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Brighton-Pittsford Post
  • REPORT CARD: Mario Williams comes up big in second half for Bills

  • Mario Williams' strip-sack helped Buffalo come up with a win.
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  • Quarterbacks: In Thad Lewis' second start for Buffalo, the young quarterback didn't make many big plays, but he kept the Bills in the game. He found T.J. Graham downfield for a 30-yard gain to set up a field goal, but his best throw was a 17-yard gain to Stevie Johnson despite getting his helmet knocked off by Jelani Jenkins, which added on 15 yards. The interception he threw wasn't his fault, as his arm was hit on the play. Grade: C+
    Running backs: Fred Jackson only rushed for 36 yards, but he had the 3-yard touchdown and a 10-yard run to pick up a critical third down on Buffalo's final possession. The veteran also caught four passes for 49 yards. C.J. Spiller and Tashard Choice both struggled, while fullback Frank Summers saw his first carries of the season. Grade: C
    Wide receivers: Johnson looked good coming back from his injury and caught six passes for 61 yards. Graham and Robert Woods combined for five receptions for 60 yards, and tight ends Scott Chandler and Lee Smith combined for three receptions for 36 yards. Lewis didn't give his wideouts the opportunity to make big plays. Grade: C+
    Offensive line: It was an ugly performance up front, as the Bills surrendered four sacks and six quarterback hits. The running game struggled, gaining just 90 yards on 30 carries and failed to punch the ball in on the goal line. Grade: D
    Defensive line: The pass rush was non-existent in the first half with no sacks on quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Mario Williams came on strong in the second half with two sacks, including a strip-sack to give the offense the ball back. Marcell Dareus had a solid game with six tackles and Kyle Williams managed to recover the key fumble. Grade: B-
    Linebackers: Kiko Alonso only recorded four tackles and received a mysterious personal foul. The Dolphins ran the ball well (4.8 yards per carry), but didn't call many running plays in the second half. The linebackers did a nice job against Miami tight end Charles Clay, who caught just one pass. Grade: B-
    Secondary: Tannehill completed just 51.3 percent of his passes for 194 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The secondary looked confused and out of position on the three short touchdowns. Nickell Robey ran back his first NFL interception for a touchdown and finished with three pass defenses. Aaron Williams picked off an awful pass in the end zone. Leodis McKelvin played well, but Stephon Gilmore struggled at times with his arm in a cast. Grade: B+
    Special teams: Dan Carpenter was perfect on field goals against his former team, hitting from 39, 20 and 31 yards, with the last one giving the Bills the lead for good. The return units were mediocre, and the coverage units spoiled a solid day by surrendering a 44-yard return to Marcus Thigpen on Miami's final possession. Grade: B+
    Page 2 of 2 - Coaching: The Bills were awful at the end of the second quarter, going three and out and letting Miami drive for a touchdown with 1:25 left. Buffalo's offense also settled for a field goal when they had the ball inside Miami's 10-yard line and the play calling was super conservative. The defense came up big in the fourth quarter and ultimately won the game for the Bills. It wasn't pretty, but it's a big road win against an AFC East opponent. Grade: B
    Follow Dan Goldman on Twitter at MPN_DanGoldman.

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