This is Part II of our first annual Brown's Best. In our first installment we listed season best performances by various players on the roster. Below we review some of the more memorable and too easily forgotten performances from week to week in the 2006 season.
Week 1 at New England
BEST INDIVIDUAL QUARTER OF PLAY: Aaron Schobel - During the first half, Buffalo's pass rush was relentless and Brady was on his heels. Schobel was a big part of that with a sack, a couple of batted passes a quarterback hit and a quarterback pressure. There was one stretch in the second quarter over the span of two New England possessions where on five straight plays he did the following.
2nd-&-4 - Schobel batted a pass down
3rd-&-4 - Schobel forced an incomplete pass with a pressure forcing the Patriots to punt.
1st-and-10 He tipped another pass.
After an incomplete pass on 2nd-and-10, Schobel sacked Brady on 3rd-and-10.
BEST BLANKET: Terrence McGee - He turned in one of his best games at cornerback. He led the team in tackles with 11, had a pass breakup and was glued to his receiver responsibilities. He played the slot effectively inside in nickel packages and never bit on the tricky double moves that Troy Brown kept throwing at him. Brown finished with two catches for 18 yards.
BEST DEBUT PERFORMANCE: Donte Whitner - The Bills top pick finished with eight tackles and an interception which he returned for a touchdown that could have won the game had it not been called back on a penalty. Honorable mention to Ellison who was thrown into the fire after the injury to Takeo Spikes. He finished third on the team in tackles that day (9) and was not victimized by Tom Brady on passing downs.
Week 2 at Miami
BEST FORGOTTEN HIT OF THE SEASON: Sam Aiken - His submarine of Wes Welker on the opening kickoff return. Welker's feet switched places with his head in less than a second as Aiken became a human torpedo and Miami's return man almost landed on his head first.
BEST GAME CLINCHER: Coy Wire - His blocked punt late in the third quarter that was recovered by Andre Davis, allowed Buffalo to put another field goal on the board and essentially put the Dolphins away in a 16-6 victory.
BEST TOUCH: Brian Moorman - Buffalo's Pro Bowl punter had a gross punting average of just 41.3 yards, but it was his net average that did the talking. It was 40.2 and his coffin kick that went out at the one-yard line as well as his other punt that bounced back toward the field of play instead of the end zone at the two-yard line was a thing of beauty.
Week 3 vs. Jets
BEST RUN AFTER THE CATCH: Roscoe Parrish - His 51-yard catch and run for a touchdown on the second play of the game was special. Sure Lee Evans back-to-back 83-yarders in Houston were dominant, but Parrish had to race through the middle of the field before the defense closed in. There was more suspense.
BEST NOSE FOR THE BALL: Andre Davis - His recovery of the onsides kick late in the game gave Buffalo one last chance to tie the game up. It was also the second time in two games he pounced on a loose ball as he recovered the blocked punt in Miami in Week 2.
Week 4 vs. Vikings
BEST MULTI-MOVE TOUCHDOWN: Peerless Price - His eight-yard touchdown catch which proved to be the game-winning points required a lot of moves to reach the end zone. He caught the ball on one knee, then popped up on his feet, eluded one defender, went backward to loop around a block and tip-toed the sideline to the end zone.
BEST REFEREE VICTIM: Kiwaukee Thomas - His catch of Rian Lindell's kickoff was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately it not only caught the Vikings off guard, but the officials as well. The official ruled that Thomas interfered with the player's opportunity to make a fair catch after signaling for one. While a Vikings player may have signaled for a fair catch he was in no position to make a play on the ball otherwise Thomas would have made contact with said player in an attempt to catch the ball himself. There is no doubt in my mind that if Thomas did not field the ball it would have hit the ground because no Vikings player was in position to make a fair catch. Thomas got robbed.
BEST BLITZ PICKUP HIT: Willis McGahee - He jacked up Vikings Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams after he beat his man and was making a B-line for J.P. Losman in the pocket. McGahee stepped in front of Losman and drove his left shoulder hard into the sternum of Williams lifting him up off the ground and dropping him onto his back. Williams actually called to the sideline for a substitution to come out of the game for a play.
Week 5 - at Bears
BEST OPEN FIELD TACKLE: Mario Haggan - His ankle tackle of Bears' talented punt returner Devin Hester held him to a seven-yard punt return, when it could have gone for much more yardage than that. Stopping a Pro Bowl return man who led the league in punt return average and touchdowns and doubles as a defensive back when you're a linebacker is impressive.
