Okay, so I watched yesterday’s game on tv after being there in person. As I am giving somewhat of a late review, I will give some awards based on what I saw:
Under-rated play- (These guys played better than they are getting credit for.)
-Bryan Scott- 1 big INT (that actually may have hit the ground), several big run stops, even a few pass breakups, and a tipped pass on the 2 pt conversion late. Scott was everywhere yesterday. Very dependable tackler.
-Kyle Williams/Marcus Stroud- Williams knifed through o-line on a few plays for big run stops and pressure on Leftwich. Stroud holds the line of scrimmage well and also makes plays. Good play by the middle of the d-line. Holding Tampa to 57 rushing yards total after they put up some big numbers last week vs Dallas was truly remarkable. Congrats to the big guys.
-Fred Jackson- Under-rated, you say? You say the media can’t stop talking about his play the past two weeks? I say it’s still not enough. Jackson has put up 2 tremendous games. Especially considering he’s the only RB that defenses focus on. He catches passes, fights for yards on every play, and doesn’t stop until he hears a whistle. He’s the team MVP after 2 games.
-Terrence McGee- Just plain solid all day long. While you see other Buffalo corners giving huge cushions, McGee closes very quickly, while never giving up big yards after catch. On a day where it seemed he may not play due to injury, McGee was as solid, if unspectacular, as they come.
Adequately-rated play- (These guys are getting the attention they deserve.)
-Donte Whitner- I’m sure nobody was happier yesterday than Whitner (well, until he got home, that is) since he needed a big play and finally delivered. Some decent hits in the field as well. Could get to the QB quicker on blitzes, though.
-Trent Edwards- Very good game, he made all the throws that needed to be made. Still some room to improve though, the floater INT in middle of field in red zone is a bad one that takes points off scoreboard. Very good touch on the throws to Owens. Really lets him run under them.
Over-rated play- (These guys are not getting called out…and they should.)
-Defensive end pass rush- Surprise, surprise. We all know this area has to be better. Leftwich had too much time, could step up into the pocket, while the defensive ends continuously sped around the end and were taken out of the play. It was almost comical to see it happen every single pass play.
-Terrell Owens- Thank god he got involved late, catching the back-breaking long touchdown. Because aside from that, he dropped a VERY catchable deep pass in the 1st half, and looked uninterested much of the time when the play isn’t for him. The coaches can’t be happy with his run blocking, can they? Do they just accept that he doesn’t run block? Good for the Bills for taking shots deep to Owens though. That needs to happen at least once a game, regardless of circumstances.
Demetrious Bell- I know I should have low expectations, since the guy hasn’t played organized football for more than 5 years, but still, I just didn’t see many physical plays from Bell. Def loved how the guy can pull and move though. With some experience and toughness, he could be really good. But wasn’t yesterday. At least his assignment didn’t really get to Edwards much.
The observations these awards were based on:
-Kyle Williams great penetration on run stuff to start game off on the right foot.
-If Youboty catches that “throwback” on the punt return, he’s got open field ahead. Like the call.
-O-Line getting great drive on run plays so far. Wood fired up after a good block.
-Throw to Evans on touchdown could have been longer, but it works for 6. Great concentration to stay inbounds long enough for touchdown.
-Levitre the 3rd guy down the field to congratulate Evans after touchdown. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not! Let’s hope he beat his guy quick, then went to second level and right to endzone!
-Anyone else think of past Syracuse linebacker Clifton Smith when Tampa’s Clifton Smith is returning kicks? Either the SU Smith slimmed down and added some speed, or they are not the same person.
-Stroud sack, he beat o-lineman and Cadillac. The big man still has it!
-Big hit by McGee on Cadillac on swing pass. Great open field tackle. Memories of Winfield.
-No pressure by the defensive ends, instead getting pushed out past Leftwich, who instead is stepping up into pocket and finding time to throw.
-Whitner must have been relieved to have finally made a play! Right place, right time for Whitner as Leftwich sailed it right to him. Did it appear to anyone else like the return was in slow motion?
-Marcus Buggs great fill in hole to stop Ward. Stroud takes on 2 linemen to allow Buggs untouched and gets his helmet knocked off in process.
-Bills did good job of “selling” INTs this game. 1st was McGee, which went to review but was off the turf. 2nd was Scott, which also looked like it hit the ground, but was upheld as INT. Wonder if they practice the “selling” of Ints?
-Great job by Edwards escaping pass rush to keep play alive on floater to Owens in end zone but Owens couldn’t come up with it. Holding on Bell anyway.
-Stroud made tackle 10 yards downfield. Again, not sure if this is good or bad. What’s he doing that far back?
-Missed tackle by Buggs in backfield.
-On td pass to Winslow, defensive ends again taken out of play by running to far past QB.
-Lots of fighting on kickoff returns. Gotta like the energy.
-Great run by Fred Jackson, hit at line of scrimmage, guys think play is dead, Jackson keeps running for 8 yards. Great lead-by-example type play.
-Gotta love T.O. being animate about going for it on 4th and 1 yard.
-Almost a repeat of Edwards to Evans as it is just out of reach. Much props for playcalling, especially throwing it up and letting Evans try to go up and get it. Memories of JP to Evans vs Jets 2 years ago. Evans is making 9 mill a year, let him earn it.
-Levitre beat by Chris Hovan, one on one, but Edwards still had adequate time. Incomplete pass.
-Solid tackle by McGee. 1 yard pickup. No yards after catch for anyone McGee covering today.
-Dropped INT by McKelvin. We will only support so many mistakes buddy! (although it will only take 1 good play to get us back. We’re easy like that.)
-Leftwich just making some bad throws right now. Making the defense look better.
