Week 4: First Win Deserves Passing Grades
Team played inspired football behind rookie QB to gain victory.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Trent Edwards looked comfortable in the pocket in his first career start. His interception in the end zone late in the first half was a bad one. He should have gone over the middle, the long ball isn't his strength and he underthrew it. Edwards showed poise in the 2nd half in throwing a touchdown pass in a tight game. Grade A: Great first start seemed comfortable in the pocket.
Marshawn Lynch can certainly get yards after the hit as he showed it time and time again as he pushed the pile forward. That is exactly what he did on his touchdown run in the third quarter. He finished with 79 yards on 23 carries. Anthony Thomas saw a bit more action and carried twice for four yards. Dwayne Wright actually got the first carry of the game but was stopped for no gain and never saw the field again. Grade B: Did their share in the win.
Lee Evans was much more active early than in the past three weeks. He dropped a pass but made a great catch on a first quarter drive that was promising but led to a Robert Royal fumble. Evans caught six passes for 72 yards. Royal had three catches for 31 yards. Peerless Price was very quiet but his one catch was good for 14 yards and converted a third down on the Bills first touchdown drive. Roscoe Parrish had four catches for 33 yards. Josh Reed had his most active game of the year with four catches for 64 yards. Michael Gaines has been a rare solid acquisition this season, He had four catches for 20 yards including the final touchdown and nice catches that put the Bills in third and short. Grade A-: Best game of the year by far from this unit.
The line did an absolutely phenomenal job in pass protection. The rookie QB had all day to throw and they picked up the blitzes well also. There was no confusion from the Jets 3-4. Trent Edwards was sacked twice but they were both coverage sacks, he should have released the ball on both of them. The run blocking opened up a few holes but they did only average 3.1 yards per carry. Jason Peters was called for an illegal motion penalty down in the red zone but it didn't hurt as the Bills scored on the next play. Melvin Fowler also was called for an illegal motion penalty. Grade A-: Best pass protection in a long time from the Bills OL.
A quiet day from this bunch as far as pressuring the passer. They did do a nice job in not giving up too many big holes in the running game. Aaron Schobel was in on six tackles and had one QB hit. Chris Kelsay had the team's lone sack but didn't do much else. Jon McCargo was a non factor. Larry Tripplett had a big QB hit that forced an incompletion late in the game. Kyle Williams had two tackles but one of them was a nice pursuit from behind. Grade B-: No pressure but better than expected against the run.
Angelo Crowell was very active as he was in on 11 tackles including a nice stop behind the line of scrimmage. Mario Haggan stuffed Thomas Jones for a three yard loss on a third and inches on the opening possession of the third quarter. He played a lot at outside linebacker. The stuff was a typical goal line play. Haggan typically plays LB on the goal line. John DiGiorgio was in on seven tackles. Leon Joe was expected to start but didn't see too much action as the Bills played the nickel a lot. Grade A-: Did a very good job against the run.
Terrence McGee was beaten by Laveranues Coles for the Jets tying touchdown in the third quarter. He was just too short to stop the fade pattern. He made up for it in spades late in the game with a pass knockdown near the end zone and the game saving interception. Ashton Youboty left in the first quarter with an injury and Jabari Greer took his place. Greer had a nice pass breakup on a deep sideline pattern and didn't bite on the fake spike but was still beaten on the play. He also had a big interception that setup the Bills finally touchdown. Jim Leonhard had five tackles before leaving late with an injury. Donte Whitner was in on four tackles but made a lot of the defensive calls in the game and kept the players in the right spots. Kiwaukee Thomas was very busy and was in on 10 tackles. Grade A-: 290 yards passing easily balanced by two big interceptions and a few big pass breakups.
Rian Lindell Hit his only field goal attempt from 46 yards and it was the difference in the game. Brian Moorman averaged only 38.7 yards on three punts with a 37 yard net. His coffin corner punt from inside the Jets 40 put them at their 14 yard line. Terrence McGee averaged only 20 yards on three returns. Roscoe Parrish had only one punt return but got 12 yards on it. The Jets only averaged 2.5 yards on two punt returns but Leon Washington did manage 54 yards on two kickoff returns. Ryan Neufeld had a costly holding penalty on a third quarter kickoff return that made the Bills start a drive inside the 10. Grade C+: Did their job but didn't need to win it on their own.
Dick Jauron deserves a bit of a hit from not realizing the ball was inside the one in the fourth quarter. He deserves praise though for realizing it in time and making the right decision to go for it and get the touchdown. He showed an incredible amount of confidence in his rookie QB by passing there and throwing for it on third down at the two minute warning. I would have ran it there. Opening up the offense even with the rookie at the controls was a stroke of genius. I bet J.P. was wondering where this offense was the first two weeks. Perry Fewell deserves props for getting his really banged up defensive unit ready to play a really good game. Grade A: Nice job with first win.
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