With Detroit going for a game tying 2 point conversion with 14 seconds left, the Bills defense persevered to secure the Bills first win of the season! That's right, the Bills won 14-12, in a battle of defenses in the cold and rain at Orchard Park. Here's how the game stacked up.
Rushing Offense: A
Fred Jackson showed his stuff today, getting the first single 100 yard rushing game of the year. With only 25 carries, Jackson ran for 133 yards, averaging 5.3 yards a carry including a touchdown (as well as catching 6 passes for 37 yards and a touchdown). From finding holes, good blocking, and simply raw talent in dodging tackles, Jackson powered the offense all day long. C.J. Spiller looked sharp on his two carries before leaving the game with an injury leading to a lesser performance by newcomer Quinton Ganther. An early fumble by Jackson however keeps this impressive performance from garnering an A+.
Passing Offense: C
A combination of poor weather, dropped passes, pressure and off targeted throws, failed to ignite the passing game. Fitzpatrick had several good passes to Lee Evans and Fred Jackson, but only managed to hook up with favorite wide receiver Stevie Johnson only three times for the aforementioned reasons, while Donald Jones only managed a early single catch in Parrish's slot position. No impact whatsoever by the tight ends yet again however. Expect Gailey to utilize David Nelson more against Cincy next week. Offensive line played well in only allowing a powerful Lions D-Line to get a single sack on Fitz, particularly Eric Wood blocking Suh.
Rushing Defense: A+
Once again, another great game by the front seven. Best was limited to only 35 yards total and 76 yards for the Lions as a whole during the game (less than 3 yards a carry) with no touchdowns and only one run, on a reverse, of over 10 yards. Kyle Williams, Paul Posluszny and Reggie Torbor had great penetration all day, stopping Best several times for negative yardage.
Passing Defense: C
Despite better pressure, blown coverages by the secondary (particularly the Lions last drive) allowed the Lions to hang in the game until the very end. Despite being unable to cover Calvin Johnson (who is a beast of a wide receiver), the Bills did a good job shutting down Pettigrew. Better yet, the Bills got their second interception of the year off of a Whitner deflected pass, by Dwan Edwards meaning the defensive backs have yet to get a pick this season so far. Bryan Scott had the lone sack for the Bills.
Special Teams: B+
With Spiller injured, McKelvin returned to punt and kick return duties to much success and would have had a touchdown except for a phantom holding call negating the return. Moorman had a fair game pinning the Lions deep in their territory, and preventing Lion's return man Logan from getting things going. Lindell barely missed a 41 yard field goal by a few inches in the fourth due to swirling winds in the end-zone.
Chan Gailey can relax a bit now that his team has won its first game of the year. Allowing Jackson more time to run clearly paid off, while the defense enjoyed its best game of the year. Going on 4th and inches, while ultimately unsuccessful, was the right call to make on the second drive for the Bills. Ultimately managed the game well.
The Bills won their first game of the year (I just love saying that). Unfortunately the win came with some sacrifice as both RB C.J. Spiller and DE Spencer Johnson left the game with hamstring injuries. Hopefully these are not significant, but Spiller's injuries puts pressure on the offense to complement Jackson running and on pass plays.
Go Bills and optimistically yours, DynamicHero22
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