Postgame Report Card: Bills vs Colts

BillsZone.com's Michael J Thomas distributes game day grades.


JP_Losman_11_12_06.jpgQuarterbacks:  JP Losman had another game in which the coaches just wanted him to manage the game.  It almost worked, but JP struggled getting the ball out at times due to horrible pass protection and missed on a few passes too.  Losman completed 8/12 passes for 82 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions or fumbles.  He only missed on 4 passes, but they were costly ones.  He overthrew Lee Evans downfield on a play that might have gone for a touchdown and also underthrew a couple receivers on 3rd down.  Overall, Losman didn't have that bad of a game, but he didn't have a good one either.  The gameplan was focused more on the running play than anything to keep the Colts off the field.  However, when they actually called passing plays and tried to move the chains, Losman was either sacked or forced to throw the ball too early.  Let's hope that it gets better because for now you still can't tell how he is doing if he only attempts 12 passes.  Grade: C-

Running Backs: Anthony Thomas made many of us forget about Willis McGahee. He ran hard on every play and did a nice job helping the Bills move the chains and chewing the clock. Thomas had 28 carries for 109 yards for an average of 3.9 yards per carry with a long of 19-yards. He seemed to get better as the game went on and hit the holes hard. Daimon Shelton didn't do a lot, but he did have some nice blocks for Anthony Thomas and stayed out there at times to help block for JP. Shaud Williams saw some limited action for the first time and was stuffed for no gain on his only carry. Overall, it was a pretty good game. Thomas was only offense for the Bills and was a big reason why they stayed in the game. Grade: B+

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans is the only receiver in this group that is worth anything. He continues to get double and triple coverage, but Losman is still able to find him occasionally. Evans finished the day with 5 catches for 70-yards. Peerless Price was useless out there as he struggles to get separation from the defensive backs and can't get open. Price had 3 catches for 13-yards. Even worse was Roscoe Parrish who did absolutely nothing as the number 3 receiver. He couldn't get open at all and was a non factor in the game. Overall, it was another pathetic performance by this unit. They need to find a way to use the speed on this offense because if you have a receiver like Price who gets only 13-yards, he's not getting utilized right. Let's hope the coaches call some more deep balls next week and get these guys moving. Grade: D

Tight Ends: Robert Royal is now looking like a big bust. He shined all training camp this summer, making sweet catches and showing good speed with his RAC ability. But for now, he is either getting unused or in a major slump. Royal had one ball that was thrown his way, it was low and to his feet, but it was in his hands and he should have caught it. He was also a goat when he was stupidly asked to block Dwight Freeney near the end of the game and allowed Freeney to sack JP Losman. Kevin Everett had another costly penalty when he was flagged for a false start in the 4th quarter. Ryan Neufeld was used more for his blocking ability before he got hurt. However, he was called for a costly holding penalty in the first field goal drive that negated a 13-yard run by Anthony Thomas. Overall, it was another awful day for this unit. They continue to be taken out of the game as they are asked to stay at the line and help block, but still aren't making the plays when asked to. Grade: F

Offensive Line: This has gotta be the worst offensive line in the league as far as pass blocking. They allowed 4 sacks on 16 passing plays. That's 25% of the times that JP Losman goes back to pass! That's insane! The left side looks a little better, with Jason Peters moving to left tackle. They do a great job opening up holes for the running game. But now the weak link is definitely the right side. Terrence Pennington doesn't look even close to being an NFL tackle yet and Chris Villarrial isn't good. If the offense is to ever get better, the right side needs to be upgraded big time. Let's see how they can do against a pretty good Houston defense next week. If things don't get better soon, then Jauron needs to consider changing things up again. Grade: F

Defensive Line: Aaron Schobel went back to being quiet again. He didn't get much pressure on Peyton Manning and struggled against Pro Bowl LT Tarik Glenn. Schobel finished with only 1 tackle, but he also forced the fumble at the end of the game that kept the Bills hopes alive. Chris Kelsay was very quiet too with only 3 tackles, as was Ryan Denney who had 2 tackles. The middle of the line was pretty bad too as Larry Tripplett went back to doing nothing again, finishing the day with only 1 tackle. Tim Anderson had 1 tackle too. Kyle Williams left the line with 4 total tackles. Overall, it was a lousy performance by this unit. They had hardly any pressure on Peyton Manning and allowed the Colts to run right up the middle when they wanted to. Let's hope they can get back to form against the Texans' weak offensive line. Grade: D

