Pats took advantage of lucky bounce [1:27 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'But luck is only half the story in this world. Luck only opens the door, presents an opportunity. It's your job to do the rest, to walk through and take advantage of your good fortune.'
Upon further review, Bills lose another one [9:12 AM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'One minute, it looked as if the Buffalo Bills were on their way to a rare highlight in a dismal season -- a win over a legitimate playoff contender. But one loooong replay review and one broken tackle later, the Bills left the field shaking their heads for the 11th time in 13 games. Nate Clements' apparent recovery of New England wide receiver David Patten's fumble seemed to give Buffalo the ball at its own 42-yard line with 9:50 remaining in overtime. After consulting the replay monitor and huddling with his crew, though, referee Mike Carey ruled that because Patten's head was out of bounds and the ball touched his leg before Clements grabbed the ball, the Patriots kept possession. On the next play, former Buffalo running back Antowain Smith broke out of Bills linebacker Jay Foreman's arms in the backfield, cut to the right and sprinted down the sideline. Antoine Winfield's tackle saved a touchdown, but one play later, Adam Vinatieri's 23-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, gave New England a 12-9 win. Rule 3, Section C, Article 2, Paragraph C of the National Football League rule book reads: "The ball is out of bounds when ... a loose ball touches a boundary line or anything on or outside such line." No one aside from the officials knew of that clause after Carey made the call.'
After further review: Bills lose [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"For some reason, the ball doesn't bounce your way as many times when you have the kind of record we have," said fullback Larry Centers.'
Bills learn to expect the worst [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But Sunday's loss will be harder to take than the others because it was the result of a rule no one had ever seen or heard of.'
Luck pays a visit, Pats make it stay [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I feel very fortunate to sneak out of here with a win, especially with the call on the field going in our favor. We've got to have a little luck somewhere along the way."'
Defensive backs' hit parade bodes well for future [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Maybe it's the holiday spirit, but can't there be times in a 2-11 season when you have positive feelings after a loss?'
Offense plays it again (and again) [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There's more variety in the pope's closet than in the shamefully predictable "We're Toast" attack offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard flung at the Patriots, who could have - and probably did - defend Sheppard's game plan in their sleep.'
Underneath it all, Smerlas is still a Bill [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"When I was in New England, I took my shirt off and my shoulder pads off and I had a Buffalo Bills jersey on underneath," he recalled. "The guy that just happened to stand next to me said, "No matter what uniform you put on you'll still be a Buffalo Bill underneath.' I thought that was kind of fitting."'
Monday billboard [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Quote of the Day: When Brady was asked if he was woozy after getting his helmet knocked off, he shook his head: "No. Who was it, (No.) 22, who hit me? He's a little guy."'
One more heartbreaker [6:25 AM]
D and C reports: '"Losses are losses, I don't know how you qualify them, they're all difficult," Donahoe said. "We haven't had many things go our way this year and sometimes that's just the way it goes."'
Smerlas can relate to this year's team [6:24 AM]
D and C reports: '"Making plays, that's all great. Kicking someone's butt, that's all great," Smerlas said. "But to have the memories of all the great people I met here, that's what made football special for me."'
Making a big mess of the rules [6:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'No one has ever seen a play like that. Hopefully, we never will again.'
Hard-hitting defense deserved to win [6:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'For the second time this season, they made New England quarterback Tom Brady play like Marcia Brady.'
Bills report card [6:21 AM]
D and C reports: 'A good effort by a calm-and-cool Gregg Williams against the wily Bill Belichick. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray did a nice job juggling his unit in the face of injuries in this epic battle of field goal kickers. Another tough loss but hey, the Bills are back in the race for the No. 2 draft pick.'
Patriots replay favour [6:20 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Bless the young, injury-riddled Bills for playing hard and hitting harder, but there was little entertainment yesterday outside of the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders dolled up as elves. The first two quarters featured nine punts and three field-goal attempts (one missed). Fear sweeping through the empty seats was that a soccer game might break out.'
Bills find another way to fold [6:19 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'The latest chapter in the voluminous collection of Buffalo heartbreak classics was written here yesterday, giving western New Yorkers yet another story to cry over into their Genesees.'
Favorable review [6:18 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'After all, four of the Patriots' last five games against the Bills have gone to overtime.'
Defense earns points by being stingy [6:17 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'It's been said that if you score, you may win, but if your opponent doesn't score, you can't lose.'
Still tackling job with enthusiasm [6:16 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The sight of Tom Brady's helmet spinning like a top near midfield was proof enough yesterday to something every Buffalo player will profess: the Bills have not given up.'
After crucial play, Bills left unsettled [6:16 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Our guys play hard,'' first-year Bills coach Gregg Williams said. ''And that's a reflection of when these two teams have played here. Five of the last seven times ... these two teams have played, it's been tough, hard-nosed football.'''
For Smith, better late than never [6:15 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Their defense did a good job of reading where the run was going,'' center Damien Woody said. ''Antowain just didn't stop on the play, reversed field, and it was wide open. That was huge.'''
Something was missing [6:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Flutie mantra that's been beaten into our brains has shifted to Brady, the Patriots' second-year quarterback. Brady didn't play particularly well yesterday against the Bills, but his team won, 12-9, in overtime, and improved to 9-3 since Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe.'
In overtime, plot contained a knockout twist [6:12 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'After decades of hideous finishes and chronic chaos, the Patriots are getting all the breaks.'
Rolling with the punches [6:12 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Tasker and play-by-play man Don Criqui also both (maybe with some help from the folks in the truck) used replays to illustrate that Buffalo receiver Peerless Price had an apparent TD taken away on a ruling the Bills never challenged with just less than 11 minutes left in regulation. Instead, Buffalo settled for a tying field goal.'
It's becoming numbers game [6:10 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Seahawks (7-6) are still alive in the playoff hunt with their win over Dallas yesterday. The Patriots may not have to worry about Denver, which fell to Kansas City yesterday and now has seven losses.'
Pats boot Bills in OT [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'As for the game, it was mostly a lot of field goals (seven) and incomplete passes (38). Neither offense played well, which kept the score close as usual. The Pats and Bills have now played into overtime in four of their last five meetings.'
Vinatieri in the four-front [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``You've got to take your hats off to them. They played a great game today. They fought pretty hard, made some big plays and hit the crap out of our guys. I'm just happy I got an opportunity (to win the game)."'
Pats deserve luck [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'An apparent Bills touchdown is ruled an incompletion, but the Buffalo coaching staff doesn't call for a replay even though it looked like Peerless Price might have gotten both feet down in the end zone.'
Pats' Smith fits the Bill [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Would not his return to Buffalo have been sweeter had Smith won the game with a touchdown? ``That doesn't make any difference to me,'' Smith said. ``I just wanted to get us close enough to win the game. And that's what I did.'''
Hi there, old flame [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'To say that Brady got his bell rung yesterday would be the understatement of this over-the-top season. It was a highlight-film hit for the ages, one that the Brady kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will be seeing, and it was delivered by the Bills' 5-foot-9 cornerback, Nate Clements.'
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