Week 9: Bills Defense Wears Down In Loss
Offensive turnovers and a collapsing defense leads to another loss.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Trent Edwards made two crucial turnovers in the first quarter with a fumble and a 91 yard interception return for a touchdown. The two turnovers gave the Jets 10 of their 13 first quarter points. He's got to feel the blitz on the play that resulted in the early fumble. He did a nice job in play action on the opening 42 yard screen pass. He showed strength in getting away from a defender to throw a pass that resulted in a first down pass interference penalty. He seemed to be unsteady in the pocket and threw a second interception for good measure late. He had a career high 289 yards but that is because they were playing from behind. Grade F: He wanted to get the bad taste out of his mouth from the Miami game but now he'll need plenty of mouthwash.
Marshawn Lynch had an impact on the very first play with a 42 yard screen pass and run. He also had another nice run for a first down but was slowed with nausea for a good portion of the game. He made a valiant effort to stop the Jets from scoring on the first quarter interception. Fred Jackson dropped a screen pass that may have went for a touchdown but did make a few plays just not enough. Corey McIntyre caught a poorly thrown screen pass but lost a yard on the play. He did little to open holes for the running game on the few plays he was in the game. Grade D: 31 yards on 16 carries from the backs...ugh.
Lee Evans struggled to beat a constant double team. He only caught four passes for 41 yards and fumbled once. Two of those catches came in garbage time. With Josh Reed out Roscoe Parrish and James Hardy had to step it up...They didn't. Parrish had a nice catch to convert a third and long but slipped down on the interception return for a score. He had three catches for 51 yards. Hardy didn't catch a ball and the only pass thrown his way was picked off in the end zone late in the game. Steve Johnson caught one pass. Justin Jenkins played special teams only. Robert Royal couldn't hold on to a pass near the goal line but played well leading the team with five catches for 70 yards. Derek Fine had his first career catches pulling in four balls including the only offensive touchdown when he was wide open in the end zone. Grade D: Didn't get open consistently. They really missed Reed.
The unit gave up five sacks and didn't open up any holes in the running game. Duke Preston appears to officially be the starter at center as he took the place of a now healthy Melvin Fowler. He got called for an illegal snap. Jason Whittle started for the injured left guard Brad Butler and was beaten for one of the sacks that knocked Edwards a bit woozy. Jason Peters did a nice job in pass protection but was called for a big false start penalty in the third quarter that took the sails out of a Bills drive in the third quarter. Grade F: This unit is the biggest disappointment of the first half of the season.
Ryan Denney made two good plays on the Jets opening possession. He batted down a pass and sniffed out a second screen and then he pretty much disappeared the rest of the game. He started again for Aaron Schobel and had two passes defensed. Chris Kelsay was quiet again which is sounding like a broken record. He had one tackle and very little pressure. Marcus Stroud had his worst game as a Bills as there were many holes for the running game especially on the final drive when a stop would have given the Bills a chance. Kyle Williams had three tackles and a pressure. Spencer Johnson had two tackles. Grade F: Manhandled with the game on the line.
Paul Posluszny had a big stop for a loss that setup a missed Jets field goal just before halftime. He led the team with nine tackles. Kawika Mitchell had seven tackles while Keith Ellison had three. Grade D: Didn't do anything to slow down the short slant passes. They were overly agressive on the screens.
Terrence McGee looked much healthier this week than he did last week against the Dolphins. He had seven tackles and wasn't beaten too much. Leodis McKelvin didn't play much on defense. Ashton Youboty was out for a third straight game forcing Donte Whitner to play some corner again. He had good coverage on a third down incompletion that still should have been caught. It forced the Jets to take an opening drive field goal. He finished with four tackles. Bryan Scott made another huge stop in the running game with a third and inches tackle for loss in the first quarter forcing a punt. He had three tackles. Jabari Greer had his second interception return for a score this season and had a nice pass breakup on a long pass from Favre to Coles. He is the lockdown corner. Ko Simpson didn't slow down Leon Washington on a 40 yard screen pass on the opening drive and just seemed a step behind. Grade D: Gave up too many slants. Why can't they use some press coverage?
How the coverage units handled Washington was a big concern. They allowed a 40 yard return on the opening kickoff but only averaged 15 yards on his other two kick returns. Leodis McKelvin responded with a 44 yard kickoff of his own after the Jets got a field goal on Washington's return. He averaged 25.6 yards on seven returns. Brian Moorman only had one punt and he shanked it but got a good bounce for a 39 yard kick. Rian Lindell hit a 53 yard field goal but then kicked it out of bounds thanks to a heads up play by Washington to touch the sidelines then picking up the ball. Lindell then missed one from 43 yards. Roscoe Parrish didn't get a chance to return the only punt by the Jets. Bryan Scott got called for a holding penalty on a fake field goal. Grade C-: Another average effort from what is just an average unit.
Teams have been beating the Bills defense with the short passing game for four weeks. Why can't they come up with a way to stop it? Dick Jauron's decision to go for it on 4th and 1 made sense. His challenge on the Jets ensuing possession was not as Coles clearly caught the ball. Two twelve men on the field penalties is inexcusable. Turk Schonert's offense seemed out of sync much of the day as they burned three timeouts, dropped some balls, and had turnovers and penalties. They didn't have an answer for the blitz by Darrelle Revis that resulted in a big fumble. The third and inches pass attempt didn't work maybe they should have ran it twice to get to first and goal. A second gamble to fake a punt worked after a review but a penalty forced them to punt anyway. Perry Fewell's defense had no answers for the Jets screen passes. Grade F: Coaching has been abysmal since Jauron got his new deal.
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