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Buffalo Bills News - December 26, 2004

Marker Buffalo 41, San Francisco 7 [7:01 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'McGahee, who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with a 20-yard run early in the third quarter, was questionable up until game-time with a knee injury. He now has rushed for 1,049 yards this season, over 100 yards in seven of his 10 starts and also recorded his fourth multi-TD game.'

Marker Bills looking for playoff berth; SF simply looking for motivation [11:06 AM]
Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports: 'In fact, this can be a "trap game" for the Bills, who might also have to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the final Sunday of the regular season to make the playoffs. The Steelers, of course, are 13-1 and will clinch home-field advantage with a victory today against Baltimore. Therefore, it is possible that the Bills will overlook a team that boasts its only two victories against the Arizona Cardinals.'

Marker Bills scare up a sense of urgency [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"If you had a lot of success throughout the year, you might feel that way," he said. "But the way we started gave us a taste of being at the bottom of the barrel. When you're at the bottom of the barrel and you start winning, you don't want to go back there. . . . We're playing scared. That's exactly how you want to do it. You want to play scared and take care of business. We plan to go out and do that."'

Marker Raising the baton [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He's a tremendous motivator," Bills defensive back Troy Vincent said. "I can appreciate a coach who understands what's going on through your mind after a play happens, instead of everything being so textbook because this is not a textbook game."'

Marker Once Bledsoe gets rocking, Bills figure to roll [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills continue to roll with 30-13 win.'

Marker Spiritual rebirth helps Bills' April weather storm [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The kids were adamant about me getting back into coaching," April said. "They told me, "That's what you are.' "'

Marker McGahee, not Brees, is league's best comeback story [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The reason McGahee deserves the award is this: Brees almost lost his job with the Chargers; McGahee almost lost his career to the catastrophic knee injury he suffered in January 2003. Brees had a bad year in 2003. McGahee couldn't even play in 2003.'

Marker 49ers vs. Bills [8:27 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Blitz Bledsoe: Drew Bledsoe is only 32 and yet it seems as if he's been playing since the AFL-NFL merger. Maybe it's because he's not all that spry. In fact, the Bills quarterback has been likened to a cigar-store Indian in terms of mobility.'

Marker Bills (8-6) vs. 49ers (2-12) [6:18 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'Buffalo runs an offensive scheme similar to the 49ers', with the two-tight end formations and commitment to the run. The Bills then like to throw over the top when the linebackers and safeties sneak up to stop the run. Pressure on quarterback Drew Bledsoe will be a key, and the improving secondary can step forward if it can stay with receivers Lee Evans and Eric Moulds.'

Marker Bills recover from their poor start, unlike the 49ers [6:17 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'The Bills' first-round draft pick, wide receiver Lee Evans, has 38 receptions for 588 yards and seven touchdowns. The 49ers' first-round pick, wide receiver Rashaun Woods, has three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.'

Marker 49ers of '80s helping Bills of today [6:16 AM]
San Jose Mercury News reports: 'Mularkey has overcome bad starts before. After the 49ers cut him, he spent nine seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he never forgot his few weeks with Walsh. ``I wouldn't say I run his West Coast offense,'' Mularkey said, ``but I would say I use his philosophy of trying to get the ball in the right guy's hands. I believe in that and I always have even since I was a coordinator. Obviously, the success has proven that it was a pretty good idea.'''

Marker Sunday's San Francisco Coverage [6:15 AM] reports:
Tight-fisted 49ers last in league in spending (San Francisco Chronicle)
Hope for 49ers? (San Francisco Chronicle)
Bills (8-6) vs. 49ers (2-12) (San Francisco Chronicle)
A primer to explain 'dead money' (San Francisco Chronicle)
Niners spend not, win not under Yorks (San Francisco Chronicle)
Bills recover from their poor start, unlike the 49ers (Contra Costa Times)
Help could be on the way for 49ers, Raiders (Contra Costa Times)
49ers of '80s helping Bills of today (San Jose Mercury News)
Seifert was perfect fit (San Jose Mercury News)
Keys to the game (San Jose Mercury News)
49ers vs. Bills (Sacramento Bee)
Scout's honor: 49ers are doing their homework (Sacramento Bee)
Commentator sees hope for 49ers organization (Sacramento Bee)
Bills looking for playoff berth; SF simply looking for motivation (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Peterson has been on target for 49ers (Oakland Tribune)

Marker Bills take 49ers game seriously [5:05 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'There is little doubt the 49ers are the worst team in football. Their only two wins have come against Arizona and it took overtime to win both, they have scored the fourth-fewest points in the league and have given up the second-most points.'

Marker Q&A: Shaud Williams [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Growing up in Texas, you were a baseball star as well as a football star, and the Atlanta Braves offered you $150,000 to play in their minor league system. Why did you decline and play college football instead?
"I didn't want to go that far away. I was 18 at the time. I turned it down because I told them I wanted to go to college and play football. It was a pretty nice bonus and after I told them I wasn't going to sign they asked me what would it take for me to sign, but I still turned it down because I wanted to play college football. I have no regrets whatsoever."'

Marker Ex-Alabama player has chance to shine for Bills [5:03 AM]
Dothan Eagle reports: '"The thought (of starting) never crossed my mind," Williams said. "I figured things would work out the way they were supposed. I'm excited."'

Marker What to Look for vs. 49ers [5:02 AM] reports: 'Williams, Burns, and Brown will most likely split the carries and develop a running back by committee philosophy. If one gets hot during the course of the game, Head Coach Mike Mularkey will most likely stick with that runner to build some momentum for the offense.'

