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Week 8: Bumbling Fourth Quarter Offense Leads To Loss
Fourth quarter turnover woes and lapses on defense killed Bills chances.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Trent Edwards had nice touch on his passes on the opening possession but struggled for most of the rest of the first half with some inaccurate throws. He moved the team well in spurts but had two very costly fourth quarter turnovers with an interception when his arm was hit as he threw. The next series he fumbled while he was stretching for a first down on a third and one sneak. He also had two sacks where he held the ball too long including the safety in the fourth quarter which he also fumbled the ball. Grade F: Came crashing back to earth.

Running Backs:

Marshawn Lynch was used more in the passing game but he dropped a third down screen that could have went for big yardage. He would get many passes thrown to him as he caught five passes in the game. He also had more success running the ball as he got 61 yards on just 13 carries. His eight yard touchdown run was a thing of beauty as he bobbed and weaved his way into the end zone. Fred Jackson got a few more carries than usual as he had 10 for 41 yards but he wasn't used in the passing game too much. Corey McIntyre was in to block on some occasions. Grade B: The back played pretty well.

Receivers:

Lee Evans made a nice 28 yard reception on the opening series which started him on a seven catch, 116 yard day. Josh Reed converted a third down with his 10 yard catch deep in their own territory. He broke two tackles to get the first down. He didn't play in the 2nd half because of an injury and Roscoe Parrish did not step up as he caught only one ball. James Hardy made a nice 14 yard catch while being well covered on the first drive but made only one more catch. Robert Royal dropped a couple of passes than fumbled the ball away on a third down completion to put the exclamation point on the second half collapse. Derek Schouman had one catch. Derek Fine was active for the first time this year but didn't have a pass thrown to him. Grade B-: .

Offensive Line:

Brad Butler missed the game with a knee injury and was replaced in the starting lineup by Jason Whittle who left the game late. Melvin Fowler was active but Duke Preston started. Preston moved over to right guard late in the game and Fowler came in to play center. Preston did a nice job but his unnecessary roughness penalty that made Lindell hit a longer field goal. Derrick Dockery got called for holding that brought back a long Edwards run late in the game. They did a better job in run blocking and the two sacks were coverage sacks. Grade B: Played a good game in the loss.

Defensive Line:

Aaron Schobel missed his second straight game and was replaced by Ryan Denney. He had great pressure on a third down pass attempt that forced a punt but was called for roughing the passer in the second half. Copeland Bryan had a big knock down of a third down pass to force Miami to settle for a third quarter field goal. Chris Kelsay was very quiet with just one tackle. Marcus Stroud was banged up early but returned in time to be called for an offsides penalty. Kyle Williams was a bit quiet as was Spencer Johnson and John McCargo They did a decent job against the normal offense but gave up holes in the wildcat formation. Grade C: Didn't get any pressure on Pennington.

Linebackers:

Paul Posluszny forced a 2nd quarter fumble that was recovered by Keith Ellison to setup a 2nd quarter field goal. Ellison also had a big open field tackle on Ricky Williams to help thwart a late first half Miami drive. Both players had seven tackles. Kawika Mitchell had six tackles. Grade B-: The three men in the middle were active.

Secondary:

Terrence McGee returned to action after missing two weeks and really struggled. Pennington picked on him early and often. He got beat deep for a 46 yard reception on the first play of the game. He then got beat for a six yard gain on the 2nd play. Ginn Jr. also beat him for 17 yards on the second offensive series. Camarillo beat him for a 10 yard gain late in the first half. Ginn than beat him again on a 64 yard slant and run to setup a Miami field goal in the third quarter. Ginn continued to burn him with a 19 yard catch late in the third. Leodis McKelvin didn't see much time on defense as Donte Whitner played in the slot in the nickel. Jabari Greer had a huge tackle for a loss to make Miami settle for a long field goal attempt that was blocked. Ashton Youboty did not play. Bryan Scott got the start at strong safety and made a great sideline to sideline play on a wild third and on run by Williams that ended in a four yard loss. He also had a huge sack of Chad Pennington in the third quarter to force Miami to settle for a field goal. Grade F: Gave up way too many big plays.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman did a great job in just getting his first punt away after Ryan Neill's snap went over his head into the end zone. You can't blame Blake Costanzo for getting called illegally being downfield on that wild play. Moorman had a nice 56 yard punt in the third quarter that went out of bounds. John Wendling got called for a block in the back. Langston Walker blocked a field goal attempt breaking the longest drought in the league. Rian Lindell was Mr. Automatic as usual as he hit a 19 yard field goal then calmly drilled kicks of 43 and 47 yards before halftime. There were no punt return yardages and they averaged under 20 yards per kickoff return. Grade C: Lindell was the star but the rest of the unit didn't do anything to help the struggling offense and defense.

Coaching:

Dick Jauron's decision to kick a field goal on fourth and goal at the one in the 1st quarter was the right call. They had to get points on that drive but didn't necessarily need the 7 since it was so early. Perry Fewell did not have his crew ready for the wildcat formation. There were too many holes for Ronnie Brown to run through from behind the center. They also had no answer for Ted Ginn Jr. and never gave McGee help when he clearly needed it as he didn't look to be 100%. Turk Schonert probably should have tried to run more especially since it was working. Grade F: Didn't have a good scheme to win this game.



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