Week 17: Offense Stinks It Up In Philly
Another poor performance as they go without a TD.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Trent Edwards was inaccurate in the first quarter. He was out of sync with Lee Evans leading him too much on a slant pass and under throwing him on a bomb when he had a step on his man. In the 2nd quarter he showed some good mobility in avoiding the pass rush and made some nice throws on the run including a third down conversion on a pass to Fred Jackson while he was getting leveled. He had a bad intentional grounding penalty. In the fourth quarter when the ball was wet from rain he started sailing his passes over his receivers heads. He finished 16 of 30 for just 133 yards and a 65.0 QB rating. Grade F: Seemed hesitant to throw the ball downfield.
Marshawn Lynch had some big runs, none bigger than his 56 yard run in third quarter. He also had some big stops as he went for negative eight yards the rest of the way. Among the down plays were a 9 yard loss in the red zone and back to back stops on third and one and fourth and one in the red zone. Lynch did finish with 105 yards and a 22 yard reception. Fred Jackson made a nice catch to convert a third down in the 2nd quarter. He had a fumble overturned by replay and finished with a team leading six receptions but for just 24 yards. He had 16 yards on five carries. Grade C-: Despite a couple of nice plays, they couldn't do it in the clutch.
The wide receivers weren't getting any separation from the defensive backs forcing Edwards to go to his third and fourth reads. Lee Evans was the only wide receiver to catch a pass in the first half and it went for 2 yards when he needed 4 and he was knocked out of the game on the play. Sam Aiken replaced him and caught his first pass of the season. The wideouts caught only four passes all game long! Roscoe Parrish had one catch as did Josh Reed. The tight ends were the last option and were the only one's making plays in the passing game. Robert Royal led the team with 31 yards receiving on three receptions. Michael Gaines had two catches for 17 yards. Grade D-: An F- for the wide receivers and a C+ for the tight ends.
The line gave Edwards time to go through a series of reads for the most part although he was pressured on many plays but managed to avoid getting sacked at all. Derrick Dockery was called for a false start penalty. Kirk Chambers got his first career start for the injured Jason Peters. He made a nice block on a 12 yard run by Lynch in the 2nd quarter FG drive and did well against the Eagles leading sack man Trent Cole. They did lead the way to an average of 4.6 yards a carry but couldn't get a yard on two straight runs in the red zone. Grade C: Handled blitzes ok but at times sputtered as well.
Aaron Schobel was beaten downfield deep on a pass to Bryan Westbrook. Why was he covering him? He also brought Westbrook down in the open field on a screen pass for a loss. He finished with four tackles. Jon McCargo had a sack when he ran down McNabb on the edge and shared another sack with Chris Kelsay who also tipped a pass on the Eagles 2nd possession. Larry Tripplett had two tackles. Kyle Williams had one. Grade A: Got good pressure and kept the running game at bay most of the game.
John DiGiorgio and Keith Ellison both recorded sacks. DiGiorgio had help from Ellison on his sack on the first play from scrimmage. Ellison got one of his own on a blitz late in the first half. DiGiorgio recovered a fumble but the Bills offense couldn't turn it into points. Angelo Crowell had a hard hit on Bryan Westbrook to force an incompletion in the red zone. He put good pressure on McNabb forcing an interception by Youboty on the next series. Grade A: Also had a solid game rushing the passer and stopping the run.
Terrence McGee was beaten by Kevin Curtis for an 11 yard completion on third and 8 just before halftime. Jabari Greer was beaten on a few plays as well. Ashton Youboty got called for a critical pass interference penalty on a third down incompletion in the red zone. It was a ticky tack call but allowed the Eagles the chance to score their first touchdown. He made up for it on the next series by picking off a pass near the end zone. He also came untouched on a blitz on the next series but couldn't bring McNabb down and it turned into a 26 yard pass play that saw Jim Leonhard getting beat by Greg Lewis, it led to a field goal. Leonhard started at free safety and did a nice job in keeping Reggie Brown in front of him on an end around. Bryan Scott got the start at strong safety for the ill Donte Whitner. He was out of his gap on a 19 yard run by Westbrook on the Eagles 1st TD drive. He forced a third quarter fumble that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by the Eagles. Grade D: The 345 yards passing by McNabb really brought down the defensive grade.
Brian Moorman put two of five punts inside the 20 and averaged 42.4 yards a punt with a 37.8 yard net. Rian Lindell hit on all three field goal attempts from 29, 23, and 22 yards. Terrence McGee returned one kickoff for 19 yards. Roscoe Parrish had 24 yards on one kickoff return and a 23 yard punt return. His other three punt returns totaled 11 yards. Grade B: Nothing great but no miscues like previous weeks.
The team didn't run for the bus but the Offense barely got off the bus. Why run the ball on the last play of the first half? At least try a hail mary. Somebody needs to let Steve Fairchild know on his way to Colorado St. that you are allowed to throw the ball into the end zone. 3rd and goal at the 8 down by 11 with nothing to lose... you run a draw??? The blitz package by Perry Fewell was used more than any game all year and it allowed them to get constant pressure on Donovan McNabb against a top rated offensive line. Dick Jauron's replay challenge of Lynch's fourth down stop was grasping at straws and cost them a timeout. He had a successful replay challenge a bit later after they called a fumble on Fred Jackson but over ruled it. Grade D: Another season finale loss.
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