-Another heads up run by Fred Jackson, toeing the out-of-bounds line for more yards. Gritty running.
-Wow. Won’t see a worse drop this year than Owens’ long pass play. Watched that replay with my hands over my eyes…frightening!
-By the way, Trent threw that ball at least 50 yards in the air. To all the haters of his arm strength out there, Trent puts the issue to bed. (although the dopes will continue to call the radio shows and complain about the lack of arm strength)
-Another long pass to Evans! Are these the same Bills? By my count that is 4 deep passes already. Only 1 caught, but still.
-Really not impressed with Terrell Owens blocking on run plays. Not sure you can even call it blocking. In fact, while at the game I watched Owens a few plays and if he is not intended receiver…well, he’s uninterested to say the least.
-Numerous Jackson second efforts today. Great to see. Bills better keep blocking until the whistle with this guy running. Great pull block by Levitre.
-Pitch-out to Jackson for 1 yard. Bell pulls, but hits nobody.
-Edwards doesn’t slide on run, takes big shot. Or maybe delivers big shot? Nice 20 yard run.
-Great job by Parrish to save a touchdown that he may have helped create with a bad block. Jackson fumbles (“whoop!” In best Berman voice), and Parrish chases down Tampa defender. Memories of Don Beebe.
-What a momentum change on the fumble. Goes from red zone for Buffalo to Tampa touchdown right before halftime.
-If you were at the stadium, did you notice that Omon has different music playing before kickoff returns than McKelvin does? Was waiting for “Put on” but got a different tune. It’s sorta like WWF wrestling matches, with the different theme music. Maybe they should make it theatrical. “McKelvin back to receive kick…oh wait, I hear Omon’s theme music come on the speakers….he emerges from the tunnel and takes out McKelvin….
-Bills come out really flat in second half.
-Schoebel gets pushed to outside, behind Leftwich again. What else is new?
-Good open field tackle/pass breakup by Youboty.
-Another toss right to Jackson, another pull by Bell and no block. Personal foul for facemask saves a 2 yard loss.
-O-lineman Scott can’t maintain block long, Edwards gets sacked. Again, decent time though.
-Good pass breakup by Reggie Corner even though the blitz didn’t get there in time.
-Maybin swim move, pushed too far outside. Leftwich steps up and makes throw. See a pattern here? Guess it’s not just limited to Kelsay & Schobel.
-Great penetration and snap count anticipation by K. Mitchell on 4th and 1. Good stout stop by Whitner.
-Terrible floater by Edwards picked off. Can’t even see how that could be Evans fault it was so bad. Drive killed, no points.
-Bryan Scott eluding Winslow block for backfield tackle. Loss of 3 yards.
-Corner blitzes untouched, but doesn’t make the play. Leftwich steps up and makes throw underhand somehow. Kyle Williams and Stroud in backfield as well.
-Hated the 3rd and 10 from the 13 yard line screen pass call. Just terrible. Does that ever work? I say no. Throw to the endzone, but put it so either your guy catches it or nobody does so that you don’t kill the field goal.
-Finally, Kelsay with a QB hit! (yes, we are cheering QB hits now!) Still no sign of Schobel though. If you see him, please call his family, they are concerned.
-Man, T.O. can really fire up a crowd! Even one of the security guards is pumped when he beats Aqib Teleb (no easy task) one on one and Edwards drops it right in for the touchdown. Great play all around. Even decent coverage.
-Missed tackle by Ellison on Cadillac screen pass.
-Nice open field tackle by Bryan Scott on Winslow. Even Daryl Johnston remarks that not many missed tackles in this defensive backfield of the Bills today.
-Kelsay stunts, gets in on Leftwich unblocked, wraps his arms around him and….slides around him like a stripper doing a pole dance! (I’ve heard that’s how it looks, haven’t seen it myself, of course.) Leftwich gets pass off…first down! Never seen anything like it. Was 3rd and 10, too.
-Tampa doing good job picking up Buffalo blitzes.
-Good job by Kelsay and Ellison demolishing Leftwich on screen pass. Incomplete. Update on Schobel: We received a call from his cell phone, but could not trace the signal. Still missing. May have to get FBI involved in this one.
-Fantastic catch by Stovall. Went up and got it, even with decent coverage by Corner.
-1st and goal from the 5 yard line, here is the sequence: 1.) Stroud run stop. 2.) Mitchell blitzes (superfast), Leftwich somehow throws it out of bounds before getting killed. 3.) Corner forces Stovall out of bounds on jumpball, no more force out rule. 4.) And on 4th down, TE Stevens blocks, then releases and Leftwich throws lob in middle of field for touchdown. So close to a big hold for Defense.
-Bryan Scott tipped pass on 2 pt conversion to keep it a 2 score game for Tampa. Big play.
-What the hell was the kickoff by Tampa? Was it a squib kick? On sides kick? Did they just try to hit a Bills player and have it bounce back? We may never know. Odd.
-Whenever I watch Bell block, I never see him really hit somebody. Maybe I’m just not watching the right plays.
-Again, T.O. proves to be a somewhat unwilling run blocker. In fact, Fred Jackson, in one of his never-stop-the-feet-moving plays, almost runs him over! Either block or get out of the way!
-Mo and Keita in the house! Jumbotron shows them. Receives mild cheers.
-McGee steps in front of pass, but can’t hang on! Very catchable ball, but good job by McGee in stepping into passing lane.
-Okay, call off the FBI Criminal Minds team! We have a Schobel sighting! He hits Leftwich! And hits him in the head. Anyway you can do it, I’ll take it.
-Corner can’t hang on to a low pass.
-Ellison comes on a blitz, misses Leftwich, but Denney does get the sack.
-Bryan Scott pass breakup.
-End of game.