Report Card: Week 9

The Bills put on a rather sloppy performance Sunday against the Jets. Nothing seemed to go right for the young team, who now drops to 5-3 for the season, losing their lead in the AFC East. Rich Pulvino hands out grades for the team's week 9 performance. Full article inside...

Quarterback: C-

Trent Edwards started the game with a perfect first drive, resulting in a touchdown pass to rookie tight end, Derek Fine. After that drive, things took a turn for the worse. Edwards fumbled deep in Buffalo's end of the field and he threw an interception for a 93-yard return and a touchdown. Edwards did finish with a career high 289 yards passing, but in the end he couldn't hold it together enough to muster up a win by throwing an interception late in the game. The Bills have now dropped three of their last four games, and their fate appears to be tied tightly to how well Edwards performs. A day like this will probably keep resulting in losses.

Running backs: D

Running backs? What running backs? I don't remember seeing any on the field. Oh wait. Marshawn Lynch did have nine carries for 16 yards and then was struck by illness, keeping him out a good portion of the game. Fred Jackson was equally as productive with seven carries for 15 yards. It wasn't their fault more running plays weren't called, but the only attention they really got was on Lynch's 42-yard reception in the first quarter. Other than that, they were no where to be found.

Offensive Line: F

Horrible would be too nice of a word. The Jets had five sacks and most of them came when only rushing three or four lineman. And not being able to give Jackson enough blocking for one yard on fourth down deep in Jets territory was abysmal. So the atrocious pass protection, along with no run blocking results in their worst game of the season. If this problem is not fixed, New England is going to pose an even greater threat next weekend.

Tight Ends: A-

Finally! Robert Royal and Derek fine had a combined nine catches for 113 yards. Fine also caught his first pass in the NFL for a touchdown on the opening drive. Seeing this position finally having a purpose in the offense was nice, but this isn't a position that can save the offense. Usually it is the tight ends that don't show up for Edwards, but they decided to play today…in a loss.

Wide Receivers: C-

Not having Josh Reed today hurt, bad. Edwards only went to Roscoe Parrish and Lee Evans, who were both relatively quiet throughout the day. Parrish had a nice 22-yard reception but the Jets secondary had great coverage all day. James Hardy, once again, did not have a reception on a day where he really needed to make his presence known.

Defensive Line: C

There was a pass rush in the first quarter of the game, but that seemed to dissipate quickly. It shows that Aaron Schobel is deeply missed, but even when he was around, the pass rush was still pretty weak. The Jets were held to under 100 yards rushing on the day, but Thomas Jones's touchdown in the third quarter sealed the deal, and he had a 10-yard hole to run threw.

Linebackers: C

Holding the Jets to under 100 yards is a plus, but they couldn't seem to adapt to Favre's short pass game. Posluszny led the Bills with nine tackles and did well on several blitz packages, but Kawika Mitchell and Keith Ellison both had pretty quiet days. More blitz packages would definitely wake up this position and help with a lack-luster Bills pass rush.

Secondary: B-

Jarbari Greer had the play of the day for the Bills with an interception returned 42 yards for the Bills' second touchdown. Favre did not test these guys deep today, but he was still able to complete enough passes across the middle to pick up first downs. Donte Whitner missed a few tackles, which is pretty surprising for him. It highlighted a problem that exists not only in the Bills' secondary, but throughout the defense.

Special Teams: C-

Rian Lindell missed a field goal that could've put the Bills within one score of the Jets and Brian Moorman shockingly botched a punt that gave the Jets good field position one of the drives. Leodis McKelvin averaged over 25 yards on kick returns, which resulted in decent field position on several drives. The special teams' play of the day goes to Lindell with his 53-yard field goal.

Coaching: C-

A one-dimensional offense cannot win football games. The Bills are still too young and too inexperienced to simply abandon the running game and have Edwards lead the charge every week. Lynch was ill today, but Jackson still could have been productive with more runs. The first half challenge call on a completion that resulted in a Jets first down cost the Bills a time out, that they should've saved. Too bad a gutsy call on a fake-punt run by Moorman was erased by a stupid Bills penalty. The Bills seem disorganized and they are going to need to shape up quick to be able to handle New England in a week.

rpulvino@gmail.com


Buffalo Football Report Top Stories