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Buffalo Bills News - October 16, 2000

Marker Carney fine, but Riley reluctant to use him [3:14 PM]
North County Times reports: 'It was an obvious question, after Mike Riley elected to punt on Buffalo's 35- and 36-yard lines in Sunday's 27-24 overtime loss to the Bills. Hey John Carney, you're reliable right leg OK? "Yeah," he said. So despite Carney owning the team record with two career-best 54-yard field goals, the Chargers' coach elected to punt on both occasions inside the Buffalo 37. On one, Darren Bennett pinned the Bills in at their 1 - they still scored. On the other - with 2:35 to play; he kicked it into the end zone - they still scored, to tie the game and send it into overtime. On Saturday, the winds were swirling so bad at Ralph Wilson Stadium one wouldn't consider field goals of 52 and 53 yards. Sunday? "We were very, very fortunate wind-wise," said Carney, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history. "I had a 53-yarder in pregame." But Riley - afraid of a miss and losing the field-position battle - didn't give Carney a chance. "I was ready to go," Carney said. "But at the same time I understand percentages of long-range field goals. Coach Riley said 'punt' right away; he didn't want to give up field position in case something happened." Said Riley: "We did put them down to the 1-yard line, which I thought was great. The second time, we didn't."'

Marker Bills celebrate overtime win against San Diego [1:35 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"This was a big win," [Steve Christie said], "and we needed it." But will there be enough for a playoff berth?'

Marker Ostroski's TD a lineman's dream [1:33 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The Bills' second touchdown was bizarre as running back Jonathan Linton fumbled into the end zone when hit by former Buffalo safety Mike Dumas with center Jerry Ostroski recovering. "That's the first touchdown I've scored since I was in sixth grade and caught a long bomb in the backyard," Ostroski said. "All my life I was doomed to be an offensive lineman and not touch the football unless I hiked it. So, scoring today, was pretty cool."'

Marker All Chargers can do is keep on playing hard [1:31 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'When the announcement was made that the San Diego locker room was open after the Chargers 27-24 overtime loss, only two reporters bothered to go in.'

Marker Riley admits musical quarterbacks was mistake [12:12 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'In breaking his seasonlong routine, Chargers coach Mike Riley didn't wait until the morning after the game to admit he had made a mistake. Instead, he stepped up to a wall of microphones after yesterday's 27-24 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills and acknowledged his decision to send in backup Moses Moreno to start the second quarter was wrong.'

Marker Coaching errors dig a hole for Chargers [12:10 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '[Chargers' coach Mike Riley's] first mistake was announcing during the week that Jim Harbaugh would start the game, play the first quarter and then give way to Moses Moreno for the second 15 minutes. This isn't Colgate-Canisius. His second mistake was sticking to his decision. Pulling Harbaugh was an error. It was a mistake before Moreno came in and stunk up Ralph Wilson Stadium to such an extent I'm surprised the fans didn't run for Syracuse.'

Marker Old Bears wake up against Bills [12:08 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'It was like old times for wide receivers Curtis Conway and Jeff Graham yesterday against the Buffalo Bills. As they did five years ago as teammate with the Chicago Bears, the two ran circles around the opposing secondary. They caught passes: 16 combined. They gained yards: 256 combined. They scored touchdowns: one each. They lost.'

Marker Penalty turns into big gift as extra kick rescues Bills [12:07 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"I was called because I was the last one on the line," said Ostroski, who was reluctant to take credit for saving the Bills. "It should have been called on them because they jacked with our center."'

Marker Key plays of the game [12:05 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'The Bills appeared to have scored on their second possession when they lined up for a field goal only to have holder Chris Mohr stand up and pass 37 yards to an uncovered Eric Moulds for what should have been a touchdown. But the officials ruled the ball was "not whistled ready for play" and nullified the play. Buffalo wound up punting.'

Marker Clinton attends church while Lazio tries to pick up votes at Bills game [9:10 AM]
AP reports: 'Lazio began the day at the Buffalo Bills game in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Accompanied by his wife and two young daughters, he greeted fans in the parking lot amid tailgate parties complete with barbecues and beer. An airplane flew overhead with a banner reading "Lazio for Senate, www.lazio.com," while campaign aides handed out toy footballs bearing the message "Go Buffalo! Lazio for Senate." "I grew up a Giants fan," Lazio said, "but that doesn't mean I'm against the Bills. Today, I'm really hoping the Bills win and shut out the Chargers." His wish came true, in part: The Bills beat the San Diego Chargers, 27-24.'

