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Buffalo Bills News - January 3, 2005

Marker Wasted opportunity haunts Bills [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Utter devastation.'

Marker Fourth-stringer Parker turns in first-rate performance [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Parker gained 101 yards in the second half Sunday and helped the Steelers to a 29-24 victory over the Bills. He had a 58-yard run in the third quarter that set up a field goal, giving the Steelers the lead for good. He had 11 carries during a critical 14-play drive that consumed 8 minutes and 53 seconds of the fourth quarter, leaving the Bills with almost no time to come back from a 29-17 deficit.'

Marker Steelers are special, no matter who suits up [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher was like a Las Vegas magician, each item pulled from his hat more impressive than the last. The grand finale came when he made the Bills, one of the league's hotter teams, vanish from the NFL playoff picture, an unfathomable feat considering no opposing team had ever won at The Ralph in January.'

Marker Chance at validation vanishes in a hurry [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I thought, "We're rolling now. Here we go,' " said Tucker, the Bills' left guard. "I even recall looking up at the scoreboard and seeing that the Jets were losing, and I was thinking, "This is our year. It's our time.' "'

Marker Lindell's rare miss will keep him awake [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The wind was going right to left, and I missed it right," he said. "My aim was a smidge over to the right. But I didn't hit my target."'

Marker End of the line [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I still don't know who that is. Who's that Willie Parker?" - Bills cornerback Terrence McGee.'

Marker Grading the Bills [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Lindell opened year with miss, ended with miss. Clements fumbled first punt. That's 6 points. Bad end to great year.'

Marker Fans dejected but hopeful [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm tired of hearing people say we're going to be better next year," responded her sister. "I'm tired of waiting."'

Marker Bills Team Report [7:45 AM]
The Sporting News reports: 'Offense: C+. McGahee and WR Lee Evans were difference-makers. QB Drew Bledsoe might have earned another year as a starter.'

Marker Steelers finish regular season with team-best 15 wins [7:28 AM]
Beaver County Times reports: '"Probably no one gave us a chance to win this game with all our backups playing," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "But it just goes to show you that we have a lot of depth on this team. Those guys went out there and competed."

Marker Steelers finish 15-1 as reserves KO Buffalo [7:26 AM]
Washington Observer Reporter reports: '"The bottom line is if we can't beat them with their backups on the field, then we probably don't deserve to be in."'

Marker Going from 9-point underdogs to Super Bowl favorites [7:25 AM]
Washington Observer Reporter reports: 'Instead of treating the game like a glorified practice, which would have been easy to do considering they had accomplished pretty much everything they could in the regular season, the Steelers came out and took the game to the Bills. They won a game they had no business winning.'

Marker Steelers finish season 15-1, eliminate Bills [7:24 AM]
Erie Times News reports: Afterward, Bledsoe spoke quietly to reporters, saying he was stunned to watch the Bills' playoff chances die in a home loss against a team resting many of its top players. "Early this week, someone asked a question, 'What if you don't get in?' " Bledsoe said. "The honest truth is that I didn't prepare myself for this. ... To be honest with you, I'm in a little bit of shock right now because I didn't really anticipate this would be the case."'

Marker Oh So Close And Yet... [7:23 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'Rian Lindell missing a 28-yard field goal? Drew Bledsoe again proving he cannot win the big game? A loss in a game that meant everything to the Bills against a team comprised of second, third and fourth stringers? BRIAN ST. PIERRE? Ugh.

Marker Playoffs unravel for Bills [7:22 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'In Buffalo, where the fans hold the NFL record for hurt, this one figures to sting a little longer than most.'

Marker Reality of Steelers Puts a Quick End to the Bills' Dream [7:21 AM]
New York Times reports: '"I'm pretty angry," Bledsoe said. "I really felt we would play better than we did, to be honest. The bottom line is if we can't beat them with backups on the field, then we probably don't deserve to be in. I really thought you would see a better performance from us today."'

Marker Bills Bounced by Backups [7:20 AM] reports: 'Buffalo turned the ball over three times, managed just 267 yards total offense, with seven three and outs and Rian Lindell missed a 28 yard field goal wide right late in the third quarter.'

Marker Bills' playoff hopes dashed [5:29 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'With offensive starters Ben Roethlisberger, Jerome Bettis and Plaxico Burress inactive for the game, the Steelers controlled the ball for 35 of the 60 minutes, outrushing Buffalo 157-92. Pittsburgh also played without two defensive starters and substituted frequently.'

Marker Steelers' subs super to the end [5:13 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: '"That's just the sign of a good team," Buffalo linebacker Takeo Spikes said, "when you have depth, when they come in and can still be efficient when the game counts. The credit goes to them." Said Buffalo coach Mike Mularkey, the Steelers' former offensive coordinator: "If you've watched closely, when they've had guys go down all season -- not just the last game -- they've had guys come in and be extremely effective. This is not the NCAA, where you have guys that can't play."'

