Report Card: Week 14

The Bills have a lot going wrong for them after losing a second-straight game, this time to the Dolphins, 16-3. BFR's Rich Pulvino breaks down all the positions and hands out his weekly grades...

Quarterback: F

J.P. Losman started his first game in over a year and after his game play, I would be satisfied if he never started again for Buffalo. Yes, Trent Edwards was hurt and couldn't play, but Losman should be prepared for what was the Bills' most important game of the season. He had absolutely no confidence and it showed. He was 13 of 27 for 123 yards and an awful interception in the endzone when the Bills were on the one-yard-line. He needs to learn how to look for other receivers besides his primary one. He continued to hold onto the ball too long, resulting in sacks and fumbles. Quite an embarrassing performance in what should have been his time to shine.

Running Backs: F

Marshawn Lynch was not a factor at all in the game. Miami's defense was able to swarm around him all day. He was also ineffective as a receiver; dropping passes and not putting on the usual moves that make him such a key threat. Lynch had 13 carries for 31 yards, making Losman the leading rusher in the game…so sad.

Offensive Line: F

As soon as Buffalo's Duke Preston fumbled the ball on a snap, forgetting that Losman was in a shotgun formation, you knew it was going to be a long day for this crew. Miami never had to rush more than five players. Joey Porter had another great day against a Bills o-line that consistently proves that they are overpaid for the work they do. There were no holes for the running game, and Losman was under constant pressure the entire game. It's hard to put up points when an o-line is as dysfunctional as this one.

Tight Ends: F

Robert Royal dropped the only pass thrown his way. The Derek's were non-existent, contributing to the mess that was the running game and passing game. A new tight end is definitely in the Bills' draft future.

Wide Receivers: C-

They did what they could with what they had. Josh Reed had a good day with five catches for 58 yards, but Lee Evans was pretty much shut down for the second week in a row. It's hard to be effective when the star player is not able to get the ball for two straight weeks. The suffering and frustration is definitely showing.

Defensive Line: C

Chad Pennington seemed to have all day in the pocket…probably because the Bills' d-line could put no pressure on him. Ryan Denney had another impressive batted down pass and Marcus Stroud had a few impressive run stops, but you could tell the fatigue was starting to set in. When Miami had possession for as long as they did (37:13), it becomes harder and harder to keep stopping them.

Linebackers: C

Paul Posluszny had a great day, seeming to get involved in every play. He had 11 tackles and a "near sack" on Pennington. He was the highlight of a tired linebacking corps that did everything they could to stop Miami's running game. They did relatively well, holding Ronnie Brown to 70 yards, but they got no help from the offense.

Secondary: C-

Similar to the linebackers, this was another worn out position by the end of the game. Chad Pennington was perfect in the second half, but it was because three-quarters of his throws were either screen passes or less than ten yards. Either way, these guys had a long day. Byron Scott had a great day, showing off his tackling skills in stopping the run. Terrence McGee had a much easier day covering Ted Ginn Jr. He only had one reception in the game, but Pennington was able to spread the ball around all day, and these guys were not able to adjust properly to prevent Miami first downs.

Special Teams: B

Rian Lindell had the pinnacle moment for the Bills today, scoring the Bills' only points on a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter. After that, the offense couldn't even get close enough to get him back out for another try. Leodis McKelvin had another impressive return day, averaging 28 yards per return, but it just was not enough to get the Bills another scoring chance. Solid punting by Brian Moorman and solid return coverage were the other highlights from the Bills' most talented area.

Coaching: D

Turk Schonert needs to seriously reevaluate his game plan because it hasn't worked for six out of the last seven games. Throwing a jump ball to Lee Evans in the endzone when he's only 5-10 is not a smart decision. Perry Fewell did a pretty decent job with the defense, but Schonert's offense gave them no help, making it an extremely long day for the crew. Dick Jauron has proved over the past seven weeks that he has not earned that contract extension. The Bills' haven't scored a touchdown in two straight games, when in the beginning of the year they were a new team to be feared. I would ask, "What happened?" But Jauron and crew probably wouldn't be able to provide an answer.

rpulvino@gmail.com


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