Fullbacks remain in the gameplan -- out of the spotlight [9:24 AM]
CNN/SI reports: Every so often a FB in this league is respected as an offensive weapon. Long known as a quality receiving threat, Larry Centers released through the line in the second quarter and bent in on a "teaser" route under the coverage in order to open up the passing lane for WR Price. Chargers LB Gerald Dixon reacted to Centers and Price got open. There was no mention of Centers after the play, of course; he's a fullback.
Dr. Z's Power Ratings - 24 (was 25) [9:10 AM]
CNN/SI reports: Don't ever knock Rob Johnson 's courage. Hurt his ankle, knocked woozy, I mean the guy was out on his feet, and still drove his team down the field twice at the end. There's a downside to all this, though. I don't see him ever really going through a season without some sort of physical mishap.
Hall pass - Kelly's success bust-worthy in Canton, Ohio [9:07 AM]
CNN/SI reports: Sports Illustrated Football Front Page
Eleven first-year eligible players are on the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2002. Among those players is Jim Kelly, who threw for 45,309 yards and 320 TDs -- including two seasons with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL. After all, it is the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Quick practices push Bills up to game speed [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'And the practices so far have not been any longer this year than they were the past two or three years. They're averaging about 2 hours and 15 or 20 minutes. However, by most accounts, there is more emphasis on running plays at up-tempo game speed than in the past.'
Injuries may sideline Colts' James, Bills' Jennings [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'James was not available to Indianapolis media after practice but released a statement saying, "We've ordered a new leg and it should be here by Friday."'
Indianapolis (3-3) at Buffalo (1-5) Preview [8:56 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The Buffalo Bills may be counting on Mother Nature to slow down the Indianapolis Colts when the AFC rivals meet at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
Buffalo is traditionally one of the NFL's tougher places to play as the season progresses due to the weather. The Bills should hope for some unfavorable conditions Sunday because they have unable to slow down the Colts recently.
Don Criqui & Steve Tasker will be doing game for CBS
Pasquerelli's "Praises of the Unsung".... [8:11 AM]
ESPN reports: "Antoine Winfield:
CB Bills If he was three inches taller, no one would overlook the third-year veteran, who, at 5-foot-9, packs tremendous power in a small package. The big hitter possesses explosive closing speed to the ball."
Bills' coach: Fill seats to beat the Colts [5:42 AM]
D and C reports: 'But at 1-5 following last Sunday's bitter 27-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers, the club is facing a stiff challenge to fill all the seats at Ralph Wilson Stadium for five final dates. Of those five, a game against top rival Miami on Nov. 25 is close to selling out and beating the 72-hour television blackout. About 4,000 tickets remain for the Dolphins. However, approximately 14,000 remain for Seattle (Nov. 18) and 20,000 each for Carolina (Dec. 9) and New England (Dec. 16).'
Ostroski practices, may play Sunday [5:41 AM]
D and C reports: '"I don't know yet, we'll see, there's a lot of week left, we'll see what happens," Ostroski said.'
Penalty could have erased kickoff return [5:40 AM]
D and C reports: 'But upon further review, Bills coach Gregg Williams said Jenkins' kickoff return quite likely never would have happened had the officials been more alert. Williams said that a San Diego player -- he didn't identify who -- threw his helmet to the ground in the field of play after a replay challenge of Travis Henry's go-ahead touchdown run was upheld, giving Buffalo a 24-20 lead. "That's classic -- that's a 15-yard penalty," Williams said. "We're kicking off from the 45."'
Bills hope for warm welcome [5:39 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'So will the fickle fans at the Ralph acknowledge that effort, plus the one from a week earlier in Jacksonville where Johnson was solid in a 13-10 win over the Jaguars? "I'm looking forward to coming home and playing and getting some crowd response," Johnson said yesterday. "I think they see what we are doing here and how we are competing and trying to win. I think they will respect that and give us a good homecoming."'
Balance remains Colts' best bet on offense [5:38 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Despite Manning's presence and productivity, the Colts' success since 1999 mirrors the leaguewide trend. Consider they're: 4-5 when Manning has thrown for 300 yards, a record that includes a 3-0 mark when he's eclipsed 400 yards; 20-4 when James has rushed for 100 yards.'
Here's hoping that Pathon returns soon [5:37 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Admit it. With the talent on this team, there was no way in the world you thought someone would say something like this: Man, the Colts desperately need Jerome Pathon to come back from his injury.'
Bills build game plan with James in mind [5:36 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"I'm assuming he's playing," Buffalo coach Gregg Williams said Wednesday. "He's answered the bell every time. That's the kind of competitor he is."'
Bills QB starting to win over critics [5:36 AM]
CP reports: '"A quarterback is not generally known as a tough guy but Rob showed everyone Sunday that he's every bit as tough as anyone on our team," Centers said Wednesday following the Bills' practice. "He laid to rest a lot of questions out there concerning his ability to lead us. The Rob Johnson critics have to be quiet now. They really don't have much to base their criticism on."'
