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Week 12: Everyone Contributes In Must Win
Best all around effort of the season in rout.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Trent Edwards played very timid early but roared back before halftime. He made several inaccurate throws early and kept checking down to his backs quickly even when he had receivers open deep. He then finally took a shot deep and threw a good pass to Evans for 51 yards that seemed to get him going as it was the longest pass of the season for him. His touchdown run with :04 to go before halftime showed some guts. He was the Edwards of the first month of the season in the second half as he ran for a second score and threw two touchdown passes. Grade A-: Should have his confidence back.

Running Backs:

Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson were the entire offense on the first touchdown drive but they weren't used as much in the second half as you would have thought in a game that they had a big lead in. Corey McIntyre had some nice blocks including the lead block on Lynch's fourth down score in the first quarter. Lynch and Jackson did combine for 135 yards on the ground and 45 yards receiving. Grade A: 180 total yards is very nice.

Receivers:

Lee Evans made a nice catch in double coverage on the 51 yard bomb by Edwards late in the first half that got him started as he finished with a 110 yard receiving game. Josh Reed had a nice return with five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Roscoe Parrish wasn't heard from until he dropped a third down pass in the fourth quarter. He had no catches along with James Hardy and Steve Johnson. Robert Royal had three catches for 29 yards but had a big reception called back by penalty. He then got hurt which opened it up for Derek Fine and Derek Schouman to make plays in the passing game. Fine had a 14 yard reception and Schouman had three catches for 25 yards and a score. Grade A-: Spread it around nicely.

Offensive Line:

Derrick Dockery getting called for a false start on the first offensive player wasn't exactly a good omen but the line played well, opening up holes for the running game and giving Edwards time to throw. The holes closed up down by the goal line as they barely got in on the first possession and couldn't punch it in on the second series. Jason Peters almost single handedly destroyed the Bills last minute drive as he was called for two penalties in the final minute of the first half. Edwards bailed him out with his touchdown run. Grade B+: Second straight sackless game and 4.5 yards per carry.

Defensive Line:

Copeland Bryan had the big sack at the one yard line on the Chiefs second possession. Ryan Denney had a sack when Thigpen scrambled away from Mitchell. Chris Kelsay over ran the play on Johnson's 63 yard run. He did get a tackle for a two yard loss on Johnson but was called for an offsides penalty on the next play. He also stopped Johnson for a two yard loss in the fourth quarter to force a punt. Marcus Stroud batted down a pass. Kyle Williams was very quiet and didn't even have a tackle, neither did Spencer Johnson. Grade C: Gave up big holes in the running game.

Linebackers:

Paul Posluszny was extremely quiet with just three tackles. Kawika Mitchell had an awful game against one of his former teams. He was beaten badly on the 36 yard touchdown pass to Jaamal Charles on the opening series. He missed two potential sacks, one would have been a safety but both did end in sacks. He also got called for an offsides penalty and missed a tackle that allowed Johnson to run for a first down. He did have an early pressure that forced an incompletion. Keith Ellison had four tackles. Grade D: Gave up some big plays.

Secondary:

Leodis McKelvin had a huge second quarter interception that he returned 64 yards for a big touchdown as he did a nice job getting the ball into the end zone. He was beaten by a 35 yard pass to Gonzalez on the next series but recovered with his second interception of the game. He did a nice job overall in coverage. Reggie Corner playing in the nickel defense, forced a fumble that was recovered by George Wilson who started for a banged up Bryan Scott. Corner had three tackles while Wilson had four tackles and a sack. Wilson did fall down to give up a long touchdown pass in the third quarter. Terrence McGee was beaten for a 29 yard pass on the play before McKelvin's big interception but was solid in coverage throughout. Ko Simpson had three tackles. Grade B: Made some big plays but gave up some as well.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman only punted twice one being downed at the four and the other going for 48 yards. Rian Lindell continued his amazing streak of field goals inside of the 40 by hitting four from inside the magic line in the game. Roscoe Parrish didn't get a chance to return a punt. Leodis McKelvin only was given a chance to return two kicks as they kept it away from him. One of them he returned 46 yards to start the second half and setup a touchdown. The coverage unit did miss some tackles as they gave up an 18 yard punt return but short kickoffs setup short returns. Blake Costanzo had six special teams tackles and two forced fumbles. Grade A: Good all around effort.

Coaching:

The Bills tried to mix things up as Turk Schonert coached from upstairs in this game. There were many communication breakdowns as they wasted three timeouts. Staying with the passing game when they had a big lead raised some eye brows but it worked. They ran more out of the shotgun and doing much more play action than previous weeks including doing it in the shotgun. They went to the swing passes way too often and it wasn't working. Three times on third down they failed with swing passes. I usually don't mind deferring on the opening kickoff but with the Bills needing a fast start and going against a weak defense they should have taken the ball. The fact that the Chiefs marched down the field and scored is a bad indictment of how prepared Perry Fewell's defense was. They did make the right adjustments and forced four turnovers on defense. Grade B: Interesting game plan was successful.



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