Linebackers: London Fletcher-Baker kept up his solid play for the second game in a row. He was all over the field, making plays and helping contain the Colts offense. Fletcher finished the day with 14 total tackles. Angelo Crowell roamed the field all day and was in on every play. He finished the day with 11 solo tackles, 1 assist, 2 passes defensed, and 1 forced fumble that was returned by Terrence McGee for a touchdown. Takeo Spikes showed that he's a shell of his former self, but he did still have 9 tackles. He's just struggling at getting to the ball and doesn't show the same burst he used to have. Overall, it was a great game by this unit. They helped confuse Peyton Manning with their packages and did a nice job keeping the high powering Colts from scoring many points. Grade: A

Secondary: Wow! What an excellent game by this unit. Both Nate Clements and Terrence McGee did a great job covering the star Colts receivers. Nate Clements completely shut down Marvin Harrison. He had his best game in a long time and finished the day with 5 tackles, 1 fumble recovery and knocked down 2 nice passes that were intended for Harrison. Terrence McGee was facing Reggie Wayne and had great coverage all game. Yes he did allow a touchdown, but he covered it perfectly. Wayne just made a great catch in the end zone. McGee finished the game with 6 tackles, and 1 fumble recovery that he returned 68-yards for a touchdown. Kiwaukee Thomas was beaten on a long pass to Dallas Clark in the Colts' first scoring drive. But he made up for that with a nice pass breakup later in the drive. Thomas had 3 tackles and 1 pass defensed. Donte Whitner had some nice coverage and finished the day with 4 tackles. Ko Simpson had 3 tackles for the day and also didn't blow any coverage. Overall, it was a great day for this unit. When you hold Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to a total of 6 receptions for 63 yards, you did a good job. Let's hope they can keep this up.

Special Teams: For the second week in a row, this unit made huge plays and was a big part of the game. Terrence McGee broke a long return for 88-yards, but failed to get into the end zone. It was the 2nd longest kickoff return, that didn't go for a touchdown, in Bills history. McGee had 4 returns for an average of 36.8 yards. On punts, Roscoe Parrish did a sold job. He had 2 returns for an average of 13.5 yards, including a nice 21-yard return that gave the Bills offense great field position and resulted in a field goal. The coverage teams were solid as Terrence Wilkins was held to 0 yards on 1 punt, thanks to a nice open field tackle by Andre Davis. Wilkins was held to an average of 23.2 yards on 5 kickoff returns. As for the kicking teams, Brian Moorman was his usual Pro Bowl self. He had 4 punts for an average of 49.2 yards with a long of 61-yards. Moorman did a stellar job with his kicks as 3 out of 4 were downed inside the 20-yard line. He also successfully converted a 4th down and 1 with a nice 2-yard run on a fake punt. Rian Lindell did a nice job with the kickoffs and made 3 out of 4 field goals. But he missed a 41-yard field goal that would have given the Bills the lead with 6-minutes to go in the game. The only other negative was when Kevin Everett was called for a questionable roughing the punter penalty on a punt. This ended up giving the ball back to the Colts after the defene stopped them. Overall, it was a great day for this unit. It would have been perfect, if not for the missed field goal and the penalty. Grade: A-

Coaching: The game plan was genius, but there were still adjustments that had to be made and weren't. Perry Fewell called an excellent game to stop the Colts explosive offense. It worked perfectly as the Bills shut down Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, but they still couldn't stop the run. This hurt them at the end when the Colts ran out the final 6-minutes of the clock. It might have been better if the Bills still had their timeouts, but they were wasted on some offensive plays earlier in the half. The offense stuck to their plan of running the ball and keeping the Colts off the field, but they couldn't pound the ball into the end zone. Steve Fairchild needs to do something to help JP Losman out, because the pass protection is giving him no time to throw and you really can't win a game if you only attempt 12 passes in a game. Bobby April is still a genius and called another great game for the special teams. It's nice to them back to form. Overall, it was a pretty good gameplan, but the fact that they kept the same plays even when they didn't work hurt the offense and the defense fell apart at the end. Grade: B-


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