Marker Bills win a tough one, lose a QB [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills ended a three-game losing streak and leveled their record at 3-3 with a 27-24 overtime win over the winless San Diego Chargers before a sellout crowd in Ralph Wilson Stadium. The victory came despite an injury to Rob Johnson, who separated his shoulder in overtime. Johnson is expected to miss two to four weeks.'

Marker Bills dodge lightning strike [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Everything that looked easy was made hard by the Bills on this day. The winless San Diego Chargers made so many mistakes that Bills fans could have been lighting victory cigars by halftime. But the Bills sunk to the Chargers' level - and actually went below it for the first three quarters. It wasn't until 8:26 of overtime was played that the crowd of 72,351 at Ralph Wilson Stadium was able to breathe a final sigh of relief.'

Marker Moulds gets the job done [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He's really come through, especially in the clutch," Bills coach Wade Phillips said of Moulds who, with 560 yards this year, is on pace for his second 1,000-yard season in two years. "We look for him a lot, but he's our big gun. He's our big guy. He's always there to make plays. I'm constantly amazed by him."'

Marker Bills owe their lives to Riley's tinkering [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Thinking of the Bills as a playoff team is fantasy. They're not getting better and now they may be worse. The offensive line, a danger to quarterback Rob Johnson's health all season long, finally proved too much of a handicap to overcome. The sacks the line allows are bad enough, but it's double the misery when it allows a pass rusher to get close enough to its quarterback to knock him down after he gets rid of the ball.'

Marker In three minutes, Flutie becomes man of the moment [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think I learned my lesson early on," Flutie said Sunday after the Bills' 27-24 overtime win over those same Chargers. "Since Day One, when I got the opportunity to go in, it's made it more imperative to me to always be ready. The opportunity could be there at any given moment."'

Marker Ostroski steamed after fans vent [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Center Jerry Ostroski ripped the fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium for booing the players, quarterback Rob Johnson in particular, and coach Wade Phillips during the Bills' 27-24 overtime win over the San Diego Chargers. "Personally, I think it's damn ridiculous," Ostroski said. "It's sad when a football team is excited to go on the road because they don't want to play at home and get booed by their own fans and have their head coach called out and have their quarterback called out like that. I think it's a damn shame."'

Marker Harbaugh can't revive dead Bolts [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Jim went in there and did a great job of taking over our offense and moving it," Chargers linebacker Junior Seau said. "He's always going to be a stud. He's a gutsy player and always will be. He'll go down in history as "Captain Comeback' for a good reason." Harbaugh, though, wasn't interested in talking about his standing on the team or how the depth chart might read today. "Right now I'm just replaying the game in my mind," he said. "We had opportunities to win it."'

Marker Monday billboard [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills beat the lowly San Diego Chargers, 27-24, in an ugly overtime affair Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. A win is a win, but the Bills looked shoddy against one of the worst teams in the NFL.'

Marker Flutie to lead Bills next week [5:54 AM]
D and C reports: 'Johnson sustained a separated right shoulder while being driven into the artificial turf. The early prognosis is that he will be out two to four weeks. Doug Flutie came to the rescue and drove the Bills to the winning Steve Christie field goal, and now the popular backup will regain control of the offense in Johnson's absence. Thus, the Flutie Fanatics can rejoice.'

Marker Stumbling Bills survive [5:53 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills' offense -- at least through three quarters -- was woefully inept, continuing a season-long trend; Johnson, despite the fact that he rallied the team back into the game in the fourth quarter, suffered through a very tough day, and it ended with a separated shoulder that will sideline him 2-4 weeks; The normally solid defense was burned for a couple of long touchdowns and 24 points overall; Guard Ruben Brown engaged line coach Carl Mauch in a visible shouting match on the sidelines; Chargers head coach Mike Riley made a second-guesser's dream come true by playing backup quarterback Moses Moreno for two series in the second quarter. In four plays, Moreno lost two fumbles deep in Chargers territory that set up a pair of Buffalo touchdowns. Imagine where the Bills would be today if San Diego starter Jim Harbaugh hadn't been relegated to the sidelines during that stretch.'

