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Week 15: Bills Win Despite Inconsistent Play
Bills struggled at times in all three phases.
by Steve Saslow

Here are our position by position grades:

Quarterback:

EJ Manuel started off miserably, he missed badly short on a third down pass to Graham on the Bills first possession forcing them to settle for a field goal. He then overthrew Johnson on what ended up being a lateral that went out of bounds. He threw a bad interception on a screen pass that was returned deep into Buffalo territory and led to the Jaguars first field goal. He did have two third down runs for first downs. He heated up in the second quarter hitting passes downfield as the team ran off 17 straight points. He had a horrible fumble that led to a tying TD for the Jags. Made nice plays on his three touchdown drives including running one in for a score. He finished with a 105 QB rating going 17 of 24 for 193 yards and two scores.
Grade B-: Inconsistent play makes him hard to read.

Running Backs:

C.J. Spiller seemed to be struggling with his ankle again but did get 67 yards on 13 carries. He continues to struggle in the passing game catching one pass for one yard.
Fred Jackson had 80 yards on 17 carries and ran hard throughout the day.
Frank Summers was very active after being inactive last week. He caught a TD pass, blocked for Manuel's TD run and had four carries for 14 yards to go along with his 16 yards receiving on three catches.
Grade A: They were the best unit on the field.

Receivers:

Stevie Johnson had one catch for four yards but his head was understandably elsewhere after his Mom died suddenly yesterday. He was out of sync but who could blame him.
Robert Woods had a big day as he re-discovered his magic with Manuel. He had five catches for 82 yards and a score including two acrobatic catches on high passes.
T.J. Graham once again didn't catch a pass but did have a good block on a swing pass to Jackson.
Marquise Goodwin also didn't catch a pass again but drew a pass interference penalty and a roughing call for 46 total yards.
Scott Chandler was a big part of the offense with five catches for 54 yards including a couple of big plays down the field.
Chris Gragg had a hand in kick starting the offense in the second quarter with a 28 yard catch down the field on the Bills first touchdown drive.
Grade B: Made some good plays throughout the game and were there for the rookie QB.

Offensive Line:

Eric Wood was called for a penalty that was declined.
Doug Legursky was called for holding but it was declined.
Kraig Urbik seemed to play ok despite having a foot injury.
Erik Pears was called for holding and false start penalties.
Grade C: Nice in run blocking but gave up four sacks.

Defensive Line:

Mario Williams knocked down a pass. and had three tackles including one for a loss.
Marcell Dareus got a sack on the goal line in the first quarter. He left the game early with an ankle injury.
Kyle Williams got a first quarter sack for a 10 yard loss. Williams than helped Dareus out on another sack two plays later. He was caught offsides on a quick snap in the fourth quarter that gave the Jags a first down.
Jerry Hughes knocked away a pass when he got a great pass rush and followed that up with a second quarter sack.
Alan Branch had a nice tackle for no gain in the fourth quarter.
Grade C+: Did a nice job getting pressure but were caught out of their gaps on several decent running plays.

Linebackers:

Manny Lawson showed great recognition in sacking Henne for a 10 yard loss on a lateral and throw back to him. He was hit before he could throw downfield.
Kiko Alonso had six tackles and made one good stuff.
Nigel Bradham recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Grade C: Gave up too many big plays.

Secondary:

Jairus Byrd was beaten for a 25 yard completion to Mercedes Lewis on the Jaguars first series. He was relatively quiet in this game finishing with six tackles.
Stephon Gilmore had the biggest play of the game with the interception in the end zone with 3:15 to play to preserve the Bills lead. Was solid in coverage throughout the game.
Leodis McKelvin was beaten for a third down reception in the red zone. He was called for a pass interference penalty and led the way with 8 tackles.
Nickell Robey had five tackles and a big sack on the Jags final series. He also forced a big fumble before halftime to setup a Bills FG and stop a Jaguars drive.
Aaron Williams picked off a pass stopping the first Jaguars drive. He returned it 34 yards to setup a field goal. Forced a fumble as the Jaguars were going in for a touchdown.
Jim Leonhard made a tackle on goal line for a three yard loss late in the fourth quarter. He then almost picked off a pass on the final possession for Jacksonville.
Da'Norris Searcy had four tackles.
Grade B: Held Jacksonville to 237 yards through the air.

Special Teams:

Brian Moorman had 45 yard average on four punts with a 42.5 yard net. None went inside the 20 and he did have a 28 yard punt.
Dan Carpenter was 2 of 3 on field goal attempts missing from 54 yards outs but hitting from 42 and 40.
Leodis McKelvin had a nice 27 yard punt return brought back on a holding penalty on Marcus Easley. Ended up with just four yards on two returns.
Marquise Goodwin returned two kickoffs for 38 yards, neither made it back to the 20.
Coverage Units Da'Norris Searcy was called for a facemask penalty on a third quarter punt return. Only gave up 10 yards on three punt returns and 17 yards on one kickoff return.
Grade C-: The most horrible unit on the club.

Coaching:

Doug Marrone probably should have went for it on 4th and 3 from the Jags 36 but obviously had little faith in Manuel so he tried the long field goal that was no good. His team bounced back after a slow start but it is on him for having a slow start. They should have been ready to go.
Nathaniel Hackett had a very conservative gameplan with lots of sideways and short passes. It didn't help Manuel's accuracy. They ran the ball well later on.
Mike Pettine dialed up a lot of blitzes with varying degrees of success. They were beaten on a screen for a score on a blitz. His defense was very inconsistent but made the plays at the end to get the win.
Grade B: A win is a win.



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