Game 16: Team Runs For The Bus In Loss
Team has total failure in season finale
by Steve Saslow
What a difference from the first game to the last game. The final score was the same 31-0, in reverse though. The Bills fell apart this year and it showed in the final game as the team quit on themselves, the coaches, and the fans and were a total and complete failure in this game. There may have been one or two bright spots but other than that there will be mostly failing grades in our position by position report:
Drew Bledsoe was pathetic again, boy I'm glad I don't have to write that anymore this year. He finished with 83 yards passing on 12 of 29 and threw an interception and fumbled the ball away again. Those two mistakes led to 10 points. He was under intense pressure, but even when he had time to throw he hurried his throws and was very inaccurate. He was replaced by Travis Brown early in the fourth quarter. Playing against mostly backups in garbage time, Brown had a couple of nice drives but threw an interception in the end zone in the final seconds when the team should have run it in from inside the one. His stats were good, 11 of 14 for 119 yards. Grade F: Is Brown the future? Probably not but Bledsoe is certainly the past.
Travis Henry ran hard but fumbled the ball away once deep in New England territory. Finished with 62 yards on 15 carries. Sammy Morris ran four times for 17 yards. Sam Gash was on the field and had some decent blocks. Grade D: Didn't have enough chances to make a difference.
This unit put up numbers in garbage time but what the game mattered they didn't have a chance. Eric Moulds had seven catches for 55 yards. Josh Reed caught five passes after being shutout the past two games but gained just 40 yards. Bobby Shaw got hurt in the first series of the game and did not return. Clarence Coleman replaced him and caught three passes on the final two drives of the game. Dave Moore caught one pass for 28 yards but couldn't muscle his way into the end zone on the final drive. Mark Campbell caught two passes got knocked down pretty good on the first one but held on to the ball. Grade D: Not their fault that most throws were off target in the first three quarters.
Trey Teague was the lone guy playing in his normal spot. Mike Pucillo played left guard after playing on the right side most of the year as he replaced Ruben Brown who apparently quit on his teammates. Mike Williams missed his second straight game. The line did do some run blocking, as the Bills got about 4 yards a clip on the ground. They didn't pick up the blitzes well as the line schemes seemed to be all wrong. Bledsoe was hit untouched many times. Bills QBs were sacked four times. Grade F: Didn't give the offense a chance.
Did they play? Sam Adams best move was arguing on the sidelines with Gregg Williams. Pat Williams had a quiet eight tackles. Aaron Schobel had was quiet but Ryan Denney continued his late season improvement. He had a sack and pass deflection. Grade F: Didn't get enough pressure and let up big runs up the middle by Brady early in the game.
London Fletcher had his worst game as a Bill. He was only in on four tackles, was called for a costly holding penalty and beaten in pass coverage. Takeo Spikes recovered a fumble but didn't do much else besides getting called for a personal foul and getting eight quiet tackles. Jeff Posey has developed a knack for stripping the QB. He forced another fumble this week on a sack of Brady. Grade F: The worst performance of the year for this unit.
Nate Clements did a pathetic job of tackling on one touchdown pass. Lawyer Milloy was beat for a score but had a crunching hit on his friend Brady. Antoine Winfield was beaten on a few plays but covered well. Coy Wire was had a few nice hits in the most extended playing time of the year for him. He did drop an interception though. Terrence McGee was burned a few times in coverage as the evidence shows since he led the team with five solo tackles. Grade F: The Pats went to the air early, and often with great success.
Brian Moorman continued his great season as he averaged 42 yards on four punts including a 52 yarder and one inside the 20. Rian Lindell missed two field goals, luckily for him one didn't count because they were late in snapping it! Antonio Brown finally broke a return but was caught from behind on his 75 yard return. Nate Clements had a beautiful 30 yard punt return. The coverage units were average. Grade D: Two nice returns were wasted by the offense.
Let's see... the team quit on them, one player really quit on the team. They didn't fight for their coach's job. Why try a field goal on 4th and 7 but than go for it on 4th and 12? Why throw from inside the 1 in the final seconds? Why not get Bledsoe out of the game earlier as a mission of mercy? Grade F-: It totally unraveled on Williams.
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