Week 17: Coaching Deficiencies Costly In Loss
Bills struggled to adjust to the wind.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
Trent Edwards battled the elements ok. When the winds subsided just a bit in the fourth quarter he had more success throwing in the wind. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 128 yards. He has to feel the backside pressure better on his fumble. Grade C: Average performance by an average quarterback.
With Marshawn Lynch out, Fred Jackson was a busy man on a day when there was no passing game. He ran hard but it was tough sledding since everyone knew they would run, especially into the wind. He got many yards after the hit by keeping his legs moving and finished with a career high 27 carries and 136 yards and a five yard average. Xavier Omon saw action for only the 2nd time this year and got five yards on four carries. Corey McIntyre got considerable playing time as the lead blocker with mixed results. Grade A-: Jackson is the real deal.
Lee Evans had his biggest day against the Patriots in recent memory but most of it came in garbage time when the winds were a little calmer. He finished with five catches for 63 yards. Josh Reed had only two catches for 21 yards. Robert Royal caught two passes but dropped his usual one pass a game. Derek Fine had two catches and Derek Schouman had one. He did get called for a false start penalty and was involved in the fracas at the end of the half. Grade B: Made the plays when they were available.
Duke Preston can't allow his emotions to get the better of him. His fight at the end of the first half cost the Bills a chance to get a field goal before time expired. Langston Walker got called for a false start and a holding penalty. Kirk Chambers played for Jason Peters and imitated him well when he was beaten for a sack and fumble in the third quarter. Grade C+: Edwards was sacked twice and many of the rushing yards were made by the backs themselves.
Ryan Denney had the first two big plays with stops for loss on the Patriots first two possessions. He finished with a game high 11 tackles. Marcus Stroud had good penetration to force one play to Denney. Kyle Williams had six tackles, a sack, and two tackles for losses. Spencer Johnson was in on six tackles. Grade C: Wore out in the second half against the run .
Paul Posluszny had another quiet game and finished with six tackles. Kawika Mitchell had a quiet four tackles. Keith Ellison was in on five tackles and had good penetration on one key stop. Grade D: This unit has been the most disappointing.
Not much work for this unit as the Patriots threw just eight passes unfortunately they completed six of them including a big fourth down conversion before the game's only touchdown. Terrence McGee had little to do and had three tackles. Reggie Corner whiffed on a fourth down tackle on the quarterback of all people! The missed tackle gave the Patriots a first down that would eventually lead to a failed field goal attempt. Leodis McKelvin defended one pass. Bryan Scott was in on nine tackles. Donte Whitner got run over by Morris on the final run of the third quarter that gave the Patriots another first down. Grade D: Didn't do much with limited opportunities.
Brian Moorman called the conditions the worst he's ever seen. He finished with three punts for 93 yards, a 31 yard average. Rian Lindell missed a 46 yard field goal as the wind was affecting kicks going in either direction. He kicked to the left and made a hard right in the wind. With Roscoe Parrish out, Leodis McKelvin muffed the first punt but luckily Fred Jackson recovered. McKelvin and Jackson would both have trouble coming up with kicks as they both dropped kickoff returns. Jackson had a 30 yard punt return and the team averaged just 11.3 yards on three kickoff returns with Spencer Johnson getting the longest return of 19 yards. The Patriots had no return yards. Grade F: The weather played havoc on this unit the most.
Dick Jauron made a terrible play call running with Omon on third and nine with the wind at their back. He had way too much confidence that Lindell would hit a long field goal even with the wind at his back. His team showed an extreme lack of discipline on the debacle at the end of the first half that resulted in no points. Interesting call to take the wind in the third quarter failed as most of his moves do. Jauron doesn't belong in the same stadium as Bill Belichick. They wasted a timeout with the wind in the third quarter when the Patriots acted like they were going for it on 4th and 11. Perry Fewell had no answers early for the play action pass to the fullback and his defense struggled against the run late in the game. Turk Schonert had no answers on offense. Grade F-: It's time to clean house!!!!
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