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REPORT CARD WEEK NO. 7
PATRIOTS 33, BILLS 6

--- RUNNING GAME

BILLS (D): Ground game went out the window fairly early. Nevertheless, it wasn't good enough in limited chances in first half.

PATS (B): Curtis Martin found room on softened-up defense in second half. But Pats could have secured early KO with better running.

--- PASSING GAME

BILLS (F): Start with fact Todd Collins almost got killed. Add Hobert's INTs, Moulds' drops. Awful. Billy Joe needs a telescope for his erratic arm.

PATS (B): Bledsoe wasn't great, but didn't need to be. He has weapons galore. Coates is best true TE in NFL.

--- RUN DEFENSE

BILLS (C): Front seven was stiff, as usual, in own territory. It didn't matter. A shutout was only way Bills were winning this game.

PATS (B): Good bounce-back after nightmare at Mile High. However, we still have doubts about Pats' sturdiness up the middle.

--- PASS DEFENSE

BILLS (C-): Got off to bad start with coverage problems vs. Coates. Kerner looked good in place of Burris. Pocket push was decent.

PATS (A): Took advantage of Bills' shaky pass protection with zone blitzes. Didn't get beat deep. Didn't drop gift-wrapped INTs.

--- SPECIAL TEAMS

BILLS (D): Another rough day. Christie missed FG. Kickoff returns were awful early. Gave up 29-yard punt return and 33-yard kickoff return.

PATS (B): Plagued by poor coverage first five games, Pats looked like Tasmanian Devils. Put Bills in field-position holes. Vinatieri is on fire.

--- COACHING

BILLS (D): Levy took blame for flat showing. Didn't look like a team playing for division lead. No excuse for 11 penalties.

PATS (B): Overpowered inferior opponent. Cut down on penalty problem. Carroll showed discretion by not running it up in second half.

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