Week 3: Defense Lets Bills Down
Offense comes alive while Defense gets burned.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Ryan Fitzpatrick looked very good most of the game completing 20 of 28 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. His two interceptions were killers. He moved around in the pocket well and wasn't afraid to take a chance.
Grade B+: The team at least knows they have a quarterback who can move the ball.
Marshawn Lynch ran hard and led the team with 79 yards on 13 carries. He could have easily had a 100 yard game if he carried the ball more.
C.J. Spiller is electric with the ball in his hands and it was on display on his touchdown catch in the 2nd quarter setup by his 19 yard run. His blocking needs work, he was beaten on a safety blitz when he didn't even see the guy run past him. He had 29 yards on just four carries. He added three catches for 10 yards and the score.
Fred Jackson was the odd man out as he had just four carries for 8 yards and no catches.
Corey McIntyre did a nice job in run blocking.
Grade A-: Could have had more yards but were underutilized a bit. Averaged 5.6 yards on the ground.
Lee Evans Had five catches for 54 yards. The most active he's been all year. Couldn't pull in a third pass that was high and a bit behind him.
Roscoe Parrish Had a great game as the number two receiver. Had five catches for 83 yards including a big 31 yard catch and run and 3rd and 19 conversion for 20 yards.
Steve Johnson woke up thanks to his demotion to number three. He had three catches for 66 yards including a 37 yard touchdown. He did take a bonehead penalty for excessive celebration on his score.
David Nelson was thrown to twice but did not catch a pass.
Jonathan Stupar had three catches for 27 yards a nice 9 yard average.
Grade B+: The unit isn't that bad when they have someone who can get them the ball.
Demetrius Bell got a false start penalty on the first play after New England's first touchdown. Not the way you want to start a big drive. He also was beaten for a sack when he went the wrong way that short circuited the Bills second field goal drive.
Cornell Green was called for holding in the first half then had a terrible false start penalty on a huge third down play in the third quarter. The penalty cost the Bills a shot at a first down and then Lindell missed from 51 yards out.
Eric Wood was taken out for a series in the 2nd quarter.
Kraig Urbik played for Wood in that series.
Cordaro Howard saw time at both tackle positions during some first half shuffling.
Grade B-: Only one sack given up but there was a lot of pressure on Fitzpatrick. They did open up holes in the running game.
Kyle Williams came alive on the final Patriots drive with a sack and a batted down pass. He had four tackles in all.
Marcus Stroud struggled especially against the run and struggled getting any push in the passing game. Had three quiet tackles.
Dwan Edwards very quietly had six tackles.
Spencer Johnson had only two tackles.
Torell Troup had a tackle in limited duty.
Grade F: Gave up huge holes in the running game and got virtually no pressure on Brady.
Andra Davis had six tackles.
Chris Kelsay had four tackles but was very slow in pass coverage.
Reggie Torbor had three tackles with one of them coming behind the line of scrimmage.
Chris Ellis didn't play much since the Bills had a passing defense on the field most of the game.
Keith Ellison was faked out of his cleats on a key pass on the Pats first scoring drive. He had four tackles
Aaron Maybin played a lot to try and get pressure on the quarterback. He never got close enough to Brady to say hello. Had four quiet tackles.
Akin Ayodele played more this week and was in on five tackles.
Grade D: Gave up way too many yards in the middle of the field.
Terrence McGee was the best of the corners in coverage.
Drayton Florence was beaten on Pats first touchdown by a beautiful play fake. Moss got a couple of steps on him for the score. Did force a fumble. Was beaten by Hernandez for a 13 yard completion to put the Pats in field goal range on the final play of the first
half. He had five tackles.
Leodis McKelvin had good coverage on Moss on one 2nd quarter play. He then took the ball away from him during a scrum on a fumble. Was beaten for a 29 yard pass to Tate just before halftime to setup a field goal.
Jairus Byrd was the last guy with the ball to recover the first takeaway of the year for the Bills defense.
Donte Whitner was beaten on a 21 yard pass by the TE Gronkowski. Had one hard tackle of his game high 10 tackles.
Bryan Scott played more in this game than the first two because of the Pats passing game. He sniffed out a screen play and made the play for loss. He was beaten by Gronkowksi for the Pats second third quarter touchdown. He had eight tackles.
Reggie Corner was burned twice in coverage.
Grade F: Worst game in a couple of years for this unit.
Brian Moorman had an off day but a quiet day as well. He only had one punt and it went for 33 yards.
Rian Lindell nailed field goals from 39 yards out twice and hit a 34 yarder. He missed wide left from 51.
Roscoe Parrish only had one punt return for three yards.
C.J. Spiller returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score. Had five returns total for 189 yards, a whopping 37.8 yard average.
Coverage Units allowed an average of 20.1 yards on seven kickoff returns.
Grade A-: Spiller's score was a highlight, missed field goal cost them.
Chan Gailey stuck with Lynch and Fitzpatrick and the offense showed life. Should have used more play action and should have run the ball more often.
George Edwards had no answers from the Patriots in the air or on the ground. They gave up 200 yards rushing and 252 yards receiving.
Bruce DeHaven has his unit humming as they constantly hemmed in the return game while C.J. exploded.
Grade B: Got the team ready to give the Patriots a game. When will they get them over the hump?
Patriots Game Preview