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Buffalo Bills News - September 13, 2004

Marker Buffalo Bills Team Report [9:29 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"I came into this game with a very strong belief that this was a good football team," said Bledsoe. "I come out of this game with that same belief. But no matter how good we are, if we make those mistakes at key times it's going to be very hard to win."'

Marker 72 Dolphins Are Safe [9:15 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'The positives? The offense line was passable. Travis Henry ran hard. Willis McGahee looked strong in his debut. Eric Moulds is back. Drew Bledsoe got rid of the ball. The defense forced 2 turnovers.'

Marker New-look Bills face familiar questions [9:14 PM]
AP reports: '''It seems like deja vu,'' running back Travis Henry said Monday, shaking his head.'

Marker Late-game flashback brings back bad memories [3:09 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Smith and Wilford made the two biggest plays of the game, looking very much like they simply wanted the ball more than Buffalo's overrated defenders. To be fair, Bills such as Spikes, Fletcher and Clements showed a diverse array of struts and dances. Too bad they didn't make any plays truly worth celebrating.'

Marker Bills have no one else to blame [1:25 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'As wide receiver Eric Moulds, part of two lost fumbles, noted, “It’s so hard to win in this league ... you can’t let a game like that get away.” But the Bills did. Let’s count the ways...'.

Marker No jagged edge with poised Leftwich [1:24 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“As an offense we made the plays that we had too,” Leftwich said with a smile. “We didn’t make all the plays, but we made the plays when we had to win the football game.”'

Marker Reese Snaps 43-Game Streak [1:02 PM] reports: The last Bills safety to make an interception was Tavares Tillman in the 2001 regular season. Now, nearly three years later, the streak has finally been snapped. The Bills stressed during the off-season that they were going to create more turnovers and on opening day, they stole two from the Jaguars.'

Marker Bills, Jags Matched-Up Well [1:01 PM] reports: 'This match-up was a close one, as were the rest, but the Bills have to feel pretty good about this phase of the game. Last year, Travis Henry carried the ball 21 times for 26 yards in Jacksonville. This year, he ran 23 times for 75 yards before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with cramps. Had he continued to play, he may have been able to break the century mark. Henry never backed down from running right at the Jags interior linemen, considered to be one of the best tandems in the NFL with Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. Head Coach Mike Mularkey stressed that his team was going to run the ball throughout the game and that's what the Bills did on Sunday against the Jaguars.'

Marker Last Second Heartbreaker [12:51 PM]
Erie Times News reports: 'I mean, really, what is there to say about this one. It shouldn't be as hard as it is to write this column, but that queasy feeling in my stomach is just rolling over me like you wouldn't believe.'

Marker Bills lose home opener [12:35 PM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'Officials weren’t too sure. There was an indefinite touchdown signal on the field as the 6-foot-4, 223-pound receiver was pounded out of bounds. There was a call for a replay. However, there was no question. It was a good catch, a great catch.'

Marker The Bills’ offense goes into an early hibernation [12:34 PM]
Lockport Union Sun and Journal reports: 'In fact, if it wasn’t for the effort of the Buffalo defense, the Bills may not have scored at all. Buffalo’s two scoring drives went for a combined 14 yards.'

Marker Bills buckle against Jags [12:34 PM]
Wellsville Daily Reporter reports: 'McGahee was only able to gain 2 yards on the ensuing play and after a Jacksonville timeout with 2:18 on the clock, Mularkey was left with his first crucial head coaching decision of his young coaching career -- let Rian Lindell attempt a 51-yard field goal after he had already missed one from 9 yards closer, or play for field position and put the game in the hands of the defense, which had given up just 145 yards to that point. "It's a judgment call and where do you want to give them the ball," said Mularkey. "I really thought our defense, if we could pin them back in there ..., I just felt like our defense had played well all day. Let them continue doing what they did. I went more with my defense than I did on my gut feeling on missing a field goal."'

Marker Bills Team Report [12:33 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'The team intends to continue alternating Ryan Denney and Chris Kelsay at left end. Both should get plenty of playing time. Denney is the better run defender while Kelsay provides a better pass rush.'

