Perfect start by state's NFL teams a real rarity [6:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills, Giants and Jets all are off to 2-0 starts this NFL season. When was the last time New York state's three pro football teams all began a season 2-0? Never.'
Renewed Rush Has Bills' Attention [6:35 AM]
New York Times reports: '"The first couple of games, we've shown the ability not to pick up the blitz," Johnson said. "I'm sure they're going to come after us."'
Cowart leads Bills defense in tackling opponents [8:37 PM]
AP reports: '"I'm just going to start calling him the best," Bills defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said. "He's a guy now who's never coming off the field. How many 'backers can do that? Not too many. "We're starting to run out of superlatives to describe him."'
McDaniel will get souvenir today [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He was open over the middle and when his eyes locked with quarterback Rob Johnson's, Jeremy McDaniel just knew. It was his first touchdown in the National Football League. It came with 48 seconds left in the first half and was the opening score in the Buffalo Bills' 27-18 victory over the Green Bay Packers. "It felt great," the 24-year-old wide receiver said. "When I first made eye contact with Rob, I knew I was getting the touchdown. I was so excited I kept the ball. I think they're going to give it to me on Wednesday."'
Even at 2-0, the Bills still have their problems [6:50 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Following Sunday's solid win over Green Bay, head coach Wade Phillips was disinclined to find fault with a victory that made his team 2-0 and put it atop the AFC East with the New York Jets. But that didn't change the fact that for the second straight game the Bills had no running game and quarterback Rob Johnson took a tremendous beating.'
Pass rush fearsome without adding blitz [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'As if opposing quarterbacks aren't already concerned with the Buffalo Bills defense, there must be one thought that wakes them in the middle of the night in a cold sweat: What if the Bills blitzed? They already have eight sacks on the year, costing opposing offenses 68 yards. At four sacks per game, the Bills are on pace to surpass last year's measly total of 37 sacks (2.3 per game) by November.'
Favre's play puts fears to rest [8:26 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'The Bills didn't do anything fancy. They rushed four players on 85% of the Packers' pass plays and never rushed six or seven. It was mano-a-mano with their stout front four in a physical skirmish with the Packers' front on a warm afternoon. Favre was sacked four times but one was a coverage sack and Favre was half-responsible for another when he held the ball too long. Mike Wahle got beat outside by Marcellus Wiley for the sack and fumble that proved to be a critical play late in the first half, but other than that he was solid. So, too, was Ross Verba, who held up well on passing downs against cagey veteran Phil Hansen. Frank Winters was controlled by Ted Washington for a sack and on three runs that went nowhere, but the gargantuan nose tackle is almost impossible to move.'
You Make the Call - Edition #14 [7:30 AM]
TBD reports: "You Make the Call" is a presentation of both real and imagined NFL scenarios, where we invite you to "make the call" based upon the Official Rules for the NFL for 1999. Good luck, because you'll need it.
Bills very suspect to blitz [6:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'Green Bay recorded five sacks of Johnson, and four came on blitzes where the line, backs and tight ends looked woefully overmatched. On a couple of sacks, the blitzer came through untouched and had a clear run at Johnson. Given his brittle nature, Johnson is lucky none of those shots put him out of the game. "They shouldn't be able to get to us with linebackers and safeties," said Phillips. "We've got to do a better job of picking it up, getting rid of the ball, hots, all those things."'
Bills running game still stumbling along [6:10 AM]
AP reports: 'For a team that finished fifth in the AFC with 2,040 net yards rushing last year, the Bills have averaged 109 yards a game this season, and have yet to establish a consistent threat. Starter Antowain Smith has had trouble finding holes. Backup Shawn Bryson's longest gain of the year has been 10 yards. And third-down stalwart Jonathan Linton is just returning from a rib injury. The Bills leading rusher? That would be Johnson with 91 yards -- many of them coming on scrambles. It doesn't help that Pro Bowl fullback Sam Gash -- released last April due to salary cap constraints -- is no longer forcing open holes to lead the way. "It's certainly not one position's fault, it's a whole team effort. All 11 guys out there have to be on the same page," Johnson said. "It's usually just one or two guys here or there. "I think eventually we'll come out of this little two-game stretch where we haven't run the ball very well."'
Redskins, Westbrook get thrown for loss [6:06 AM]
Baltimore Sun reports: 'Washington Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season, the team learned yesterday. The Redskins moved quickly to replace him, reportedly agreeing to terms with veteran receiver and former Buffalo Bill Andre Reed. That should open things up for Reed, who reportedly signed a one-year contract worth $500,000, though he will not be paid for the first two games. He had spent this preseason with the Denver Broncos but asked for his release the day before the start of the regular season because he did not feel he would play enough.'
