BillsZone Report Card: Bills vs Jets

The game plan all along has been to focus on the running game and not put it all on JP Losman's shoulder. For some reason, they decided to open it up and have him pass for over 300-yards. It looked like a good idea at the beginning, but then the Jets began to confuse JP with a bunch of different blitzes and covering all his receivers like a blanket.

Coaching: The result was 3 turnovers. That cost the team the game, but it wasn't the only reason. Willis McGahee had over 100-yards after the first half, but they decided to keep passing. I do like the fact that they opened up the passing game, but I would have liked to see more downfield plays and more runs on 3rd and short. The bootleg at the goal-line was disturbing too because they only needed 1-yard and most likely Willis would have gotten it. On the defensive side, they got too conservative and let Chad Pennington sit back in the pocket and pick them apart. I don't know what happened to the defense that had 7 sacks last week and 10 in the first two weeks. Hopefully they will go back to that against Minnesota. Now onto the fake field goal, it was an interesting call, but I would have either preferred the points or rather go for it with the offense on the field. Overall, I think the coaching staff got a little too confident over the last two weeks and thought it was time to throw some new things in the game plan. It didn't work. Hopefully we'll see more of the old game plan next week that worked solidly against the Patriots and Dolphins for the most part. Grade: D

JP_Losman_vs_Jets_9_24_06.jpgQuarterbacks: JP Losman did not have a bad game, but he did not have a stroing effort by any means. Losman finished the day completing 22/38 for 328 yards, with 1 interception and 1 touchdown. He made a bunch of great throws that I have been waiting to see. He also made some nice scrambles to avoid the sacks. But he did turn the ball over 3 times.   The interception was a poor throw, but the wind also took it too.  And the two fumbles were because he couldn't hold onto the ball as he got blindsided from behind.  As for the overall game, JP did just what he needed to do towards the end. He had a solid drive when they were down by 15 and got the team back into the game with that touchdown run. Then after they recovered the onside kick, you could tell that JP was extremely nervous because this was the first time he had a chance to make a major comeback. He came out throwing short passes that were way too high and not good. This is normal for a kid who doesn't even have a full season under his belt. I wasn't surprised with that drive at all. But the drive before that did impress me. I think we'll start to see more of that too.  Grade: C+ 

Running Backs: Willis McGahee finally had the kind of game that we have been waiting for. He broke the 100-yard mark and actually ran for a career high of 150-yards on 26 carries. Willis also caught 2 passes for 3 yards. However, he did have some trouble running near the goal-line when he tried twice to pound the ball in from the 6-yard line and wasn't successful. McGahee also missed a key block on a blitzing Kerry Rhodes, who ended up sacking JP Losman and stripping him of the ball, which was returned for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Anthony Thomas saw limited action with only 1 carry for 1 yard. Daimon Shelton paved the way for Willis McGahee with some nice blocks, but he suffered a head injury and was out for the second half. He was definitely missed. Overall, it was a very good game. But it could have been better if Willis was able to pound it in on 2nd and goal from the 2-yard line and if he was able to pickup the blitz and give Losman time to make that throw instead of fumbling it away. Grade: B+

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans was quiet for the first half of the game as he was shut down by double or triple coverage. He made up for it by piling up over 100-yards in the second half. Evans finished the day with 8-catches for 107 yards. Right behind him was Roscoe Parrish who had a great day and started the game off with a quick 51-yard touchdown, after taking a 10-yard pass another 41 yards. He showed great RAC ability and definitely drew more attention from the Jets defense after that play. Parrish finished the day with 4 receptions for 104 yards and 1 touchdown. Peerless Price was more quiet with 3 catches for 49 yards but started the game off right with a nice 18-yard catch from JP Losman. Josh Reed caught 4 passes for 45 yards, but he failed to get the first down on 4th down and 3, when the coaches chose to go for it. Overall, it was a good day for the receivers but not good enough. Lee Evans couldn't find a way to get open until it was too late and the #2 receivers didn't help. Grade: B-

