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Week 8: Defense Surprises With Dominating Performance
The shutout was one for the ages by Bills defense.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick had another solid game completing 21 of 27 passes for 262 yards and two scores giving him a QB rating of 116.4. His only blemishes were fumbling the ball away on a bobbled snap and an interception into the end zone.
Brad Smith lined up in the wildcat a few times and ran it four times for 14 yards. He also caught three passes at wide receiver for 18 yards.
Grade B+: Good performance coming off of big new contract.

Running Backs:

Fred Jackson continues his MVP type season. He had 120 yards on 26 carries and added 74 yards on three catches. He had two huge plays a 46 yard catch and run and a 43 yard carry.
Grade A+: Jackson having a season for the ages.

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson led the team with six catches but gained only 57 yards.
David Nelson had a big 26 yard catch to kick start the first TD drive. He finished with four catches for 47 yards.
Naaman Roosevelt had a big 22 yard reception.
Scott Chandler had two balls thrown his way, he caught both of them for touchdowns of 20 and 15 yards. He made a nice move on the first score getting the ball just inside the pylon.
Grade B: Nice effort from this unit but didn't have to do too much.

Offensive Line:

Andy Levitre did an outstanding job in his first start at left tackle. He kept Brian Orakpo at bay as he didn't even touch Fitzpatrick.
Chad Rinehart did a decent job starting in Levitre's guard spot.
Grade B: Gave up two sacks and let a blitz get to Fitz that momentarily knocked the QB woozy. For the most part the protection was good and the running game worked very well.

Defensive Line:

Marcell Dareus had a huge breakout game starting in Kyle Williams' nose tackle spot. He had 1½ sacks and appears more comfortable in the middle.
Dwan Edwards had his biggest game of the year as he had 1½ sacks and four QB hits.
Alex Carrington got the start at left end with Dareus moving inside. He didn't do too much getting two assists on his stat sheet.
Grade A: Best pass rush of the season from this group, may need to keep Dareus inside permanently.

Linebackers:

Chris Kelsay returned to the lineup and his leadership was welcomed. He had also had a sack.
Nick Barnett had a big day with 10 tackles and a half of sack.
Spencer Johnson started at outside linebacker and he had four tackles, a sack, and two tackles for loss.
Kelvin Sheppard got the start in the middle as anticipated but he was relatively quiet with one assist.
Arthur Moats got some good playing time and was in on one sack and had two QB hits.
Danny Batten had a quiet day in a reserve role with one assist.
Grade B+: Did a good job keeping the Redskins to 26 yards on the ground.

Secondary:

Terrence McGee did a great job in coverage and had three tackles.
Drayton Florence did a nice job in coverage as well.
Leodis McKelvin had a really nice pass breakup downfield and had two passes defensed in all as the third corner.
Jairus Byrd had his first interception of the season picking off a pass in the end zone to preserve the shutout. He also had a sack on a blitz and four tackles.
George Wilson was everywhere on the field and had 9 tackles along with an interception and a pass defensed.
Bryan Scott had four tackles in a more reduced role this week.
Grade A: Solid turnaround by this unit. Solid coverage helped the sack total.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman had only three punts with a 45 yard average and one touchback. His net was a paltry 27.7 yards.
Rian Lindell was three of four field goal attempts hitting from 37, 44, and 41 yards out. He missed from 44 as well.
Spencer Johnson blocked a field goal.
C.J. Spiller had three punt returns for 22 yards.
Coverage Units allowed a 21 yard punt return and 32 yards on two returns in all. Kickoff coverage allowed three returns for a 21 yard average. Corey McIntyre continues to be a beast in coverage with three tackles.
Grade C: Average to below average game from this unit but didn't make any big mistakes and Lindell was solid.

Coaching:

Chan Gailey did a nice job keeping his team focused after the bye week. Teams have struggled this year after extended time off.
George Edwards had his unit ready to play. Moving Dareus inside was key to an explosion by the pass rushing unit.
Bruce DeHaven continues to do a fantastic job on kickoffs. They setup short returns. Washington's average start after kickoff was their 19 yard line.
Grade A: Won a game handily that they should have won. Nice work.



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