Buffalo Bills Week 17 Report Card: Bills finish season with a win

2012-12-30T16:46:00Z 2012-12-30T19:07:24Z Buffalo Bills Week 17 Report Card: Bills finish season with a winRobert Harding Auburn Citizen
December 30, 2012 4:46 pm  • 

In the season opener nearly four months ago, the Buffalo Bills lost 48-28 to the New York Jets. 

On Sunday, in the season finale at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills got revenge.

C.J. Spiller had a 66-yard touchdown reception and Stevie Johnson had 111 receiving yards as the Bills beat the Jets 28-9 to finish the season 6-10.

It is the fourth straight season the Bills have finished with double-digit losses, the eighth straight losing season and the 13th straight season without a playoff appearance.

On Monday, I will post my 2010 season-in-review report card. That will be posted on auburnpub.com. 

Here is this week's report card:

GRADING THE UNITS

OFFENSE - B-

The future is bright with players like C.J. Spiller and Stevie Johnson. Spiller didn't have a great day running the ball, but he did have 24 carries for 59 yards. So while the Bills didn't have a lot of success running the ball, they stuck with it and made sure Spiller got plenty of touches.

The play of the day on offense: Spiller's 66 yard touchdown reception. That was all Spiller. The throw went for one yard and he went the rest of the way. On that play, he showed why he is one of the best running backs in the NFL.

As for Johnson, he had 111 receiving yards Sunday. It is the third straight season Johnson has had more than 1,000 receiving yards. He's the only receiver in Bills history to do that. 

In what could be his final game as a Bill, Fitzpatrick was average. (Shocking, right?) His completion percentage was below 50 percent, but he did throw for 225 yards and a touchdown. 

Tashard Choice and Brad Smith had touchdown runs late in the game to seal it for Buffalo.

DEFENSE - B+

I won't give the defense too much credit because they were going up against a weak Jets offense (and Mark Sanchez), but it was a solid performance. Bryan Scott's 20-yard interception return for a touchdown helped the Bills early when they couldn't generate any offense. 

The Bills held the Jets to three field goals -- all in the first half.

The bad news: The Bills gave up 133 rushing yards. That has been a big reason why this defense has struggled this season. Buffalo also allowed the Jets to convert seven of their 16 third-down opportunities. The third-down defense has been horrible all season.

Some of the top players on defense: Nigel Bradham had five tackles and a fumble recovery. Spencer Johnson had three tackles and a sack. Cornerback Aaron Williams had five tackles and two passes defended. 

SPECIAL TEAMS - A-

The Bills almost blocked two field goals Sunday. Alex Carrington -- "Megahand" -- got his fingers on one, but Jets kicker Nick Folk had enough power behind it and the ball went through the goal posts. 

However, Marcell Dareus got his hand on one and it was a clean block. It was a big play in the game and came after the Jets recovered a C.J. Spiller fumble early in the third quarter. 

Rian Lindell did miss two long field goal attempts, but he made all four of his extra point attempts.

Shawn Powell had five punts Sunday. He pinned the Jets inside the 20 twice. 

Justin Rogers had a 27-yard kickoff return. Brad Smith returned three kicks for 80 yards.

COACHING - D+

Chan Gailey didn't have an impact on this game. C.J. Spiller got his touches and while the wildcat play calls left me scratching my head, they worked. 

I don't know if Gailey will still be the coach in 2013. He shouldn't be. The coaching staff needs an overhaul. It doesn't matter if the head coach is offensive-minded or defensive-minded. The Bills need new blood at the helm. They need a new defensive coordinator who is willing to rush the quarterback. They need an offensive coordinator. The head coach calling the plays didn't work. Bring in an offensive coordinator who can do the job. 

I'm sure the Bills front office will look at all of these areas. I hope they do, anyway. This year was a great chance for the Bills to not only register a winning season, but to make the playoffs. They didn't do either of those things. That's a disappointment and it should lead to Gailey's firing. 

Game Ball

Stevie Johnson and Bryan Scott. Johnson is one of the league's most underrated receivers. He had 111 receiving yards today. It is the third straight year Johnson has had 1,000 receiving yards. Despite the Bills having a bad year, Johnson had another productive season in Buffalo.

Scott had two tackles and the interception for a touchdown. If Yahoo! Sports is correct, it was the first defensive touchdown scored by the Bills this season. The score was Scott's third career touchdown.

Needs Improvement

Rian Lindell. If Lindell is back with the Bills in 2013, he's going to need work on his long range kicking. He missed a 47-yarder and a 50-yarder today. It could have been a bad day for him, but he hasn't been dependable from 50-plus yards in the last few seasons. Since 2010, he is 3-for-7 from 50+ yards. He's accurate from short and medium-range, but in today's NFL, you need a kicker who can hit the 50-plus yard field goals on a regular basis. Right now, Lindell isn't that guy.

Up Next

The season is over for the Bills. Look for my season-in-review report card on Monday.

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(1) Comments

  1. catfish
    Report Abuse
    catfish - January 01, 2013 11:42 am
    Bills are doing pretty bad they should trade the. Qb and the head coach. Should get fired to come back next season
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