Week 15: Shutout Win Was Total Team Effort
Bills continue their solid play on both sides of the ball.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
J.P. Losman continued his string of efficient days, none more efficient then this one. He had a career best 142.5 QB rating. He completed 13 of 19 passes for 200 yards and battled the wind much better than his Miami counterparts. He did a beautiful job of looking off his wide receivers and coming back to find a wide open Robert Royal on the first of his three touchdown passes. His one fumble is the lone blemish on his record. He held the ball too long and was hit by Jason Taylor. Grade A: His best career effort.
Willis McGahee got the hard yards and battled neck, head, and wrist injuries along with his ribs and ankle ailments. He played better as the game went on and had some big runs while the Bills were trying to run the clock down. He finished with just 79 yards on 28 carries but they were good, tough, hard yards. He did lose a fumble in the game on the devastating hit from Zach Thomas. That was when he suffered the head injury that cost him a series. Anthony Thomas had 16 yards on six carries and two catches for 15 yards. Brad Cieslak played a lot of fullback in the 2nd half after Daimon Shelton went out with an injury. Grade B: Not pretty with a 2.7 yard per carry average but efficient when needed most.
Lee Evans had another big touchdown catch, a 21 yarder. He finished with three catches for 67 yards and his nice sideline catch for 37 yards setup the Bills first touchdown. Josh Reed had four catches for 50 yards and ran like his old running back days on his 27 yard touchdown catch when he squeezed between three defenders to score. Robert Royal had a touchdown for the third straight game when he got wide open by the goal line for his 33 yard score. He also had another nice long reception on a broken play and finished with 62 yards on three catches for a whopping 20.7 yard average from a tight end. Peerless Price had just one catch for six yards and Roscoe Parrish didn't have a ball thrown his way. Grade B+: Made big plays when they had to.
The offensive line may have given up three sacks but for the most part Losman had time to throw. Jason Peters was locked up in a one on one battle with Jason Taylor about 2/3 of the time and did a solid job but he did give up one sack that caused a fumble. The line did struggle in opening up holes for the running game but did seem to dominant a bit late in the game as the Bills got more and more success on the ground late. Grade B: Another solid effort from the new look line.
Aaron Schobel was quiet most of the game as he was double teamed a lot. He did get a late sack. Chris Kelsay was in on three tackles including a fourth down stop. Ryan Denney was in on four tackles and batted down the final pass of the game to preserve the shutout. Larry Tripplett was quiet but Kyle Williams mad a bit more noise then usual and had four tackles. Grade A-: Solid job stuffing the run after the first quarter although generated little pressure.
London Fletcher was very busy as usual he led the team with 10 tackles. Takeo Spikes had six stops and made some nice plays but was blocked out of a few early runs. Keith Ellison was superb as he was all over the field and had eight tackles and an interception. Grade A: Solid effort all around, especially in pass coverage.
Terrence McGee made a nice hit to slow down Wes Welker on a fourth down play on Miami's first series. He had six tackles. Nate Clements shutout Chris Chambers in their one on one battle, holding him without a catch and picking off a pass for good measure. Ko Simpson had five tackles and Donte Whitner had seven. He was caught inside on a few good early outside runs but he adjusted nicely. Kiwaukee Thomas seemed to always be around the ball and chipped in with four tackles but it seemed like a lot more. Grade A+: What grade would you expect when the starting QB has a rating of zero.
Brian Moorman handled the winds nicely with a 38.7 yard average and four of his seven punts went inside the 20. Terrence McGee had only one kickoff return chance and it was a short kick, he returned it for 10 yards. Rian Lindell hit all three extra points. Roscoe Parrish lost 13 yards on an ill conceived scramble that almost was a safety. He rebounded to get 35 yards on his other two returns. The coverage team held the dangerous Welker to 20.3 yard avg. on three kickoff returns and 5.5 yard avg on two punt returns, including a -1 yard return when he was hit by Jabari Greer immediately after catching the ball. Grade B: Did their job in this game.
Dick Jauron had his team ready to play. Perry Fewell didn't wait until halftime to make the adjustments this week, making them in the first quarter. They knew how to play the winds and it was a nearly perfect win. Grade A+: Has this team headed in the right direction.
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