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Buffalo Bills News - September 29, 2003

Marker Bills pay penalty with loss [5:34 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'The Buffalo Bills made a real game of it late against the Philadelphia Eagles. Problem was, they had made such a mess out of it early.'

Marker Eagles fly on back of pivot [5:33 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Buffalo is more set back than finished here, in need of a running component to take the heat off Bledsoe. The Bills apparently can't win without Bledsoe at his very best, especially with running back Travis Henry inactive, as he was with a rib problem. They have three winnable games approaching (Bengals, Jets, Redskins) and there's nothing wrong with their defence that more rest might not cure, although a warning here: Takeo Spikes, accused of being such a great leader when things were going well, pulled a no-comment with the media. Stand-up guys are there for any result.'

Marker Eagles get possessive [5:32 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Buffalo running back Travis Henry missed Sunday’s game with bruised ribs, which contributed to the Bills’ anemic running game. But the Bills stepped in too many other minefields to overcome their lack of a rushing attack. They bumbled their way to 10 penalties and through the first three quarters allowed the Eagles to dominate time of possession. They also converted just six of 15 third-down plays.'

Marker McNabb disproves doubters [5:31 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Now, the 26-year-old McNabb didn’t treat the Bills on Sunday as he did Clemson in 1996 or East Carolina in 1997 or Miami in 1998. But the one-time Orange posterboy, who has since morphed into the highest-paid athlete in the history of professional football, was good enough. Moreover, he was back to being the Donovan everybody has long known.'

Marker Working ground game into mix works [5:30 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'For only the second time in their last nine games, the Eagles ran the ball more than they threw it.'

Marker McNabb quiets the theorists [5:29 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"Donovan made some very good plays," Bills coach Gregg Williams said. "He's going to make those kind of plays. People have been wondering when he would and he stepped up and made some today."'

Marker Young secondary grows up fast [5:28 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"We were going to match Troy up on Moulds the whole game," Johnson said. "I didn't know how Sheldon Brown was going to match up against Moulds. Then Hood had to play a lot. We played a lot of nickel on first and second down...They grew up and learned how to play."'

Marker Thrash, McNabb click on big third-down play [5:27 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'They had a third-and-7 at their own 23 and were staring at the very real prospect of handing the ball back over to Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe, with more than enough time on the clock for the Bills to drive down for a game-winning score.'

Marker Akers proves to be Birds' best kicker [5:26 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'In the Eagles' 23-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills, Akers kicked field goals of 26, 34 and 22 yards, as automatic as ever on a windy, rainy day in upstate New York, a day when big, dark clouds took turns racing by. He now has 92 field goals for this team since arriving in 1999, the most-ever by an Eagles kicker.'

Marker That was no cheap shot on Milloy [5:25 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'Fraley's hit wasn't quite late. He avoided a flag. But Milloy, enraged, went at Fraley, and the yellow hanky fluttered: 15 yards, unnecessary roughness, automatic first down for the Eagles on the Bills' 35. Eventually, David Akers kicked a 26-yard field goal that gave the Birds a 10-0 first-quarter lead, matching their point total for the first two games.'

Marker Unlocking the keys [5:24 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'Key No. 1: Shut down the Bills' running game. What happened: Held the Bills to just 21 yards on 12 carries.'

Marker See Eagles run [5:23 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: '"Everybody in the stadium knew we were running it,'' Fraley said afterward. "They slanted; their front, to our right, slanted inside. We made a good call, picking it up on the line, and Westbrook, once he got through the hole, made a nice cut left. He was in front of me, and he was out - nobody touched him."'

Marker McNabb and Eagles save themselves in nick of time [5:22 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'But they won, and they beat the Bills, who are competent but nothing more. They did, however, beat the Bills in Buffalo, though they played there in September, when the sullen sky deposits rain and not chimney-top-tall snow, rather than December.'

Marker With accent on youth, Eagles' defense sizzles [5:21 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'After a porous 98-yard passing performance vs. Miami one-week earlier, Drew Bledsoe followed up with a 27-of-43 (296-yard) passing display, but one that was rendered relatively ineffective until late in the fourth quarter.'

Marker Finally, some reason for optimism [5:20 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Have the Eagles really turned the corner or did they simply catch an average team having a bad day?'

