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Bills Blown Away In San Fran
Same old Bills in another West Coast rout.
by Steve Saslow
Week 5
Bills   3
49ers  45
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
We have seen this many times before. The Bills take a long trip out West to play a quality opponent and they play like they never wanted to get off the plane. The Bills once again wasted perfectly good jet fuel as they were blown out 45-3. The Bills defense gave up a franchise record 621 total yards after giving up 580 yards last week. That debacle now ranks third on the all time team list for pathetic defensive play. They showed no mental toughness as San Francisco scored two second quarter touchdowns to break open a tie game and they never looked back. Alex Smith had all day to throw and receivers running wide open in the secondary as he threw three touchdown passes while throwing for 303 yards. There were huge holes in the running game as well as Frank Gore ran for 106 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers rumbled for 311 yards on the ground. The Bills did nothing offensively to counter as Ryan Fitzpatrick was inaccurate with his throws downfield.

The Turning Point:
The Chandler Fumble: The Bills had a chance to go into the locker room at halftime with the momentum and trailing by just a touchdown after they recovered a fumble. They then converted a third down pass that would have allowed them to run out the clock and get the ball back to start the second half. Scott Chandler fumbles it away and the 49ers score on a the very next play on a 28 yard pass to a wide open Michael Crabtree.

The Big Drive:
The first touchdown drive was only one more play than the Crabtree touchdown. The two play, 74 yard drive was a 36 yard pass to Crabtree and a 43 yard touchdown pass to Kyle Williams after a false start penalty put them five yards back.

Stat I Did Like:
0:00. When the clock hit all zeroes the game was mercifully over.

Stat I Didn't Like:
621 total yards given up. They became the first team since 1950 to give up back to back 550 yard games.

Quick Slants:
- Colin Brown went from inactive to starting with Kraig Urbik sidelined. Chad Rinehart was active but not starting because of a calf injury. Brown then hurt his leg and Rinehart was forced into action.
- The 49ers won the toss and took the football but went three and out for only the fifth time all year.
- The Bills moved Mario Williams to the right end spot at times for the first time all year.
- A dubious holding penalty on Jairus Byrd wiped out a Leodis McKelvin punt return for a score on the 49ers first punt.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
LT Chris Hairston vs. OLB Aldon Smith: Winner: Hairston. Smith was a non factor in this one but he didn't need to be one.
DE Mario Williams vs. RT Anthony Davis: Winner: Davis. Williams didn't do much but it wasn't only Davis as Williams lined up against the left tackle and did nothing as well.
RBs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller vs. ILBs Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman: Winner: Willias and Bowman. No running game to speak of.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. S Donte Whitner: Winner: Whitner. Fitz did nothing.
LB Kelvin Sheppard vs. RB Frank Gore: Winner: Gore. He ran wild along with some of the other backs.
LB Bryan Scott vs. TE Vernon Davis: Winner: Davis. It wasn't Scott on him but Davis made big plays.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Offensive Efficiency: Failure! They moved the ball at times but failed to get the ball into the end zone.
2. Stop The Run: Failure! Gore had huge hole after huge hole to run through.
3. Show Mental Toughness: Failure! After the big fumble the Bills defense wilted on the very next play. They showed no resilience at the 49ers walked all over them in another embarassing second half.

My Take:
For the Bills to pull off the big upset in San Francisco they needed to play a near perfect game. They weren't even close to playing that type of a game. That had three chances at touchdowns in the first half that would have given them a lead with the 49ers playing flat early. The McKelvin punt return for a score that was brought back. The overthrow of Stevie Johnson and the pass behind Donald Jones all could have been scores. It probably wouldn't have mattered anyway as the 49ers could have scored at will and did once they stopped shooting themselves in the foot. It was another pathetic display by a defense that looks eerily similiar to last year's doormats. The Bills go out West and get blown out. Somethings never change... Same Old Bills.

What's Ahead:
It doesn't get any easier for the Bills as they continue their two game West coast road trip by heading to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals who have 10 days to prepare since they last played on Thursday night losing their first game of the season.

  • Leodis McKelvin - He had two nice returns to give the Bills some field position early.

  • Goats
  • The Front Four - The highly paid and touted unit got no pressure and left huge holes. May be the worst in the league.
  • The Coaching Staff - They seem to have no answers.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick - He is one of the most inaccurate quarterbacks in the league.
  • Aaron Williams - He was badly burned on two of the touchdowns.
  • Buddy Nix - The money he has spent on the D-Line and on Fitz has been throwing money away. The young drafted players have not developed either as Williams, Stevon Gilmore, and Marcell Dareus among others have done nothing.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Leodis McKelvin - He was the only one to make plays when the game was still in doubt.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    49ers Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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