Week 6 - at Lions
BEST IMPROVISATION: J.P. Losman/Roscoe Parrish - Buffalo's QB ran away from pressure toward the near sideline, motioned to his receivers to go downfield and then uncorked a 44-yard touchdown strike to Roscoe Parrish who made a tough over the shoulder catch. Honorable mention goes to Losman as well for his cross country trek from one sideline to another for a two-yard gain and a first down in the same game.
BEST ONE PLAY DOMINATION: Chris Kelsay - The Bills defensive end bull-rushed Lions tight end Dan Campbell seven yards into the backfield right into quarterback Jon Kitna and picked up the sack. Campbell was moving in reverse so quickly that he looked like he was on roller skates. At the end of the play he was on his back.
BEST GOAL LINE STAND: Kelsay, Crowell, Josh Stamer - There were a couple this season, but it's tough to beat two straight stuffs from the one-yard line. In Buffalo's goal line stand on Detroit's first possession, Chris Kelsay and Angelo Crowell stuffed Kevin Jones on 3rd-and-goal from the one and then Josh Stamer came up with the tackle for loss on 4th-and-goal. The Bills defense went 2-for-3 on red zone stops that day. How the heck did they lose that one?
BEST BAIL OUT PLAY: Rian Lindell - He saved J.P. Losman's bacon at the end of the half at Detroit. Losman held onto the ball too long on a 2nd-and-7 play at the Lions' 20 and was sacked for a 15-yard loss, but Lindell picked him up as he nutted a 53-yard field goal attempt through the uprights to allow Buffalo to come away with 3 points.
BEST DOWNFIELD HUSTLE: Kyle Williams - On a 3rd-and-6 play from the Lions' six-yard line Roy Williams caught one of his many big gainers as he hooked up with Kitna on a 26-yard reception good for first down yardage. Williams however, had slipped away from a couple of tacklers and would have taken off upfield had it not been for Kyle Williams who made the tackle 26 yards from the line of scrimmage Roy Williams may have reached midfield instead of the 33-yard line. Think about a 300-pound man covering 26 yards to make a tackle on a receiver and you'll understand what hustle is about.
Honorable mention for Anthony Hargrove who ran down Baltimore WR Mark Clayton after a 20-yard gain in the season finale.
Week 7 vs. Patriots
BEST BONE CRUNCHER: Chris Kelsay - His sack on Tom Brady, who turned right into him on a fake hand-off was a pleasure to watch. Kelsay bear hugged him and took him down.
Week 8 - BYE
BEST OFFENSIVE DECISION: Offensive line changes - It's risky to change up your offensive line in the middle of a season, but Dick Jauron's bold decision to move Jason Peters to left tackle, Mike Gandy to left guard and insert rookie seventh-round pick Terrance Pennington at right tackle made for a more efficient offensive operation in the season's second half.
Week 9 vs. Packers
BEST PUNT COVERAGE: Andre Davis, Jabari Greer and Shaud Williams - The trio each had a pair of special teams tackles on punt coverage. Williams had one wiped out by penalty. They were instrumental in holding Green Bay punt returner Shaun Bodiford to a 1.8-yard punt return average.
BEST SERIES BY ONE PLAYER: Larry Tripplett - On the Packers first offensive series of the fourth quarter Tripplett had a hand in the last three plays of the drive. On 1st-and-10 from the Bills 32-yard line he and Fletcher combined to stop Ahman Green for a one-yard gain. On 2nd-and-9 he tipped a pass at the line that fell incomplete. On 3rd-and-9 he pressured Brett Favre and hurried a pass that was underthrown and incomplete forcing the Packers to settle for a tying field goal.
BEST CHEERLEADER: Anthony Hargrove - The Bills defensive lineman was pumped up the entire game. He was asking the crowd to get up half the game and scream. He was chest bumping players from start to finish. On one particular chest bump, he hit Coy Wire so hard as he was coming to the sideline that he knocked him flat on his back.
Week 10 at Colts
BEST IDEA: Bills defensive staff - The defensive coaches chose to put play call wristbands on each of the linebackers and defensive backs. It helped to facilitate play call communication against a no huddle offense that doesn't allow its opponents to huddle themselves. The players got lined up so quickly that they had time to disguise their looks in an effort to turn the tables on Peyton Manning. Buffalo held Indianapolis' high-octane offense to just 17 points. They also used the wristbands in the second meeting with the Jets.
