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Buffalo Bills News - December 27, 2004

Marker Report card [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The fake punt when leading 20-0 was silly, but hey, you've got to do something to keep it interesting against yet another JV opponent.'

Marker Bills still in playoff picture [4:52 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I knew what the scores were," Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe said in his post-game press conference. "But at the same time, you've got to do your job and go about your business. Otherwise it doesn't mean anything."'

Marker On The Brink Of The Playoffs [4:50 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'The jolly old fat man delivered all four gifts on Sunday afternoon, making an improbable playoff appearance by the Buffalo Bills something that is extremely possible if two of three things occur next Sunday.'

Marker Bills won't fold in finale [4:50 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'I don't know if the Buffalo Bills make the AFC playoffs, but I know they should.'

Marker The Bills Take The Playoff Race To The Very End [4:49 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The only reason the 49ers got on the board late was because Buffalo had its second team defense in.'

Marker Bills Rout San Francisco [4:47 AM] reports: 'The Bills scored 30 or more points for the sixth straight time.'

Marker Buffalo Closing in on Postseason Berth [4:45 AM] reports: 'The defense tied a record for most turnovers in a six game span in NFL history with 26. Special teams threatened to score all day and gave the offense great field position throughout the game. The offense scored 41 points with two touchdowns coming from running back Willis McGahee. It was a complete team effort.'

Marker Team Wins In Dominating Fashion [4:44 AM] reports: Another week, another dominating win, another solid performance by all three phases of the team. The offense moved the ball well while the defense forced four turnovers and the special teams gave them great field position with a few nice returns. Here are our position by position grades:

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December 26, 2004

Marker Bills Win Big Again 41-7 [8:04 PM] reports: 'The Bills won this game, like they have won many in what is perhaps the greatest streak in the club's storied history. The defense forced four turnovers and the special teams had a number of big returns to shorten the field. The offense not only didn't do anything wrong, they were crisp and executed beautifully throughout making this another total team victory.'

Marker Buffalo 41, San Francisco 7 [7:02 PM]
AP reports: 'Willis McGahee's knee felt pretty good after all -- and after flattening the pathetic 49ers, the Buffalo Bills were feeling great about their playoff chances.'

Marker Buffalo 41, San Francisco 7 [7:02 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Buffalo feasted on the NFC West this season, winning all four games by a combined margin of 160-47.'

Marker Buffalo 41, San Francisco 7 [7:01 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'McGahee, who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with a 20-yard run early in the third quarter, was questionable up until game-time with a knee injury. He now has rushed for 1,049 yards this season, over 100 yards in seven of his 10 starts and also recorded his fourth multi-TD game.'

Marker Bills looking for playoff berth; SF simply looking for motivation [11:06 AM]
Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports: 'In fact, this can be a "trap game" for the Bills, who might also have to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the final Sunday of the regular season to make the playoffs. The Steelers, of course, are 13-1 and will clinch home-field advantage with a victory today against Baltimore. Therefore, it is possible that the Bills will overlook a team that boasts its only two victories against the Arizona Cardinals.'

Marker Bills scare up a sense of urgency [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"If you had a lot of success throughout the year, you might feel that way," he said. "But the way we started gave us a taste of being at the bottom of the barrel. When you're at the bottom of the barrel and you start winning, you don't want to go back there. . . . We're playing scared. That's exactly how you want to do it. You want to play scared and take care of business. We plan to go out and do that."'

Marker Raising the baton [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He's a tremendous motivator," Bills defensive back Troy Vincent said. "I can appreciate a coach who understands what's going on through your mind after a play happens, instead of everything being so textbook because this is not a textbook game."'

Marker Once Bledsoe gets rocking, Bills figure to roll [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills continue to roll with 30-13 win.'

Marker Spiritual rebirth helps Bills' April weather storm [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The kids were adamant about me getting back into coaching," April said. "They told me, "That's what you are.' "'

Marker McGahee, not Brees, is league's best comeback story [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The reason McGahee deserves the award is this: Brees almost lost his job with the Chargers; McGahee almost lost his career to the catastrophic knee injury he suffered in January 2003. Brees had a bad year in 2003. McGahee couldn't even play in 2003.'

Marker 49ers vs. Bills [8:27 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Blitz Bledsoe: Drew Bledsoe is only 32 and yet it seems as if he's been playing since the AFL-NFL merger. Maybe it's because he's not all that spry. In fact, the Bills quarterback has been likened to a cigar-store Indian in terms of mobility.'

