MMQB: Week 4

The Bills may be 4-0 after their victory in St. Louis, but that doesn't mean they're playing perfect football. Rich Pulvino breaks down yesterday's game with his MMQB report card.

Quarterback: B

Trent Edwards had a shaky first half, but a lot of that can be contributed to his offensive line. It's hard to throw accurately when you're immediately bogged down by four defensemen. He threw a beautiful pass to Evans to start the game, but the interception he threw in the first half was a very poor. He recovered very nicely in the second half…as usual. A beautiful pass to Evans for a TD solidified the victory and finding Reed proved useful in converting first downs. Edwards finished 15 of 25 for 197 yards. He got the ball to his receivers when it mattered, something that this young QB has shown he has no problem doing. Overall, a pretty good day for Edwards.

Running Backs: B+

Both Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson had good games on the ground, combing for over 100 yards. The O-line provided no holes in the first half, but the second half proved to be different. Jackson had an impressive 22-yard score and Lynch picked up several first downs on tough carries, always shaking off that first defender. Lynch had a few longer runs, but they were both called back on stupid holding penalties by the offensive line.

Wide Receivers: B

James Hardy had a rough day, not being able to cut back on defenders being his main problem. Evans and Reed both had productive games. Evans caught two long-balls, one being a 39-yard TD. Reed was the go-to receiver when it came to picking up first downs. His hands have proved solid throughout the entire season so far, with no bumbling dropped passes.

Tight Ends: C+

A quiet day as usual for the tight ends. They joined the offensive line in the anti-blocking committee in the first half and had only one reception for eight yards. The second half started nicely when an illegal formation penalty on Robert Royal cancelled a two-point conversion. It seems that the Bills' tight ends usually have one big game a year, and Royal already scored a TD in the season opener, so that must've been it. Derek Schouman had a nice 21-yard reception, but that proved to be all the noise the crew would make on the day.

Offensive Line: C+

OK, the grade for the first half was a solid F. Edwards was sacked four times in the first half and it was usually on account of his linemen lying down and letting the Rams defense run rampant. Stupid holding penalties (*cough* Jason Peters *cough*) brought back some great Lynch runs and the holes were more like slivers. Halftime woke them up. Edwards had plenty of time in the pocket to deliver his passes and Lynch and Jackson started breaking through for longer runs. The two halves averaged out to the current grade for the O-line.

Defensive Line: B-

First half was pretty dismal for the front four. Trent Green was getting time to step up and complete his passes and Steven Jackson had a field day running through the hallways that opened up for him, with almost 100 yards before halftime. The second half proved effective. Jackson seemed to disappear in the second half, gaining less than 20 yards. Green was barreled down upon by Kyle Williams and Aaron Schobel and second string defensive tackle, Spencer Johnson, had a beautiful sack.

Linebackers: B

It seemed that Paul Posluszny was everywhere today. In the backfield pressuring Green, making tackles on receivers downfield, and stuffing the run. And whenever he made a hit, it sounded like the whole dome would be able to hear it-but that might've just been because it was so empty. He led the team with eight tackles and was the only one of the core that seemed the make any noise throughout the day. Kawika Mitchell and Keith Ellison had a few tackles each, but nothing too exciting.

Secondary: A-

Jabari Greer had the play-of-the-game with his 33-yard interception return for a touchdown…and it was an impressive 33-yard run at that. Trent Green had 236 yards passing on the Bills secondary, but they were able to shut down the receivers in the second half, helping keep the Rams scoreless. Once again, Steven Jackson had to be the Rams leading receiver, and all-pro Tory Holt had a nice catch every once in a while, but nothing that added up for his team. Overall, Greer and company kept the Rams quiet and helped keep them in their spot as one of the worst passing offenses in the NFL.

Special Teams: B+

Rian Lindell had three field goals on the day, two of them from 45 yards. The Bills had great coverage on kickoffs, keeping the Rams in modest field position to start their drives. Brian Moorman punted the ball inside the Rams own 20 several times and Leodis McKelvin had solid kickoff returns in place of Terrence McGee and he and Jackson both had good punt returns as well in place of the injured Roscoe Parrish.

Coaching: B+

Dick Jauron and his crew know the Bills' weaknesses and do a great job at correcting mistakes at halftime. In the first half, the Bills looked like the Rams did during the first three weeks of the season. The offensive unit was unproductive and the defense seemed nonexistent. That all changed after halftime. The Bills started playing great football, offense and defense both scoring, as well as having special teams contribute in setting up great field position. A good win for Jauron and his staff, even with a little bit of a scare for the first 30 minutes.


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