Week 9: Dominating Defensive Effort Gives Bills Win
Special teams shine as well but offense flounders.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
J.P. Losman did the most important thing very well, he protected the football. He had no turnovers but didn't do much else. He only completed 8 passes in 15 attempts for just 102 yards. His touchdown pass to Lee Evans was grossly under thrown. He also under threw Evans on another play when he was wide open deep, that pass ended up being knocked away. He held the ball too long on a couple of his five sacks. Had to waste a timeout in the first quarter because the play clock was about to expire after a false start penalty. Grade D: Managed the game well enough for the win.
Willis McGahee left the game in the opening series with an injury to his ribs. It happened when he was stuffed for a loss on a third and one play. Two plays earlier he was headed for the end zone but was taken down by a shoestring tackle. Anthony Thomas replaced McGahee and played well. He broke a tackle on his way to his 14 yard game clinching touchdown. He was responsible for all 27 yards on that drive. He finished with 95 yards on 20 carries for a 4.8 yard average. Shaud Williams was active but just saw time on special teams with Sam Aiken out. Daimon Shelton did a fine job of blocking and tied for the team lead with two catches. Grade B+: Did the best job of the entire offense.
Lee Evans much anticipated battle with Al Harris was fun to watch. For the most part Harris won the battle but he lost the war when Evans got behind him for a 43 yard touchdown reception. He also beat Harris deep another time but the pass was under thrown and knocked away at the last minute. Peerless Price and Josh Reed each had one catch for six yards before Reed got hurt. Robert Royal had one catch and dropped another. Grade F: This unit has under performed all year.
Terrence Pennington got his first start at right tackle as part of the OL shakeup. Jason Peters played left tackle while Mike Gandy slid into the left guard spot. The line held up pretty well with the exception of one veteran in his normal spot. Chris Villarrial was beaten for three sacks by DT Corey Williams. Pennington was beat for a sack. Grade C: Gave up five sacks but opened up some holes for the running game.
Aaron Schobel is on one of his patented hot streaks. He had two more sacks in this game and recovered a fumble. He had four QB hits and four tackles. Chris Kelsay was in on three tackles and had one pressure. Ryan Denney had four tackles and a pressure. Larry Tripplett had his best game as a Bill. He was very disruptive in the middle of the defense. He finished with two tackles, three pressures, two passes defensed and a fumble recovery. Kyle Williams had four tackles and two QB hits. Tim Anderson was in on five tackles and had a pressure. Grade B-: Got decent pressure on Favre and got sacks at the right time. Held down the running game better in the first half than the second half.
London Fletcher was the player of the game. He had 14 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown. Takeo Spikes was more active as he gets back in game shape. He was in on nine tackles. Angelo Crowell had five tackles and two passes defensed. Keith Ellison saw some action in the 3-4 defense that the Bills unveiled at times. Grade B: Was very active and came up with big plays.
Terrence McGee did a much better job in pass coverage then he has in past weeks. He had six tackles. Nate Clements had perfect position and knocked down a bomb from Favre. He also deflected a pass that was picked off by Ko Simpson who returned it 76 yards to put the game away. Clements had nine tackles. Donte Whitner had three tackles. Grade B: Nice job in big spots.
Brian Moorman won the punter battle by flipping field position nicely. He had eight punts, four were stopped inside the 20 and he averaged 47.4 yards a kick including a 65 yarder. Terrence McGee returned the opening kickoff 61 yards to setup a field goal. He finished with 100 yards on three returns. Rian Lindell hit a 28 yard field goal. Roscoe Parrish had a big 17 yard return to setup a touchdown. He finished with 20 yards on two returns. Grade A: Best game in a while for this unit.
Dick Jauron had his team ready to play. The offensive line shakeup didn't kill them this week. The 3-4 variation on defense was a nice wrinkle that confused Favre. Grade A: A win is a win.
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