Marker Bills beaten on final play [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"No matter how good we are, if we make those mistakes at key times it's going to be very hard to win," Bledsoe said.'

Marker Photo finish [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The blueprint for success drawn up by new coach Mike Mularkey in many ways was followed to the letter. The Bills held the ball more than seven minutes longer than the Jaguars. Travis Henry outrushed Fred Taylor, 75 yards to 61. Drew Bledsoe was sacked only once. The Bills converted 50 percent of their third downs. They didn't lose the turnover battle. They still lost.'

Marker Bills' secondary comes up a bit short [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Clements appeared to have position to make a play on the long pass, but Smith made a move inside and was able to rip the ball from Clements' grasp. "I was right there," he said. "I had two hands on it. I should have made the play."'

Marker Wilford's leap a giant step for Jags [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'And the play is called? "Catch it," Leftwich said. "I mean we have some guys running some routes and he was out there. The guy can jump out of the gym. The guy is a basketball player, playing football."'

Marker Lack of scoring punch reminiscent of 2003 [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Mularkey said the Jags had 11 men at the line of scrimmage on third-and-goal from the 1. Which was it? Was it scripted, or was it the 11 men at the line? What about living up to your supposed identity as a running team? Run the ball and let the world know you mean business.'

Marker Byron shows signs of being a winner [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But here's what resonates: The Bills, by choice, put the ball in Bledsoe's hands on third and goal from the Jacksonville 1 with just more than 10 minutes remaining. He froze, surrendering a sack, taking a fourth-down touchdown try out of the equation. Jacksonville, out of necessity, put its trust in Leftwich on the final drive and came away with a victory, a vital victory considering the next three weeks on the schedule read: Denver, Tennessee, Indianapolis.'

Marker Offense stays with running game [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I felt good about it," said running back Travis Henry. "We had been playing good in the preseason. Everybody wants to run the ball. We ran it good sometimes, but there were sometimes where we got negative plays. But for the most part, I though we stuck with it and did a good job."'

Marker A crushing blow [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Team isn't good enough to overcome missed FG by Lindell.'

Marker Monday billboard [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Zebra Report: The men in black and white were rather busy in this one, calling 16 penalties for 128 yards.'

Marker Just out of reach [5:12 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'There have been some gut-wrenching defeats in the 45-year history of the Bills franchise, but this 13-10 loss to the Jaguars zoomed right into top-10 territory.'

Marker Bills look like last season's losers [5:11 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'But if you're going to play your cards close to the vest, you'd better employ players who don't swallow hard at gut-check time.'

Marker Two plays take away victory from Bills [5:10 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We had guys in position, but he wound up making a big play and we didn't," said Reese, who ended a 43-game interception drought by Bills safeties with a fourth-quarter pick that set up a 25-yard field goal by Rian Lindell. "They had tried that play earlier in the game, and although it didn't work, we thought it was a possibility they would come back to it again."'

Marker Bills need to learn how to win [5:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'This was a game the Bills expected to win. It was a game they should have won. Yet they lost, and the reason was simple: While Mularkey has a talented bunch to work with, they don't know how to win, and that's an intangible that is paramount to success in a league where the majority of games are decided by a touchdown or less.'

Marker The 'Two-Minute' Read [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'How Wilford was able to make the catch with three Bills surrounding him is a nightmare the Bills won't easily forget, but they have to, and fast.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:07 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Coaching, D+: The effort was there, but Mike Mularkey's regular-season debut was marred by the turnovers and penalties that plagued his team during the preseason.'

Marker Bills lose real heartbreaker [5:06 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Linebacker Takeo Spikes, who was among the defenders draped all over Wilford: "It was a helluva catch. (Pause.) A helluva catch. ... I didn't believe he caught it. Then, more so, I didn't believe he'd stayed in bounds."'

Marker Bills die in seconds [5:05 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'How unlikely? A Jaguars team that was unable to move the ball most of the afternoon had suddenly found life. Leftwich, who had thrown for just 75 yards previously, amassed 72 on that 122-second drive.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
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09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
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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
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