Marker Opening drive sets tone for success [5:19 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"The offensive line was coming off and dominating, and the backs were patient," coach Andy Reid said. "Jon Ritchie, who gets zero credit, stepped up there and blocked along with the tight ends. They did a very nice job of controlling the line of scrimmage. . . . This offense is best when you can mix and match, and keep the defense off balance a little bit."'

Marker Wide receivers find route to victory [5:18 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"It was a big first series," Bills Coach Gregg Williams said. "They did a good job checking out of a hitch and hitting a nice fade route on the very first play. You're going to get that a couple times when you play press coverage."'

Marker Akers breaks Birds' field-goal record [5:17 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'With an unpredictable wind swirling through Ralph Wilson Stadium, Akers made a 26-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter to give the Eagles a 10-0 lead. With nine seconds left in the half, Akers made a 34-yarder for a 13-0 advantage, then hit a 22-yarder late in the third quarter for a 16-0 Eagles lead.'

Marker Up-down drill [5:16 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Gregg Williams - DOWN: The Bills had a third and 1 to start the fourth quarter and tried to complete a 50-yard pass. The Bills coach also challenged a late fourth-quarter call with his team six inches from the goal line. The call correctly stood, and the Bills lost a valuable time-out.'

Marker For depleted secondary, a primary role [5:15 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Moulds did his usual damage, pulling in eight catches for 114 yards. But he didn't get into the end zone. Brown, meanwhile, finished with a team-high nine tackles. He also had a sack of quarterback Drew Bledsoe and forced a fumble to stop the Bills on the second drive of the third quarter.'

Marker McNabb finds balance as Eagles shine [5:14 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"I personally think Donovan just took over," Eagles tight end Chad Lewis said. "He loved the challenge that came with all the adversity. He made some unbelievable plays that first drive. To see his will, it set the tone for all of us. He was fired up, and he played with a lot of emotion."'

Marker Eagles snap out of slump with 1st win [5:13 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'The Eagles (1-2) answered their critics against Buffalo (2-2) with an impressive performance that featured big plays by the offense, a gutsy performance by an injury-riddled defense and a team-wide energy that was lacking in the first two games.'

Marker Backup guard Williams helps out [5:12 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'Williams, Mayberry, center Hank Fraley, left guard John Welbourn and tackles Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan allowed two sacks after surrendering 10 in the first two games and paved the way for Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter, Duce Staley, McNabb and wide receiver James Thrash to rush for 177 yards on 34 carries.'

Marker Rookie DB contributes to Eagles in a pinch [5:11 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe and his wide receivers posted gaudy statistics but could not find the end zone often enough. That was partly due to Hood and Brown, who made a series of pivotal plays.'

Marker Two-Minute Drill [5:10 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'Bills wide receiver Eric Moulds: "What can you do? We started off 2-0 and dropped the last two. But at the same time, we have 12 games left. It's still a long season.'''

Marker Eagles run to victory over Bills [5:09 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'Overall, the Eagles rushed the 34 times and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.'

Marker Young secondary gets the job done [5:08 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'Moulds ended up catching eight passes for 114 yards, and Shaw caught eight for 92 yards as Bledsoe completed 27 of 43 passes for 296 yards. But the beleaguered Eagles defense still held the Bills scoreless until the fourth quarter, and they made enough big plays to keep the offense in the game.'

Marker Energized Eagles trample Bills [5:07 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'The Philadelphia Eagles didn't just borrow an idea or two from the game plan the Miami Dolphins had used the week before against the Buffalo Bills. This was blatant plagiarism.'

Marker Sum of defense better than parts [5:06 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'The defensive line still got pressure on quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who was sacked by Simon on the Bills' first offensive play and later was sacked by the blitzing Brown. ''We just went out and got after it,'' Simon said. ''When Troy went out of the game, we just knew we had to force them into some mistakes, and we did that.'''

Marker The 'real' McNabb emerges [5:05 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'Tight end Chad Lewis could sense it. Could sense from the moment McNabb entered the huddle at the start of the first offensive series, he was back to being himself. Back to ''relaxing and having fun and keeping the guys smiling.'''

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
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09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
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10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
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12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
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