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Week 7: Defense Embarrassing In Raider Rout
Pathetic effort for failing unit.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Kelly Holcomb was in firm control on the opening 82 yard touchdown drive. He moved the ball nicely most of the game, they just weren't consistent enough. He threw for 159 yards on 19 of 27 and two touchdowns without throwing an interception. He did fumble once. Grade B+: Wasn't the reason for the loss.

Running Backs:

Willis McGahee may think he's the best back in the game, but he didn't show it today. He had 50 yards rushing on 16 carries but did add 36 yards on three receptions. Shaud Williams was a nice change of pace gaining 27 yards on four carries and adding a 10 yard reception. Daimon Shelton got his first carry of the season, unfortunately he got stuffed on a fourth and one at the goal line. He struggled in run blocking and caught one pass for eight yard in the red zone. Grade D: Didn't do their job offensively.

Receivers:

Eric Moulds had a big catch for a first down on the opening TD drive. He had four catches. Lee Evans scored his first touchdown of the season on the opening drive. A nice slant pattern in the back of the end zone. He bobbled a pass that would have given the Bills a first down also. He finished with three catches for just 19 yards. They lost the replay challenge even though there was a chance he held on to it but the replay was inconclusive. They had to settle for a field goal. Was open deep late but the ball was slightly overthrown. Josh Reed had two huge receptions on the opening drive, the second one went for a first down. He then made a beautiful catch and then run to score a touchdown. Finished with four catches for 31 yards. Jonathan Smith gave the Bills their first, first down of the game on a similar catch and run to last week's TD against the Jets. It was his only catch. Roscoe Parrish made his debut but didn't catch a pass or have one thrown to him. Mark Campbell caught two short passes. Grade B-: Was getting open and making some plays, but they were all short ones.

Offensive Line:

So much for a healthy offensive line. This unit got banged up in this game. Mike Williams gutted it out after suffering an apparent ankle injury. Chris Villarrial was banged up and replaced by Duke Preston for the rest of the game. The line had no push in the running game and gave up three sacks as they struggled picking up the blitz in the second half. Only had a 3.7 yard average running and it would have been worse if it wasn't for a few successful draw plays. Grade C-: Tried to gut it out but couldn't handle the Raiders front seven.

Defensive Line:

Aaron Schobel had a sack and six tackles. Chris Kelsay wasn't active at all, he had three tackles. Sam Adams had some nice penetration as did Tim Anderson but they combined for just four tackles. Lauvale Sape saw some rare action, and was promptly called for unsportsmanline conduct drawing the ire of DL coach Tim Krumrie. Grade F: Didn't get a consistent rush and gave up big plays in the running game.

Linebackers:

Angelo Crowell got a sack and forced a fumble on the first Oakland series. It forced a punt. He led the way with seven solo tackles. London Fletcher and Jeff Posey were very quiet. Fletcher was in on seven quiet tackles and Posey had three. Grade F: Crowell's playing well but the unit is lost without Spikes.

Secondary:

Terrence McGee was banged up in the first half. He gave up a huge third down conversion on the opening drive of the 2nd half that let the Raiders hold on to the momentum and drive to a score. Troy Vincent momentarily saved a touchdown by knocking the ball out of the hands of Porter. He also recovered a fumble momentarily giving the team life in the third quarter. Lawyer Milloy was beaten for a 38 yard pass in the first quarter that led to a Raiders field goal. He Pressured Collins into an incompletion on the next play. He was also dragged five yards on a Jordan run near the goal line just before halftime. Nate Clements knocked a pass away from Moss in the end zone to force a FG but was beat by Moss for a touchdown. Jabari Greer had a pass interference penalty and Eric King allowed the Raiders to convert a 3rd and 12 pass on the ill fated first drive of the second half. Grade F: Constantly beaten, imagine Moss was healthy?

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman had a poor 38 yard punt after a low snap. He did average 45 yards on four punts with one inside the 20. Terrence McGee had a 57 yard kickoff return when the Raiders had all the momentum in the 2nd quarter. It flipped the field position and ultimately led to a Bills' field goal two series later. That was a 41 yarder by Rian Lindell. McGee averaged 32.7 yards on three returns. Jonathan Smith had three returns, with McGee ailing, and averaged only 18.3 yards a return. The coverage teams struggled, allowing a 32 yard kickoff return and a 29 yard punt return to Carr. Roscoe Parrish had his first punt return, it went for 10 yards. Nate Clements was back returning punts today, he had two returns for 12 yards. He bobbled one return and had a long run called back by a penalty. Grade C-: Worst performance of the season.

Coaching:

Mike Mularkey made a huge gamble going for it on fourth and one. It was a controversial move and the call was even more controversial, a run by the fullback, his first carry of the year? I agreed with the decision to go for it but not the call. With the running game not working, why run it twice in a row on the goal line? Using Sam Adams on offense made him unavailable on defense after they were stopped on the goal line stand. It didn't matter as the defense rose to the occasion and stuffed the Raiders giving the Bills great field position to get the field goal back. Taking a holding penalty instead of making the Raiders punt in the third quarter was a dubious call. It didn't hurt them though as they were forced to punt on the next play. Grade F: Cheeseburgers don't solve all what ills the Bills.



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