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Week 5: Takeaways Were Key To Victory
Defense gives up huge chunks of yards but makes big plays.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick did a nice job going to the short passing game. He completed 21 of 27 passes for 193 yards. Threw a nice touchdown pass but also had one interception.
Brad Smith ran the ball a few times out of the wildcat and had some success especially on his touchdown run.
Grade B+: Ran an efficient game plan.

Running Backs:

Fred Jackson did it all on the ground and through the air as he ran for 111 yards on 26 carries and had 85 yards on six catches. He had a big 49 yard gain on a screen pass setting up the Bills second touchdown.
C.J. Spiller only touched the ball four times and had 16 yards.
Grade A: Jackson is the team's best player.

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson had a quiet day with just four catches for 29 yards.
Donald Jones had a nice 18 yard catch and run to convert a third down. He hurt his ankle on his second catch and did not return.
David Nelson moved outside after the injury to Jones and scored a TD on a nice slant pattern, it was his only catch.
Scott Chandler had one catch for four yards.
Naaman Roosevelt played a bigger role than usual after Jones went out. He had five catches for 41 yards to lead the receiving corps.
Grade B-: Didn't win the game for this team but didn't have too many chances.

Offensive Line:

Chris Hairston did a nice job in pass protection and run blocking. He graded out very well in his first career start.
Grade A-: Gave Fitz time to throw. Gave up one sack and that was a coverage sack.

Defensive Line:

Kyle Williams was slowed by an ankle injury and was a non factor.
Marcell Dareus got one good pressure on Vick but was relatively quiet.
Spencer Johnson had two tackles and was getting good pressure from the outside linebacker spot.
Alex Carrington tipped a pass that was picked off. He then had a tackle for loss and a QB hit on one of Vick's interceptions. Best game of his career.
Grade B: Did a good job getting pressure on Vick and did a decent job in containment.

Linebackers:

Shawne Merriman got a sack when he tackling Vick from behind but did nothing else.
Arthur Moats had a big hit on Vick forcing his second interception and three tackles.
Kelvin Sheppard got the most playing time of his young career playing a lot on the inside. He blitzed on one play but couldn't get to Vick who completed a 21 yarder. He then got pressure on Vick forcing his third pick that was returned for a score.
Danny Batten made a terrible mistake when he clearly roughed Vick after throwing a third down incompletion. The first down led to an Eagles touchdown.
Nick Barnett picked off a pass and returned it for a score. Then picked off a pass that helped clinch the win.
Grade B: Allowed huge chunks of yards in the middle of the field but made big plays.

Secondary:

Terrence McGee was active but did not play.
Leodis McKelvin was not burned and made four tackles.
Drayton Florence knocked down one pass and helped force the game clinching pick.
Jairus Byrd had a great tackle for loss on Philly's second series. Had a huge forced fumble and recovery when he raked the ball out of Avant's hands after a big catch. Finished with eight tackles.
George Wilson had four tackles on the first five plays. Did a nice job early in run defense. On Philly's 2nd possession he knocked a pass away and then had an interception. He knocked down a third down pass forcing the Eagles to punt. He finished with 11 tackles.
Bryan Scott had a quiet four tackle game as Wilson did more freelancing than he did.
Reggie Corner was beaten on 4th and inches play on the opening drive but made up for it on the next play with a diving interception. He then was beaten on a 3rd and 14 pass for a big gainer.
Grade B: Didn't give up big plays to receivers down the field.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman averaged 50.2 yards on five punts including having one downed at the 2.
Rian Lindell hit his one field goal from 25 yards out and all four extra points.
Brad Smith had two kickoff returns for 38 yards. Ran one out of the end zone and was tackled inside the 10.
Coverage Units Corey McIntyre was called for a face mask penalty on a touchback punt. They only had a net of three yards on that punt. Allowed two punt returns for 27 yards and a 19.5 yard average and kick returns.
Grade B+: Did their job as they are the most consistent unit on the team.

Coaching:

Chan Gailey did a nice job adjusting to losing Jones and mixed in the short passing game with Jackson's runs well. He kept with the screen passes a little too long.
George Edwards doesn't seem to have an answer in stopping big gainers but does have the team using incredible ball hawking skills.
Bruce DeHaven had another fine game out of his unit.
Grade B+: Got the win that most thought they wouldn't.



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