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Buffalo Bills News - December 20, 2014

Marker Bills can’t afford to underestimate Raiders [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The head coach, in particular, was viewed as the biggest winner from the victory against the Packers. Many observers, locally and nationally, believe it assured him of a third season at the Bills’ helm. But all of that could quickly vanish if his team comes out flat after traveling across the country to face a club that is nothing but a spoiler.'

Marker Defense will turn up pressure on Raiders’ Carr [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“You definitely can’t sleep on him,” linebacker Nigel Bradham said. “Carr is a good quarterback. He’s hot and he’s going to be a great quarterback in this league. He’s learning. He’s a young guy and, of course, he made some mistakes – rookie mistakes like we all do. So you have a guy like that back there who has potential, you never know what you’re going to get.”'

Marker Here’s how Bills can make playoffs as wild-card team [1:57 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Looking at Week 16, Bills fans can sit back on Sunday and have a good indication where their team is even before the team takes the field at 4:25 p.m. Sunday in Oakland. San Diego plays tonight, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Kansas City all play at 1 p.m. Sunday. By the time Bills-Raiders starts, Bills fans will know where the team stands. Cincinnati – which almost has to lose out for Buffalo to have a chance – doesn’t play until Monday night, however.'

Marker Buffalo Bills' running back activated, probable for Week 16 against Raiders [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"The health is there," Bills coach Doug Marrone said. "We'll have to make a decision on whether he gives us the best chance to win when it comes to game day activation."'

Marker Buffalo Bills not overlooking Oakland Raiders, and 5 things to watch in Week 16 [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'The Bills' offense has taken a step back in 2014, but maybe a trip to Oakland is just what Buffalo needs to get on track. The Raiders' defense is the sixth-worst in the NFL against the pass, according to Pro Football Focus. Bills quarterback Kyle Orton is coming off back-to-back brutal games, so if he can't get it going against Oakland the Bills could be in trouble.'

Marker Michigan football has not contacted Tyrone Wheatley, but Buffalo Bills' RB coach would listen [1:54 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"In terms of being interested, it's one of those deals of right now and I've said this to my son, T.J., the only thing you have to be interested in is the here (and) now," Wheatley said. "If it was to come about, I would deal with it when it came about. Right now, nothing has come about. All I'm trying to do is be the first team in, what, 14 years to make the playoffs? That's it. Then I want to be another part of something, not just AFC Championships, but to put a championship banner in here, an NFL championship. Right now, that's where my focus is. That's the honest-to-goodness truth. I really have not thought about the Michigan job or going back there."'

Marker Raiders, Bills happy with top picks [1:53 AM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'Bills coach Doug Marrone was aware of the buzz surrounding Mack in Buffalo last season. "Obviously I saw him on film when he was in college and heard a lot of great things about him," Marrone said in a conference call. "He's someone that's getting better and better. From our standpoint, we've got to know where he is on that field. He's that type of player."'

Marker Raiders must deal with return of Bills’ Spiller [1:52 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: '“A guy of his talent who has the talents of his magnitude, we expect him to come out and hit the ground running,” Jackson said. “That’s what we want him to do, that’s what he’s trying to do. He looked good out there at practice. So as long as he comes out and does what he does, he’ll be OK.”'

Marker Saturday's Oakland Coverage [1:51 AM] reports:
Raiders, Bills happy with top picks (Oakland Tribune)
Raiders' Tarell Brown won't play against Buffalo (Oakland Tribune)
Raiders must deal with return of Bills’ Spiller (San Francisco Chronicle)
Raiders haven't needed much from Janikowski (AP)
Raiders' Carr learning to stay cool under fire (CSN Bay Area)
Raiders coverage unit must improve vs. Bills return game (CSN Bay Area)
Bills-Raiders Matchup No. 2: Williams vs. Barnes (CSN Bay Area)
Raiders injury report: CB Tarell Brown ruled out vs. Bills (CSN Bay Area)
Practice Recap - December 19 (
Coach Sparano's Final Thoughts on Buffalo (
Thorpe: "Whenever my number is called, I’m ready" (
Game Preview: Raiders vs. Bills (

