Game 11: Bills Get Another Complete Win
Offense makes plays while Defense puts on stifling effort.
by Steve Saslow
For the second straight game the Bills have a complete team win. The offense made plays and put 38 points on the board while the defense totally shutdown the Seahawks offense. Special teams had their usual big play and it all added up to a Bills blow out win on the road. Here are our position by position grades, and they are very high for the second straight week:
Drew Bledsoe had a very hot and cold day. He threw the ball well most of the game and had a commanding presence but he self destructing on a few occasions which he normally does on the road. He threw three interceptions when he overthrew his receiver on all three picks. He also over threw Lee Evans on what would have been a touchdown in the first quarter. He did go back to Evans with a beautifully thrown fade pattern just before halftime for a touchdown. He finished with a season high 275 yards passing on 25 of 37. J.P. Losman entered the game in the fourth quarter despite being the number three QB. He promptly was called for delay of game and did a good job handing off to his running backs. He did complete his only pass for 17 yards. Grade B: It would have been Bledsoe's best game of the year if not for the interceptions.
Willis McGahee didn't have big stats in the first half but was very productive. He added the big stats in the second half as he finished with 116 yards on 28 carries and four touchdowns. The scores including a beautiful 3rd and goal run where he went up the middle and bounced outside when nothing was there in the first half. His three second half scores included a 30 yard run on a beautiful toss that faked out the Seahawks defense. Travis Henry broke his right leg on his only play. He did catch a pass converting a third down. Joe Burns played in Henry's place and carried the ball seven times for 14 yards, most of them in garbage time. Daimon Shelton had a big gain on a 24 yard reception. He was called for a penalty. Grade A: McGahee has arrived as a star.
Lee Evans was a big part of the game in the first half. He made big plays as he seemed to be the go to guy early. He also ran two reverses, only one counted as the other big play was called back by a penalty. The one run that counted was for 15 yards and converted a third down. He also made a nice catch for a touchdown just before halftime, he juggled it but came down with it before going out of the end zone. He finished with six catches for 70 yards, all in the first half. Eric Moulds quietly had a big day as he caught eight passes for 93 yards, many of them converted third downs. Josh Reed was inactive for a fourth straight game. Jonathan Smith was used over Sam Aiken at wide receiver. He caught two passes for 10 yards and ran one for three, as he lined up in the backfield on a few plays. Mark Campbell had a nice catch that setup Buffalo's third touchdown, and had three in all for 31 yards. Tim Euhus had a nice block on that third touchdown and caught two passes for 22 yards. Grade A+: Was a huge part of the offense.
Marcus Price came in when Jonas Jennings was hurt and quickly beaten for a sack but the line was solid the rest of the way as that was the only sack given up the Bills. They did a fantastic job in pass protection and opened up holes later in the game for the running attack. Jason Peters was called for an illegal substitution family which voided a big run by Lee Evans. Grade A: They are really developing into a good unit.
Aaron Schobel, Sam Adams, and Pat Williams had quiet days but they did hold the Seahawks running game down. Williams was in on the stop of the QB sneak by Hasselbeck, holding Seattle to a field goal. They got very little pressure on the QB until late in the game when teeing off. Ryan Denney did get a late sack for the second week in a row and forced a fumble which Williams recovered. Ron Edwards was called for a helmet to helmet hit that gave the Seahawks a first down. Grade B: Stuffed the run very well despite not getting to the quarterback that often.
London Fletcher was in on seven tackles and picked off a two point conversion attempt. Jeff Posey had a nice tackle behind the line of scrimmage on Shaun Alexander. Takeo Spikes broke up a screen pass with a deflection on third down on the opening defensive series and has a sack late in the game. He finished with four tackles. Grade A: Really did a great job shutting down the running game.
Terrence McGee was beaten a couple of times early but was helped by dropped passes and a non call on a bomb that he clearly interfered on. He was dominating in the second half and had an interception. Rashad Baker was the key man involved in stopping Hasselbeck short of the end zone in the first half. Nate Clements was a lockdown corner as usual and was good in run support as well. He was in on seven tackles. Kevin Thomas was called for an illegal contact penalty giving the Seahawks a first down when they would have had to punt. Lawyer Milloy was quiet as he was in on two tackles but solid in pass coverage. He wasn't called on to blitz much. Grade A: Shutdown the passing game without too many exotic blitz packages.
The big special teams play was the onside kick to start the second half. It worked to perfection as Rian Lindell recovered. He hit one field goal and all five extra points. He also had a 53 yard miss taken off the board by a penalty and a 47 yard hit taken off the board by a timeout. Brian Moorman was only called on to punt once. That was in the final minute of the third quarter and it went for 36 yards. Terrence McGee had one kick return for 23 yards. Nate Clements only had 7 yards on two punt returns. Jonathan Smith was not used deep as a return man until late in the game and did not get a chance to return a punt. The coverage unit allowed only 17.8 yards on six returns. Grade B: Not as dominating as last week, but how could they be?
Mike Mularkey pulled out all the tricks to get the first win and they all worked. He played aggressively even with a growing lead. The fake sneak and pitch to McGahee worked flawlessly. The onside kick to start the second half was a thing of genius. The coaches also ripped the players on the sidelines after stupid penalties and they kept them under control in the second half. Grade A+: Perfect game, but do they have any surprises left for next week?
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