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Week 8: Four Takeaways Powers Defense To Victory
Offense and Special Teams made plays in complete team win.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Tyrod Taylor had good presence most of the game. Used his feet to find time to hit Andre Holmes for a 2nd quarter touchdown. He overthrew Nick O'Leary in the end zone in the third quarter. Designed run plays weren't working as the Raiders were sniffing them out well. Used his feet to buy time to find Brandon Tate for a big gainer on the big third quarter drive. He went over the top for a big fourth down touchdown.
Grade A: Showing solid pocket presence and becoming a winner.

Running Backs:

LeSean McCoy clinched the game with a 48 yard touchdown run and led the way with 151 yards rushing.
Mike Tolbert had a big third down conversion on the ground.
Patrick DiMarco was used more than in past weeks and did a solid job with his run blocking.
Grade A: Solid game on the ground helped with blowout win.

Receivers:

Zay Jones caught two passes on the first possession which boosted his confidence a bit I'm sure. He had his biggest catch of his career a 22 yarder later on.
Andre Holmes found himself outside the top 3 WRs group but he made two big plays on the Bills first TD drive. He caught a third down pass to make it first and goal then made a beautiful catch in the end zone getting his feet down before going out of bounds. He also had a big 36 yard catch dragging his toes to keep himself in bounds.
Jordan Matthews was called for a horrible pass interference penalty that negated a 27 yard gain. The receiver fell down and the refs assumed he pushed off. He was called for holding in the third quarter that helped thwart a drive. He had a big third down conversion to take more time off the clock in the fourth quarter.
Deonte Thompson was called for a pass interference penalty to help thwart a Bills 2nd quarter drive.
Nick O'Leary had just one catch for five yards but seemed open a couple of other times including once in the end zone when the pass was overthrown.
Logan Thomas played five days after losing his daughter and was given the gameball. He caught the only ball sent his way for seven yards.
Grade B-: This unit finally made some plays.

Offensive Line:

Richie Incognito was called for a holding penalty that negated a Shady first down run that would have given the Bills a first and goal. It took away a possible TD and they had to settle for a field goal.
Jordan Mills was called for a false start penalty on the Bills first possession. He then got called for a holding penalty that negated a scramble for a first down.
Vlad Ducasse made a great block on the long McCoy touchdown run.
Grade A: Opened the door for 166 yards rushing and gave up no sacks.

Defensive Line:

Kyle Williams got good pressure on one play to breakup a screen pass.
Jerry Hughes had a big tackle for a loss and three tackles.
Shaq Lawson was so quiet he wasn't even on the stat sheet.
Adolphus Washington got the start with Marcell Dareus gone and deflected one pass and was in on three tackles.
Eddie Yarbrough made a nice play on a screen pass as he fought through blocks got in the backfield and then made the tackle for no gain. Pressured Carr into an incompletion in the third quarter.
Grade C: Didn't get much push with the pass rush but did a nice job in the running game.

Linebackers:

.
Preston Brown knocked away one pass in the third quarter then tipped another pass later in the same drive that was picked off. He was in on seven tackles.
Lorenzo Alexander had three tackles and the only quarterback hit in the game.
Matt Milano was Johnny on the Spot when he picked a fumble out of the air and returned it for a touchdown. He was in on three tackles
Grade B: This unit did a solid job in pass protection.

Secondary:

Tre'Davious White was beaten by Amari Cooper for a third down conversion on the opening series but shadowed him around the field most of the day and did well against him for the most part giving up just five catches for 48 yards.
Shareece White started for E.J. Gaines he broke up a pass on the opening drive. He got beat for a 10 yard gain on the next play. He badly misplayed a bomb to Michael Crabtree that was caught for a 40 yard gain. He settled down though and played real well the rest of the way.
Leonard Johnson made a nice open field tackle on Cooper for a one yard gain but then was called for holding later on the same 2nd quarter drive. Forced the fumble that was returned for a touchdown just before halftime. He had six tackles.
Micah Hyde picked off the pass that was deflected by Brown. He was in on five tackles.
Trae Elston started for Jordan Poyer in his first career start. He was beaten by Lee Smith on the first series to the one yard line setting up the Raiders first touchdown. He then had a very good game finishing with 11 tackles and picking off a pass in the final minutes.
Grade B+: Undermanned unit did a great job after the opening series.

Special Teams:

Colton Schmidt had a beautiful coffin corner kick to the one yard line. He then got a short punt off when under pressure. Finished with a 45.2 yard average on five punts and a 43 yard net. Four of his five punts went inside the 20.
Steve Hauschka forced a fumble on a kickoff return but the returner recovered. Hit both field goal attempts from 34 and 44 yards out.
Brandon Tate returned two punts for 17 yards.
Coverage Units Milano forced a fumble on a third quarter punt that Tolbert recovered and setup a field goal. They kicked the ball away from Cardale Patterson who is a very dangerous returner. He did return one kick for 43 yards but the strategy worked allowing just a 13.6 yard average on five kickoff returns. They also returned two punts for 11 yards.
Grade A: Special teams were special pretty much all around in this game.

Coaching:

Sean McDermott wasted a challenge on the Raiders first series but it didn't hurt them. He had his team ready to play once again.
Rick Dennison had a nice diverse gameplan and it showed in the win.
Leslie Frazier adjusted nicely after the defense got torched on the opening series. They shut them down most of the rest of the game.
Grade A: Who would have thought they would be 5-2 at this point in the season.



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