BEST DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE BY A DUO: McGee/Clements - Sure McGee gave up the touchdown to Reggie Wayne, but it was a perfectly executed play by Manning. But Buffalo's two starting corners, though they did have safety help over the top a good portion of the time, held Wayne and Harrison to a combined six catches for 63 yards. Clements also contributed a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter, while McGee provided a touchdown on a first half fumble return.
Week 11 at Houston
BEST DRIVE: Game-winning drive vs. Texans - Peerless Price's tightrope act in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown reception from J.P. Losman with 13 seconds left capped the most important drive of the season for the Bills. The final play was not only a defining moment in Losman's emergence as the team's undisputed starting quarterback, but it also strengthened a collective faith between the offense and defense. The offensive unit played with a new found confidence after that drive.
BEST USE OF THE ELEMENTS: Rian Lindell - While Lindell is very familiar with the wind conditions that exist at Ralph Wilson Stadium, it was his ability to use a blazing Texas sun to his team's advantage in Houston. He kicked two kickoffs to the right side of the field forcing Houston kick returner Dexter Wynn to look directly into the sun which was shining through the opened roof of Reliant Stadium. Wynn bobbled the opening kickoff and fumbled the second one out of bounds at the Texans' four-yard line.
BEST 'I OWN YOU' PLAY: Lee Evans - His second 83-yard touchdown reception basically said to DeMarcus Faggins, 'You can't cover me.' And that proved to be the case for the entire game. Faggins changed from inside to outside technique after the first Evans touchdown and it just didn't matter as Evans beat him inside. Putting up a 2006 season NFL-high 265 receiving yards in one game is all that needs to be said.
BEST SHUTDOWN PERFORMANCE: Nate Clements - He unequivocally dominated his one-on-one matchup with Andre Johnson who came in the game as the league's leader in receptions. Clements held Johnson to six catches for what were mostly 76 harmless yards. He pulled down an interception on a jump ball play with Johnson, had three pass breakups including a key third down stop that got the Bills offense the ball back for the final drive.
BEST BROKEN PLAY BLOCK: Jason Peters - J.P. Losman scrambled out of the pocket to elude pressure from Houston's front. In hot pursuit was Texans' defensive end Jason Babin, but Jason Peters peeled back and absolutely buried him. The first part of Babin to hit the turf was his shoulder and the back of his head.
BEST SECOND HALF IMPROVEMENT IN A GAME: Bills defense - After giving up 289 yards in the first half, Buffalo's defense stiffened considerably in the second half allowing the Texans just 108 net yards in quarters three and four. They surrendered no points over the last two quarters, and after allowing Houston to convert five of six third downs in the first half, they gave up only one of seven in the second half.
BEST TACKLE FOR LOSS: Anthony Hargrove - The defensive lineman shed Houston center Mike Flanagan and wrestled Samkon Gado to the ground for a three-yard loss on a 3rd-and-12. The tackle not only stopped a Texans' drive, but took Houston out of field goal range as they were forced to punt. Huge play.
BEST BACK TO BACK PLAYS BY A SPECIALIST: Brian Moorman - After Buffalo's offense couldn't convert a 3rd-and-4 midway through the fourth quarter, Moorman hit a 42-yard punt with a hang time of 4.8 seconds (very good) forcing Dexter Wynn to call for a fair catch at the Texans' 11-yard line. The Bills eventually got the ball back with 3:16 left, but again couldn't convert a 3rd-and-4, so Moorman hit a 45-yard punt with a hang time of 5.1 seconds (ridiculous) forcing another fair catch by Wynn again at the 11-yard line. Those kicks helped maintain field position which was critical for Buffalo's offense on the final drive.
Week 12 vs. Jacksonville
BEST TAKEAWAY ON A GIVEAWAY: Robert Royal - After J.P. Losman was intercepted by Dee Webb, Royal crunched the rookie cornerback forcing him to fumble the ball and then pounced on it to regain possession for Buffalo. Even better it was a 28-yard gain. Honorable mention to Melvin Fowler who did the same thing two weeks later.
BEST ONE PLAY START AND FINISH: Mike Schneck - Schneck snapped a punt to Brian Moorman and then tackled return man Alvin Pearman at the other end of a 56-yard punt. That's a lot of ground to cover for a man who has his head between his legs at the start of a play.
BEST ELECTRIFYING PLAY: Roscoe Parrish - His 82-yard punt return looked like one of the most improbable outcomes you could have predicted at the start of the play. First he reversed his direction with a spin move and came to the short side of the field where there was less room to maneuver, yet he got some terrific blocks and faked out a couple of defenders and got some assistance before scoring.
