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Week 17: Offense And Defense Fail Down The Stretch
Fourth quarter collapse was evident in rout.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick was awesome in the first half especially the first quarter. He looked like the Fitzpatrick of the first half of the season. Unfortunately the Fitzpatrick of late came back in a big way as he threw four interceptions in the second half and looked awful. He was 20 of 28 for 246 yards in the first half and 9 of 18 for 61 yards after halftime.
Grade D: Great quarter, awful three quarters.

Running Backs:

C.J. Spiller showed a real burst of speed on his 1st quarter TD reception. He had 60 yards on 13 carries and four catches for another 40 giving him 100 total yards.
Tashard Choice had his first touchdown as a Bill on his only carry. He added one catch for nine yards.
Grade B: Once again didn't use Spiller enough.

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson caught two passes including a nice 14 yard TD pass. He was promptly benched after being called for another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. He had Happy New Year written on his shirt.
Derek Hagan started opposite Johnson. He got wide open deep on the opening possession to draw a 47 yard pass interference penalty. He caught everything thrown his way and made some nice catches. He led the way with seven catches for 89 yards.
David Nelson only had two catches for 23 yards. Needed to do more with Johnson out.
Naaman Roosevelt had three catches for 29 yards.
Ruvell Martin saw his most extended playing time of the season. He had four catches for 42 yards.
Scott Chandler had three catches for 29 yards before leaving with a knee injury.
Kevin Brock caught a screen pass for six yards.
Grade B: Caught everything thrown their way and did what they could despite being undermanned.

Offensive Line:

Andy Levitre gave up a first quarter sack and was holding on the play.
Chris Hairston was beaten for a 2nd quarter sack.
Colin Brown had one bad shotgun snap that Fitz fell on for a 9 yard loss. It stopped a drive.
Grade C: Gave up two sacks but gave Fitz time to throw for the most part. Averaged 5.3 yards per carry in the run game.

Defensive Line:

Marcell Dareus had one tackle and put pressure on one play that led to a sack.
Dwan Edwards had a sack.
Alex Carrington finished his disappearing act in the second half of the season with just one assist.
Kyle Moore had a nice tackle for no gain and two in all.
Kellen Heard had two sacks and a forced fumble. He also had five tackles giving the Bills something to look at for next year.
Grade C: Got some pressure but not enough. Allowed nearly five yards per carry in the running game.

Linebackers:

Chris Kelsay had four tackles, one coming way down the field as he showed nice hustle.
Nick Barnett picked off a pass after a deflection and had a nice return. He also knocked away a pass in coverage. Led the way with 11 tackles.
Kelvin Sheppard had three tackles.
Andra Davis stuffed Ben-Ellis on the goal line for a one yard loss.
Spencer Johnson had just two assists.
Arthur Moats sacked Brady to force a first quarter punt. He had three tackles.
Kirk Morrison was called for illegal contact giving the Patriots a fresh set of downs late in the third quarter.
Grade C: Had two sacks but there were holes in the middle of the field.

Secondary:

Drayton Florence was called for driving Brady into the ground on an interception return. It was a joke of a call. He was beaten for one of Gronkowski's touchdowns.
Aaron Williams had three tackles.
Justin Rogers had four tackles.
Jairus Byrd had just three tackles and was very quiet in this game.
George Wilson was called for defensive holding and forced a fumble. He had 10 tackles.
Bryan Scott had a nice tackle for little gain. He was beaten for a touchdown by Gronkowski. He had seven tackles.
Grade D: Struggled against Brady, but who doesn't?

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman had three punts, all were not returned and had a 41.3 yard average per kick.
Brandon Coutu missed his only field goal attempt from 45 yards. He hit all three extra points but they were scary as well.
Leodis McKelvin had one punt return for five yards.
Justin Rogers was bottled up pretty good. Returning two punts for 42 yards and getting caught both times inside the 15.
Coverage Units allowed a 19.3 yard average on four kickoff returns.
Grade B: Not the reason for the loss in this game. Why was a kicker with no game experience signed?

Coaching:

Chan Gailey showed he is sticking to his morals by following through on a threat and benching Johnson for his penalty. He showed a go for broke mentality early by going for it on fourth down twice and faking a punt.
George Edwards did a nice job early but had no answers once the Patriots made the inevitable adjustments.
Bruce DeHaven executed a nice play on the fake punt. His unit was ready to play.
Grade C: Tough end to a tough season.



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