I thought the defense as a whole played good football against the Browns on Sunday. Anytime you only allow 14 points, plus two interceptions and four sacks is a pretty good day. I think I was most impressed by the secondary though. Weeden was able to find a few holes in our zones (mainly short passes) that he got a couple good plays off of run after catch, but overall the receivers were pretty locked down. The interceptions were obviously impressive, and both were caused by good secondary plays, not batted or tipped balls. Aaron Williams also impressed by showing what he could do in one on one coverage on two great pass breakups on throws towards the end zone. Lastly I was impressed with the unit’s tackling Sunday. They consistently wrapped up receivers and running backs, not letting them escape downfield. Very excited for this group as the year progresses!
The offensive line played another excellent game Sunday. I see on the stat sheet that they allowed one sack this game but can’t for the life of me remember seeing it while watching. (Editor’s note: when Fitz fumbled the wet football in the second quarter, that was recorded as a sack.) Nonetheless, Fitzpatrick has only been sacked once in the first three games of the season. He was rushed out of the pocket a few times on Sunday, but the Browns were unable to put consistent pressure on him, which allowed him to find receivers and throw his three TDs.
Their great play wasn’t limited to pass blocking though. They opened up good holes for Choice and White to run through. They didn’t stop at the front seven either. If you look at the replay of C.J.’s touchdown you will see Urbik 20-25 yards downfield blocking one secondary member in front of another to allow C.J. to break to the outside and into the endzone. Another impressive week for our O-linemen. Another exciting unit to watch work on Sundays.
Extra Credit: Richardson, Vikings, Cardinals, and Saints
I know this isn’t Bills talk, but everything that is happening around the league affects us in someway so this is my little tidbit on the competition.
Richardson – Sunday was the first day that I watched Trent Richardson in action for an entire game, and the only thing that I could think was, “Why is MJD wearing a browns uniform?” He is definitely a talented back who reminds me a lot of Jones-Drew in his style. He doesn’t give up after first contact, and can push guys back a yard or two when hit in open space. I think our front seven played him extremely well, but he is an impressive rookie RB, and could have a decent career ahead of him. That being said I still don’t agree at all with the trade it took to get him, but that’s beside the point.
Vikings – I was actually at this game this week in Minneapolis, and the Vikings looked a lot better than I expected them to. They were playing one of the top pass rushes in the league and not only did they not allow a single sack, but they were giving Ponder all sorts of time to find the open receivers. I don’t think Ponder is a bad quarterback, but he looked like an all-star at Mall of America Field today. With the amount of time he had in the pocket, the best secondary in the world couldn’t have kept the receivers covered up. This team could challenge the Packers and Bears for the top of that division, or more likely for a wild card spot.
Cardinals – I haven’t watched any of their games yet, but I plan to, and I will try to give some sort of input into what happened to this team but for now I just have to say that I’m shocked. They have beaten two teams that are supposed to be top of their respective divisions in the last two weeks. The next three games could be rough for us Bills fans, especially if the Cardinals are for real.
Saints – Are we seeing the N.O. Aints again? This team dropped off the map this year. I know Aints fans will blame suspensions and such, but that’s not all of it. I can tell you why they are losing in two words: Run Defense. This team has given up more rushing yard than any other team in the nation… by a lot. They clearly have no answer for the running game and the Chiefs took advantage of it Sunday in a big way. Kansas city rushed for over 270 yards topped of by Jamaal Charles with 33 carries for 233 yards and a TD. If this team can’t figure something out here, they are going to sink all the way to the bottom of the NFC south.