Marker Bills offensive line redeems itself [5:51 AM]
D and C reports: 'It's been a tense year for the line and its curmudgeonly coach. The criticism has been considerable. Much of it has been justified. "We are growing kind of sick of it," Ostroski said. "We've been taking a lot of crap from media and the fans."'

Marker Even Flutie can't save these Bills [5:49 AM]
D and C reports: 'If Flutie Fanatics can restrain their glee and take a deep breath, they'd realize that this isn't 1998. It's so not '98...They are what they are, a .500-type club. Just enough wrong. Just enough right. A lot of good young players finding their way for a better tomorrow.'

Marker Notes on Bills/Chargers game [5:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'Center Jerry Ostroski was aggravated by all the booing the Bills offense endured from the home crowd. "Personally I think it's damn ridiculous," he said. "It's sad when a football team is excited to go on the road, because they don't want to stay at home and get booed by their own fans and have their head coach and their quarterback called out like that. I think it's a damn shame. I realize everybody pays their money. I realize everybody has a right to say whatever they want. Just like I have a right to say what I want. I'm stating my opinion. And I know I'm not the only one in this locker room who feels that way."'

Marker Flutie in relief sparks the Bills [5:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Ten-point favourites heading into the contest against the winless Chargers (0-7), the Bills didn't just dodge a bullet in halting their three-game losing slide and levelling their record at 3-3. They escaped a hail of Jim Harbaugh gunfire. And they have Moses to thank for it. Were it not for a pair of fumbles by young San Diego pivot Moses Moreno that Buffalo converted into touchdowns by Sammy Morris and Jerry Ostroski early in the second quarter, the Bills would have suffered their most humiliating defeat in recent memory.'

Marker Flutie kick-starts Bills [5:44 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I just went in there with a handful of plays and tried to execute to take advantage of the opportunity," said Flutie, who hit Peerless Price for nine yards and Eric Moulds for 21 to advance to Christie's range. "I guess we'll take it one at at time. We have a fun place to play in Minnesota (next Sunday against the Vikings). I just have to prepare and get ready."'

Marker Christie foots Bills to win [5:43 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Lining up for a game-winning field goal in overtime, kicker Steve Christie saw the orange flag fly and shrugged his shoulders. A 41-yard field goal attempt was now 46. "No big deal, just had to kick it a little harder, let 'er rip," said Christie, who booted the sixth overtime winner of his NFL career in the Buffalo Bills' 27-24 win yesterday. "I don't want to make (overtime winners) a habit but it's enjoyable. "As long as we win. If we get in a situation where we have a chance to win, I'll do my best."'

Marker Christie's kick does it [5:41 AM]
Toronto Globe & Mail reports: 'It wasn't the dominant win they may have wanted, but coming off three consecutive losses to divisional rivals, the Bills needed a win over the supposedly inept 0-6 San Diego Chargers like a starving man needs a free lunch. They almost blew it, giving up four sacks, two turnovers and 103 yards in penalties, performance glitches that offset 424 yards of total offence they were able to run up.'

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October 15, 2000

Marker Bills quarterback out 2-4 weeks with shoulder injury [6:15 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills quarterback Rob Johnson will miss two to four weeks after separating his shoulder during Buffalo's 27-24 overtime win over San Diego on Sunday.'

Marker Bills 27, Chargers 24 (OT) [5:31 PM]
AP reports: 'Set up by Henry Jones' interception of Jim Harbaugh's pass, Flutie marched the Bills 31 yards for Steve Christie's 46-yard field goal with 6:34 remaining. Curiously, Christie got a second chance to win the game after his first attempt - which bounced off the right goalpost - didn't count because the play had been called dead when Buffalo center Jerry Ostroski false-started. Christie's second attmempt just sneaked over the bar.'

Marker Bills 27, Chargers 24 [4:47 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Flutie replaced starting quarterback Rob Johnson, who left after landing on his right shoulder following a hit by Chargers defensive end Neil Smith on the Bills' first possession of overtime. After the game it was revealed Johnson will be sidelined two to four weeks with the injury.'

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