Week 14: All Around Effort Leads To Big Win
All three units do their part to keep Miami winless.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Trent Edwards became the first Bills QB in three years to throw four touchdown passes in one game. He had a nice play action fake on the first touchdown pass to Royal in the first quarter. Hit him in stride for the second touchdown, although Royal almost dropped it. He then hit Lee Evans for the next two scores. The fade in the end zone was a perfect throw as was the 70 yard bomb for a score. Edwards showed on that play that he can throw the deep ball as the pass was perfectly thrown. He managed a good game as well although he only completed 11 of 23 passes. He had one terribly thrown ball that could have been picked up and misfired on a deep pass to Parrish. Grade A: Breakout effort that we've been waiting for from him.
Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson proved to be a great duo as they both went over 100 yards. Lynch suffered his first fumble as a Bill. He was trying to get extra yards on a running play and had the ball stripped out. It gave Miami hope as they drove for a score. Lynch almost suffered a fumble in the first half but replay overturned the call. He finished with 107 yards on 23 carries. He then gave way to Jackson to finish his 115 yard day. He also dropped a screen pass but ran hard on the Bills second touchdown drive, his 27 yard run setup the score. Grade A+: Two 100 yard performances in one game was nice to see.
Lee Evans showed some chemistry with Edwards as he caught two passes both for touchdowns. His first one was a nice catch as he barely got both feet down inbounds. It took replay to give him the score. His 70 yard bomb was a perfectly thrown pass as Evans got behind the defense. He was called for a holding penalty that nullified a nice Lynch run. Roscoe Parrish couldn't hold on to a third down pass by Edwards that forced a punt in the third quarter as Miami was stealing the momentum. He only had one catch for one yard. Josh Reed seems to becoming Edwards go to receiver in big spots. He hit him for 16 yards to setup the first score and a 12 yarder on third and one late in the first quarter. Reed's blemish was an illegal motion penalty. He had a nice block on Jackson's long 1st quarter run. You know it was a wild start when Robert Royal has two touchdown receptions in the first quarter! He did almost drop the 2nd one on a perfect pass from Edwards but he brought it down after juggling it. He couldn't pull in a 2nd down pass in the third quarter. Michael Gaines had one catch for three yards. Grade A: Nice job in big spots.
The line is really becoming a very nice cohesive unit as they are one of only three units in the league to have all the same starters for every game. They allowed no sacks as Edwards was only hit really once. The run blocking has improved as they churned out 224 yards for a 5.6 yard average. Langston Walker was called for an illegal man downfield penalty taking away a screen for a first down to Lynch. Grade A: Solid job for improving unit.
Aaron Schobel was called for an offsides penalty but made up for it with a pressure later in the same drive forcing a third down incompletion. He had a sack, two quarterback hits, forced a fumble and defended a pass. Ryan Denney had a sack on the first series as he continues to gut it out on his ailing foot. He also had a QB hit and a fumble recovery. Anthony Hargrove will not be on Cleo Lemon's holiday card list. He hit him hard forcing an interception and then threw him down hard on a sack on the next possession. He also dropped Gado for a two yard loss in the fourth quarter. Jon McCargo was in on three tackles but otherwise quiet. Larry Tripplett continued his solid play of late as he shared a sack with Kyle Williams and knocked a pass away from Lemon in the fourth quarter. Grade A: Got pressure and kept the running game at bay.
John DiGiorgio was called for a five yard facemask penalty that helped lead to Miami's 2nd touchdown. He also whiffed on a tackle attempt on Sam Gado as he took a short pass for 35 yards as Miami tried to mount a comeback in the third quarter. He helped end any chance of that with a pass deflection on a fourth down play in the fourth quarter. Keith Ellison couldn't hold on to two potential interceptions. Angelo Crowell had a quiet day with just two tackles and one pass defensed. Grade B: Did their share in the rout.
Terrence McGee made back to back big plays. He knocked a pass away in the end zone then picked off a pass on the next play. Ashton Youboty got some playing time and had three tackles and a QB hit. George Wilson was in the right place at the right time when he picked John Beck's fumble out of midair and went untouched into the end zone for a touchdown. He had a nice tackle of Ginn Jr. to force a punt but was one of the players beaten by him on a 55 yard reception on Cleo Lemon's first pass when he replaced the ineffective Beck. He was hurt and replaced by Jim Leonhard who had four tackles. Donte Whitner had a big interception to setup a Buffalo touchdown. Jabari Greer was called for pass interference on a fourth down pass but also had a big pass breakup in the fourth quarter. Grade B: Gave up some plays but made many more.
Brian Moorman averaged only 37.2 yards on six punts but three went inside the 20. Rian Lindell hit his team record setting 18th straight field goal and it may have been his toughest one. His 51 yard field goal was with sleet and freezing rain coming down. The streak ended when he missed from 46 in the third quarter. Terrence McGee got things started nicely with a 38 yard kickoff return, it was his only return. Roscoe Parrish had an electrifying punt return for a score called back by a holding penalty. He ended up with two returns for seven yards. John Wendling had a big recovery of a muffed punt. Justin Jenkins had a nice open field tackle on a punt return for no yards. Sam Aiken made the recovery on Miami's third quarter onside kick attempt. Grade A: Made a statement after some lackluster performances of late.
Dick Jauron continues his good run in replay challenges. He was 2 for 2 in the first half and both were huge plays. The first one kept possession after they ruled Lynch Fumbled. The second one resulted in Evans' touchdown reception in the 2nd quarter. He did lose his third challenge on a pass reception late in the game and was called for a penalty for trying to challenge a play when he was out of challenges. He helped let Miami try to get back into the game by playing it safe after the big early lead. They literally ran out the clock in the final minute of the first half instead of actively trying to score. They tried a 4th and 1 long field goal attempt instead of going for it. Lindell missed and Miami maintained momentum. The team stuck together and used a solid gameplan of downfield throws mixed in with a good one two punch on the ground to get the big win. Grade A: Deserves the grade with biggest win of the year.
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