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Buffalo Bills News - January 3, 2005

Marker The two-minute read [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Bills QB Drew Bledsoe: Same old story. Play the Browns, Bengals, Seahawks or 49ers and Drew's your man. Play him against a team that can actually play defense, like New England, Baltimore or Pittsburgh, and forget it.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Former Steelers coaches Mike Mularkey and Tom Clements were taken to school by their former boss, Bill Cowher, who beat them with his backups. Ouch.'

Marker Bills Fall, Lift Jets [4:59 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'And on Sunday, those Bills - embraced again by a region and primed to give the poets some serious material - showed up at Ralph Wilson Stadium needing to win only once more ... and splat.'

Marker Bills' hopes fumbled [4:59 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Though Buffalo held a 17-16 lead after three quarters, the end result shouldn't have been that close. The Steelers may have played their 'B' team, but the Bills got a dismal 'D' for effort to finish the season at 9-7 and out of the post-season for the fifth year in a row.'

Marker No rest for grunt guys [4:58 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"What do you think?" Bills safety Lawyer Milloy said when asked if the powerful Steelers linemen controlled the game. "Even if we would have won the game, we would have to get some things corrected with the running game."'

Marker Heartbreak for Buffalo Bills [4:57 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'There was a smell in the air yesterday, the smell of another season gone for naught. The smell of a potential playoff spot washed away by a team that had won six in a row but reverted to the stumbling, bumbling Bills that began the season with four losses.'

Marker Bills were soundly beaten in the game that mattered most [4:56 AM]
Toronto Globe & Mail reports: 'Until the moment the bubble burst, it had been a nostalgic afternoon.'

Marker Unheralded Steelers rookie helps deny Bills playoffs [4:55 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Parker, a fourth-string back whose career consisted of 13 carries and 84 yards before yesterday, permanently earned his spot in Buffalo football lore yesterday in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 29-24 victory before 73,414 fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The undrafted rookie became just the third back this season to crack 100 yards against the staunch Bills defense while helping end Buffalo's six-game winning streak and improbable playoff run.'

Marker News of Bills' defeat eases pain for Jets [4:55 AM]
St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: 'New York Jets coach Herman Edwards got the word on the sideline, sometime during overtime, he thought. He didn't really remember much except that his son told him the Buffalo Bills had lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, assuring the Jets of a playoff spot. Not that Edwards cared. "I wanted to win the game," he said. "I could care less about that."'

Marker Buffalo can't reach playoffs; Pittsburgh finishes 15-1 [4:54 AM]
USA Today reports: 'In a game that meant everything to the Buffalo Bills' hopes for a mad dash to the postseason and absolutely nothing for improving the lot of a team that had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, it was striking that a couple of the Pittsburgh linebackers in particular, James Farrior and Joey Porter, did not want to take anybody's seats on the bench.'

Marker Steelers backups get the job done [4:53 AM]
ESPN reports: 'Sunday's game turned on Parker's 58-yard scamper on the first play following Lindell's aforementioned miss. The play was "H 45 Base," a draw, and Parker found a hole off the left side and took it up the Steelers' sideline before Clements caught him at the 22. "When he gets into the secondary, he has another gear," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "He's the fastest back we have."'

Marker Time Runs Out on Bills Season [4:52 AM] reports: '"It's going to take awhile [to forget about this game]," linebacker London Fletcher said. "To accomplish what we had…to have a game at our stadium, where you write a storybook ending, this wasn't the ending that we had in mind."'

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January 2, 2005

Marker With nothing to play for, Steelers show they have everything [7:52 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Pittsburgh played much of its season finale with its second, third and -- in the case of Parker -- fourth-stringers, yet it won. And it won decisively, trailing only once when Nate Clements returned an interception for a third-quarter touchdown.'

Marker Bills Lose In Total Team Fashion [7:15 PM] reports: 'With the season on the line, Bledsoe crumbled.'

Marker Fate Turns On Bills Against Pittsburgh [7:14 PM] reports: 'It wasn't that they lost to the best team in the league that was the problem. It was that they lost to their backups, including their third string quarterback after having a 17-16 lead late in the third quarter.'

Marker Late Season Run Comes to an End [7:12 PM] reports: '"It's tough," wide receiver Eric Moulds said. "I feel disappointed because I didn't feel like we played as well as we were capable of playing. It's especially disappointing for me because I've been here the longest of any of the guys. It's five years now that we haven't made the playoffs and it's very disappointing."'