Marker An agonizing loss for surging Buffalo [5:12 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Hope unraveled in a fashion that surprised most Buffalo observers, folks who counted the Bills as perhaps the NFL's hottest team. In six games before yesterday, the Bills averaged 38 points. Yet, against the Steelers, turnovers and penalties sabotaged them.'

Marker Steelers stick to standard [5:11 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'When the Bills got the ball back, Colclough blitzed, Harrison caught it and ran 18 yards for a touchdown. Game over. "It was a great call by the coordinator (Dick LeBeau)." Colclough said. "That's all it was."'

Marker Play of the Game: Harrison’s TD turned tide [5:10 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'With the Bills in a shotgun formation, Bledsoe dropped back and spotted wide receiver Josh Reed down field. Just as he went back to throw the ball, he was hit by Colclough at the 17. "I was trying to look for someplace down the field to get rid of the ball and was just getting ready to turn it loose to throw it at Josh, or at least throw it at his feet," Bledsoe said. "That's when he hit me, and I only had one hand on the ball, and that's when the ball came up."'

Marker Steelers defeat Bills [5:09 AM]
Uniontown Herald Standard reports: '"It's a nice achievement," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "The guys worked their tails off to get here, but now is not the time to reflect. The season isn't over yet. All it means right now is we get to sit back and heal a little bit. Other than that, all I know is after tonight everybody's 0-0 and our next game is at Heinz Field.'

Marker Monday's Pittsburgh Coverage [5:07 AM] reports:
Steelers' subs super to the end (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Reed punctuates outstanding season with five field goals (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
An agonizing loss for surging Buffalo (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
QB subs capitalize on chance to contribute (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Steelers Sound Off (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Photo Gallery (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Steelers stick to standard (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Play of the Game: Harrison’s TD turned tide (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Ben watches, learns (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Bungling Burress burglars drop ball (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Play of the Game: Harrison’s TD turned tide (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
At 15-1, Steelers know they still have long way to go (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers Report Card: Bills (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers spotlight (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers rally around Ben (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers finish regular season with team-best 15 wins (Beaver County Times)
15-1 is nice, but now Steelers are back to 0-0 (Beaver County Times)
Maddox gets his work in (Beaver County Times)
Reed expects, achieves perfection down the stretch (Beaver County Times)
Steelers finish 15-1 as reserves KO Buffalo (Washington Observer Reporter)
Going from 9-point underdogs to Super Bowl favorites (Washington Observer Reporter)
Well-rested Parker has first 100-yard game (Washington Observer Reporter)
Steelers defeat Bills (Uniontown Herald Standard)
Steelers don't plan on anything different (Uniontown Herald Standard)
WellSteelers finish season 15-1, eliminate Bills (Erie Times News)
Even The Backups To The Backups Find A Way To Win (Erie Times News)
Oh So Close And Yet... (Erie Times News)
Playoffs unravel for Bills (Erie Times News)
Steelers' reserves help deliver win (Erie Times News)
Steelers end regular season with 29-24 win and improve to 15-1 (
Steelers-Bills Post-game quotes (

Marker Over and out [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'During their depressing and season-killing 29-24 loss to the Steelers, the Bills played like the Bills of September and October, the Bills who started 0-4 and 1-5 and had no business even dreaming about a trip to the postseason.'

Marker Here come Bledsoe's critics [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'It's inexplicable how a team with everything to play for would lose to a team that had little at stake.'

Marker Bills coaches fumbled big call [5:05 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills were ultimately confronted with a third-and-one at the Pittsburgh 11. Here was a chance to send Willis McGahee into the line against a second-string Steelers defense that was tired and ready to break. But there was Bledsoe, dropping back and throwing to Shelton. Yes, Shelton made the catch and picked up the first down. Too bad it didn't count because Josh Reed was called for offensive pass interference.'

Marker Steelers JVs get the job done [5:05 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'This was a chance for Buffalo (9-7) to convince anyone skeptical of its six-game winning streak, built against a string of NFL misfits, that it was a legitimate playoff contender. Instead, the Bills suffered the ultimate indignity, not just losing to the Steelers (15-1), but to their second-, third- and in some cases, fourth-string players. They were exposed, just as AFC East Division champ New England exposed them twice.'

Marker Fans find no solace in a near miss [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"Drew didn't perform as well as he should have," said Beth Gardner of Hamlin. "There were too many turnovers. It's time to turn the page. It's J.P.'s time."'

Marker The two-minute read [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Bills QB Drew Bledsoe: Same old story. Play the Browns, Bengals, Seahawks or 49ers and Drew's your man. Play him against a team that can actually play defense, like New England, Baltimore or Pittsburgh, and forget it.'

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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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