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Buffalo Bills News - September 29, 2002

Marker Bears (2-1) at Bills (1-2) [6:39 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'Gene Chamberlain's pick: Bears 27, Bills 23.'

Marker Bledsoe's numbers tell the story [6:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``I think this team is better than those teams were across the board,'' he said. ``We've got some amazingly talented receivers, we've got some tight ends, we've got outstanding guys in the backfield, and I think our offensive line will be a very good group now that they're starting to work together. I think this team has the potential, that same old word. We have the talent to get it done. Now we have to go out and prove it.'''

Marker Fast start key to happy ending for Bills [6:06 AM]
D and C reports: 'Today against the Chicago Bears (2-1) at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills (1-2) are stressing the importance of a fast start so a fourth consecutive nail-biting finish can be averted. That’s because if the game does come down to fourth-quarter heroics, the scales tip heavily to ‘Da Bears.'

Marker Monster of Midway, Part II [6:05 AM]
D and C reports: 'With Washington out, the Bills feel they have a better chance to slip a blocker into open space to take on Urlacher. And they know they must accomplish this feat or else Urlacher will make life miserable for running back Travis Henry.'

Marker Q&A with Mike Hollis [6:04 AM]
D and C reports: '’’Well, my wife (Debra), she doesn’t take anything from anybody. If anybody in the stands is saying something bad about me, she’ll stand up and let them know she’s my wife.’’'

Marker Oddly, Bills favored against ‘no-name’ Bears [6:03 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'You see the oddsmakers - and ultimately that’s you - favor Buffalo by a field goal.'

Marker Bills, Bears have traveled different paths [6:02 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'In the 25 regular-season games following that loss to the Bills, Chicago has gone an incredible 13-2 in games decided by seven points of fewer. Buffalo, on the other hand, over the past 24 starts, is 4-9 in such games.'

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September 28, 2002

Marker Hamilton Tiger-Cats sign running back [7:58 PM]
Hamilton TigerCats reports: The Tiger-Cats have announced the signing of CURTIS ALEXANDER, a 6-1, 205 pound RB, has been added to the Tiger-Cats practice roster. Alexander who played his college football at Alabama. Alexander, who goes by the nickname "Cool Curt", was a late (injury) cut by the Buffalo Bills just prior to the start of the 2002 NFL season.

Marker Kickoff: Five early surprises in 2002 [7:52 PM] reports: 4) Bledsoe -and- Brady succeed: Arguments about which QB is better will rage on throughout the season -- but who cares? Both are playing stellar football.

Marker Opposing Defenses Have Paid The Price [1:06 PM] reports: After three weeks, wide receiver Peerless Price leads the NFL with 352 receiving yards and his 25 receptions are tied for second most in the NFL behind New England's Troy Brown (31). Surprising numbers?

Marker O'Shei's Three Keys to the Game [11:21 AM] reports: The Bears, who have had some special teams troubles of their own, will be eyeing kickoff and punt returns as a chance to break the game loose. The Bills, of course, gave up two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the opener three weeks ago and rate 31st in the NFL on kick coverage (30.5 average on 18 returns).

Marker Shining Knight set to return as a Bear [9:30 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Knight, a lifelong Bills fan growing up in Buffalo, has attended games at The Ralph many times. But on Sunday, he'll walk through the tunnel as a rookie linebacker for the Bears.'

Marker NFL package might be just the ticket for digital cable [9:29 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' home season so far has been an advertisement for the NFL Sunday Ticket.'

Marker Around the dial [9:28 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bledsoe show continues on Monday when he is the subject of an "NFL Presents" show that runs at 2:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on ESPN and at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.'

Marker Different role for special player [7:02 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: '"Bledsoe has got certain skills and talents the other guys don't," Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. "The guy's a big-time quarterback. He's been in the league for 10 years. He's got a big passing arm. He's not as mobile as the other guys, but he's got so much more moxie and pocket presence as far as sliding around and moving and being able to sit in the pocket and make the throws. The guy's a quality quarterback with something to prove. He's got a chip on his shoulder and he's playing that way-he's playing great. I was in the division with him for a long time and I've never seen him play as well as he's playing now."'

