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Week 11: Defense Covered Up For Offense Early
All three units never clicked at the same time.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Trent Edwards was just awful as his regression to rock bottom continues. He threw three interceptions in his first six passes. He had receivers open all over the field deep but never took a shot that way. Grade F: He is just playing scared.

Running Backs:

Marshawn Lynch had a huge breakout game rushing for 119 yards on 23 carries and added a whopping 10 receptions for 58 yards and a score. Fred Jackson added a nice five yards per carry averaged on 12 attempts and had two long runs on the Bills 2nd quarter touchdown drive. He had a critical fumble in the 2nd half though. Corey McIntyre did some nice blocking. Grade A: 186 yards rushing from this unit.

Receivers:

Lee Evans didn't have a catch but he was open deep on numerous plays. Roscoe Parrish had one catch for 21 yards and it came early in the first quarter. James Hardy didn't catch a pass. Steve Johnson led all receivers with three catches for 41 yards but he had a big third down drop. Robert Royal and Derek Fine had one catch apiece. Grade F: Six catches from this unit and half of them from the 7th round draft pick while the 2nd round pick has none.

Offensive Line:

The line had it's best game of the season as they averaged 4.9 yards on the ground rushing and Edwards wasn't sacked and only pressured a few times. Brad Butler's return may have made a big difference. Duke Preston struggled with Shaun Rogers. Grade B: They did their job finally.

Defensive Line:

Very little pressure from this unit as only Marcus Stroud seemed to make plays. He had five tackles including one for a loss and knocked down two passes and had one QB hit. Ryan Denney had one tackle while Chris Kelsay had no stats. Kyle Williams had a quiet five tackles. Spencer Johnson had a QB hit. John McCargo was inactive. Grade D: This unit may be the worst unit on the team right now.

Linebackers:

Paul Posluszny had a quiet six tackles. Kawika Mitchell was very active as he was used on blitzes most of the night and had three quarterback hits including one sack and five tackles. Keith Ellison led the way with eight tackles. Grade C: Average day for this unit.

Secondary:

This unit did a decent job in pass coverage considering Donte Whitner didn't play in the second half and Jabari Greer got hurt in the first half. That forced Loedis McKelvin into the game and he did ok in coverage but couldn't come up with a crucial interception that would have locked up the game for the Bills. Terrence McGee played very well with six tackles and a whoppping six passes defensed. Bryan Scott had two passes defensed and four tackles. Ko Simpson picked off a pass but it was overturned by replay. Grade B: Decent job in coverage.

Special Teams:

Leodis McKelvin had a 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown and ran for 87 yards on his other two returns. Brian Moorman punted three times and none of them returned. They averaged only 36 yards but two went inside the 20. Rian Lindell hit 26 and 31 yard field goals but missed the all important 47 yarder at the end. Roscoe Parrish had a 34 yard punt return. Fred Jackson fumbled his lone attempt but recovered. Joshua Cribbs was held to a 21.3 yard average on three kickoff returns. Grade B: Lindell's miss was the only blemish but it was a big blemish.

Coaching:

Dick Jauron showed no faith in Edwards but settling for a 47 yard field goal attempt at the end instead of trying to get closer. Perry Fewell had his unit defending the short pass better by using some good blitz schemes but they still struggled to get to the quarterback. Turk Schonert is in love with the passing game. Why spread the field and pass it on 3rd and 1 in the first quarter with the QB struggling. The result another interception and another field goal for Cleveland. Grade F: They need to have some guts to mix it up.



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