Marker Bills (8-6) vs. 49ers (2-12) [6:18 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Buffalo runs an offensive scheme similar to the 49ers', with the two-tight end formations and commitment to the run. The Bills then like to throw over the top when the linebackers and safeties sneak up to stop the run. Pressure on quarterback Drew Bledsoe will be a key, and the improving secondary can step forward if it can stay with receivers Lee Evans and Eric Moulds.'

Marker Bills recover from their poor start, unlike the 49ers [6:17 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'The Bills' first-round draft pick, wide receiver Lee Evans, has 38 receptions for 588 yards and seven touchdowns. The 49ers' first-round pick, wide receiver Rashaun Woods, has three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.'

Marker 49ers of '80s helping Bills of today [6:16 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: 'Mularkey has overcome bad starts before. After the 49ers cut him, he spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he never forgot his few weeks with Walsh. ``I wouldn't say I run his West Coast offense,'' Mularkey said, ``but I would say I use his philosophy of trying to get the ball in the right guy's hands. I believe in that and I always have even since I was a coordinator. Obviously, the success has proven that it was a pretty good idea.'''

Marker Sunday's San Francisco Coverage [6:15 AM] reports:
Tight-fisted 49ers last in league in spending (San Francisco Chronicle)
Hope for 49ers? (San Francisco Chronicle)
Bills (8-6) vs. 49ers (2-12) (San Francisco Chronicle)
A primer to explain 'dead money' (San Francisco Chronicle)
Niners spend not, win not under Yorks (San Francisco Chronicle)
Bills recover from their poor start, unlike the 49ers (Contra Costa Times)
Help could be on the way for 49ers, Raiders (Contra Costa Times)
49ers of '80s helping Bills of today (San Jose Mercury News)
Seifert was perfect fit (San Jose Mercury News)
Keys to the game (San Jose Mercury News)
49ers vs. Bills (Sacramento Bee)
Scout's honor: 49ers are doing their homework (Sacramento Bee)
Commentator sees hope for 49ers organization (Sacramento Bee)
Bills looking for playoff berth; SF simply looking for motivation (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Peterson has been on target for 49ers (Oakland Tribune)

Marker Bills take 49ers game seriously [5:05 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'There is little doubt the 49ers are the worst team in football. Their only two wins have come against Arizona and it took overtime to win both, they have scored the fourth-fewest points in the league and have given up the second-most points.'

Marker Q&A: Shaud Williams [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Growing up in Texas, you were a baseball star as well as a football star, and the Atlanta Braves offered you $150,000 to play in their minor league system. Why did you decline and play college football instead?
"I didn't want to go that far away. I was 18 at the time. I turned it down because I told them I wanted to go to college and play football. It was a pretty nice bonus and after I told them I wasn't going to sign they asked me what would it take for me to sign, but I still turned it down because I wanted to play college football. I have no regrets whatsoever."'

Marker Ex-Alabama player has chance to shine for Bills [5:03 AM]
Dothan Eagle reports: '"The thought (of starting) never crossed my mind," Williams said. "I figured things would work out the way they were supposed. I'm excited."'

Marker What to Look for vs. 49ers [5:02 AM] reports: 'Williams, Burns, and Brown will most likely split the carries and develop a running back by committee philosophy. If one gets hot during the course of the game, Head Coach Mike Mularkey will most likely stick with that runner to build some momentum for the offense.'

December 25, 2004

Marker As 49ers sink, Bills rise in AFC playoff race [2:22 PM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'If the Bills make the playoffs one season after finishing 6-10, it will come as a surprise to many but not first-year coach Mike Mularkey. "There was never anybody showing signs of waver when we were down," said Mularkey, 43, who came to the Bills after three years as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. "I think these guys realized that we had to overcome ourselves before we could overcome our opponent. They saw it and recognized it and there was no panic."'

Marker Problems mount for once-proud 49ers [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The reason behind the Niners' demise is long and complicated: A cost-cutting owner, salary-cap agony, draft-day blunders and injuries just to name a few. Montana to Rice? A warm, but fading memory. A one-way ticket out of town might do wonders, but there's no place to hide.'

Marker Mularkey is borrowing from Walsh's playbook [6:11 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Mularkey balks at saying he strictly adheres to Walsh's West Coast offense, but he does abide by some of its principles -- throw quick, short passes, run the ball and eat up the clock. Mularkey spent the previous three years as the Steelers offensive coordinator. "He is a players' coach," said 49ers running back Ken Simonton, who played for the Bills last season and was cut by them after this year's training camp. "He hasn't lost connection with what it's like to be a player and guys respond to that." "He knows a lot about football," Bills running back Willis McGahee said in a conference call this week. "He knows we can be a dominant run team and pass team."'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
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
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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