Any running back will tell you that his success depends on the offensive line. Willis McGahee continued his reign of terror on the New York Jets with his fifth straight 100-yard game against them because of the dominance of the guys up front.
Tackles Jason Peters and Terrance Pennington, guards Mike Gandy and Duke Preston and center Melvin Fowler controlled the line of scrimmage and physically whipped the Jets' front seven. Tight ends Robert Royal and Brad Cieslak and fullback Daimon Shelton also delivered powerful blocks to help McGahee run for 125 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown in the Buffalo Bills' 31-13 win on Sunday.
McGahee gained 112 of his yards on seven carries. Here's a look at what his blockers did on each run:
McGahee for seven yards on first and 10 from the Bills' 47: From a two-tight end formation, Gandy locks on to ILB Jonathan Vilma and C Melvin Fowler gets enough of penetrating NT Dewayne Robertson to allow McGahee to escape through a hole wedged open by Peters' turn-in block on DE Kimo von Oelhoffen and Royal's kick-out block on OLB Victor Hobson.
McGahee for nine yards on second and 3 from the Jets' 46: Royal lines up next to Peters again while WR Peerless Price goes in motion from the left and stops just behind right tackle Pennington. On the snap, Price goes low and takes out OLB Eric Barton. Pennington drives DE Shaun Ellis off the line and Preston and Fowler double team Robertson. On the left side, Peters seals off Vilma, Royal pushes Hobson outside and Shelton blows ILB Brad Kassell out of the hole where McGahee powers forward for the first down.
McGahee scores on a 57-yard run: Royal starts out in the backfield, and then motions and lines up next to Peters. Cieslak motions across the formation and stops just wide of Royal. On the snap, Royal briefly helps Cieslak with OLB Matt Chatham before heading upfield. Peters drives DE Bobby Hamilton backwards, Gandy does the same to Kassell and Fowler takes care of Vilma. McGahee begins right, but Ellis is closing fast. McGahee quickly changes course and hits the seam on the left side. Two downfield blocks from Royal and WR Lee Evans on a safety and cornerback, and McGahee is off to the races.
McGahee for eight yards on second and 10 from the Jets' 18: Cieslak kicks out Hobson and Peters turns FS Kerry Rhodes inside. McGahee starts outside, but Gandy's block on Hamilton opens a hole inside.
McGahee for four yards on third and 2 from the Jets' 10: Gandy blocks down on von Oelhoffen and Peters pushes Hobson to the outside. Barton fills the hole, but Shelton's crushing block takes out Barton and Vilma, giving McGahee running room for a first down. The Bills score a touchdown on the next play.
McGahee for 16 yards on second and 12 from the Bills' 25: On a draw play, McGahee breaks outside to the right where Royal has sealed off DE Bryan Thomas. McGahee outruns Rhodes to the corner and WR Roscoe Parrish slows down CB Justin Miller and McGahee finishes him off with a stiff arm.
McGahee for 11 yards on first and 10 from the Jets' 35: On the right side, Pennington and Preston seal off the inside and Cieslak knocks Ellis off balance and then moves upfield and takes out Thomas. That gives McGahee a big cutback lane up the middle. He's well into the secondary before being tackled.
Rookie CB Ashton Youboty and SS Jim Leonhard were not overwhelmed in their first extensive action of the season. They were key contributors to a coverage scheme that helped the Bills' pass rush get steady pressure on Jets QB Chad Pennington. CB Kiwaukee Thomas and OLBs Keith Ellison and Coy Wire also played solid ball in taking over for injured starters.
QB J.P. Losman was a good caretaker for the offense, making big throws when he had to, witness his 77-yard TD strike to WR Lee Evans.
The Bills hope the big plays continue on Sunday when the Miami Dolphins come to town.