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Week 4: Defense Leads Bills To Upset Win
Running game leads the way for the offense.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

EJ Manuel had a bad fumble that the Browns converted into seven points. Made a perfect throw on the 43 yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods. Had an interception off a deflected pass and a pick when he underthrew a deep pass to Woods in the fourth quarter. Fumbled another ball in the fourth quarter that could have been costly but Stevie Johnson recovered.
Grade C: Only completed 10 passes but got the W.

Running Backs:

C.J. Spiller was battling an ankle problem throughout the second half and finished with just 77 yards on 23 carries for a 3.3 yard average.
Fred Jackson had a very nice 16 yard TD run and ran hard all game long leading the way with 87 yards on the ground on just 16 carries for a 5.4 yard average.
Tashard Choice got some playing time with Jackson and Spiller banged up. He had three carries for 11 yards and had a 10 yard run called back by a penalty.
Grade A-: Gave the Bills a rare time of possession win by keeping things moving.

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson struggled catching the ball getting just one catch for -1 yard. A pass deflected off of him and was intercepted. Was called for a holding penalty negating a QB draw run. Recovered a fumble which was huge.
Robert Woods got good separation on the 43 yard touchdown catch in the 2nd quarter. Led the way with four catches for 80 yards. He had a 13 yard run on a reverse.
T.J. Graham was used more in the offense had two catches for 32 yards and a 14 yard run on a reverse.
Scott Chandler did a bad job not getting the second foot down on a downfield sideline catch. Originally ruled a completion it was overturned on review. He had two catches for 28 yards.
Lee Smith had a big catch and run down the field in the third quarter and gave the DB a hit instead of going out of bounds on the 28 yard reception. He then tripped over his own feet when he was going to be wide open for a touchdown pass on a fake double reverse.
Grade C: Didn't have many opportunites but made plays when they did.

Offensive Line:

Eric Wood was called for a crushing holding penalty on a 4th and inches conversion. It forced the Bills out of field goal range and they had to punt. He was called for a second holding penalty in the fourth quarter negating a 10 yard run by Choice.
Kraig Urbik battled through his knee injury and played well.
Cordy Glenn was called for unnecessary roughness. He then somehow couldn't fall on a fumble in the 2nd quarter when he was the only one there. He was called for a holding penalty in the third quarter
Grade C+: Too many penalties hurt in otherwise good effort.

Defensive Line:

Mario Williams had one sack and one other pressure but wasn't very visible.
Marcell Dareus had a nice sack on a third down deep in Ravens territory to force a punt from the back of the end zone. He also had another sack late in the game and had seven tackles.
Kyle Williams had great pressure forcing a deep pass to go incomplete late in the third quarter and another pressure in the fourth quarter.
Jerry Hughes had two quarterback hits.
Alan Branch was called for an offsides penalty but had two tackles and two QB hits.
Grade A: Did a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage.

Linebackers:

Manny Lawson had a huge sack in the red zone, five tackles, and 2 QB hits.
Kiko Alonso had two more interceptions including an acrobatic pick to clinch the game. He also had five tackles as he continues his stellar rookie season.
Nigel Bradham had an assist.
Arthur Moats had two tackles and broke up a pass.
Jamaal Westerman had a rare appearance and was called for an offsides penalty.
Grade A: Alonso gets the grade by himself.

Secondary:

Justin Rogers looked to bounce back from his atrocious performance against the Jets. He was beaten for 14 yards on a third and 13 play on the Ravens opening drive. He was beaten by the taller Marlon Brown for the Ravens first touchdown. Rogers had one pass defensed that could have been picked. He was beaten by Torrey Smith for a third quarter touchdown.
Aaron Williams played corner this week again since Leodis McKelvin was inactive. He had a first quarter interception than made a great leaping interception in the end zone in the third quarter. He was called for a horse collar tackle after being beaten on a crossing pattern for a big play in the third quarter but broke up a deep pass near the end of the quarter. He was then beaten for a 74 yard pass play and got no safety help but was able to save the touchdown with a shoestring tackle.
Nickell Robey had a nice pass breakup that was initially called a fumble but overturned to an incompletion.
Da'Norris Searcy knocked away a third down pass to force a punt and had a nice pass knock down in the third quarter on a pass to Dallas Clark. He knocked down a pass in the end zone with just over four minutes to go to hold the Ravens to a field goal.
Jim Leonhard got the start at safety with Williams moving over to corner. He had a beautiful interception on a tipped pass. Was called for unnecessary roughness on a 33 yard bomb.
Brandon Burton knocked away a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter forcing the Ravens to settle for a field goal.
Grade B: Gave up a couple of big plays but also made big plays with three interceptions.

Special Teams:

Shawn Powell had two really poor punts including one down the stretch that setup the Ravens near midfield. Had a touchback and a 36.9 yard net.
Dan Carpenter continues to make the case to stick around when Dustin Hopkins is healthy. Hit a pair of 27 yards field goals in the first half and a 22 yarder in the third quarter.
Jim Leonhard called for a fair catch twice when he had room to run. Did return four punts for an 8.5 yard average.
Coverage Units Easley did another fine job tackling the opening kickoff at the 13 and another hard hit on a punt return. They did return a kickoff to their 31 yard line. They were called for two false start penalties while punting. They did give up a 24.3 yard average per kickoff return and a 7.8 yard average on four punt returns.
Grade B+: Did their job in the win.

Coaching:

Doug Marrone did a smart job slowing down the offense and having a solid gameplan to pull off the upset.
Nathaniel Hackett got the ground game going and stuck with it. Had some creative reverses which setup a fake that should have went for an easy touchdown.
Mike Pettine had his defense ready to play as they swarmed Flacco. He also got the secondary to bounce back from a poor performance last week and some poor plays in this game.
Grade A: They beat the defending champs, not bad at all.



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