Jets every week.
Eric Moulds proved again that he is Holcomb's go to receiver. He caught 8 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. Lee Evans only caught two passes for 17 yards and dropped one ball. He did have a 39 yard run on a reverse on the first play from scrimmage. Roscoe Parrish had his first career touchdown and four catches overall for 23 yards, he also had one drop. Josh Reed caught one pass for five yards and Mark Campbell had three catches but for only 10 yards. Grade C-: Nothing after Moulds.
The line had a solid outing, they gave Holcomb plenty of time to throw until late in the game when they gave up two sacks. They also opened up some nice holes for the running game. Grade A-: Best game of the year from this unit.
Aaron Schobel had a quiet day with four tackles and he put very little pressure on Bollinger. Chris Kelsay only had two tackles and very little pressure. Sam Adams had two sacks early and three tackles. His most active game of the year. Tim Anderson was in on five tackles. Ryan Denney and Justin Bannan saw plenty of time in the rotation as well. They combined for five tackles. Grade B+: Did their job in holding down the Jets running game.
London Fletcher led the team with eight tackles. Jeff Posey had four tackles and a sack. Angelo Crowell had six tackles but was called for tripping late in the game. Grade B+: Fletcher was the best defensive player this week and this year.
Terrence McGee was in on two tackles and he did a good job in coverage. The same can't be said for Nate Clements who was beaten for a 43 yard pass play to Coles and on numerous other occasions as Coles finished with 79 yards on four catches. Eric King was beaten for a 45 yard reception to Cotchery. Troy Vincent had only one tackle but broke up a pass. Lawyer Milloy had a quiet two tackles. Grade B: Gave up only 153 yards passing but two big passes hurt them.
So much for sweeping the four main categories. The kick return unit gave up the biggest play of the game, a 95 yard return. The first kickoff return for a score since opening day 2002. The Jets had 250 kickoff return yards in all on seven returns for a 35.7 yard average. Meanwhile the Bills had seven returns of their won but for 99 less yards. Terrence McGee averaged 25.2 yards on his returns. Rian Lindell was 4 for 4 on field goals hitting from 21, 24, 52, and 36 yards out. Roscoe Parrish had 26 yards on two punt returns. He fumbled one of them but recovered it. For the second week in a row Brian Moorman only had one punt. It went for 48 yards and was downed inside the one yard line. Grade C: Lindell's big day was offset by giving up a touchdown.
Mike Mularkey seems to have run out of plays. Can he stop throwing the outlet passes to Shelton? The Jets knew they were coming. They needed to run the ball more since it was working. On defense, they got burned for a few big pass plays when blitzing. Grade C: There will be changes to this staff.
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