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Buffalo Bills News - November 3, 2002

Marker Gray, snowbound Buffalo thanks Patriots for Bledsoe [5:34 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"This is a dying city. Poor management. Poor government. All we really have is football to look forward to."'

Marker Belichick has history of rattling Bledsoe [5:33 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Once all the verbal bouquets are tossed, though, this matchup today comes down to one thing between coach and former player. Legitimizing. Bledsoe wants to prove Belichick made the worst mistake a coach could make when he turned his back on him. He wants to embarrass Belichick. Belichick would like his team to simply dismiss Bledsoe today and vindicate the coach for a decision Belichick saw as inevitable.'

Marker Bledsoe has chance to do number on Belichick's head [5:32 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Belichick wants to get in my head? Fine. I want to kick his butt.'

Marker Bledsoe Gets Top Billing [5:31 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'There should be a lot of Kodak moments today, but don't expect any of Bledsoe with Belichick. The Patriots are sinking, and Bledsoe hopes to drown them.'

Marker Coach Vs. QB: The Big Picture [5:30 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"One of the things that hurt Drew's chances of greater longevity in New England was the fact he liked to go deep," [Chuck] Dickerson said. "Some coaches just don't want to throw that damn thing up there. But it's more than that. Belichick decided that he'd depend on the defensive genius that he is, special teams, a running game he started to develop. I see it as an overall plan. Whether he was right or not, who knows? But he did go to the Super Bowl, did win and that's pretty heady stuff."'

Marker Brady bunch meets Bledsoe's Bills [5:29 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'A loss, and the Patriots might need seven wins in their last eight just to retain playoff hope.'

Marker Drew's deal revisited [5:28 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Belichick wanted to rid himself of Bledsoe, and where he went was probably less important than that he went. The home front was certainly quieter, less controversial after the deal was done. The only problem is that so far, Belichick's losses have been far greater than even he could have imagined. Bledsoe has been magnificent, and Brady has been scuffling.'

Marker Bledsoe at the top of his game [5:27 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: '"For us as a team, I think after we got through our first mini camp where we were all together, all the veterans were in here, I think we started to see that we had the talent to compete with anybody in the league," Bledsoe said. "That ultimately is our goal. It really is just that simple. What we want to do is we want to go out each week and try and play at a level that allows us to be in a position to win the game. I think to this point in the season, we've done that."'

Marker Buffalo defense getting better by the Sunday [5:26 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Whoever bought tickets to Sunday's game between New England and Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium expected to see a dominant defense in action. Who would've guessed it'd belong to Gregg Williams' Bills?'

Marker Top 5 reasons why the Patriots are struggling [5:25 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'The Patriots aren't just playing bad football --they're also playing undisciplined ball.'

Marker Bledsoe, Brady duel comes to a head [5:24 AM]
Manchester Union Leader reports: 'Prediction: Patriots, 24-21.'

Marker Fisk got his revenge; will Bledsoe follow suit? [5:23 AM]
Manchester Union Leader reports: 'Defeating the Patriots, however, would be the sweetest revenge for the quarterback. Losing the game wouldn’t take away what Bledsoe already has accomplished this season. “I just wanted to show that I’m at the top of my game and playing in Buffalo is better than I could have imagined. I knew in preseason the talent was here,” he said.'

Marker Parity not working for Patriots [5:22 AM]
Manchester Union Leader reports: 'There is nothing wrong with the Patriots. It’s called parity. Don’t you just love it?'

Marker Belichick must find way to beat Bledsoe [5:21 AM]
Lowell Sun reports: 'Bledsoe has thrown 16 TD passes and only five interceptions while turning around the Bills around faster than anyone since the great Doug Flutie. How long before Bledsoe Bran is flying off Buffalo-area supermarket shelves?'

Marker Sunday morning QB [5:20 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'One GM who considered making an offer for Bledsoe but decided against it, said if the Patriots were willing to trade Bledsoe, it was an indication they didn't think he was a special player. "And if he's not special for you, why is he going to be special for me?" he said.'

Marker Emotional Meeting [5:19 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Defensively, they have been ineffective against the run (five running backs have rushed for more than 100 yards) and porous inside the red zone (teams have scored 18 touchdowns on 22 possessions).'

