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FALLING INTO PLACE

The Big Picture: The Bills played their finest road game in more than a year Sunday, dominating the Seattle Seahawks from start to finish in a 38-9 thrashing at Qwest Field. Buffalo was the aggressor from the outset, marching to a touchdown on its first possession to take early command. The Bills have won five of seven after an 0-4 start to move within a game of .500. The playoffs are still a remote possibility, but suddenly a 9-7 finish seems like an achievable goal.

Play of the Day: Drew Bledsoe floated a pass to Lee Evans with six seconds remaining in the first half to cap a 12-play, 74-yard drive and give the Bills a commanding 17-3 lead at the half. Evans did a nice job of cradling the ball after the Seahawks defender tried to slap it away in the right corner of the end zone.

Player of the Game: Willis McGahee. All he did was soundly outperform Seattle's Shaun Alexander - the NFL's leading rusher - on Alexander's home turf. McGahee carried 28 times for 116 yards and four touchdowns. McGahee became the first Bill to rush for four TDs in a game since Roland Hooks in 1979. McGahee has rushed for 100 yards in five of his six NFL starts and needs to average 55 yards in his last five games to reach 1,000 for the season.

Unsung Hero: Marcus Price. Time and again, the reserve offensive tackle is forced into action and never seems to let his team down. Price came on midway through the first quarter when left tackle Jonas Jennings hurt his shoulder. He gave up an early sack but was otherwise solid. Actually, the entire offensive line held up well.

Game Balls: McGahee, Evans, Bledsoe, Takeo Spikes, Pat Williams. Coach Mike Mularkey deserves one for getting his team ready to play aggressive, winning football on the road for the first time all season.

Overdue Bills: The Bills marched 60 yards in 10 plays on their first possession and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by McGahee. Until McGahee's score, the Bills hadn't scored a TD in the first three quarters on the road this season.

Darrell Scissorhands: Seattle wideout Darrell Jackson has struggled with drops all year, and Sunday was no different. Jackson dropped two passes early and got booed by the fans. Then he caught a pass and got a mock standing ovation. One play later, Matt Hasselbeck went back to him with a long pass down the sideline - and Jackson dropped it.

Zebra Report: You know it's a bad day when you get penalized for "leaping." Seattle's Maurice Morris got whistled for using one of his linemen as a springboard in an attempt to block Rian Lindell's 53-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter.

Coming Attractions: Seeking to reach the .500 mark for the first time since the midpoint of last season, the Bills travel to Miami to play their 2-9 rivals in a 1 p.m. game Sunday.

GRADING the BILLS
RUNNING GAME
(B-PLUS):
McGahee pounded away. It was tough sledding, but he kept Bills out of third-and-awful. Trick-play TD was beauty.
PASSING GAME
(B)
O-line did great job. Evans was super. Drew managed most of game beautifully but was errant on his three picks.
RUN DEFENSE
(A-PLUS)
Made Shaun Alexander look like Jason Alexander. D-line and linebackers were brilliant. Spikes was a monster.
PASS DEFENSE
(A-PLUS)
Secondary did great job covering. Bills got pressure. Young DBs were on their men like whipped cream on latte.
SPECIAL TEAMS
(B-PLUS)
Caught them napping with onside kick to start second half. Coverage was strong. Moorman had fun day watching.
COACHING
(A-PLUS)
Great mix of run and pass on offense. Jerry Gray had defense in all the right spots. Bills made it look easy.
GRADING the SEAHAWKS
RUNNING GAME
(F)
All-World LT and LG couldn't push Bills' D-line. Alexander stymied. Abandoned run a bit too soon.
PASSING GAME
(F)
What happened to Hasselbeck? He looked awful. Drops have become an epidemic among Seattle receivers.
RUN DEFENSE
(C-MINUS)
Seahawks rank eighth versus run. They were mostly stout for three quarters, but they wore down in final 15 minutes.
PASS DEFENSE
(C-MINUS)
Seahawks lead NFC in INTs. DBs played like ballhawks, but corners couldn't stay with Evans. Pass rush was poor.
SPECIAL TEAMS
(F)
Almost as bad as the Rams. Scared of McGee on KOs. Walter shanked first punt. Asleep on onside kick. Leaping penalty was boneheaded.
COACHING
(F)
Playing for lead in NFC West, 'Hawks were whipped. Rhodes' blitzes not special. Holmgren was too cute on offense.