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Week 4: Defense Collapses In Second Half
Offense also goes inept in total meltdown.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick was up and down and it showed with four touchdown passes balanced by four interceptions. He warmed up after a tough start. He threw two nice TD passes to Scott Chandler. He has been having way too many passes batted down at the line. It finally really cost him when a pass deflected by Vince Wilfork was picked off in the first quarter. He never throws deep and we now know why. He went deep in the 2nd quarter from his own end zone and had Graham wide open but underthrew him by five yards and it was intercepted.
Grade C: Big numbers but big mistakes and poor accuracy.

Running Backs:

Fred Jackson looked healthy and carried five times on the Bills opening possession for 16 yards including an 11 yard run on the first play of the game and did really well in blitz pickup. Had a great diving catch on a sideline bomb. He had a rare fumble. Had just 29 yards on 13 carries but added 50 yards receiving.
C.J. Spiller struggled in blitz pickup and was responsible for giving up a sack in the first quarter. His fumble on the goal line near the end of the first half killed the momentum. He had 33 yards on 8 carries but had some of those yards in garbage time.
Tashard Choice didn't see the field until the game was over had two carries for 14 yards.
Johnny White had one carry for eight yards.
Grade F: No real rushing attack in this game.

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson had two catches for just 23 yards and had a drop.
Donald Jones had a great catch and run for his touchdown giving him 90 yards receiving on two catches.
T.J. Graham had four catches for 34 yards but was open deep on a lot of occasions but Fitzpatrick couldn't hit him.
Brad Smith had two catches the first one was a 14 yarder converting a third down the second was a 35 yard touchdown reception when the game was over.
Scott Chandler had two really nice touchdown receptions and had four catches in all for 62 yards.
Dorin Dickerson was in the gameplan early and had a nice 24 yard reception on a screen pass.
Grade B+: This unit actually played pretty well.

Offensive Line:

Eric Wood made a great block on Dickerson's 24 yard screen pass.
Kraig Urbik left the game with a leg injury in the first half and didn't return.
Cordy Glenn left the game after he got rolled up on.
Chris Hairston took over for Glenn.
Chad Rinehart replaced Urbik at right guard and did fine.
Erik Pears was called for a holding penalty that was declined. He was also called for a false start.
Grade C: Not a good game for this unit with all the injuries.

Defensive Line:

Mario Williams barely was mentioned as he was a non factor with just two tackles and pressure on one play.
Marcell Dareus tipped a pass attended for a wide open Gronkowski so it fell incomplete and had a half a sack.
Kyle Williams tipped a third down pass ending the Pats first possession of the second half and shared a sack with Dareus.
Mark Anderson didn't get much pressure either and had two tackles.
Alex Carrington had three tackles.
Grade F: Huge holes in the running game and no pressure in the passing game.

Linebackers:

Nick Barnett had 15 tackles but too many were way downfield.
Kelvin Sheppard didn't play much because the Bills were constantly in the nickel so he was a non factor.
Arthur Moats had one tackle in limited playing time in this game.
Bryan Scott recovered a fumble by Welker and had 14 tackles as he was all over the field doing work in pass coverage against Gronkowski as well.
Grade D: Gave up too many big plays as well.

Secondary:

Stephon Gilmore defended nicely on a third and two pass to force a punt in the first quarter. Also knocked down a pass later in the quarter but should have had an interception. He separated Gronkowski from the ball on a bomb and then broke up a pass in the end zone late in the game.
Aaron Williams had a nice pass breakup to force a field goal attempt that was no good but was beaten for the last touchdown of the game.
Justin Rogers was beaten by Gronkowski for a 41 yard bomb on the Patriots first drive.
Jairus Byrd forced two second quarter fumbles and recovered one of them.
George Wilson had a very quiet 10 tackles.
Da'Norris Searcy had two tackles.
Grade D: Made some big plays early but collapsed late like everyone else.

Special Teams:

Shawn Powell had his first punt fair caught at the 10 yard line. It was a very high punt. He punted five times, two of them were fair caught inside the 20. Averaged 41.8 yards per punt with a 39 yard net average. Shanked one punt badly.
Rian Lindell hit all four extra points but for the third time in four games he didn't attempt a field goal. No problems with the holding of Tyler Thigpen.
John Potter had three touchbacks in four kickoffs.
Leodis McKelvin only got to return one kickoff for 26 yards and no punt returns.
Coverage Units allowed one 14 yard punt return and one 20 yard kickoff return.
Grade B: Not the reason for the loss.

Coaching:

Chan Gailey showed faith in the defense by punting on the opening possession on 4th and 5 from the Pats 41 yard line. It backfired when the Pats went down the field quickly for a touchdown. You have to blame the collapse and the whipping they took in the second half on the head coach.
Dave Wannstedt couldn't adjust when New England adjusted and the defense was just manhandled.
Bruce DeHaven had no issues with his unit.
Grade F: Epic collapse starts with the coaches.



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