Brown’s Best 2008
It was by no means a season that met expectations, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some memorable plays and performances in 2008. We run down the obvious and the obscure, but all were deserving of Brown’s Best this past season.
BEST INSTANTANEOUS SACK: Kawika Mitchell – In Week 1 the linebacker timed his blitz perfectly slipping through a gap in the Seattle protection to take down Matt Hasselbeck before he took more than one step away from center.
BEST BLOCK SERIES ON ONE PLAY: John DiGiorgio, Jon Corto, Jabari Greer – All three punt return unit members delivered key blocks to help Roscoe Parrish complete one of the more unlikely returns for a touchdown in the opener against Seattle.
BEST PANCAKE: Marcus Stroud – In Week 1 on a 2nd-and-27 from the Buffalo 47, Stroud drove Seattle guard Rob Sims backward as if he was on roller skates and pancaked him to the turf en route to making a tackle for loss on Julius Jones four yards behind the line of scrimmage with an assist from Mitchell.
BEST GOTCHA PLAY: Bobby April – His play to have Brian Moorman toss a 19-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Denney was called at just the right time by Dick Jauron and effectively put the game away for Buffalo.
BEST DISPLAY OF TOUGHNESS WEEK 2: Donte Whitner – After losing his helmet and making a tackle Whitner’s left eye was almost completely swollen shut and needed three stitches, but he came back in the game and finished tied for second in tackles.
BEST ADJUSTER: Langston Walker – His flipping back and forth from right to left tackle, sometimes during the same series in Sunday’s game, required supreme concentration mentally. And with the oppressively hot conditions making the task more challenging Walker came through with flying colors.
BEST CLUTCH PLAY: Trent Edwards/Lee Evans – Their Week 2 hookup in crunch time down 16-10 with four minutes to play went for 37 yards and converted a huge 3rd-and-6 play. It also set up the game-winning touchdown reception by James Hardy.
BEST FEET: James Hardy – As nice as his touchdown catch was getting both feet down in very limited space in the back corner of the end zone was the more impressive task.
BEST TIMING: Kyle Williams – His sack of Garrard on 3rd-and-10 from the Jaguars 20 with 4:01 left on the clock forced Jacksonville to punt allowing the Bills to kill almost all of the remaining time in the game while adding three more points on the board.
BEST TD SAVING TACKLE: Rian Lindell – The Bills kicker made a cut tackle on Raiders’ kick returner Johnnie Lee Higgins in Week 3 preventing Oakland from taking the opening kickoff back for a TD.
BEST COMBINATION PLAY: Chris Kelsay/Paul Posluszny – Kelsay’s Week 3 chop on JaMarcus Russell’s arm forced a fumble and bounced right to Posluszny who scooped up the loose ball. The turnover led to Buffalo’s first touchdown.
BEST ACROBATICS: Marshawn Lynch – His 14-yard touchdown run where he toed the sideline before making a body-contorting leap for the pylon in the front left corner of the end zone for a touchdown was ridiculous.
BEST DISPLAY OF COURAGE: Trent Edwards – His Week 3 touchdown pass to Roscoe Parrish was made knowing he was going to get creamed after the throw. Edwards stepped into the hit to make sure the pass had enough on it and likely took a harder hit as a result.
BEST PRESENCE WEEK 4: Paul Posluszny – The Bills middle linebacker was everywhere in Week 4 at St. Louis as he finished as the game’s leading tackler and had a pair of quarterback hits on pressures that led to punts by the Rams in the first quarter.
BEST PINNER: Brian Moorman – Five of Moorman’s six punts pinned St. Louis back inside their own 20-yard line to tie a team record in Week 4. Moorman was booming the ball in the dome as he had a 62-yarder on one punt. The Rams average drive start for the game was their own 21-yard line.
BEST MOMENTUM STEALER: Jabari Greer – His Week 4 interception return for a touchdown not only gave the Bills the lead (20-14), but demoralized a Rams team entering the final stanza.
BEST HIT WEEK 4: Leodis McKelvin – The Bills rookie cleaned Dane Looker’s clock on a seam pass from Green to Looker that covered 30 yards in Week 4. The hit cause Looker to fumble as McKelvin recovered it for Buffalo. Looker meanwhile was woozy and needed help to the sidelines.
BEST DEEP BALL: J.P. Losman – 87 yards to Evans in Week 5 for the TD. Need we say more?
BEST BACK-TO-BACK PLAYS: Aaron Schobel – In Week 5 on a 1st-and-10 play he brought down Edgerrin James for a three-yard loss, then dropped into coverage on a 2nd-and-13 and batted a Warner pass attempt out of the air.
BEST PERFORMANCE WEEK 7: Trent Edwards – It’s very hard to argue with Edwards’ stellar Week 7 effort in which he went 25-30 for 261 yards and a touchdown in a 23-14 win over San Diego for a passer rating of 114.
