After having their last five games determined by a single score, the battered Bills dominated the Washington Redskins winning their first Toronto game by a score of 23 to 0. The Redskins are coming off a series of major offensive injuries and a QB switch, so while caution is to be heeded, the fact remains that the Bills had their strongest showing all around since their opener against the Chiefs. It was a good start coming off the bye.
Run Offense: A-
Fred Jackson continued to be a big playmaker after posting 120 yards rushing on the ground on 26 carries, but had no TDs. Given Jackson's level of play and WR injuries, C.J. Spiller again had no carries. Brad Smith meanwhile had 4 rushes for 14 yards in the wildcat.
Pass Offense: B
Under a new contract, Ryan Fitzpatrick had a fair outing. Despite fumbling once and throwing a pick, Fitz finished with a 116.4 rating going 21-27 (77.8%) for 269 yards and two touchdown passes, both to TE Scott Chandler. It was nice to see Chandler get more involved especially in the red zone. Fred Jackson again led the team in receiving with 3 grabs for 74 yards. Stevie Johnson had 6 catches for 59 yards. Big test next week against Revis. Still the field needs expanding if the Bills want to finish with touchdowns instead of field goals.
Blocking Offense: B+
The Bills gave up two sacks on the day, which while is more than all but one game this season, still is a strong showing. More so given that the Bills were relying on their third left tackle, Andy Levitre throughout the game for the ailing Demetrius Bell and Chris Hairston. Both Levitre and Pears had a strong showing against the Skins' Orakpo and Kerringan.
Run Defense: A+
When was the last time the Bills allowed only 26 rushing yards (2.2 yards a carry) in a single game!? Dareus kept penetrating and Barnett kept tackling all day long. Kelvin Sheppard looked strong throughout the game as well. It helped that Hightower and key offensive linemen were out for the Skins, but the Bills showed they can stop the run and not give up big plays for a full 60 minutes.
Pass Defense: A
With the Redskins down two of their pass-catching threats, the Bills had an easier go in defending the pass. While coverage on TE Fred Davis could have been better, the secondary only surrendered 208 yards and no TDs on the day. Better still was that both George Wilson (4) and Jairus Byrd (1) got interceptions, with Byrd's coming in end zone. Leodis McKelvin also looked good with two pass breakups. Wilson led the team with 9 tackles.
Pass Rush Defense: A+
Coming off the buy week with a league low of 4 sacks in 6 games and down two pro-bowl pass rushers (NT Kyle Williams and OLB Shawne Merriman), the Bills exploded with an incredible 9 sack performance. First round pick, Marcell Dareus started at nose tackle and showed show versatile and dominating he can be with 2.5 sacks on the day. DE Dwan Edwards also had a strong showing with 1.5 sacks. Meanwhile OLBs Chris Kelsay and Arthur Moats generated pressure all day and also recorded sacks (Moats, Barnett credited with 1/2 sacks). Spencer Johnson, Jairus Byrd, and Kirk Morrison also had a sack each). Much better pressure against a battered offensive line.
Special Teams: A-
Two games in a row the Bills recorded a blocked field goal, this time by Spencer Johnson. Rian Lindell was 3 of 4 field goal attempts missing a 44 yarder. Brian Moorman meanwhile had a productive outing while C.J. Spiller did well on some punt returns.
As a side note, great job by Buddy Nix on the re-signing of Ryan Fitzpatrick (6yr, $59 million deal). As for the coaching staff, Chan Gailey made appropriate changes in dealing with key injuries and shut out the great Mike Shannahan for the first time in his career. George Edwards did not let two major injuries impede his defensive line and worked out new packages that hopefully will continue to generate the pressure we saw today. Also nice to see was a greater balance of run-pass plays.
Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.