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Week 6: Defense Aggressive In Win
Solid pressure helped keep team in it.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick was inconsistent as he misfired on many occasions. He overthrew an open receiver down the sideline. He missed Donald Jones forcing the Bills to punt in the first quarter. Missed a slant pass to Johnson and overthrew him on successive series. He did convert two straight third downs with completions on the Bills first touchdown drive.
Grade D: Finished with a 68.9 QB rating.

Running Backs:

Fred Jackson fumbled the ball away on the first play from scrimmage. Ran the tough two yards for a touchdown. He had 53 yards on 16 carries and five catches for 30 more.
C.J. Spiller had a nice change of direction 10 yard run for the Bills first touchdown. He finished with 88 yards on 12 carries
Grade B: They need to pick one back and go with him, but which one?

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson had six receptions for 82 yards and was the go to threat.
Donald Jones had just one catch for nine yards but was open deep twice.
T.J. Graham was very quiet and dropped a pass in overtime. He had one catch
Brad Smith didn't play much receiver but had a 16 yard run out of the wildcat but threw an interception in it as well.
Scott Chandler was very quiet with just one catch for four yards.
Lee Smith got called for a personal foul penalty.
Grade D: Besides Stevie they were non existent.

Offensive Line:

Eric Wood made it through the game fine despite playing with a foot injury.
Chad Rinehart started but needed to take some series off with his calf injury.
Sam Young took over for Rinehart when he went out and played well.
Erik Pears showed more fire and passion than he has all year. Seemed to have his best game of the season.
Grade B: Gave up two sacks but paved the way for a five yard per carry running game. Not bad for the banged up unit.

Defensive Line:

Mario Williams had a great set of downs late in the first quarter where he had a run stop, drew a holding penalty, and got a sack. He had two big pressures later in the first half, one of them should have been called a sack. He got his second sack on the first series of third quarter.
Marcell Dareus was clogging up the middle pretty well and was in on three tackles.
Kyle Williams knocked down a third down pass to force the Cardinals to settle for a field goal on their opening series. He played fullback and blocked for Jackson's TD run. He had a big hit on John Skelton's first play. Should have been a sack but was called an incomplete pass.
Kyle Moore had no sacks but got two big pressures and was in the backfield on many occasions when he was on the field.
Chris Kelsay got his first start of the season and made his presence felt early with a sack for a safety. He also had another pressure and a tackle for loss in OT. He finished with seven tackles.
Alex Carrington was in on a tackle.
Grade A: Got great pressure.

Linebackers:

Nick Barnett somehow got matched up one on one with Larry Fitzgerald the result was a touchdown. He had two sacks as he was used to blitz more. Was in on six tackles.
Kelvin Sheppard led the way with nine tackles.
Nigel Bradham had three tackles and was quiet in his first start.
Bryan Scott had five tackles and was around the play a lot.
Grade C: A weak unit.

Secondary:

Stephon Gilmore dropped a sure interception before halftime. He defended one pass and was in on five tackles
Aaron Williams was beaten for 24 yard gain down the sideline by Michael Floyd. It was the only time he was beaten in the game though. He was not on the field in the final minutes of regulation which was interesting.
Leodis McKelvin played down the stretch and had a big pass breakup late in the game.
Justin Rogers had two tackles.
Jairus Byrd had a big fourth quarter interception that should have wrapped the game up. Then had a bigger interception in overtime that did wrap it up. He also had one tackle for a loss in run support.
George Wilson had six tackles but seemed out of position on some pass plays.
Grade B: Gave up less than 200 yards passing.

Special Teams:

Shawn Powell punted eight times for a 44 yard average and 37 yard net. Two punts went inside the 20 but had a poor 30 yarder in the final minute of regulation that gave the Cards a chance to win it.
Rian Lindell is now a perfect 3 for 3 on field goals this year after hitting the game winning 25 yarder.
John Potter three kickoffs resulted in one touchback.
Leodis McKelvin had two punt returns for 10 yards and two kickoff returns for 55 yards.
Brad Smith had a 31 yard kickoff return.
Aaron Williams was called for an illegal block in the back on a punt return.
Alex Carrington got a hand on Feely's 38 yard miss at the end of regulation.
Coverage Units didn't get helped by a false start penalty on Kelvin Sheppard on one third quarter punt but kept Peterson at bay allowing just 36 yards on 3 punt returns. Powell had two kickoff returns for 49 yards.
Grade B: Nice job by this unit except giving up a long run on a fake punt.

Coaching:

Chan Gailey coached with no confidence in the offense and coached not to lose. He had dubious play calling in the final minute of the first half throwing short passes that won't get them into field goal range but has a greater chance of a turnover. The decision to throw deep late in the game out of the wildcat backfired. He won't throw it downfield with Fitz but does it with Smith on his first pass of the year? Other than that play the play calling was way too conservative especially in the final minute of regulation and overtime. I didn't agree with punting from the Cards 35 in OT.
Dave Wannstedt had his front four standing up a lot which confused Kevin Kolb. His unit was much more aggressive and gets a lot of credit for the win.
Bruce DeHaven didn't have his guys ready for a fake punt.
Grade C: Won despite worst play calling of Gailey's career.



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