Marker Bears' Chandler ready for anything [7:01 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'Despite his reputation for being injury-prone, last Sunday marked the first time since 1993, when he backed up Steve Beuerlein in Arizona, that Chandler has sat out three consecutive games.'

Marker Bears gain Shelton, lose Baxter [7:00 AM]
Chicago Sun Times reports: '"[Bledsoe's] a better passer, a more accurate passer, so you have to be tighter in coverage rather than worry about him running the ball,'' Austin said. "He won't hurt us if he runs, but he will hurt us with his arm. You have to play tighter coverage.'''

Marker Secondary faces big challenge vs. Bledsoe [6:59 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'The Bears' secondary needs help against Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe, who is considered one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL today. He has 119 consecutive passes without an interception, although he threw 2 in the season opener.'

Marker Bills looking for some balance [6:58 AM]
Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports: 'Bledsoe has revived interest in the Bills since being traded from the New England Patriots after his quarterback job was given to Tom Brady. The revival will be short-lived, however, if the defense doesn't hold up its end.'

Marker Special opportunity confronts Bears return teams [6:57 AM]
Suburban Chicago Newspapers reports: 'Statistics suggest opportunity this week for all Bears special teams, especially return teams.'

Marker Bills will try to derail 'A-train' [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'While not a superstar, Thomas did rush for 1,183 yards as a rookie, and he’s coming off a 111-yard performance in last week’s loss against a stout New Orleans defense.'

Marker Toronto fits the Bill [5:55 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'During the roughly two-hour drive to Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ahanotu grabs some more sleep, works the cellular phone and gets himself ready for the football assignment ahead. On the way home, he does more of the same while trying to forget about the game that has become his profession. In that sense, he believes the time and the $5,000-a-month or so he pays Cameron to chauffeur him is well spent.'

September 27, 2002

Marker Fletcher says Martz "underestimated the loss of me" [9:05 PM]
St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: 'He has emerged as the Bills' defensive quarterback, calling the plays in the huddle and barking at teammates he believes are letting up. He did some of his best yapping last week about his former teammates.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe Fan Q&A [12:58 PM] reports: "That will be a weapon for us as we get more proficient in our offense. At times if we need to change things up we may go to a no-huddle earlier in the game."

Marker Tailgate Party: Tops Game Day Experience [12:53 PM] reports: This weekend, prior to the Chicago Bears game, the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse is transformed into the largest indoor tailgate party in the league: Tops Gameday Experience. In addition to a variety of interactive games, and food, the Bills Experience features the live broadcast of the 97 Rock pregame show.

Marker CLUTCH FACTOR: Bunching at the top [11:57 AM]
Fox Sports reports: Apparently it helps to be on a winner. Three of the top four play for unbeaten teams, while the fourth — Drew Bledsoe — is on pace to break Dan Marino's passing yardage record for a season.

Marker Bills need to pick up some pickoffs [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are one of just three teams (along with Baltimore and Cincinnati) in the NFL that hasn't picked off a pass.'

Marker Just call newest signee Prioleau a big spender [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Last year this time I was sitting at home watching games on TV. To know I'm back in football and starting and having fortunate things happening to me is a blessing. The Bills have been good to me."'

Marker Give Gilbride credit for Bills' resurgence [7:20 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Drew Bledsoe is on his way back, but he has company. Kevin Gilbride, come on down.'

Marker Shelton set to rock Bills [6:35 AM]
Chicago Tribune reports: 'The Bills' defense allows 5.3 yards per rush and ranks 28th against the run. But it is not for lack of trying. The Bills mass eight, sometimes as many as 10, men on the line to stop the run, meaning the Bears may adjust their approach slightly. "It's unlike some things that you've ever seen, so it gets hard sometimes," offensive coordinator John Shoop said.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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