Bills/Browns Report Card

Grades are in for Buffalo's 6-3 loss to Cleveland and they're not pretty. The secondary completely shut down Derek Anderson, but the offense's miscues were simply too much to overcome.

PASSING OFFENSE: F -- The Bills have sunk to new depths in the passing game because now the problems begin before the ball is even snapped. Despite being the home team against Cleveland, the Bills committed nine false-start penalties -- one on WR Lee Evans and eight on the offensive linemen. It was a stupefying performance. Evans continued to be invisible with two catches for 11 yards, Terrell Owens was a non-factor with four catches for 44 yards, zero in the second half, and Trent Edwards is falling down the QB rating chart faster than the temperature in Buffalo. Edwards looks completely lost, incapable of leading a productive drive. His longest play was a 35-yard pass to Marshawn Lynch which went that far because the Browns blew a coverage on a short pass over the middle.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- The Bills got Marshawn Lynch back into the starting lineup and he ran pretty well, gaining 69 yards on 17 carries. But Fred Jackson, who came into the game ranked second in the NFL in yards gained from scrimmage, carried only four times. Oh, and he gained 40 yards on those plays. It was strange that he was not utilized more as he also had only three passes thrown his way, catching two for a mere 17 yards. The line was horrible in pass protection and in committing false starts, but there were some holes and the Bills averaged 4.1 yards per rush.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- Actually, this should probably be an incomplete because the Browns were so horrid that the defensive backs were rarely tested. Nonetheless, when you hold the opposing quarterback to two completions in 17 attempts, something was going right. Derek Anderson was brutally bad, and he wasn't helped by some drops, but the Bills were pretty solid in coverage and while they had only one sack, there was some occasional pressure.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- A clear indication of just how helpless the Bills now are at LB after losing Kawika Mitchell to a knee injury, the two leading tacklers against the Browns were DTs Kyle Williams and Marcus Stroud. Instead of holding up blockers so the LBs can make the tackles, Williams and Stroud took matters into their own hands and combined for 19 tackles, four for losses, and a sack. And still, the Browns rushed for 171 yards with aging Jamal Lewis, inactive the last two weeks, gaining 117. The Bills also lost LB Marcus Buggs to a knee injury and at the end of the day the linebacking unit consisted of Keith Ellison, Jon Corto and Ashlee Palmer whose average weight is listed generously at about 228 pounds.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- It was another rough day for the once-proud Bills' kicking teams. Roscoe Parrish made the blunder of the game, foolishly trying to field a bouncing punt with 2:59 to go, fumbling, and the Browns recovered at the Bills 16, leading to the winning field goal. Parrish also had a minus-15-yard punt return. Rian Lindell made his lone field goal, and Brian Moorman averaged 52 yards on seven punts, but had none downed inside the 20 while his opponent, Cleveland's Dave Zastudil, had seven inside the 20.

COACHING: F -- Dick Jauron's days would appear to be numbered in Buffalo, though the problem is there is no one on the staff capable of taking over as the lead man. Jauron's team had nine false start penalties in a home game, 13 penalties overall. His offense scored three points against a Cleveland defense that was ranked 31st in points, 32nd in yards. His team found a way to lose a game in which the opposing quarterback completed two passes for 23 yards. What more can you say? The coordinators have not distinguished themselves, but in all honesty, with the startling lack of reserve talent on this roster that is now pressed into duty because there are so many injuries, you have to wonder what exactly they're supposed to do. It's a mess in Buffalo.

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