Buffalo won their game Sunday, but they also lost another key player to injury.
Bills running back C.J. Spiller went down with a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return. It was reported Sunday afternoon that Spiller won't miss a lot of time, but it doesn't look like he will be playing next week.
Back to the good news. Buffalo played well in their 24-14 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon. The defense was strong again and the offense scored three touchdowns in the victory.
This week's report card:
GRADING THE UNITS
OFFENSE - B-
Spiller looked like he was going to have another big day before he left with a shoulder injury. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked good, didn't make any major mistakes and while he missed a few throws, he did toss three touchdowns. The Bills had a few lackluster drives in the middle two quarters, but overall, it was a good performance.
DEFENSE - A-
The Bills defense was superb Sunday. They allowed 240 total yards (only 33 rushing yards). The Browns did score touchdowns on two long drives, but other than that, Cleveland couldn't get anything going.
Mario Williams picked up 1.5 sacks and the Bills front four combined for four sacks. Leodis McKelvin and Bryan Scott had interceptions late in the game.
Sure, they were going up against a rookie quarterback. But that's the point. You need to take advantage of these opportunities and apply pressure. They did that Sunday and they were successful.
SPECIAL TEAMS - B+
Leodis McKelvin had three good returns, including a 34-yard kick return and a 33-yard punt return. Rian Lindell made his only field goal attempt. The special teams unit was good. Browns KR/PR Joshua Cribbs had a couple of good returns, but he didn't have a huge impact on this game.
COACHING - B
This was a well coached game. When Spiller left the game, Chan Gailey probably had to change his game plan a little bit. (Okay, a lot.) It helped that Fitzpatrick was steady today (208 yards and three touchdowns) and Tashard Choice did rush for 91 yards. Gailey and the coaching staff did a good job today. The Bills looked prepared and they had the right game plan to beat the Browns.
Tashard Choice. The Bills were without their top two running backs, but Choice handled the number one role well. He wasn't much of a threat as a receiver (two catches for 8 yards), but he did run the ball 20 times for 91 yards. It's obvious that the run game is a key part of the Bills offense. With Choice running the ball well, the Bills didn't have to abandon the run with Spiller out.
C.J. Spiller's shoulder and Fred Jackson's knee. Having one of the star running backs healthy is a good thing. Having both of them healthy? Ideal. Losing both to injury is tough, but hopefully they won't be out for too much longer.
The Bills will host New England at 1 p.m. Sunday.