First off I apologize for the lateness of this post. Now as for the Bills, it is fitting how the second half of the season is shaping out better for the Bills, who have shown to play better ball after halftime. In this period of time Gailey's team won their first and second games of the season against Detroit and Cincinnati, before losing a close one to Pittsburgh in OT and a blow out loss against Minnesota.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has tempered off a bit, due to a combination of incosistency on his part, his blockers and his receivers. Arguably his best moment came in the second half against the Bengals, his former team, but otherwise Fitz has been mediocre with an 88.2 rating and completing just 55.5% of his passes. Still Fitz seems to be able to hold on to his starter position for another year or two at his current pace.
Running Back: A
Fred Jackson has returned to form from last year. In these past four games, Jackson has rushed for over 350 yards with 5 yards a carry and 3 touchdowns, making up for the injured C.J. Spiller, Jackson also had 2 games rushing for over a hundred yards (both wins), but also fumbled the ball more than in the first half the season although only losing one.
Interior Offensive Line: A
Continued positive remarks here with regard to the interior linemen. The combination of Eric Wood, Geoff Hangartner, and Andy Levitre continued to perform well over the past four games. Newcomer Urbik has performed well when subbing in for injuries. However, injuries to both Hangartner and Urbik will likely upset this balance by the time the season ends. Expect Eric Wood to return to his All-American spot from his time in Louisville at center with Cordaro Howard/Ed Wang to assume Wood's spot at guard.
Exterior Offensive Line: B
Demetrius Bell, with exception to his performance against the Vikings, has possibly established himself as the future left tackle. Meanwhile Mansfield Wrotto has also thrown his hat into consideration to continue playing at right tackle, but has a longer way to go.
Tight End: F
There's a reason why Gailey and Nix have brought in Scott Chandler and Mike Caussin a week ago. And that is because Nelson, Stupar and Martin have not been producing all season. One of these guys might not make it to the end of the season...
Wide Receiver: C+
The Bills suffered a huge loss when slot receiver Roscoe Parrish got placed on the Injured Reserve. Since then, both Lee Evans and Steve Johnson have both suffered from inconsistent play and dropped passes but have also had a few good games between them. Donald Jones has had only a small impact in games while splitting slot time with David Nelson.
Defensive End: B-
The Bills suffered from the loss of their best end, Dwan Edwards and for a while his backup SPencer Johnson. In the interim Marcus stoud and Alex Carrington have seen more action and have played well, but need to defend against the run better (as does the whole defense).
Defensive Tackle: A
Kyle Williams seems destined for the Pro Bowl with his power and playmaking ability, BUT NEEDS MORE VOTES! Enough said.
Inside Linebacker: B
With Davis on the IR, Paul Posluszny has stepped up his performance leading the team in tackles for the past few games while making some big plays, Akim Ayodele has played well in the meanwhile making a few big stops, but still has some work to do.
Outside Linebacker: C
Kelsay and Torbor made serious strides in their game before the latter exited via the IR. Arthur Moats has stepped up more as of late performing well, while Maybin still shows his bust status to be true. Disappointment regns that Shawne Merriman will not be seeing action this season. Moats may have secured his spot in history as the guy who broke Favre's consecutive starts streak.
Drayton Florence has become the Bills number one cornerback while McGee remains in large sidelined. Recording two big games with either interceptions or fumbles returned for a touchdown, Florence by himself garners an A+. McKelvin plays well at times while Reggie Corner has done a good job as the nickel back.
Safety Donte Whitner has continued to be the key player in stopping the run and breaking up passes. Jarius Byrd still seems to be missing in the world of interceptions, but continues to perform well.
Special Teamer: C+
Rian Lindell has struggled goign 0-2 in Buffalo's two wins but rebounded with a 3-3 performance a week later against Pittsburgh. Likewise, Brian Moorman seems to be more inconsistent than usual. Meanwhile, many Bills fans are glad that Spiller has returned as the return man, following McKelvin's performance there. (McKelvin sould have had a few touchdowns save for a phantom holding call and getting tripped by his own guy.) Coverage units have been consistent (although not as good as in the April years).
Chan Gailey has his team go 2-2 including a close loss to the playoff bound Steelers. The Bills have become more competitive and stronger, but still have a bit to go following that disappointing loss in Minnesota. Many injuries have occurred in this span so it will be interesting to see how Gailey adjusts and whether he'll play backups more in general when closing the season. Upcoming opponents include the Browns, Dolphins, Patriots and Jets (the latter two slugging it out for control of the division and the playoffs).
2011 Draft Predictions:
1. Toss up: DE Da'Quon Bowers – Clemson or QB Andrew Luck – Stanford (if they declare/are not taken)
2. OLB Brian Herzlich – Boston College
3. TE Lance Kendricks - Wisconsin
4. ILB - Kelvin Sheppard
4. CB Mario Butler – Georgia Tech
5. OT Chris Hairston - Clemson
6. RB Derrick Locke - Kentucky
7. SS Eric Hagg – Nebraska