Injury Will Sideline Westbrook for Season [6:03 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'The club was on the verge late yesterday of completing a contract agreement with veteran wide receiver Andre Reed, sources close to the situation said. The Redskins likely will sign the 36-year-old Reed, the former Buffalo Bills standout who is the second-leading receiver in NFL history, today to replace Westbrook on the roster, sources said...Reed apparently will sign with the Redskins for a pro-rated portion of the minimum veteran's salary of $440,000. He had 941 receptions in 15 seasons in Buffalo, where he was a longtime teammate of Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith. Like Smith, Reed parted ways with the Bills unceremoniously during the offseason. Reed was entering the final season of a contract that would have paid him $1.75 million. The Bills wanted him to accept a reduced role and tutor young wide receiver Peerless Price. Reed balked, and his request to be released was granted by the Bills. He signed with the Denver Broncos for a $160,000 signing bonus and a $440,000 salary. But when Reed was told he would be on Denver's inactive list for the opening game of the season, he informed the Broncos he would rather move on and again was granted his release.'
Report: Redskins close to signing veteran WR Reed [6:02 AM]
AP reports: 'The Redskins were close to signing 36-year-old wideout Andre Reed, The Washington Post reported in Tuesday's editions, citing sources close to the situation. Reed, who has the second-most catches in NFL history, was a standout with the Buffalo Bills before asking for his release during the offseason when asked to play a backup role. Reed then signed with the Broncos. But he also wanted out of Denver when he was not on the active roster at the beginning of the season.'
Packers offense is MIA [8:41 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'The Packers defense did give up 27 points, but that wasn't bad considering it was asked to make up for the mistakes of the special teams and the offense. The average starting point of the Bills' five scoring drives was just past the Green Bay 40-yard line. And even though the Bills didn't take full advantage of their opportunities, the Packers offense didn't force the issue.'
Packers defense has its moments [8:39 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'The Packers held the Bills scoreless until late in the first half. But their offense only gained nine yards on a drive that started at its three-yard line, and even a good punt by Josh Bidwell gave Buffalo good field position at its 46. The Bills drove the 54 yards in six plays, scoring with 44 seconds left in the half to take a 7-0 lead. The defense gave up three more points before the half was over, without giving up a yard. Quarterback Brett Favre was hit from behind by Marcellus Wiley and fumbled, and the ball was picked up by Bills defensive end Phil Hansen, who returned it to the Packers 27-yard line. The Bills took one shot at the end zone and had a deep pass fall incomplete before Steve Christie kicked a field goal as the half ended.'
Postgame breakdown [8:37 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'Worst sight: Buffalo tackle Jamie Nails taunting the Packers' Vonnie Holliday when the defensive end appeared to be hurt. On the following play, fans cheered when Packers defensive back Antuan Edwards was hurt.'
Questions and answers [8:35 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'Q: Did I really see Tyrone Williams celebrating and playing to the Buffalo crowd after knocking away a pass to Eric Moulds in the fourth quarter, with the Packers hopelessly behind by 17 points? A: Unfortunately, yes.'
Packers notebook [8:31 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'The Bills celebrated Alumni Weekend by honoring the 1965 AFL Champion-ship team before kickoff. Among those on hand were Hall-of-Famer Billy Shaw, Jack Kemp, Elbert Dubenion, ErnStratton and coach Lou Saban. Incidentally, next Sunday's home game against ie Warlick, Booker Edgerson, Ron McDole, Al Bemiller, Wray Carlton, Mike Philadelphia has been designated Green Bay's homecoming, featuring many former players. ... Buffalo tight end Jay Riemersma extended his receiving streak to 15 games and recorded his second multi-touchdown game of his career. ... Buffalo is off to a 2-0 start for the 12th time in team history, and first time since 1996. The last time Green Bay started a season 0-2 was 1992. The club finished 9-7, but missed the playoffs. ... Green Bay has lost three straight road games, its longest streak since 1995.'
Bills Bullish on Defense [4:37 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Bills fans spent the off-season moaning over the controversial lateral in the playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans and eulogizing the Buffalo careers of popular veterans Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed. The easiest way to forget the past is embrace the present, and Bills fans are doing just that. They've spent the past two weeks rejoicing the revenge of the Home Run Throwback with a win over the Titans and cheering on a bright crop of new young stars.'
Bills pack away a win [4:28 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Two areas where Buffalo needs to improve are the offensive line and the running game, which are also tied together. Johnson was sacked five times - though two were off blitzes that weren't the line's fault - and was hit on virtually every throw. And, on the ground, the Bills totaled a mere 89 yards (2.6 per carry) with feature back Antowain Smith held to an anemic 17 yards on a dozen attempts. "I was a little disappointed that we didn't run the ball better," admitted Buffalo head coach Wade Phillips, "especially late in the game when we could have run out the clock." But while the line has to answer for the failings of the ground attack, the pressure on Johnson involves everyone. "I think it's on all of us," said Riemersma. "You can point somewhat to the offensive line but by no means is it all their responsibility. "We have to take responsibility as an offensive unit - to get our hot reads, to get our blitz pickups - and make it one of our goals that Rob doesn't get hit like that."'
Bills pay tribute to '65 AFL title team [4:25 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Among there were quarterback Jack Kemp, wide receiver Elbert Dubenion, guard Billy Shaw, center Al Beimiller, defensive end Ron McDole, defensive backs Butch Byrd, Booker Edgerson and Hagood Clarke, tight end Ernie Warlick, running backs Wray Carlton and Ed Rutkowski and linebacker Mike Stratton.'
