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Week 8: Team Plays Well In Loss
Good Team Effort Despite Final Score.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Kelly Holcomb did a nice job in the spread offense in the first half and did a real fine job completing short passes to convert third downs early on. He did throw slightly behind a wide open Tim Euhus in the 2nd quarter and the Bills had to settle for a field goal. He made a nice pass on the 55 yard touchdown pass to Eric Moulds. Threw a poor interception when the Bills were trying to take control of the game. Fumbled the ball away to setup a quick strike winning touchdown for the Patriots. He did throw for 263 yards on 20 of 33. Grade B-: Made some very nice plays but two glaring mistakes.

Running Backs:

Willis McGahee was the workhorse again as he carried the ball 31 times for 136 yards. He also caught two passes for 21 yards but it wasn't enough. Shaud Williams made a few really nice plays at really big points of the game. He had 14 yards on 5 carries, but his 11 yard run converted a third and long. He also caught three passes for 37 yards but his 23 yard reception converted a second and very long. Daimon Shelton had some dominating blocks and caught a pass for 21 yards to convert a long down and distance situation. Grade B+: Made some nice plays but not enough of them.

Receivers:

The Bills got Roscoe Parrish involved early in his second game. He caught a pass to convert a 3rd and 15 on the opening possession but also lost six yards on a reverse. He also was thrown a lateral on the second series and gained four yards, although he ran about 50 yards. He disappeared from the offense after that. Eric Moulds had his biggest game in a long time. He caught nine passes for 125 yards including a 55 yard touchdown when he was wide open and turned on the speed as he ran 30 yards into the end zone. His big mistake was a pass interference penalty that negated a fourth down conversion that would have kept the Bills final desperation drive alive. Lee Evans was called for a hold and a leg whip on the same drive and only caught one pass. Josh Reed dropped what would have given the Bills a first down in the red zone in the 4th qtr. They had to settle for a field goal. He caught two balls. Mark Campbell caught one pass. Tim Euhus couldn't pull in a sure touchdown pass that was thrown slightly behind him but could have been caught. Grade C: Moulds was the lone bright spot in this unit and he made mistakes.

Offensive Line:

Jason Peters started for the injured Mike Williams and played pretty well. He was beat cleanly early by Willie McGinest but Holcomb got rid of the ball. He was solid the rest of the way. Bennie Anderson and Mike Gandy each had holding penalties. Anderson was beaten by Colvin for the sack, forced fumble that led to the winning score. Grade B: Allowed only two sacks and paved the way for 147 yards on the ground.

Defensive Line:

Aaron Schobel recovered a fumble, deflected a pass, and had a pressure in the first half. He had a huge sack to force a punt in the third quarter with the Bills clinging to a three point lead and added a sack and forced fumble in the fourth quarter that led to a Bills FG. Chris Kelsay and Justin Bannan combined for a sack that moved the Pats out of FG range and forced a punt. Sam Adams had an offsides and a holding penalty and then did not play for much of the second half. Lavuale Sape recovered the fumble that Schobel forced and had a career high four tackles. Ryan Denney missed a tackle that allowed a first down on a fourth quarter TD drive. Grade B+: Made some big plays at big moments.

Linebackers:

London Fletcher was quieter than usual finishing with just two tackles. Jeff Posey was in on six tackles. Angelo Crowell had a quiet day and missed a tackle on a fourth quarter TD drive although he was in on seven tackles. Grade C: Did a decent job in pass coverage.

Secondary:

Terrence McGee had a team high six solo tackles but was beaten for a long pass play that got the Patriots back in the game. Nate Clements was beaten on Deion Branch's touchdown early in the third quarter. Troy Vincent and Lawyer Milloy were quiet. Coy Wire saw some time in the defensive backfield and had three tackles. Grade B: Only allowed 199 yards in the air, but allowed the big play at the wrong time.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman had his first pooch punt downed at the 7. His only other punt went for 49 yards. Terrence McGee muffed a kickoff return out of bounds and returned one three yards deep in his own end zone. He finished with just an 11 yard average, enough to take over the all time team lead in kickoff return yards. Josh Reed was called for holding that wiped out a 11 yard punt return by Parrish, he also returned two kickoffs for 42 yards. Rian Lindell misfired badly left on a 46 yard field goal attempt but rebounded to hit from 23, 35, and 41 yards out. His kickoffs were very short and the coverage unit allowed a 21.2 yard average per return. Roscoe Parrish returned three punts for 33 yards but failed to catch the punt in the final minute cleanly. Josh Stamer also got called for a hold. Grade C: Average game from Bills' best unit.

Coaching:

Mike Mularkey got very cute again early. The handoff to Reed that was lateraled to Shaud Williams was too cute but got them a first down. They fell to in love with Roscoe Parrish, trying to get the ball to him too much early, and the Pats were ready for it. The team was 0 for 2 on replay challenges. He had the team ready to play but they caved in the end. Grade B: 4th quarter doldrums continue.



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