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Week 3: Offense Blows Inspired Defensive Performance
Defense wore down late thanks to no support from offense.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Trent Edwards did a nice job early adjusting to the exotic blitz schemes of Gregg Williams. He moved away from it fairly well to get rid of the ball but his play diminished throughout the game. The last possession of the first half was sloppy and it continued into the second half. He wasted :14 before calling a timeout then got called for intentional grounding ending a chance to tie the game before halftime. His interception came on a poorly thrown pass that was batted up in the air. It ended the Bills last scoring threat. He threw for just 52 yards after halftime. Grade F: Brian Moorman threw more TD passes than Edwards did.

Running Backs:

Fred Jackson finished 71 yards rushing and 26 yards receiving as he ran hard finishing with a four yard average on the ground. Xavier Omon had one carry for five yards. Grade B: Let the RB controversy begin.

Receivers:

Terrell Owens didn't catch a pass for the first time since 1996 and he wasn't happy about it. He couldn't pull in the first pass thrown his way but it was a bit off the mark. Another pass to him was deflected and picked off. The one deep pass to him was overthrown by Edwards. Lee Evans had four catches for just 31 yards. Josh Reed was a target early and had a team high six catches for 60 yards. Roscoe Parrish caught one pass. Derek Fine dropped two passes but caught five for 34 yards. Jonathan Stupar was called for a holding penalty. Grade F: Will the wide receivers ever become part of the gameplan?

Offensive Line:

Jonathan Scott played well in his first start as a Bill although he was in on the penalty parade as he was called for an illegal motion penalty. Demetrius Bell continues to get called for too many penalties. On the first offensive play he got called for a false start. Geoff Hangartner had several low snaps in the shotgun formation. Eric Wood was called for a costly holding penalty wiping out a run for a first down. He was then beaten for a sack. Grade D: Four sacks given up but two in desperation time.

Defensive Line:

Aaron Schobel had the trifecta a sack, forced fumble, and recovery on the same play. Chris Kelsay had a sack to force a punt late in the first half. He had a big tackle for loss early in the third quarter and a great open field tackle on a third down run to force a punt at the end of the third. Marcus Stroud and Kyle Williams had quiet days as there were holes to run through up the middle especially late in the game. Spencer Johnson was in on six tackles. Aaron Maybin wasn't even noticed on the field. Grade C: Opposite of last week as the ends played well but the tackles didn't.

Linebackers:

Marcus Buggs had three tackles but was not on the field as much this week as they went with an extra defensive back a lot. Kawika Mitchell was beaten for a 21 yard gain by Jeremy Shockey on the Saints 2nd possession. He got called for a penalty and had five tackles. Keith Ellison had a quiet seven tackles. Grade C: An average performance by this unit.

Secondary:

Terrence McGee was beaten for a big gain on the opening scoring drive. He finished with five tackles and had good coverage most of the game. Leodis McKelvin was beaten for Brees' first two completions. He left the game in the 2nd quarter as his injured leg didn't hold out. Drayton Florence took his place and had a big pass breakup to force a punt in the third quarter. Bryan Scott was called for a face mask penalty in the fourth quarter. Donte Whitner had a great pass breakup on a bomb. Reggie Corner was solid in coverage. Grade A-: They really did a great job against a great passing offense.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman found his favorite receiver Ryan Denney for a TD on a fake FG. His first two punts went for touchbacks. Rian Lindell had a quiet day with just kicking one extra point. Roscoe Parrish returned both kicks and punts with Leodis McKelvin slowed by a fibula injury. He fumbled his first punt return and finished with a -0.3 yard average on punt returns. He averaged a little better than 22 yards per kickoff return. John Wendling made two great open field tackles to shutdown returns for little or no gain. On a punt he got the tackle while getting blocked in the back. He also was called for a holding penalty negating a 28 yard return by Parrish. Jairus Byrd was called for a bad personal foul on a punt return that started the fourth quarter. Grade C: Besides the touchdown this unit didn't do much way too many penalties.

Coaching:

Dick Jauron defies logic by deferring the kickoff every week, especially giving Drew Brees the ball first. He showed no emotion when Josh Reed was called down in the fourth quarter even though his knee never hit. He didn't challenge it and punted instead of going for it. Bobby April went back to last year's playbook with the fake field goal call. He got too cute going with the pooch kickoff on the next play. It set the Saints up in good field position to go down and recapture the lead. Alex Van Pelt didn't have an answer for the exotic schemes of ex-Bills head coach Gregg Williams. Perry Fewell had his defensive unit ready to go and had a good scheme to keep the Saints in check most of the game. Grade C: Some good to take out of this loss but one day they will win one of these.



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