Marker Steelers-Bills Post-game quotes [7:06 PM] reports: '“We’re going to play first class football, regardless of the situation. We knew we were in the playoffs. We didn’t approach this game like it didn’t really matter. So we just came out and played our game. As for them, they needed this win to get on into the playoffs, hopefully, and depending on the other two games that went on today. I guess they sort thought that we were going to lay down and just give it to them. We didn’t do that today.”'

Marker Steelers end regular season with 29-24 win and improve to 15-1 [5:54 PM] reports: 'With their playoff lives on the line and just down by a point, the Bills offense was set to roll. But on third-and-six from their own 24-yard line, the cold Buffalo wind seemed to blow away their chances. The veteran Bledsoe could not get away from rookie Ricardo Colclough, who sacked him for a seven-yard loss and knocked the ball loose. James Harrison was right there and caught the ball in mid-air and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown, giving the Steelers a 26-17 lead that the Bills couldn’t overcome.'

Marker Bills Season Ended By Steeler Back-ups [5:53 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The key moments of the game that led to the Bills demise were untimely turnovers and a missed 29 yard field goal by Ryan Lindell in the third quarter that really switched momentum. Buffalo lost two fumbles and two interceptions in the game that led to 10 Pittsburgh points.'

Marker Pittsburgh 29, Buffalo 24 [4:14 PM]
AP reports: 'The game turned late in the third quarter after Buffalo's Rian Lindell missed wide right on a 28-yard field-goal attempt that left the Bills clinging to a 17-16 lead. The Steelers responded on their next drive when Jeff Reed hit a 37-yarder, set up by Parker's 58-yard run.'

Marker Pittsburgh 29, Buffalo 24 [4:13 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The Steelers took the lead for good on a 37-yard field goal by Reed 11 seconds into the fourth quarter, his fourth of the game. Harrison scored 1:25 later after rookie defensive back Ricardo Colclough jarred the ball loose from Bledsoe, increasing the lead to 26-17.'

Marker Pittsburgh 29, Buffalo 24 [4:13 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'After Rian Lindell missed a 28-yard field goal that would have given the Bills a four-point lead, Parker raced 58 yards down the left sideline on the next play to set up a 37-yard field goal by Reed to put the Steelers ahead 19-17.'

Marker Bills Offense to Figure Into Defensive Ranking [12:58 PM] reports: 'The Bills currently stand No. 3 overall in defensive yards allowed per game, trailing Pittsburgh and Washington heading into the final week of the NFL season.'

Marker What to Look for vs. Steelers [12:58 PM] reports: 'Pittsburgh has the best rushing defense in the league and will be ready to stop Willis McGahee. The Steelers have been wearing down and punishing runners for most of the season and Willis will be next on their list. "They're tough op front," McGahee said. "It doesn't change how I prepare. It's just like any other game."'

Marker Fabulous finale [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I told our people it's business as usual," Mularkey said. "Whatever you typically do on a Sunday during our game (regarding out-of-town scores), just do the same thing."'

Marker McGahee has biggest challenge [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"They're physical up front. They got a nice linebacking corps. They're all on point right now. They're playing good ball. They're on a good high, and they're going to come in here with the intention of winning."'

Marker Steelers won't shift to cruise control [9:18 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I doubt the Steelers will do that. Their franchise has been the Rooney family's from the start. Integrity came with the family coat of arms.'

Marker As good as it gets: Bills try to complete a miracle [9:16 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So whatever happens today, be sure to savor the moment. I don't care who the Bills have played, this six-game winning streak is one of the more incredible runs we'll ever see. Back in October, who would have imagined that the Bills would show up for the season finale with something to play for, with a possible playoff berth on the line?'

Marker Clash of power teams will be fought in the trenches [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills' win streak reaches seven as they beat depleted Steelers, 20-13.'

Marker Fire & Ice [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I was telling him they're like fire and ice," Fletcher said. "They're two totally different temperament-type players, which is good. The way we run our defense, the strong safety a lot of times is like a fourth linebacker. He has that hitter's mentality, that chip on his shoulder, that attitude. Lawyer plays with a lot of aggression, a lot of anger. Lawyer's definitely angry on the football field."'

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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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