Week 6: Offense, Defense Struggle In Loss
Embarrassing effort against previously unbeaten foe.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
J.P. Losman struggled badly for the second game in a row even if the stats don't say so. He finished the game 21 for 34 for 207 yards with a QB rating of 86.3. How badly he played wasn't in the stats. He made countless mistakes and struggled with his accuracy all day as he seemed to overthrow open receivers. He threw a near interception on a third down play from his end zone in his first series. He then did throw an interception later in the first half. He missed an open Andre' Davis on a bomb in the third quarter. Made some moves with his feet to open up a bomb to Roscoe Parrish for the Bills' first half touchdown. He held the ball too long on two of the three first half sacks including taking a bad sack that almost knocked them out of field goal range in the final seconds of the half. Rian Lindell bailed him out. Losman did make a nice scramble of about 40 yards that went for an actual 2 yards to convert a 3rd and 2 on the Bills first second half possession. He was sacked and fumbled the ball away when the Bills were driving down the field late in the third quarter. He played much better in the fourth quarter including another TD pass but if he played better in the first three they may have won. Grade D: Too little, too late.
Willis McGahee ran strong against another tough seven defensively. He averaged 3.9 yards a carry with 66 yards on just 17 carries. He caught two passes for 14 yards and hurt his ribs trying to catch one of many Losman overthrows. Anthony Thomas spelled McGahee a few more times than usual and carried once for three yards to get a first down. Daimon Shelton did a decent job in blocking. Grade C: Average was good for this offense.
Lee Evans did most of his damage down the stretch in catching eight balls for 82 yards but struggled making yards after the catch. Peerless Price struggled catching four short passes for 27 yards, one converted a third and long. Roscoe Parrish got behind the defense several times early and caught one for a 44 yard score. He added another reception before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. Josh Reed was quiet again with three catches for 24 yards. Andre' Davis saw more time at receiver in this game because of the injury to Parrish. He got open deep once but Losman overthrew the pass. Robert Royal had one catch but didn't gain first down yardage. . Ryan Neufeld had his first career touchdown on a four yard reception when he got open in the back of the end zone. Kevin Everett who? Grade D: Besides Evans, the rest are all below average .
Jason Peters got banged up for a few plays and was replaced by rookie Terrence Pennington. Chris Villarrial returned to the lineup and made it through the game. Duke Preston saw some action at center after Melvin Fowler was hurt. The unit was manhandled in pass protection as Losman was sacked five times and constantly harassed. He did hold on to the ball too long on some of them. They did open up some holes for the running game as the game wore on. Grade D: Needed a better showing.
Aaron Schobel was active with a sack and a tackle of the QB to force a punt. He also tipped a pass. He wasn't as active as he should have been against an offensive line missed three starters. He had four tackles in all. Chris Kelsay was banged up but returned, he did have a sack and six tackles. Ryan Denney was called for a roughing the passer penalty and had two tackles. He was largely ineffective. Larry Tripplett was non-existent with two assists. Kyle Williams had a nice rundown tackle 20 yards downfield. He had five tackles in all. Tim Anderson had one QB pressure but didn't do anything else. Jason Jefferson saw a little action. Grade F-: Pathetic Performance. Little Pressure, big gaping holes for the running game.
London Fletcher was largely neutralized for the second week in a row. He had 7 quiet tackles and was credited with a sack when Kitna ran out of bounds. Takeo Spikes was rusty and still not 100 percent, he was as quiet as he has ever been in a game as a Bill. He had four tackles. Angelo Crowell got credited with a tackle on a third and goal play. He had four tackles. Josh Stamer came up huge in the goal line defense. He was in on both tackles on the goal line stopping the Lions first series. Grade F: Constantly taken out of the cutback running plays.
Terrence McGee continues to have an awful season at cornerback. He got beat on one early play against Roy Williams as did Nate Clements. McGee was teamed with Ko Simpson when they got beat for a touchdown by Williams late in the first half. He was beat by Williams for a 26 yard reception on a third down play deep in their own territory. Forcing a punt there would have been huge. He was beaten later by Williams for another 18 yard catch on the same drive. McGee had seven tackles, not good for a corner. Jon Kitna seemed to pick on Simpson much of the day who was late on coverage many times. Donte Whitner did much better in coverage than Simpson and nearly came up with an interception that may have given the Bills a chance. Kiwaukee Thomas was duked badly on a third down swing pass that gave the Lions the final first down they would need to almost run out the clock. Grade F: Highly Overrated.
Brian Moorman had a huge 51 yard fair caught punt on his first kick from the back of the end zone. The punt coverage team broke down on the long 16 yard return by Eddie Drummond. Andre' Davis forced a fumble that the Lions recovered 12 more yards downfield. Moorman had three punts inside the 10 including a coffin corner kick that went out at the 2 yard line. Terrence McGee had a big 72 yard kickoff return to setup a late Rian Lindell 53 yard field goal just before halftime. That was his only good return as he averaged only 20 yards on his other four returns. Roscoe Parrish averaged 10.5 yards on two returns before being injured. Jim Leonhard replaced him and averaged 7 yards on two returns. Grade C: .
Dick Jauron didn't have the team ready to play early. They did play with more discipline as they kept the penalties down to just two. They showed some pride by trying to battle back in the end. His first challenge of the season failed but it was a good one. It appeared Donte Whitner may have had the interception but reviews were inconclusive. It was worth a shot to keep points off the board. Needed to have a better gameplan offensively and never had an answer to WR Roy Williams who caught 10 balls for 161 yards. Grade F: Most devastating loss of the season.
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