Having Favre wasn't enough for Packers [4:24 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'When asked if the Bills' defense was better than he thought they would be, Favre slowly shook his head. "Yep," he said. "They're big and fast. I couldn't tell who's who. I know they're good, and I know their names. And I'm pooped out right now."'
Victory is an all-out team effort [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills quarterback Rob Johnson again took a pounding but threw three touchdown passes. The Buffalo defense was outstanding once more, and special teams finally made a big play. Those are just three reasons the Buffalo Bills are 2-0 today after Sunday's 27-18 triumph over the Green Bay Packers before a sellout crowd of 72,722 in a hot (81 degrees) and steamy Ralph Wilson Stadium.'
The beat goes on for 2-0 Bills [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It was far from a perfect performance for Johnson or the Bills. But a sellout crowd of 72,722 at The Ralph hardly could have asked for any more from their quarterback or their young team after two weeks of the NFL season. The Bills are 2-0. In their first game, they beat the odds-on favorite to win the AFC. In their second, Johnson outplayed the Packers' three-time NFL Most Valuable Player. And in both games, the Bills' defense - the unit that lost four starters from last year and was supposed to take a step backward - has looked even better than last season, when it led the league.'
Stats don't do Cowart justice [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cowart is a major reason the Bills may have the premier defense in the NFL again. Yet you have to wonder if the rest of the country fully realizes how good he is. It's hard to argue with Cottrell's assertion that Cowart should have made the Pro Bowl last year after leading the Bills with 186 tackles. Cowart, one of the most humble players around, said it would be nice to earn a trip to Hawaii, "if people think I'm worthy." "But the decision is out of my hands," he said. "It's up to the people who vote." It's a pretty good bet that he has the Packers' vote.'
Favre pained by latest loss [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"(If) you win a ball game like this, it kinda makes the aches and pains feel a little bit better. But when you lose, it feels like they're twice as bad," Favre said, peering out from a blue baseball cap. "As frustrating as it is to lose a football game, any football game, I felt like I did everything I could do and left it out on the field. Sometimes it's, I guess, not enough. I'm just hoping I don't fall off this podium."'
Under siege, Johnson proves he's tough enough [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'On a day when he again was a second-degree assault victim, when his running game went south once more, and when Brett Favre accomplished something that eluded illustrious Packer quarterbacks from Arnie Herber to Bart Starr, Rob Johnson was the difference in the game as the Buffalo Bills got off to a 2-0 start. Johnson's performance won't be enshrined at the Buffalo Historical Society, but it was more than good enough to gouge a Green Bay defense handicapped by injuries and collaborate with the defensive unit for a victory that was close to being easy.'
What is Bills' chief concern? It's the blocking, dummy [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'John Fina, the son of a physician, earned numerous academic awards when he played football at Arizona. He majored in psychology and could talk for hours about the human mind. But sometimes, it all comes down to mathematics. "You know, when they have eight or nine guys on the line of scrimmage, you can only block six or seven of them," Fina said late Sunday afternoon. "That's how the math works." Simple arithmetic also says the Bills beat the Packers, 27-18. It says they're the only 2-0 team in the AFC East. Rob Johnson put some impressive numerals on the stat sheet, completing 18 of 26 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. Still, Fina has a point. Despite putting 27 points on the board, the Bills had a serious math problem. For the second week in a row, they were outnumbered by the opposition blitzes. Football is essentially a game of blocking and tackling. Buffalo is doing just fine in the tackling department. It's the blocking that leaves a lot to be desired.'
Moulds' actions speak volumes [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Eric Moulds should gripe more often. Moulds spent part of the past week voicing his displeasure about the Buffalo Bills' offense and his role in it. But the fifth-year wide receiver let his hands and legs do the talking on Sunday. After catching just two passes for 46 yards against the Tennessee Titans last week, Moulds responded with seven receptions for 103 yards in the Bills' 27-18 win over the Green Bay Packers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Moulds made all kinds of catches, including a spectacular one-handed diving grab for 42 yards. He also made Green Bay defensive backs look silly with some dazzling runs after the catch. "We just wanted to get out there and make some plays," said Moulds, referring mostly to himself. "When I was asking for the ball, I'm challenging my teammates, I'm challenging myself and trying to get us ready to play. "You can see the explosiveness on this offense. You've got Peerless (Price), (tight end) Jay Riemersma and then Jeremy (McDaniel) coming into the ball game. All the guys are making plays. If you've got that type of skill people out there, you've got to give them the ball."'
Monday billboard [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Big Picture: For at least a day, the Buffalo Bills sit atop the AFC East standing after their 27-18 win over the Green Bay Packers. Since Indianapolis and Miami both lost, the Bills, at 2-0, are first in the division. The Jets (1-0), however, host New England (0-1) tonight. For the Packers, life's a little more dismal. This is Green Bay's first 0-2 start since 1992.'
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