BEST USE OF HELMET IN END ZONE: Lee Evans – His two-yard TD reception in Week 7, which was made behind his head was David Tyree-like and beyond difficult, while getting both feet in.
BEST DT TAG TEAM: Kyle Williams/Marcus Stroud – Williams dropped Philip Rivers for a sack on a 3rd-and-3 in Week 7 forcing a fumble and Marcus Stroud pounced on the loose ball for a takeaway.
BEST ROBBER: Paul Posluszny – The Bills middle linebacker reached in on a gang tackle of Ricky Williams in Week 8 and ripped the ball out for a fumble. Keith Ellison then jumped on it for the takeaway.
BEST REACH: Langston Walker – The big man batted down Dan Carpenter’s 46-yard field goal attempt to keep the Bills first half deficit to one.
BEST HAND WAVER: Derek Fine – The rookie tight end was flapping his arms like a bird in Week 9 to get Edwards’ attention and Buffalo’s QB found him for a nine-yard touchdown pass against the Jets.
BEST SHED: Terrence McGee – On a 3rd-and-12 play in Week 9, Jerricho Cotchery caught a receiver screen from Brett Favre and McGee shed his block out on the edge and tackled Cotchery for a three-yard loss.
BEST TRANSITION: Jabari Greer- After making the interception late in Week 9, Greer quickly bolted down the sideline outrunning the pursuit for the touchdown against the Jets.
BEST TOUCH: Brian Moorman – The Bills punter may have had his most consistent day of the season with four punts pinning the Patriots inside their 20-yard line in Week 10. His best kick was probably his 36-yard placement punt that his coverage unit downed at the New England three-yard line.
BEST KEEP HOPE ALIVE PLAY: George Wilson/Marcus Stroud – The safety and defensive tackle combined for a sack on Matt Cassel in the fourth quarter of the Week 10 game at New England. Stroud forced the fumble and Wilson recovered the ball at the Bills 44-yard line down 13-3 to give the offense an extra possession.
BEST DEFENSIVE SERIES WEEK 11: Jabari Greer, Terrence McGee, Bryan Scott – The three defensive backs were instrumental in forcing Cleveland to walk away with just a field goal after Trent Edwards third INT of the first quarter in Week 11. Faced with defending a 12-yard field, Greer made a great play in pursuit running Donte Stallworth down from behind on an end around for a loss of four. On the next play McGee had tight coverage on Braylon Edwards and was a factor in forcing a second down pass incomplete and on 3rd-and-14 Scott broke up a pass intended for Kellen Winslow. So after making an interception at the Bills 12-yard line, the Browns lost four yards on the drive, went three-and-out and had to take just a field goal.
BEST PUNT/DOWN COMBO: Brian Moorman/Jon Corto – Moorman’s high hanging 40-yarder allowed coverage to run under it as Corto impressively caught the ball on the fly to down it at the Browns’ four-yard line.
BEST PASS DEFENDER: Terrence McGee – The left cornerback had a career-high six pass breakups as he had almost as many plays on the ball as his top assignment Braylon Edwards, who despite having eight catches had a long of just 23 yards in the game.
BEST LIFELINE PROVIDER: Leodis McKelvin – His 98-yard kick return for a touchdown on Monday night gave the Bills new life late in the contest and got the crowd back into what was suddenly a field goal game.
BEST FIELD POSITION PROVIDER: Roscoe Parrish – Down six points with five minutes remaining against the Browns in Week 11, Parrish provided the offense with fantastic field position thanks to a 34-yard return to the Cleveland 48-yard line.
BEST BIG TIME RUN: Marshawn Lynch – His 28-yard rumble on 2nd-and-4 from the Browns 29 on Monday night set up the go ahead touchdown on the Edwards sneak.
BEST TWO MAN DRIVE: Marshawn Lynch/Fred Jackson – The two backs accounted for all of the yardage on Buffalo’s first touchdown drive in Week 12 at Kansas City. Nine plays, 61 yards, all Lynch and Jackson.
BEST USE OF HELMET – DEFENSE: Reggie Corner – The nickel back forced Jamaal Charles to fumble in Week 12 when his helmet popped the ball loose allowing George Wilson to recover the ball.
BEST GAME CHANGER: Leodis McKelvin – His 64-yard interception return was the turning point of the game.
BEST PASS WEEK 12: Trent Edwards – His 51-yard bomb to Lee Evans in Week 12 at KC was laid out perfectly for the wide receiver despite tight coverage.
BEST GO FOR BROKE MOVE: Trent Edwards – With no timeouts left and the first half clock winding down, Edwards took off for the goal line and leapt up and over two Chiefs defenders for the touchdown in Week 12.
BEST PRESENCE WEEK 12: George Wilson – The reserve safety tied for the team lead in tackles, had a sack, tackle for loss and a fumble recovery against the Chiefs.
