Week 1: Banged Up Defense Couldn't Hang On
Despite getting dominated, Bills should have won.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
J.P. Losman did not have an auspicious opening day. He did complete 67% of his passes but only gained 97 yards through the air. He also overthrew a wide open Lee Evans late in the fourth quarter that could have put the game away. Grade D: Didn't do anything to help the cause.
Marshawn Lynch had a great opening to his career rushing for 90 yards on just 19 carries and had a punishing 23 yard touchdown run. He wasn't used much in the passing game. Anthony Thomas barely played and had just three carries for -1 yard. Jason Whittle actually lined up at fullback more then any of the tight ends. Grade A: A nice career start for Lynch.
Lee Evans was a missing man until he got open deep on the Bills final offensive play, only to be overthrown. He had just two catches for five yards. It's hard to believe but that topped Peerless Price, who had one catch for -2 yards. Roscoe Parrish had two catches for 25 yards while Josh Reed led the way with four catches for 37 yards. Robert Royal caught only one pass for 12 yards. Kevin Everett caught one pass for three yards before the injury. Grade F: Downright disgusting effort.
The new look offensive line did a nice job in run blocking as the team averaged 4.3 yards per carry. Pass protection was ok as well as they allowed only two sacks but Losman had to hurry his throws at times. Brad Butler had a bad false start penalty to take the team out of field goal range. Grade C+: Not a bad debut but not good enough.
Aaron Schobel was quiet with three tackles but two passes defensed. Chris Kelsay had five tackles and a quarterback hit. Jon McCargo played a lot for Larry Tripplett and had a sack and a tackle. Tripplett had just one tackle. Kyle Williams and Jason Jefferson had an assist each. The running game had huge holes to run through on their way to 5.3 yards per carry. Grade D: Non existent.
Paul Posluszny was all over the field and finished with a game high tying eight solo tackles. Coy Wire was injured and replaced by Mario Haggan. He gave up the final pass completion of the game and had three tackles. Angelo Crowell was very active and was in on 10 tackles. Grade C+: Made some plays but not enough.
Terrence McGee was good in pass coverage but did give up the only touchdown by Denver. He had tight coverage but his height was an issue. He had five tackles. Jason Webster was replaced by Ashton Youboty after he was injured. Youboty had four tackles while Webster had three. Ko Simpson was replaced by Jim Leonhard when he got hurt. Leonhard had a big game with 13 tackles and an interception. Donte Whitner was very active with nine tackles including a nice tackle for a loss. Grade C: Gave up too many slant plays.
Brian Moorman got things off to a good start as his first punt was downed at the one. He had three inside the 20 out of six punts. He averaged 43.7 yards per punt with a net of 42 as the coverage unit did a great job holding the Broncos to 10 punt return yards on four tries. Rian Lindell missed his lone field goal attempt, a 45 yarder. Terrence McGee averaged a solid 28 yards on four returns including a 48 yarder. Roscoe Parrish had the dazzling 74 yard punt return for a score and then got 14 more on his other return Grade A: Only reason they were in the game.
Dick Jauron is being criticized for throwing deep on the final offensive play, it took guts and should have worked. Why Jason Whittle at fullback? They should have tried the no huddle a bit to jump start a poor passing game. Didn't have an answer on defense for the slant pattern. Grade C: A loss is a loss.
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