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December 25, 2004

Marker As 49ers sink, Bills rise in AFC playoff race [2:22 PM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'If the Bills make the playoffs one season after finishing 6-10, it will come as a surprise to many but not first-year coach Mike Mularkey. "There was never anybody showing signs of waver when we were down," said Mularkey, 43, who came to the Bills after three years as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. "I think these guys realized that we had to overcome ourselves before we could overcome our opponent. They saw it and recognized it and there was no panic."'

Marker Problems mount for once-proud 49ers [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The reason behind the Niners' demise is long and complicated: A cost-cutting owner, salary-cap agony, draft-day blunders and injuries just to name a few. Montana to Rice? A warm, but fading memory. A one-way ticket out of town might do wonders, but there's no place to hide.'

Marker Mularkey is borrowing from Walsh's playbook [6:11 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'Mularkey balks at saying he strictly adheres to Walsh's West Coast offense, but he does abide by some of its principles -- throw quick, short passes, run the ball and eat up the clock. Mularkey spent the previous three years as the Steelers offensive coordinator. "He is a players' coach," said 49ers running back Ken Simonton, who played for the Bills last season and was cut by them after this year's training camp. "He hasn't lost connection with what it's like to be a player and guys respond to that." "He knows a lot about football," Bills running back Willis McGahee said in a conference call this week. "He knows we can be a dominant run team and pass team."'

Marker Saturday's San Francisco Coverage [6:10 AM] reports:
Young wins fifth Eshmont award and first Walsh (San Francisco Chronicle)
Mularkey is borrowing from Walsh's playbook (Contra Costa Times)
Peers, coaches heap honor on 49ers' Young (San Jose Mercury News)
After delay, injury ends Adams' season (San Jose Mercury News)
Young given 2 awards by team (Sacramento Bee)
As 49ers sink, Bills rise in AFC playoff race (Oakland Tribune)
Young Adds Fifth Eshmont Honor (
B.Y. Wins Inaugural Walsh Award (
Kosier Wins McKittrick Award (
49ers Join With S.F. Firefighters (

Marker Adams plays big part in Bills' remarkable surge [6:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I’m not proud of what happened that day, but it wound up being a good thing,” Adams said during a recent break from preparations for Sunday’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco. “I learned that Jerry’s door and mind are always open, and all I had to do was walk in and talk to him. I wanted to play more and I wanted some opportunities to go after the quarterback because that’s one of my strengths, and Jerry was willing to compromise with me. I put myself out there, and then it was up to me to respond accordingly.”'

December 24, 2004

Marker McGahee status remains uncertain for Sunday [7:00 PM]
AP reports: 'McGahee is listed as questionable after bruising and hyperextending his right knee in Buffalo's win over Cincinnati last Sunday. Coach Mike Mularkey said after Friday's workout that McGahee's availability will be a game-time decision.'

Marker Pathetic 49ers will prove accommodating hosts [6:59 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Bills, 34-14.'

Marker Five Keys to the game [6:58 PM]
San Francisco Examiner reports: 'The 49ers, who have allowed 23 passing TDs, must tighten up the secondary. The Bills can be expected to emphasize the passing game this week.'

Marker Fitting the Bill [6:57 PM]
Washington Times reports: 'With a game at 2-12 San Francisco on Sunday before a finale against 13-1 Pittsburgh, Buffalo's first winning season since 1999 is almost certain. With only defensive tackle Pat Williams and offensive tackle Jonas Jennings heading for free agency, a decent amount of salary cap room available and just six starters in their 30s, the Bills' future is much brighter than it appeared two months ago even if they don't make the playoffs.'

Marker McGahee Practices "sparingly" [6:56 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'McGahee is still questionable and will be a game time decision. Jason Peters took part in individual drills, but missed team practice. He's questionable with his hamstring problem.'

Marker Tops Game Ball Winner: Takeo Spikes [6:55 PM] reports: 'Last year the Bills D was also highly ranked, but did not have as many turnovers as it does this Year. What was done in the off season to create a more ball hungry mentality in this year's D?
TS: I think just more emphasis on it day-in and day-out as far as practice situations made it able to transcend over to game days.'

Marker A Christmas Miracle For The Bills? [6:54 PM] reports: It’s that wonderful time of year again – you can feel it in the air. For most people this means the sounds of sleigh bells, people singing Christmas carols, a meal of Christmas goose and sharing gift with friends and loved ones. For Bills fans it means the sound of cheering football crowds, people singing the Bills Shout! Song, a meal of wings and weck and sharing Sunday afternoons with friends rooting for the Bills.

Marker Bills, Ravens Taking it to the house [6:53 PM]
ESPN reports: '"More and more, I think players have come to realize the significance of a non-offensive touchdown, how much effect it can have on a game," acknowledged Pro Bowl weak-side linebacker Takeo Spikes of the Buffalo Bills, after last Sunday's victory at Cincinnati, a game in which his club scored just one offensive touchdown but won by 16 points. "It's such a boost to your own team, and a comedown for the (opposition), maybe because of the instant nature of the (non-offensive) score. You don't expect the defense or special teams to score. But we expect them to, man, and it's a big part of what we're doing."'

Marker Bills shook off 1-5 start [9:25 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: 'Both teams entered the season among the youngest squads in the league. One of the differences is the Bills have been able to squeeze productivity out of their inexperienced players. The 49ers have not.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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