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.'
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."'
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."'
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."'
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.'
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.'
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.'
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."'
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.'
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."'
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.'
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."'
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."'
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.'
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.'
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.'
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.'
Bolts CB struggles to prove he's worth that fat contract [3:29 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Cornerback DeRon Jenkins knows the Chargers were counting on him to be their version of a stopper after signing him to a three-year, $9.6 million deal in the offseason. He was supposed to shut down the opposing team's leading wide receiver, or at least limit the number of big plays the receiver made. But more often than not Jenkins has been the one walking off the field with his head down and his spirits low during the game.'
Conway ready to fill bill for Chargers [3:24 PM]
North County Times reports: 'And, really, is there a better poster boy for the 2000 Dead Bolts than the 2000 Conway? Like the Chargers, he entered the season with hype and hope. Like the Chargers, he has been unable to deliver on either count.'
Bills' job summed up in two words: must win [3:21 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Suddenly, Buffalo's primary mission is just making the playoff ... forget home-field advantage.'
Seau makes sure Chargers defense never rests [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '[The Buffalo Bills] are 10-point favorites to end their three-game losing streak. But there's no way [Junior] Seau will let the Chargers roll over and die.'
Bills' offense needs new microscopes for future self-exams [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Maybe multiple formations are not the way to go with this lightly experienced bunch. Maybe doing away with the traditional fullback and using the tight ends as H-backs was too radical a change. Young pro players need a lot of coaching help. Joe Pendry, the Bills' offensive coordinator, should have come to grips with this weeks ago.'
Chargers are the prescription to cure what's ailing Bills [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Outlook: Hard to see Chargers offense doing much. . . . Bills, 23-14.'
Johnson holds [7:32 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'It's only a matter of time before Doug Flutie is back in place as the Bills starting quarterback, even though there is no big push in western New York for him to replace Rob Johnson...Although Johnson has seven touchdown passes and only two interceptions, he's been getting drilled with regularity, causing questions about his ability to remain healthy.'
Bills need to re-Charge [5:43 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'No one is suggesting Wade Phillips, who has a 23-14 record as head coach in Buffalo, is on the way out. But a loss by the 10-point favourite Bills would seriously dent the playoff hopes of a team well known for its resilience.'
Pain relievers [5:31 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Buffalo Bills haven't won a game in four weeks. Their quarterback has taken too many hits. Their most proven running back wants out. And the offensive line is under fire. Looks like someone just answered 911. The San Diego Chargers are in town.'
Bills take winless Chargers seriously [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: '"We're not a good enough team right now to take anything for granted, and I hope myself, along with the coaches and the rest of my teammates understand that," [Phil] Hansen said.'
Phillips gives fans a lightning rod [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: 'It's Monday night in Rochester and time for the Wade Phillips Show on WHAM 1180, where fans have the only direct pipeline to the man in charge of the Buffalo Bills...It's easy to speak to fans when things are going well, but when your team has lost three games in a row for the first time in two years, the natives can get restless. "Hopefully, this is the worst it gets," Phillips says. "But there are still people, the media, everybody, who will always say something is wrong, even when we're winning. That's just the way it is in society."'
Scouting report [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if...they don't play down to the level of their competition. Sometimes the Bills do this, and they can't afford it against a winless team looking to earn some respect and restore some pride...they avoid damaging turnovers. San Diego will need all the help it can get, so the Bills can't play giveaway...they pressure [Jim] Harbaugh and force him into throws he doesn't want to make. He's a veteran, but he's limited physically now.'
Ex-Trojans all set to meet in Buffalo [3:11 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"[Chargers Coach Mike Riley's] an unbelievable coach and person," [Rob] Johnson said. "He taught me a lot about football and life." Johnson and Riley were together at USC in 1993 and '94. Johnson was the starting quarterback, Riley the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. They were together before practice, at practice and sometimes after practice. "He was always in there with me," Riley said, referring to his office. "We had lunch most every day." The two would watch film and talk football, but they would talk about other subjects as well. "He's one of my favorite people that I've ever met," Johnson said. "He's so positive and has such a good attitude. I would go up to the office and talk about his family and what he likes to do. It wasn't football all the time. "I remember him being very patient, very understanding, very receptive. He's very intelligent.'
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