Marker Jones has emerged for Patriots [5:18 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: 'Jones is fast, too, which is one of the things that appealed to the Patriots when they made him the 22nd overall pick of the 1998 draft. He had finished his senior year at Syracuse, his first at safety after switching from running back. Syracuse coaches and players had raved about Jones's athletic ability. He had size, speed, strength and a vertical jump that allowed him to take off from the free-throw line and dunk a basketball.'

Marker Pats face 'other option' [5:17 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: '"What," Belichick asked, "were the other options?" The Patriots weren't about to trade Brady, who won a Super Bowl at 24. They weren't about to keep Brady and the $100 million contract of Bledsoe. Honk if you were making sport of the Patriots when they were 3-0 and Brady was finding open receivers at will. Bledsoe never reached this stratosphere in nine seasons with the Patriots. There's no reason to think it would have happened if he stayed.'

Marker Bledsoe has opportunity to knock off former team [5:16 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Yes, Belichick and Brady gave the Patriots their first Super Bowl victory. But what Bledsoe does from this point on might provide Belichick's real legacy in New England.'

Marker Belichick vs. Bledsoe - it had to happen [5:15 AM]
Seattle Times reports: 'In the end, New England did everything right. It replaced an aging and injured Bledsoe with the young quarterback who won the Super Bowl. It isn't the Patriots' fault that Bledsoe has recovered and found new life in a place that was supposed to be hopeless. It won't be their fault, either, if he goes out and throws for 300 yards and three touchdowns on the way to a 10-point win.'

Marker A vote for a special kind of player [5:14 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Here's one argument for Tasker, who was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times: The margin between him and the second-best special-teams player was wider than the margin between the best and second-best player at any other position on the Hall of Fame ballot.'

Marker Bledsoe is one Bill coming due for Patriots [5:13 AM]
Houston Chronicle reports: 'Belichick didn't want to trade Bledsoe to a team in the Patriots' division, but he had to accept the best offer and worry about the consequences later. Now, later is here.'

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November 2, 2002

Marker John Madden: Renewing acquaintances in Buffalo [11:47 PM]
ESPN reports: The Bills are playing well, though, and that's a big thing. They aren't just Bledsoe; they have a good running game with Travis Henry and good wide receivers and a pretty good defense. They really have some things going right now.

Marker Bledsoe Poised To Add To Patriots' Woes [5:37 PM]
New York Times reports: '"I know it's hard for him," Bledsoe said of Brady's struggles. "That being said, I know Tom, along with the rest of those guys, will do everything they can to bounce back. If there is one defining characteristic that overrides everything, the Patriots are, across the board, players of high character."'

Marker Slumping Patriots brace for Bledsoe and Bills [5:19 PM]
AP reports: '''Players want to win this game for Drew,'' Moulds added. ''It's an important game as far as the division is concerned, but it's also important for a guy who's a main guy on this team.'''

Marker Far, Far Outside the Huddle [5:09 PM]
Charleston Daily Mail reports: 'This monstrosity of facial hair first made its appearance during his injury stint last year, and makes him look like some malnourished lieutenant of Stonewall Jackson. Behind the Hell Beard lurks all of Bledsoe's ire, and, combined with the Pats' four-game losing skid to some of the NFL's best teams, should provide more than adequate drama.'

Marker Battle in Buffalo: Brady or Bledsoe? [2:14 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'Maybe one will outplay the other in a losing effort and muddy the whole picture, allowing both sides (and there are plenty of folks choosing sides) to claim victory. But since QBs are judged largely on their team's record, more than likely one camp will issue a full-throated I-told-you-so around 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon.'

Marker Pats don't make the grade [2:13 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'MVP: AFC - QB Drew Bledsoe (Bills): He's on pace to throw for 5,000 yards, just 84 shy of Dan Marino's single-season NFL record. He's gotten his hands on the ball in two of Buffalo's three overtime games and both times has thrown the winning TD pass. He's second in the league in touchdowns (16) and passer rating (98.3). We could go on and on, but you get the point.'

Marker It's all part of the job [2:12 PM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: '“I’ll be playing against an old friend of mine,” Bruschi said. “A guy that will make it fun out there, who will challenge the defense but give me a chance to make plays.”'

Marker Tops Game Ball of the Week: London Fletcher Q&A [12:53 PM] reports: "We've had some guys that have played extremely well. I can't get in and say this individual guy has been most improved. The offensive line has played extremely well. The receivers have played well. Drew is playing phenomenal. There are tons of guys that have played well. Pat Williams is played extremely well. Nate (Clements) has played well."

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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