Marker Rugged Defense Gives Bills Hope for Playoffs [1:50 AM]
New York Times reports: '“What makes it so difficult to defend those players is that they have both strength and speed,” Bills Coach Doug Marrone said. “That’s the combination where they can beat you multiple ways — with power moves or speed moves. I think that when you have that capability and when you possess that talent, you can cause an opponent a problem, just like other people we’ve played have done that to us.”'

Marker Bills in unfamiliar territory in visit to Raiders [1:48 AM]
AP reports: '"That's the stigma with Buffalo," Watkins said. "That's all you hear. They never talk about the four Super Bowls that they went to. All you hear about is the 14 years that they didn't go to the playoffs. It's bad and we know that as a team and an organization. We're going to fix it."'

Marker Bills RB Spiller activated [1:47 AM]
AP reports: '"Obviously everybody knows he's an explosive player, a dynamic player, good in the receiving game and in the running game, so we're excited to have him back," quarterback Kyle Orton said earlier in the week.'

Marker Bills' Spiller activated, probable to return [1:46 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'Spiller has rushed for 287 yards on 69 carries and caught 14 passes for 109 yards and one touchdown for the Bills (8-6), who are one game out of the final wild-card spot.'

Marker How the Bills are beating the NFL's best quarterbacks [1:45 AM]
SI reports: '"We believed in each other all week," Rambo said. "The coaches, the team, the players, everybody just believed in each other. We knew that we could come in here, do the right things, and do what the coaches ask us to do, and we could stop this team. We believe in each other, throughout this whole week. We still believe in each other. This is just a huge confidence boost for the whole defense. To not allow not one quarterback, but two of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL to no passing touchdowns, this is a huge, huge confidence boost for us."'

Marker Bills' Spiller added to active roster, probable for Sunday [1:44 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Spiller, cornerback Stephon Gilmore (shoulder), safety Da’Norris Searcy (hamstring), defensive end Jarius Wynn (knee), safety Duke Williams (concussion), running back Anthony Dixon (chest), kicker Dan Carpenter (groin) and return specialist Marcus Thigpen (foot) were all labeled as probable for Sunday’s contest. Only tight end Chris Gragg was listed as questionable, after missing three games with a knee injury.'

Marker Bills add C.J. Spiller to 53-man roster [1:43 AM] reports: 'The only remaining question is whether he will be active on game day, a decision that rests with Buffalo’s sideline boss.'

Marker Scouting Report: Bills at Raiders [1:42 AM] reports: 'The Bills need to jump on the Raiders early and stake themselves to an early lead. Oakland ranks 29th in first quarter scoring this season, but their two wins have come in games where they’ve gotten on the scoreboard first. When their opponent scores first they are 0-7 this season.'

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December 19, 2014

Marker Thigpen boosts special teams with big-play capability [1:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '“It’s going great,” he said of the transition to a new team. “All the guys were welcoming. The coaches were welcoming. From my Miami days, they know what I can do. That sparks them up to block even more, because they know I can take it the distance at any given time, so it’s been a great transition.”'

Marker While others hit NFL rookie wall, Raiders’ Mack plows ahead [1:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Mack, this year’s fifth overall draft choice, has done the University at Buffalo proud. And while the Raiders have infamously botched their share of first-round picks over the years, they sure seem to have gotten this one right.'

Marker Rambo draws first blood [1:57 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“Just going against (Rodgers), having my first career interception and my second career interception off him, it’s just a huge, huge confidence boost,” he said. “That’s going to allow me to play even faster and build confidence in myself, that, hey, I can do this. I belong in this league.”'

