Concerns on road to New Orleans [6:35 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Their 35-0 victory over the eminently routable Buffalo Bills on Sunday night only confirmed what some of us have resisted believing the past three months. They're good. They're for real. Why, at 9-2 they're the best team in the Bay Area.'
Streets finally makes way into end zone [6:34 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Reynolds said the stadium features 20,000 parking spaces, and at least 2,000 of the 7,000 in the main lot were unavailable because of flooding.'
Bills blanked by the Bay [6:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'Thinking they could recapture some of their night-time magic and utilize the motivation that comes from playing in front of a nationwide audience, the Bills exuded confidence throughout the week that they could battle the 49ers evenly. They didn't.'
Struggling Bills can take a lesson from 49ers [6:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'In a brutal season in which people's expectations have been lowered to just wanting to see glimmers of progress under new coach Gregg Williams, the Bills took a leap off the Golden Gate Bridge.'
Bay Area paradise for DeHaven [6:13 AM]
D and C reports: 'In taking a 14-0 halftime lead, the 49ers outgained the Bills by 222-74, had a 14-4 edge in first downs, and Jeff Garcia completed 15 of 19 passes for 148 yards.'
Report card [6:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'Secondary: A very long night against the NFL's fifth-ranked passing game. Garcia was 9 of 9 at one point and in the first half, and converted 6 of 7 third-down passes. A 17-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens against Antoine Winfield was a simple mismatch of size. Reserve Tai Streets beat safety Travares Tillman for a 23-yard score. F.'
49ers 35, Bills 0 [5:59 AM]
AP reports: '"Those guys up front are the keys to it all," said Hearst, who rushed for a score early in the second quarter. "Tonight, they just took control and smashed people."'
San Francisco 35, Buffalo 0 [5:57 AM]
Sportsticker reports: '"We not only had trouble on defense, we had trouble converting on offense."'
Sweeter deal for Hearst is well worth the price [3:37 PM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Hearst is on pace for 235 carries and 1,242 yards this season, and he is improving weekly. The extra money that he will earn will cost the 49ers significantly against next year's salary cap. But the 49ers figure this kind of performance is worth it.'
49ers vs. Bills [3:36 PM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'The 49ers' turnover ratio (+1 on the season) is mediocre. Buffalo has been much worse (-12).'
Coast guard [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Niners have ranked among the top six in the NFL in offense 18 of the past 20 years.'
Niners on top despite similarities with Bills [9:19 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Regardless of the outcome, the Bills can take some solace in the 49ers' turnaround. By following the same formula, a return to respectability could be around the corner.'
Up the ladder [9:18 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'To the insiders, to those who play the game for a living, there might be no worse job in the NFL than being the No. 3 quarterback.'
Answer to Bills quarterback puzzle depends on Van Pelt [9:17 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The view from here is that Van Pelt received the opportunity of his NFL career when Rob Johnson told the Buffalo media this week that his season is over as a result of his broken collarbone.'
Bills remain a special team for coach Bruce DeHaven [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It was 13 years. I spent the greater part of my coaching career in Buffalo. It's something looking at those uniforms and hearing the name. A part of me will always be a Bill. It's a lot easier this year than last, of course."'
49ers' Bronson is calm, collected -- and dangerous [8:28 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Who knows what heroics Bronson will perform in tonight's contest against the Buffalo Bills?'
49ers (8-2) vs. Bills (1-9) [8:27 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Bills coach Gregg Williams imported his aggressive defensive scheme from the Titans. It's a style the 49ers have rarely faced. To counter, the 49ers probably stick with what they do best -- attack teams with a good balance of run and pass.'
49ers wary of struggling Bills [8:25 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: '"They're young and improving, a lot like our team," Coach Steve Mariucci said. "They have a handful of real good players and a lot of the youngsters are starting to catch up fast."'
Winborn gets greater look as 49ers try to rev up linebackers [8:24 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: '"He's a young pup," linebackers coach Richard Smith said. "Every day is a learning process for him, but he's a good athlete and it's ridiculous for him to be sitting there on the sidelines."'
49ers' keys to the game [8:22 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: 'Jeff Garcia could have a field day even without sore-footed wide receiver Terrell Owens. Bills opponents have completed more than 65 percent of their pass attempts.'
49ers-Bills key matchups [8:21 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: 'With running back Kevan Barlow expected to miss the game because of a shoulder injury, the 49ers will rely on Hearst more than usual. He seems up to the task. In the past three games, he has rushed for 343 yards and two touchdowns. One of the Bills standing in the way is Foreman, a top run-stopper.'
Full-time coach, part-time psychologist [8:20 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Being a successful head coach in today's NFL isn't about strategy so much as it's about managing personalities and massaging egos. It's about knowing when to confront a player and when it's best to let things slide. Most of all, it's about knowing what to say when 53 sets of ears are listening.'
Family comes first for 49ers' Lewis [8:19 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Lewis is sidelined with a groin injury he suffered in the Sept. 9 season opener. But he remains an active spokesman for the California Transplant Donor Network, which will have a booth set up outside 3Com Park from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. so fans can fill out organ donor cards, and in return, receive a Jonas Lewis trading card.'
Three keys to the game [8:18 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'The Bills, losers of five in a row, need a few breaks to go their way. Four of their past six losses have been by seven or fewer points.'
First-place Niners try to focus on Bills [8:16 AM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'As for the game itself, the 49ers (8-2) would do well to take the Bills (1-9) seriously. For one thing, it's not that long ago that they resided in the same low-rent neighborhood in the standings that Buffalo currently inhabits. Additionally, the Bills nearly knocked off Miami last week before falling 34-27. And the Bills have a pair of dangerous receivers in Eric Moulds and Peerless Price, who have combined for 71 catches for 1,187 yards.'
Niners give Bills new plan to follow [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: '"We've been playing physical the last several weeks and we've got to go out and do it again," Williams said. "That's the mark of being a pro, playing hard each week and hopefully gaining some experience with our younger guys."'
There's still a little Buffalo in DeHaven [5:27 AM]
D and C reports: '"Maybe before the ballgame there will be some feelings of nostalgia, but really as we get going it becomes a football game, so we're competing and we want to win."'
Q & A with Aaron Schobel [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: '[Q:] When you were drafted, what word came immediately to mind when you heard you were going to Buffalo? [A:] "Cold. But to tell you the truth, I'd rather be cold than hot. I hate the heat."'
Scouting report [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills are merely a blip on the 49ers' screen and they could be ripe for a letdown.'
ESPN Game Preview [10:16 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Can the Bills' solid run defense (?) slow down the Garrison Hearst comeback parade? I don't see the Bills slowing Hearst down. The Niner OL is doing a great job, and Hearst is having an amazing year catching the ball out of the backfield.'
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