BEST SPECIAL TEAMER WEEK 12: Blake Costanzo – The coverage man had an incomprehensible six special teams tackles in Week 12, which was more than the entire Chiefs special teams unit combined and had a pair of forced fumbles.
BEST RETURN: Josh Reed – The Bills possession receiver made a significant impact in his return from injury with five catches for 50 yards including a touchdown, his first in two years in Week 12.
BEST POINT PRODUCER: Rian Lindell – The Bills kicker had a career high 18 points in the game against the Chiefs and reached 600 for his career in the game becoming just the third Bills player in team history to reach that mark.
BEST HIT WEEK 13: Ryan Denney – His second sack on Shaun Hill in Week 13 knocked the ball loose as he forced a fumble, but the 49ers recovered.
BEST TACKLER WEEK 13: Chris Kelsay – The defensive co-captain finished the game with a team high seven tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss.
BEST ONE-HANDED GRAB: Josh Reed – His over the shoulder catch for 23 yards on a broken play converted Buffalo’s only third down play of the game in a Week 14 loss to Miami.
BEST SIGN OF AGGRESSIVENESS: Keith Ellison – His 4th-and-5 run for a first down on the fake punt in Week 15 gave the team a spark as evidenced by the response of the offense, which put together a field goal drive.
BEST REACTION TIME: Paul Posluszny – Running at top speed to the football, Poz reacted instantly to the deflected ball that bounced off Leodis McKelvin’s arm to make the interception in Week 15 against the Jets.
BEST SCRAMBLE WEEK 15: J.P. Losman – Buffalo’s backup QB, took advantage of the real estate in front of him and lunged just far enough to reach the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown against New York.
BEST TOUCHDOWN SAVING TACKLE: Justin Jenkins – The special teams coverage specialist made a crucial tackle near midfield to keep Leon Washington from scoring more than one touchdown in the Week 15 game.
BEST OFFENSIVE BOOST: Roscoe Parrish – The punt return ace eluded tacklers to bring a punt back 56 yards to the Jets’ 24-yard line giving the offense superior field position. It led to a touchdown and the lead against New York.
BEST SHIELD: Steve Johnson – The rookie wideout kept the defensive back on his hip so he could protect the ball from the defender and make the touchdown catch in Week 15.
BEST PIN ‘EM BACK PLAY: Brian Moorman/John Wendling – The pair teamed up to pin the Jets back at their own three-yard line midway through the fourth quarter.
BEST WOULD-NOT-BE-DENIED PLAY: Fred Jackson and company – The Bills back kept churning his legs and his offensive linemen kept pushing him forward on the most determined 11-yard touchdown run of the season to give the Bills the lead.
BEST FOURTH DOWN STOP: Kyle Williams/Bryan Scott – The pair teamed up to stuff Thomas Jones on a 4th-and-2 at the Bills 25, holding him to no gain and giving the offense one last shot to win the game in the waning moments on a turnover on downs.
BEST HIT WEEK 16: Donte Whitner – His crack on Brandon Marshall separated the receiver from the football and the turnover led to a field goal.
BEST BIG PLAY OFFENSE: Fred Jackson – His 65-yard catch and run helped lead to a go ahead touchdown as it set up first-and-goal at the Broncos three in Week 16.
BEST BALL PLACEMENT: Trent Edwards – His touchdown pass to Steve Johnson’s back side shoulder was put only where his receiver could pull it in for a touchdown giving the Bills the lead (23-20).
BEST MONEY MAN: Josh Reed – His nine receptions were a personal best and his two consecutive catches for 16 and 11 yards that got Buffalo into the red zone on the game-winning point drive were huge.
BEST PICK: Kawika Mitchell – His goal line INT thwarted the first attempt by Denver to tie the game.
BEST PLAY WEEK 16: Reggie Corner – His pass breakup on the 4th-and-5 play for Denver was huge as he knocked the ball out of Brandon Stokley’s hands in the end zone to preserve the win.
BEST TACKLER WEEK 16: Terrence McGee/Paul Posluszny/Bryan Scott – All three led the team with eight tackles each. There were plays made against the defense, but they play physical and got the stops they needed when they had to have them.
BEST COMING OUT PARTY: Reggie Corner – The rookie cornerback had four tackles, four pass breakups including the big one at the end and a fumble recovery.
BEST SAVE YOUR BACON PLAY: Fred Jackson – His recovery of the muffed punt return by Leodis McKelvin prevented a touchdown as Jackson recovered it in the end zone forcing a touchback.
BEST TACKLER WEEK 17: Ryan Denney – The defensive end led all players with 11 tackles including one for loss.
BEST DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE WEEK 17: Kyle Williams – The defensive tackle had six tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit.
BEST OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE WEEK 17: Fred Jackson – It was hard to argue with a career high 136 rushing yards, especially after only getting seven carries in the second half.
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