Tight Ends: Robert Royal had another big catch, this time for 20-yards. But other than that, he was non-existant in the passing game. He did have some nice blocks though. Kevin Everett was kept off the stats too, but he had some good blocking for the running game. However, he also had a holding penalty. Overall, this unit is still not getting used enough. I hope JP Losman starts to use Royal more, because he would be a great checkdown receiver when Losman is in trouble. Grade: C+

Offensive Line: Sure it's hard to say that this unit did a bad job when you have a 150-yard RB and a QB who passes for over 300-yards, but they did struggle at times. The line continues to be two-sided. One minute they make a huge hole for Willis McGahee to run thru and give JP Losman time to throw a long pass. Yet the next minute, there is no hole for Willis at the goal-line and Losman is getting rushed into throwing and has no time to throw deep to his receiver. Overall, I thought the line did well with the running game, but pretty much struggled with the Jets pass rush. Even when Losman made good throws, he was getting knocked down. Grade: C-

Defensive Line: What happened to the relentless pass rush from a week ago? There was none on Sunday. Aaron Schobel, Ryan Denney, and Chris Kelsay were kept in check by the Jets young offensive line. Kelsay did end up with one sack, but that was too little, too late. He also had 2 tackles. Denney had 4 total tackles and Schobel just added 2 assists. The defensive tackles also didn't add much of a pass rush. But they did a decent job of stopping the run, except at the goal-line. Larry Tripplett had 3 tackles, Tim Anderson had 4, John McCargo saw more action with 2 tackles and Kyle Williams finished the day with 1 assist. Overall, it was a poor day for a unit that impressed everyone so much last week. It makes you wonder if they believed their hype a bit too much. Grade: D

Linebackers: Considering how poor the defensive line was at pressuring the quarterback, you had to know that this unit would need to make a bunch of tackles and they did pretty well. Angelo Crowell led the unit with 10 total tackles. He did a nice job at Strongside linebacker. London Fletcher was his usual self, roaming the field and making tackles. He finished the day with 7 total. Keith Ellison impressed me as he was in on 8-total tackles and did a nice job helping keep the Jets running game in check. Overall, it was a good day for this unit. They held the Jets under 75 total rushing yards, but did struggle at the goal-line and bit on the roll-right play fake, which led to Pennington hitting a wide open Chris Baker in the end zone for the touchdown. Grade: B-

Secondary: Terrence McGee had a decent game. He kept his receiver in check for most of the game, but was burned a couple times too. McGee finished the day with 3 tackles. Nate Clements was badly burned many times in the game, but did finish the day with 5-tackles. Jabari Greer had 2 tackles, but also was burned by Jerricho Cotchery on an 18-yard pass play. Kiwaukee Thomas had one tackle and did a decent job in coverage. The rookie safeties that everyone have been excited about so far were pretty quiet for the day. Donte Whitner did have 3 tackles though, many of them after a long gain. Ko Simpson had 2 total tackles for the day. Overall, it was a quiet day for this unit. They didn't get burned for a lot of yards, but were killed by Pennington's dink and dunk all day. If they didn't have such a big cushion, that might have helped. Grade: C+

Special Teams: Brian Moorman was his usual solid self. He had a 49.5 average on 2 punts, with a long of 58-yards. He did mess up on a fake field goal though when he threw behind Jason Peters. That had the ability to be a big play, but it wasn't good enough. Rian Lindell continued to show his stuff too. He was 2/2 with a long field goal of 36-yards that was kicked into a really strong wind and still made it in. Lindell did well in kickoffs too, 3 out of 4 were within the 5-yardline and 1 was a touchback. He also had a nice onside kick that was short of 10-yards, but was dropped by the Jets player and recovered by Andre Davis. As for the coverage teams, they did a good job containing two solid return men in Miller and Dwight, except for the last kickoff that Miller took to the 42-yard line. The return teams struggled by their standards and need to get better. McGee had no chance to break one as the coverage by the Jets was very solid. Parrish struggled fielding the punts due to the wind. Overall, it was an average day for this unit. The fake field goal was interesting and would have been great if done right. The onside kick caught the Jets offguard and was a brilliant call by Bobby April. Grade: B-

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