Marker Doug Marrone says blame should be on him not Nathaniel Hackett for Bills' offensive struggles [1:56 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"If there's any blame it should be on me in anything that happens with our football team, first of all," Marrone said. "Secondly, if it was a problem with one thing it would be very easy to fix. It's really collective. And that's probably 99 percent of all the problems that occur when you're on the team. Sometimes a play will point out somebody, but at the end of the day when you're evaluating all the plays it's just a matter of trying to get 11 guys to be as efficient as they can and then when everyone has a clean opportunity to get it done does that player get it done or not? That's how you evaluate it. For us, it's been up and down and we're just going to continue to get better."'

Marker C.J. Spiller, Marcus Thigpen limited on Thursday [1:55 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: '"He looks good, he really does," Marrone said. "It's just a matter of waiting until the end of the week to make a move there. The only concern I have is to make sure just from the standpoint of not really being in shape but just to be able to play and run plays in and out in and out, that his conditioning is right at that level. It seems to be ok. I think that will just get better. He looks explosive and he's moving well."'

Marker Friday's Oakland Coverage [1:54 AM] reports:
Raiders rookie Jackson brings 'mean streak' to field (Oakland Tribune)
Raiders sell out Sunday's game against Bills (Contra Costa Times)
Breaking down the Buffalo Bills (Contra Costa Times)
Raiders’ deep draft class yielded no deep threat (San Francisco Chronicle)
Raiders defense depleted by injuries (AP)
Raiders defense trudges on despite injury plague (CSN Bay Area)
Raiders-Bills game sold out (CSN Bay Area)
Bills-Raiders Matchup No. 3: Watkins vs. Hayden (CSN Bay Area)
DE Wilson back to work (CSN Bay Area)
Practice Recap - December 18 (
Coach Sparano's Thursday Update (
Greg Olson: "They’re a sound defense" (
Jason Tarver: "We’re about playing with passion" (
Murray: "We Have Our Work Cut Out For Us" (
Mack: "I've Grown A Lot" (

Marker 'Super Mario' making presence felt in Buffalo [1:53 AM]
AP reports: '"If I have to use something from somebody else to prove my worth, then I don't consider that being a man," Williams said, defiantly. "The guys in this building, that's all that matters to me. Anything else anybody else says is irrelevant."'

Marker Bills-Raiders Capsule [1:52 AM]
AP reports: 'Bills allowed 2.8 yards per carry and no touchdowns rushing first six games; 5.0 per carry and 10 TDs rushing past eight games.'

Marker Buffalo (8-6) at Oakland (2-12) [1:51 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Bills 24, Raiders 20.'

Marker Week 16 Preview: Bills at Raiders [1:50 AM]
The Sports Xchange reports: 'The Bills fell behind 21-3 - but rallied to win - in their last meeting with the Raiders. The Raiders won't go quietly trying to make a positive statement on behalf of 2-8 interim coach Tony Sparano, but Oakland is turned back by a rugged defense on top of its game.'

Marker Bills' Spiller 'looks good' and 'explosive' [1:49 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '"I think he looks good. He really does. It's just a matter of waiting until the end of the week and make a move there," head coach Doug Marrone said. "But, the only concern I have is just to make sure that, just from the standpoint of, it's not really being in shape, just to be able to play and run plays in and out, in and out, in and out... that his conditioning is right at that level. It seems to be okay. I think it'll just get better. I know he looks explosive and he's moving well."'

Marker Bills' Marrone: Hackett has faced some 'pretty big challenges' in 2014 [1:48 AM]
WGR-AM reports: '"I think that we've played -- it's been two years now-- we've gone through... we've played, I don't know, how many quarterbacks that we played," Marrone started. "We're playing with a quarterback that wasn't in our training camp. I think all those things are pretty big challenges when you're trying to get things going from an offensive standpoint."'

Marker Raiders Game Preview [1:47 AM]
Bills Daily reports: 'Bills 30, Raiders 14.'

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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
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
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

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