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Week 10: Defense Stumbles In Another New England Loss
7 of 9 meaningful drives went for scores for Patriots.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick had his biggest game statistically of the year but he will be remembered for the interception at the end. Graham took the blame but it doesn't really matter since he had Spiller open. This wild game makes people forget his early game fumble gave the Pats seven points. Two turnovers make a 14 point swing.
Grade B+: Nice stats throwing for 337 yards on 27 of 40 passing.

Running Backs:

Fred Jackson ran hard and with a purpose unfortunately he fumbled twice, one was recovered by New England at the one yard line after he ran hard for a first down. The Bills recovered his second fumble and he was injured on the play. He finished with 80 yards rushing on 35 receiving.
C.J. Spiller was the best player on the field but didn't touch the ball enough. He only had 9 carries but gained 70 yards and added 61 yards on four receptions.
Grade A: Best one-two punch in the league.

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson had six catches for 86 yards.
Donald Jones had six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. He couldn't come down with a high pass late in the game, he got hurt on the play.
T.J. Graham said he ran the wrong route on the fateful interception. Took the blame but shows he is not NFL ready. He had one catch.
Scott Chandler had his best game in a while with five catches for 65 yards and a return to the end zone for the big tight end.
Lee Smith was called for a false start penalty on 3rd and 1 on the opening possession.
Grade B: Nice day for this unit.

Offensive Line:

Eric Wood was called for a holding penalty.
Andy Levitre was the only member of this line not to get called for a penalty.
Kraig Urbik had a false start penalty on the Bills opening possession.
Cordy Glenn was called for holding that negated a third down conversion.
Chris Hairston was called for a bad holding penalty on what would have been 4th and inches or first and goal. The penalty halted a promising drive and had to settle for a field goal.
Grade D: Opened up holes for the running game but too many penalties and QB pressures.

Defensive Line:

Mario Williams had a nice open field tackle otherwise you wouldn't have known he played.
Marcell Dareus deflected a pass that should have been intercepted. He was in on a sack with Kyle Williams when they got a good push up the middle to force a punt early in the 3rd.
Kyle Williams was in with Dareus on a big sack of Brady to force a punt on the 2nd half's opening possession. Had a big tackle for a loss.
Kyle Moore was a non factor in the pass rush or the running game.
Spencer Johnson was in on two tackles.
Shawne Merriman didn't even hit the stat sheet.
Alex Carrington had two tackles one for a loss.
Grade D: There were holes up the middle and not enough pressure.

Linebackers:

Nick Barnett had only six tackles and was pretty quiet.
Kelvin Sheppard wasn't used much and didn't have a tackle.
Nigel Bradham no stats for him as well.
Bryan Scott dropped a sure interception on a deflected pass on the Pats first possession.
Grade F: This unit is historically bad.

Secondary:

Stephon Gilmore was called for pass interference on the Pats first TD drive. He was then called for a face mask penalty and a pass interference in the end zone on the Pats third TD drive.
Leodis McKelvin couldn't hold on to a sure interception on the Pats first drive. His pass breakup on the play held the Pats to a field goal.
Justin Rogers beaten badly by Welker for a sure first quarter TD but he dropped it.
Jairus Byrd also was in on the injury parade being called for a pass interference penalty that allowed a Patriots drive to continue.
George Wilson was called for pass interference in the end zone on a 1st quarter pass for Gronkowski..
Da'Norris Searcy had a tackle for loss on a blitz.
Grade F: Terrible game with incredibly sloppy play.

Special Teams:

Shawn Powell had two punts for a 50 yard net.
Rian Lindell hit a 41 yard field goal early in the 2nd quarter and hit his four extra points while kicking off very well.
Leodis McKelvin had one kickoff return for 21 yards from his own end zone and no punt returns.
Brad Smith had a 13 yard kickoff return.
Tashard Choice was called for an illegal block in the back penalty.
Coverage Units Ron Brooks was called for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when he ran out of bounds intentionally supposedly.
Grade B: Didn't cost the team the game.

Coaching:

Chan Gailey did not give the ball to Spiller enough. He was open on the fateful interception play. Why go to Graham there if you don't have confidence in going to him earlier in the game? Another coaching out thinking himself. Has to take the hit for the lack of discipline for all those penalties.
Dave Wannstedt finally made in game adjustments as the Bills held the Patriots to just two fourth quarter field goals. Unfortunately they gave up 31 points before hand. It was too little too late for this pathetic unit.
Bruce DeHaven used high shorter kickoffs to his advantage as the Patriots returns were stopped inside the 20 twice.
Grade F: 3-6 when they were suppose to challenge for a playoff spot is unexcusable.



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