Week 5: Too Many Lapses To Get The Win
Offensive collapse when Manuel got hurt.
by Steve Saslow
Here are our position by position grades:
EJ Manuel struggled again before going out with a knee injury. His best play was the third down scramble that got him the injury. He completed only 11 of 20 passes for 129 yards before leaving in the third quarter. He looked tentative in the pocket.
Jeff Tuel looked lost out there in his NFL debut. The offense gained 4 yards on his first three drives and throwing the game clinching pick six when he had a chance to be a hero.
Grade F: Need to get another quarterback on the roster quickly.
C.J. Spiller was very limited as they were very cautious with his sprained ankle. It didn't stop him from going 54 yards for a score even though his top gear wasn't there in this game.
Fred Jackson got the start and had two touchdown plunges. Was called for unsportsmanlike conduct that killed any chances for a score before halftime. Finished with 53 yards on 17 carries for a 3.1 yard average.
Tashard Choice had five carries for 22 yards in a nice workmanlike effort.
Frank Summers led the way on Jackson's scores.
Grade A-: The banged up unit showed grit and piled up decent yardage on a very good run defense.
Stevie Johnson couldn't haul in a pass in the end zone but drew the pass interference penalty. Dropped a pass and deflected another that was caught by Chandler. Then he left the game while it was still in the first quarter with a back injury and didn't return.
Cordy Glenn was beaten for a sack and a few hits.
Robert Woods led the way with five catches for 64 yards but he could have had more with better QB play as he was targeted 13 times.
T.J. Graham made a nice downfield pass off of a reverse that could have been caught by Johnson. He did draw the pass interference penalty that setup the Bills First touchdown. Had two nice catches for 21 yards.
Scott Chandler had four catches for 49 yards mostly in garbage time on the final drive.
Lee Smith did a nice job blocking and had one pass target that fell incomplete.
Grade D: Didn't have help from the signal callers.
Erik Pears was beaten for a nine yard sack.
Grade C: Did a better job in run blocking than pass protection allowing four sacks.
Mario Williams got two sacks on third down to force punts.
Marcell Dareus had nice run stuff of Willis McGahee.
Kyle Williams had good pressure and a QB hit to force an incompletion than followed that up with a sack on the same drive. Was called for two offsides penalties but had eight tackles.
Jerry Hughes had a sack and force fumble than split another sack.
Grade B: Nice pressure and plugged up the holes in the running game.
Manny Lawson got good pressure on Brandon Weeden to force a punt and a tackle of McGahee for a four yard loss in the red zone than he snuffed out a screen pass for a five yard loss.
Kiko Alonso was all over the field once again. He had the hit that knocked Brian Hoyer out of the game. He tackled McGahee for a four yard loss. He then knocked RB Chris Ogbonnaya out of the game with a hit. He leaped over the line of scrimmage to hit McGahee behind the line on a goal line carry. Led the way with 12 tackles.
Arthur Moats was in on five tackles.
Jamaal Westerman split a sack with Hughes.
Grade B: Was very active along the line of scrimmage, not as good in pass coverage.
Leodis McKelvin did not start but played. He had a nice pass breakup in the end zone and was beaten once down the field.
Justin Rogers got the start and rotated in with McKelvin and was beaten a couple of times in limited play. Didn't see the field much in the second half as McKelvin played more.
Nickell Robey had a nice pass breakup that was close to being a pick six or completed.
Aaron Williams went from hero last week to goat this week. He was called for unnecessary roughness on a hit after a third down incompletion. Was beaten by Greg Little for a 47 yard gain and by Josh Gordon for a 37 yard touchdown on the same drive. He then was beaten on a 3rd and 18 play for a first down on their final field goal drive.
Da'Norris Searcy was called for an illegal contact penalty in the end zone. Had a nice third down pass breakup in the fourth quarter. He was in on six tackles.
Jim Leonhard had two tackles.
Grade D: Too many big pass plays again.
Shawn Powell punted eight times for a 45.5 yard gross but a net of just 23 yards thanks to two long returns.
Dan Carpenter hit a 52 yard field goal in the first quarter which was his 11th straight. You can't let him go when Hopkins is ready. He has earned the job.
Jim Leonhard returned a punt 25 yards to setup the Bills first touchdown.
Marcus Easley returned one kickoff to the 12 yard line and another to the 19.
Coverage Units may have cost the team the game as Travis Benjamin owned them on punt returns. He had a 31 yard return that Powell made the touchdown saving tackle on. Powell couldn't stop him on the 79 yard return that went for a touchdown before the half. Easley continues to make the big plays as the gunner stopping the opening kickoff at the 8 yard line. Arthur Moats was called for a false start on a punt.
Grade D: Big reason for the loss.
Doug Marrone wasted two first half timeouts. One because of a miscommunication and another one because he illegally threw a challenge flag. Had the team fight hard but they ran out weapons.
Nathaniel Hackett had no answers when Manuel went down. Didn't have the backup prepared which is tough to do on a short week.
Mike Pettine couldn't get his unit to play consistently.
Grade C: Tough but understandable loss.
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