BEST EQUILIBRIUM ASSISTANCE: Kiwaukee Thomas - Thomas saw Parrish stumbling on his punt return and grabbed the back of jersey to pull back to a more upright position to help him regain his balance and reach the end zone.
Week 13 vs. Chargers
BEST KICK RETURN IMPERSONATOR: Duke Preston - He had two kick returns in the game off of squib kicks by the Chargers. His first went for just a yard, but later in the game he snared a bounding ball out of the air and bulled his way forward for a respectable nine-yard return.
BEST DE-CLEATER: Keith Ellison - His peel back block on Jim Leonhard's punt return was impressive, but not because he blind-sided Brandon Manumaleuna dropping him on the back of his own helmet. The reason it was impressive is because Manumaleuna outweighs Ellison by 63 pounds.
Week 14 at Jets
BEST PERFORMANCE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH: Willis McGahee - Anyone who rushes for the longest touchdown of his career without eating all day prior to a 4pm game gets the nod here.
BEST DEFENSIVE HARASSMENT: Aaron Schobel - More than his three sacks and forced fumble, Schobel hurried several passes by Pennington which led to incompletions and lost downs. His pressure was a constant nuisance to the Jets quarterback all afternoon. Schobel's performance on this day was a big reason he got to the Pro Bowl.
BEST FAKE OUT: J.P. Losman/Lee Evans - Losman's pump fake and Evans double move not only got the Jets' cornerback to bite, but the safety that was providing double coverage as well. Lee Evans was running by himself and Losman hit him in stride for a 77-yard touchdown.
Week 15 vs. Miami
BEST WEATHER ADAPTER: J.P. Losman - No offense to Moorman and Lindell here, but Losman's effectiveness passing into the wind in the second quarter was instrumental in loosening up the Miami defense. Losman was 4-6 for 99 yards in the second quarter including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Robert Royal which was thrown into the teeth of that blustery wind.
BEST MOMENTUM SHIFTER: Nate Clements - One play after J.P. Losman fumbled on a sack for a turnover at the Bills 44-yard line in a 7-0 game, Clements got the ball back one play later when he intercepted a Joey Harrington pass intended for Chris Chambers.
BEST OUTNUMBERED MANEUVER: Josh Reed - On a direct collision course with three Miami defenders at the Dolphins' five-yard line, Reed lowered his shoulders, covered up the ball he caught at the 22 and barreled through Renaldo Hill, Jason Allen and Yeremiah Bell for the touchdown.
BEST BLOCK BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN A LINEMAN: J.P. Losman - On Willis McGahee's rather circuitous run to the left and then back to the right in which he gained one yard, Losman caught Zach Thomas broadside on a peel back block and laid him out. It was payback for a tough hit earlier in the game by Thomas.
BEST INTIMIDATION: Lee Evans - Miami cornerback Andre Goodman was so frightened of getting beaten over the top with no safety help on the Dolphins' cover zero (all out blitz) call that he immediately turned away from Evans to run straight to the end zone. Turning his back to Losman allowed Buffalo's quarterback to throw a 21-yard rainbow to the end zone for Evans to run under uncontested for a touchdown.
Week 16 vs. Tennessee
BEST HEADS UP PLAY: Andre Davis - Letting a late first half Titans kickoff go out of bounds while shielding a Tennessee player from the ball to prevent the Titans from recovering may have been the smartest play of the season. The clock couldn't start because no Buffalo player touched the ball giving the Bills one play at their own 40-yard line with one second on the clock. J.P. Losman then completed a 52-yard pass to Josh Reed at the Titans eight-yard line. Tennessee's facemask penalty on the play then gave Buffalo an untimed down because a half or the game can't end on a defensive penalty and the Bills got three points back following the Vince Young touchdown run before the half to only trail by a point (20-19).
Week 17 at Baltimore
BEST DISCIPLINE PLAY: Ryan Denney - By not biting on the misdirection to the right on a 2nd-and-2 play, Denney was in position to make a play on Derrick Mason on a reverse. While Denney didn't make the tackle he forced Mason to take a more circuitous route to the sideline giving London Fletcher enough time to cover the ground necessary to make a tackle for a four-yard loss.
BEST TOUCHDOWN SAVING TACKLE: Coy Wire/Ko Simpson - In the season finale Wire grabbed Jamal Lewis' ankle and held on long enough to enable Simpson to grab the Ravens' tailback up high and bring him down. The two men prevented what would've likely been a 71-yard touchdown run.