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Buffalo Bills News - December 17, 2001

Marker Smerlas can relate to this year's team [6:24 AM]
D and C reports: '"Making plays, that's all great. Kicking someone's butt, that's all great," Smerlas said. "But to have the memories of all the great people I met here, that's what made football special for me."'

Marker Making a big mess of the rules [6:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'No one has ever seen a play like that. Hopefully, we never will again.'

Marker Hard-hitting defense deserved to win [6:22 AM]
D and C reports: 'For the second time this season, they made New England quarterback Tom Brady play like Marcia Brady.'

Marker Bills report card [6:21 AM]
D and C reports: 'A good effort by a calm-and-cool Gregg Williams against the wily Bill Belichick. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray did a nice job juggling his unit in the face of injuries in this epic battle of field goal kickers. Another tough loss but hey, the Bills are back in the race for the No. 2 draft pick.'

Marker Patriots replay favour [6:20 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Bless the young, injury-riddled Bills for playing hard and hitting harder, but there was little entertainment yesterday outside of the Buffalo Jills cheerleaders dolled up as elves. The first two quarters featured nine punts and three field-goal attempts (one missed). Fear sweeping through the empty seats was that a soccer game might break out.'

Marker Bills find another way to fold [6:19 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'The latest chapter in the voluminous collection of Buffalo heartbreak classics was written here yesterday, giving western New Yorkers yet another story to cry over into their Genesees.'

Marker Favorable review [6:18 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'After all, four of the Patriots' last five games against the Bills have gone to overtime.'

Marker Defense earns points by being stingy [6:17 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'It's been said that if you score, you may win, but if your opponent doesn't score, you can't lose.'

Marker Still tackling job with enthusiasm [6:16 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The sight of Tom Brady's helmet spinning like a top near midfield was proof enough yesterday to something every Buffalo player will profess: the Bills have not given up.'

Marker After crucial play, Bills left unsettled [6:16 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Our guys play hard,'' first-year Bills coach Gregg Williams said. ''And that's a reflection of when these two teams have played here. Five of the last seven times ... these two teams have played, it's been tough, hard-nosed football.'''

Marker For Smith, better late than never [6:15 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''Their defense did a good job of reading where the run was going,'' center Damien Woody said. ''Antowain just didn't stop on the play, reversed field, and it was wide open. That was huge.'''

Marker Something was missing [6:14 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Flutie mantra that's been beaten into our brains has shifted to Brady, the Patriots' second-year quarterback. Brady didn't play particularly well yesterday against the Bills, but his team won, 12-9, in overtime, and improved to 9-3 since Brady took over for Drew Bledsoe.'

Marker In overtime, plot contained a knockout twist [6:12 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'After decades of hideous finishes and chronic chaos, the Patriots are getting all the breaks.'

Marker Rolling with the punches [6:12 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Tasker and play-by-play man Don Criqui also both (maybe with some help from the folks in the truck) used replays to illustrate that Buffalo receiver Peerless Price had an apparent TD taken away on a ruling the Bills never challenged with just less than 11 minutes left in regulation. Instead, Buffalo settled for a tying field goal.'

Marker It's becoming numbers game [6:10 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Seahawks (7-6) are still alive in the playoff hunt with their win over Dallas yesterday. The Patriots may not have to worry about Denver, which fell to Kansas City yesterday and now has seven losses.'

Marker Pats boot Bills in OT [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'As for the game, it was mostly a lot of field goals (seven) and incomplete passes (38). Neither offense played well, which kept the score close as usual. The Pats and Bills have now played into overtime in four of their last five meetings.'

Marker Vinatieri in the four-front [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``You've got to take your hats off to them. They played a great game today. They fought pretty hard, made some big plays and hit the crap out of our guys. I'm just happy I got an opportunity (to win the game)."'

Marker Pats deserve luck [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'An apparent Bills touchdown is ruled an incompletion, but the Buffalo coaching staff doesn't call for a replay even though it looked like Peerless Price might have gotten both feet down in the end zone.'

Marker Pats' Smith fits the Bill [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Would not his return to Buffalo have been sweeter had Smith won the game with a touchdown? ``That doesn't make any difference to me,'' Smith said. ``I just wanted to get us close enough to win the game. And that's what I did.'''

Marker Hi there, old flame [6:09 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'To say that Brady got his bell rung yesterday would be the understatement of this over-the-top season. It was a highlight-film hit for the ages, one that the Brady kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will be seeing, and it was delivered by the Bills' 5-foot-9 cornerback, Nate Clements.'

Marker Pats only playing by the rules [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Fortunate doesn't even come close to describing it. Had the Pats gone on to lose, it would have dampened their playoff hopes. Then we could have all gone nuts like the Bills fans and claimed they were ``screwed'' by a bad call. Only, most of us wouldn't have known to complain.'

Marker Patriots dust off backers [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Three yards and a cloud of disgust. That's what Pats bettors got yesterday when Antowain Smith fell that much short of a touchdown in overtime as the Patriots beat the Bills, 12-9, on a field goal. The bettors needed the six points to reap a dividend with the Pats as 4-point favorites.'

Marker Bills paying the price in dismal season [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The way the Buffalo Bills season has gone, they knew they were in trouble once the officials started reviewing their recovery of a Patriots fumble in overtime.'

Marker Bills can't KO Pats [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' defensive backs scored several knockdowns against the Patriots yesterday. But the Pats refused to be knocked out.'

Marker Warm reception for J.R. [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Remember J.R. Redmond? Tom Brady sure did. Redmond, the Patriots' rarely used third-down running back, came out of a season-long hibernation yesterday, catching three key passes from Brady late in a 12-9 win over the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker Brady, Patriots not at best, but they get the job done once again [6:08 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Even if you're a fully vested member of the International Brotherhood of Brady, you gotta realize that the Pats survived him yesterday. Survived him on a day when he went 19 for 35. Survived him on a day when he took six sacks and, at one point late in the game, seemed to unilaterally decide to run a quarterback draw from the Bills 11 on third-and-9. And survived him on a day when the offensive game plan was finally designed for him to go long and he went extra long. Yesterday, Brady was Rick Ankiel in shoulder pads, Mark Wohlers with eye black. He was responsible for more overthrows than the busiest Central American revolutionary, and yet the Pats survived him.'

Marker 'W' marks the spot [6:07 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Some teams are good. Others are lucky. When a team can get both in its favor, it can win four games in a row and six of seven.'

Marker Brady able to save face -- and the rest of his head [6:06 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Tom Brady has a good head on his shoulders. No thanks to Buffalo cornerback Nate Clements, who did his best to decapitate the Patriots' young quarterback on a third-quarter scramble.'

Marker Defense giving up yards, but few points [6:05 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Bills had 310 yards in offense and 19 first downs. Yet, they managed only three field goals.'

Marker A little-known rule has big implications in the playoff picture [6:04 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"When you have a season like we have, where you only win two games, it makes it very hard to get those calls," Centers said. "It's hard for the ball to bounce your way. For whatever reason, I don't know why that is, but that's the way it happens."'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
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