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Buffalo Bills News - December 28, 2004

Marker A Bills offensive weapon returns [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"It has been a kind of spark for us in a number of games," said Bledsoe, who looked comfortable running the hurry-up as he completed 21 of 32 passes for 172 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and only one sack, which came when he scrambled out of the pocket and was dropped one yard behind the line of scrimmage. Coming into this game I felt we were going to use it more extensively. I felt like we had good matchups outside with our receivers," he said.'

Marker How can the Bills beat the Steelers? [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Say what you want, but a lot of starch has been taken out of this game.'

Marker Bills need help from disinterested parties [4:59 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher will probably limit the playing time for many of his other starters as well Sunday. The Steelers don't care about this game. For them, the regular season is over. The season they care about is their postseason, which will begin with a home game at Heinz Field on Jan. 15 or 16.'

Marker McGahee shows heart in San Fran [4:58 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'have carried over to the whole team. The Bills are a confident group now, and feel they can stand toe-to-toe with any team in the league. Opposing defenses are putting quite a bit of focus on stopping McGahee, and that just opens up the rest of the Buffalo offense.'

Marker Bills report card [4:57 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'Shaud Williams was well-prepared for his first significant action.'

Marker Buffalo crowd wild card [4:56 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Should the Bills and Jets tie in the standings at 10-6, Buffalo wins the tiebreaker because of a better record among common opponents.'

Marker Bills Walk Rare Road Toward Playoffs [4:55 AM]
New York Times reports: 'In a season once destined for the scrap heap, the Buffalo Bills have patched up enough holes to stand on the brink of one of the National Football League's most improbable turnarounds.'

Marker Bills, rooted in Pittsburgh, face Steelers in playoff bid [4:54 AM]
USA Today reports: 'And then there's Donahoe, who has run both franchises. His Pittsburgh roots run so deep his grandfather was once mayor. But his 9-6 Bills need a win against the 14-1 Steelers and help from others to make the playoffs. That makes Sunday's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium something of a playoff game. "That's nothing new for us," Donahoe says. "We've been playing playoff games for six weeks."'

Marker Stability and winning - which comes first? [4:53 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'I still wonder how Donahoe could have been so right about Mularkey and so wrong about Williams, but the good news for everybody that cares about the present and future of the Bills, is that Mularkey is proving not only that heís the right guy, but Donahoe is the right guy as well.'

Marker Comeback Coach Of The Year [4:52 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'their turnaround. The opinions varied, but one common theme was their head coach Mike Mularkey.'

Marker Just under radar, three coaches have excelled [4:51 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills can reach the playoffs by beating Pittsburgh on Sunday, and while I can't explain what happened, I can point to Mularkey holding fast. He never wavered, especially when critics were dissecting a disappointing offense -- Mularkey's area of expertise.'

Marker Inside slant [4:50 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'A no-huddle renaissance? It could happen.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:49 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'And the Bills thought the Cleveland Browns were bad.'

Marker Notes, quotes [4:48 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The Bills once lost 12 out of 14 road games under QB Drew Bledsoe. They've now won four in a row on the road, longest such streak since 1966.'

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December 27, 2004

Marker Bills vs. Steelers Soldout [9:50 PM] reports: 'The Bills have sold out seven of eight games this season and 15 of 16 games over the last two years.'

Marker Ask Him Yourself: Tom Donahoe [9:50 PM] reports: 'Patience is a virtue, particularly when it comes to young football players. The players need a chance to develop and they do so on all different time frames. The coaches have the advantage of seeing players and working with them every day and as a result, they are in the best position to determine the potential of the player. Some of the best learning that I have had in the National Football League has come through experience and one of the lessons that I learned is that you must be patient and give players a chance to find their niche.'

Marker Ask Him Yourself: Mike Mularkey [9:49 PM] reports: 'I don't really know how many exact plays there are in the playbook because there are variations off of plays and formations. The booklet is thick and I'd say about 300 plays. The playbook is condensed for each game, so typically we have 90 plays per game.'

Marker Game Notes Bills vs. 49ers [9:48 PM] reports: 'The Bills recorded their sixth straight victory, good for the teamís longest winning streak since an 8-game streak in 1990.'

Marker Official NFL Playoff Scenarios [9:47 PM] reports: 'Buffalo can clinch playoff berth with: 1) BUF win + NYJ loss, OR 2) BUF win + DEN loss or tie, OR 3) BUF tie + DEN loss.'

Marker The Big Steelers Game Is Sold Out [9:46 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'That means the Arizona game is the only one in the last two seasons that hasn't been a sellout.'

Marker ``Playoffs'' not in Mularkey's vocabulary yet [9:45 PM]
AP reports: '``Ah, not quite yet,'' Mularkey said with a smile. ``I just think there's still some work to do. And there's nothing cut and dried.'''

Marker Do playoff teams have an obligation to try? [4:45 PM]
AP reports: 'In other words, what are the obligations of the Colts and Steelers? To ensure they are ready for the playoffs? Or to preserve the integrity of the playoff system by using their best players? In most cases, it's the former -- the ``Me First'' attitude.'

Marker Buffalo's playoff dream looks quite possible [4:15 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'But the fact that Jan. 2 will indeed matter, one way or the other, might be this Buffalo team's most remarkable accomplishment of all.'

Marker Bills on cusp of postseason [4:14 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"This whole season has come down to one game for a long time," said Drew Bledsoe, who completed 21-of-32 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown. "We've been playing playoff games for months and we put ourselves in that situation by losing the first four. We took a big hit against the Patriots and had to bounce back from that and we've been playing for our lives for a long time and that's what we're doing this week also when we play the Steelers. If we win, then we've got a shot, if we don't, we're home."'

Marker LB Spikes keys Bills' playoff run [1:54 PM]
San Francisco Examiner reports: '"I love it to death that I have the Pro Bowls and everything. But if I wouldn't have got it I wouldn't trade it for the position I'm in right here," Spikes said. "This is what you come and play the game for. This is what it all boils down to."'

Marker An interesting week ahead for the Bills [12:08 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'This is going to be a fun week.'

Marker Playoff push may stop short for Panthers, Bills [12:04 PM]
Pro Football Weekly reports: 'The Bills' Mike Mularkey was on the hot seat by October, dropping five of his first six games as a head coach. They turned it around after a 29-6 loss at New England in Week 10. Trailing 10-0 to the Rams the following week, Buffalo rallied to win 37-17. The Bills havenít lost since, scoring 38 at Seattle, 42 at Miami, 37 vs. Cleveland, 33 at Cincinnati and 41 yesterday at San Francisco. They donít, as we say, control their own destiny. Instead, the Bills have to beat Pittsburgh and hope the Broncos lose to the Colts. The catch is, the Colts have no incentive to beat the Broncos, not at the risk of having Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James or even P Hunter Smith, for that matter, suffer an injury.'

Marker Two hot teams might not make playoffs [9:03 AM] reports: The Bills have won eight of their last nine and the Panthers have reeled off six of seven. Both are riding a huge wave of momentum as the last week of the season approaches, and that's a dangerous trait for a team to have.

Marker Californa gold rush [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's easy to sit there and try to watch what's going on around you," Mularkey said. "To me that's just something you can't even let cross your mind because it does . . . not . . . matter. It doesn't matter unless we go out on the field and do our part."'

Marker No question: McGahee was ready to play [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I knew he was going to play early in the week," said center Trey Teague. "I mean, he didn't tell me for sure, but you can just tell by somebody's mannerisms if they're going to give it a shot."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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