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Buffalo Bills News - December 30, 2002

Marker NFL Calendar: Important Dates [2:49 PM] reports: Feb. 28 Veteran free agency signing period begins.

Marker Playoff Flashback: Dec. 30, 1995 [1:22 PM] reports: The Bills improved to 9-0 at Rich Stadium in the postseason with their impressive 37-22 victory over their AFC East foe the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the AFC playoffs.

Marker Bengals close season in familiar fashion [1:20 PM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: 'Yesterday resembled so many other Bengals losses this season: fall behind early thanks to a porous defense, then suffer turnovers and failed fourth-down conversions while trying to catch up.'

Marker Neal laughs off talk of returning [1:19 PM]
Columbus Dispatch reports: 'Spikes has a potential obstacle to leaving the Bengals, though. He is the team's leading tackler and one of the defensive cornerstones, which means there is a good chance Cincinnati will place either its transition or franchise tag on him, which would limit his options.'

Marker Blitz: Awards of the Year [12:30 PM]
The Sporting News reports: REBOUND OF THE YEAR
Drew Bledsoe, Bills. Bledsoe found a friendly new home with, of all teams, New England's division rival. He stayed healthy and prolific, developing a great go-to rapport with Eric Moulds.

Marker Bills 27, Bengals 9 (Video Highlights) [10:24 AM] reports: Bills close 2002 season with a win. Watch the game highlights.

Marker Going out in style with win [9:49 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm satisfied with 8-8 from where we were," owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. said. "Coming from where we were, we were worse off than an expansion team. I think the improvement's been terrific."'

Marker Bills finish a big step forward [9:48 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"This gives us hope for next year," said safety Coy Wire. "We don't want the season to end. I can't wait for next year."'

Marker Winning finale leaves Bills upbeat [9:48 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'With the exception of losses to Oakland, the first New England game and the second New York Jets game, the Bills had a chance to win heading into the final period of the other five losses.'

Marker Peerless leaves door slightly ajar for his return [9:47 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm sure Peerless is going to do the right thing and I'll support him no matter what his decision is," Moulds said. "But I'm hoping he stays. We have a chance to do something special here and it would be a lot better if we were able to do it here together."'

Marker After a worthy final act, the curtain falls too soon [9:47 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Williams still has a lot to prove as a game-day coach. But he's obviously earned the right to coach another year. Donahoe, the general manager, gushed about him after the win. If he has that much faith in Williams, he should give him a one-year extension and spare him the indignity of coaching as a lame duck next season.'

Marker Crowd tells Spikes he's wanted [9:46 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Perhaps no other Bills defender has shown more improvement over the last two games than rookie cornerback Kevin Thomas.'

Marker Bills catch breaks in 2003 schedule [9:45 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Either the Bills or Dolphins will play on Thanksgiving at Dallas because the game will be on CBS, meaning the visiting team must be from the AFC. The Bills and Dolphins are the only AFC teams visiting Dallas next season.'

Marker Monday Billboard [9:44 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The paid attendance was announced at 47,850. The actual attendance was about 10,000 shy of that.'

Marker Worst season ever finally over [9:44 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'In 45 games since LeBeau took over after Bruce Coslet resigned three games into the 2000 season, the Bengals have won just 12 times, including a 4-21 record in their last 25 contests.'

Marker Spikes free, but not really [9:43 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'Still, Spikes will be a wanted man, and Buffalo could be a possible destination. Bills fans called openly to Spikes during the game, leaving a good taste in his mouth about this trip to Western New York. For the second straight week, Spikes played a top-flight game, leading the Bengals with 12 tackles, a half of a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, his third in the past two games.'

Marker Kitna falls 6 snaps shy of bonus [9:42 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'The Bills have suffered their share of defensive woes this season but finished off the season strong. In their final 12 quarters of the season, the Bills gave up just 32 points, including just three touchdowns.'

Marker Eight is not enough [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: '“We made progress, but we certainly hope there’s nobody in the locker room who’s satisfied with 8-8 and going home because if there is, we have the wrong people,” Donahoe said. “And I don’t think we do. I think our players realize we made progress, it’s close, but we’re not there yet, we still have work to do.”'

Marker However you spin it, 8-8 is just 8-8 [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'Instead of 610 pass attempts for Bledsoe, how about 100 more carries for Travis Henry (fumbles and all)?'

Marker Five more wins means one more chance for Bills' coach [5:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'For that reason alone, Gregg Williams deserves at least one more shot as Bills coach.'

Marker Bengals prove it could be worse [5:34 AM]
D and C reports: 'Once again the Bills came out of a game without any serious injuries, finishing a season that had to be one of the best in team history in terms of health. It is believed the Bills lost the fewest man games to injury of any team in the NFL.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Week 16 report card [5:34 AM]
D and C reports: 'There haven’t been many times over the past two seasons when Gregg Williams and his staff outclassed the opposition, but this was one of them.'

Marker Questions surround 8-8 Bills [5:33 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Moulds had 94 catches in 2000 as well as 1,326 yards receiving. That prolific season prompted the Bills to secure Moulds' future in Buffalo. He was signed to a six-year, $40 million (U.S.) contract with a $12.5 million signing bonus. Can the Bills afford to do the same with Price?'

Marker Bengals reach new low in 27-9 loss to Bills [5:32 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'On finishing 2-14, LeBeau said, "I could have done without that question. We're not happy about it."'

Marker Bengals players, fans wait for Brown to act [5:32 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'They are a combined 55-137 since the start of the 1991 season, also known as the Mike Brown Era.'

Marker Frustrated Spikes contemplating future [5:31 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Bills fans cheered Spikes throughout the game. "Yeah, they did," Spikes said when asked if Buffalo fans let him know they'd like to see him wearing a blue uniform next year. "For a minute, I kind of felt like I was at home. How much support they, a lot of fans were talking, even if I made a play, when I walked back to the sidelines, they were happy, more than I was happy. It was interesting to see."'

Marker Bengals Notebook [5:30 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'For the sixth time this season, the Bengals fell behind Sunday by at least 20-0.'

Marker Bengals Report Card [5:29 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'COACHING, F: The players laid a big egg in what was likely Dick LeBeau's last game as head coach. The team was uninspired. The only time the players showed spark was after Bills linebacker London Fletcher took three cheap shots.'

Marker Bengals game by the numbers [5:28 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '4th, 6th, 5th, 5th, 5th, 4th: Bengals' finishes in their own division the past six seasons.'

Marker Bengals in 3 words: Stink, stank, stunk [5:27 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'Bengals linebacker Takeo Spikes got some love from Bills fans who want him to sign here as an unrestricted free agent in 2003. Don't worry, Bengals fans. The club is prepared to use the "transition player" tag on Spikes, meaning the Bengals can match any offer sheet he signs with another club. "They (Bills fans) were telling me, 'This is where you belong,' ’’ Spikes said. "It was nice to know."'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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