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BILLS REPORT CARD - WEEK 16

Bills 13, Patriots 10
RUNNING GAME

BILLS (C): It would have been a much easier win if not for Linton's key fumbles. Thurman ran great. Flutie scrambled superbly.

PATS (B): Pats sputtered first three quarters. But Allen had 67 of his 126 yards in fourth quarter and OT. It was his best game all year.

PASSING GAME

BILLS (B): Flutie got the job done. He had just 17 passing yards at half but finished with 212. He avoided about 10 sacks. No INTs.

PATS (F): Even with an improved running game, Bledsoe could not snap out of his funk. He was awful. Sacked six times. Just 101 passing yards.

RUN DEFENSE

BILLS (C): Pretty good through three quarters, but front seven seem to get tired near end of the game. Need to be much tougher next week vs. Edgerrin James.

PATS (C): Gave up a whopping 168 yards rushing -- 135 in regulation. But forced two fumbles and played tough on short yardage.

PASS DEFENSE

BILLS (A): For second time in a month made Drew look like a patsy. This makes 12 sacks of Bledsoe in two games. Winfield played strong game.

PATS (C): Beantown defenders played well enough to win. Blitzes were effective early. Pass rushers faded late. Subs did decent job.

SPECIAL TEAMS

BILLS (C): Christie won it with chip shot. Kickoff coverage was shaky against Brown, a superb return man. His late KO and punt returns almost won game.

PATS (D): Vinatieri's miss from 33 yards was great gift for Bills. Brown was a terror on returns. Johnson's last punt into wind helped Bills.

COACHING

BILLS (B): Bills outgained Pats, 374 to 225. But fumbles helped turn game into a war. Offense must convert more chances.

PATS (D): No excuse for Bledsoe looking this bad. Carroll, Zampese deserve a lot of blame. Why throw deep on 3rd & 2 with 3:00 left? Odd.