Bills defense seeks to make amends against explosive Colts [10:35 PM]
AP reports: 'Things are going to be different this weekend as far as the Bills are concerned. That's because they believe this isn't the same young and inexperienced unit they were at the start of the season.'
Mum's still word on James' status [10:34 PM]
AP reports: 'Nobody at the Indianapolis Colts is saying Edgerrin James won't play Sunday. Nobody's saying he will, either.'
Ostroski returns to practice [4:19 PM]
AP reports: 'While listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against Indianapolis, Ostroski's presence was the first sign of good news for Buffalo's banged-up offensive line.'
Levy: Flutie vs. Johnson: A tie? [10:59 AM]
NFL.com reports: If nothing else was accomplished with the Buffalo-San Diego game, it's this: The controversy is over. Both Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie played heroically, both played with a lot of character. They fit their teams -- be glad the controversy is over. I don't think either QB came out on top or looking bad, both did great things. Let's put the manufactured controversy to rest.
Bills, Johnson earn respect but rather have won the game [10:34 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: After taking a 24-20 lead with 1:30 to play, thanks to a courageous comeback effort by Johnson, the Bills in order: allowed a 72-yard kickoff return, allowed Chargers quarterback Doug Flutie to score the deciding points on a 13-yard run.
CBS Power Rankings - Bills 27 (as 26) [10:29 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The past two weeks is a sign of progress. This young team will be a playoff challenger next season.
ESPN Power Rating 25 (was 26) [10:17 AM]
ESPN reports: Really did treat Grudge Bowl like Super Bowl: They lost.
Flutie and Johnson show respect for each others play [9:23 AM]
WGR reports: Some reporters tried to convince Rob Johnson that again Flutie somehow had everything go his way again, as seemed to be the case his entire three years in Buffalo. Johnson disagreed, “He didn’t luck into it. He played well. He’s a competitor. He had an opportunity, we had a chance to sack him, and he spun out of it and made a play. The fact that he got down there by a kickoff and a penalty, that happens. It happened to us against Tennessee."
Even Johnson’s quarterback enemy had respect for his former teammate, “Rob played great.” Flutie said, “He made all the plays with his legs and his arms, and put them right back in a position to tie the ball game at the end. He played his ass off, he played great.” Flutie even went so far as to say the Bills took the game over in the second half, “It felt great early, and then they started moving the ball up and down the field. It felt like they had the ball the whole second half, and we were watching.”
Chargers game meant more than QB bout [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'After sifting through about 1,100 e-mails since last week, I'd say roughly half were written from people who wanted Doug Flutie as the Bills' quarterback. The other half wanted Flutie, too - anywhere but here.'
Moorman regrets taunting penalty [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"You get caught up in the game when you're out there," Moorman said. "I was angry that they made it through, I heard him say something to me, and so I just stood up and walked off. I didn't think I should have been called but it happens and you have to move on. Hindsight is 20-20 and it wasn't the right thing. I'd love to have it back. I'd love to have that moment back and if I would, I could, but I can't so I won't. That's the way it goes."'
Bills vs. Chargers Photo Gallery [8:48 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: This collection has some great pictures of Moulds and Riemersma.
Vanderjagt is trying his foot at kickoffs [7:33 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'But after five games this season with punter Hunter Smith trying to learn the skill, the Colts are again counting on Vanderjagt.'
Vikings Release Former Bills S Henry Jones [8:00 PM]
AP reports: Signed to replace injured Safety Griffith, Griffith is expected to be back after the Bye week.
Bills' rebuilding progressing [1:32 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'It illustrated why Flutie is a perfect fit for San Diego and why Buffalo made the proper choice in keeping Johnson.'
Bills Offense Ranked 10th [12:59 PM]
NFL.com reports: ...based on total yards per game (330.5). The sortable stats also reveal they are 4th in offensive penalties(50) and 9th in time of possession(31:16). The defense is ranked 21st; 13th against the pass and 25th against the run.
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|09/07||@ Chicago Bears||1:00 pm|
|09/14||Miami Dolphins||1:00 pm|
|09/21||San Diego Chargers||1:00 pm|
|09/28||@ Houston Texans||1:00 pm|
|10/05||@ Detroit Lions||1:00 pm|
|10/12||New England Patriots||1:00 pm|
|10/19||Minnesota Vikings||1:00 pm|
|10/26||@ New York Jets||1:00 pm|
|11/09||Kansas City Chiefs||1:00 pm|
|11/13||@ Miami Dolphins||8:25 pm|
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|12/07||@ Denver Broncos||4:05 pm|
|12/14||Green Bay Packers||1:00 pm|
|12/21||@ Oakland Raiders||4:25 pm|
|12/28||@ New England Patriots||1:00 pm|