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Buffalo Bills News - December 19, 2004

Marker Spikes Shines As The Bills Rip The Bengals [7:27 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Rudi Johnson opened the scoring with a three yard TD run and had 130 yards on the afternoon. Despite that, I think the Bills defense really arrived. Cincinnati had been a scoring machine lately picking up 113 points in three games. The Bills held them to just ten more points after falling behind.'

Marker McGahee twists knee, sits out last quarter [7:25 PM]
AP reports: '``I was thinking, 'Get up, Willis,''' Bledsoe said. ``He's been so pivotal in us turning this thing around, and it's a testament to him to get to where he is, with what he's gone through. Hopefully he'll be all right.'''

Marker Postgame quotes [7:19 PM] reports: 'Mike Mularkey on the destiny of the Bills: “I don’t know if it’s destiny or just a team that’s made up of good character — guys that have never given in ... not once. Even again, in this game, being down early and not blinking.”'

Marker Bills in the Thick of the Playoff Picture [5:36 PM] reports: 'Just five short weeks ago, the Bills were left for dead at 3-6 after an embarrassing defeat to the New England Patriots. Since then, Buffalo has scored at least 33 points in each win, making the 2004 team the first to score 30 points in five straight games in franchise history.'

Marker Freeze-dried frustration [5:35 PM] reports: 'For the second straight week against a playoff contender, the Bengals self-destructed with turnovers and gaffes and blew up their own playoff chances as well as a shot at a winning season during an ugly and cold 33-17 loss here to the Bills at Paul Brown Stadium.'

Marker Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 17 [4:28 PM]
AP reports: 'With the defense and special teams playing so well, the Bills' offense didn't have to do much. Drew Bledsoe was 15-of-30 for 183 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans.'

Marker Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 17 [4:27 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Linebacker Takeo Spikes all but ended his former team's postseason hopes and kept his current squad in the thick of the playoff chase.'

Marker Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 17 [4:27 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Buffalo running back Willis McGahee left the game with a hyperextended knee after rushing for 25 yards on 11 carries.'

Marker What to look for vs. Bengals [11:32 AM] reports: 'The Bengals offense has played extremely well but Spikes could single-handedly disrupt their offense. He is both a stout run stopper and can also play back in coverage. He has three interceptions on the year, tied for second on the team. Cincinnati needs to be aware of where he is on the field at all times. Even if the Bengals double or triple team him, it may not be enough to contain the excitement he will be feeling on the field this week.'

Marker Special day on tap [9:27 AM] reports: 'What is going to decide the Bengals’ first home game in December between two playoff contenders (Cincinnati at 6-7 and Buffalo 7-6) in nine years is that little matchup in agate print: Special teams.'

Marker Bills savor taste of big stakes [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bengals' offense is one of the hottest in the NFL, averaging 478 yards a game over the past three weeks. Even though Cincinnati (6-7) will be without starting quarterback Carson Palmer, who has a knee injury, the Bengals will turn to one of the most competent backups in the NFL - Jon Kitna. He threw the third-most touchdown passes in the league last year.'

Marker Punching the clock [9:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' ability to control the clock probably will be a huge factor against a Bengals offense that has been racing up and down the field the past month. "That's one of the first things I go to see," Mularkey said. "Obviously if you have the ball, you have chances to score and they don't. It's been a couple years since I did it, but typically the top teams in the league are at the top in time of possession."'

Marker Mularkey's toughness drives Bills' resurgence [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It seems like I've always started at the bottom," Mularkey said. "If we'd have started 4-0, maybe then I'd have been caught off-guard."'

Marker Mental toughness of Bills nears its final exam [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Today's game in Cincinnati will be a demonstration course. The Bengals virtually have been eliminated from playoff possibilities, but they are still a work in progress, a team that is almost certain to insert itself into much more serious contention in the next few years.'

Marker Bills, Bengals making a run with red-hot offenses [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills survive a shootout with a 34-27 win.'

Marker A Gifted Class [9:23 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But in reality, it was an 11-round draft for the Bills, because four rookie free agents made the roster. Three of those - safety Rashad Baker, corner Jabari Greer and tight end Jason Peters - also have contributed. That's an impressive accomplishment for the Bills' college scouting department, headed by Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak.'

Marker Isolation booth [5:42 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'The Bills employ five offensive and defensive starters as blockers on the kickoff return team, including 245-pound linebacker London Fletcher as McGee's fellow deep man and designated blocker. The Bills also are dangerous on punt returns, so the Bengals' cover team will have to be sharp. Nate Clements and Jonathan Smith have returned punts for touchdowns this season, and the Bills' five return TDs in one season are the most since the Chicago Cardinals returned five for scores in 1959. Buffalo is ranked in the top five in kickoff return average, punt return average, average drive start (offense) and kickoff return average (defense).'

Marker Who's got the edge? [5:41 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Bengals 24, Bills 23.'

Marker What you need to know about Bengals vs. Bills [5:40 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'Don't be surprised if the scoreboard resembles a pinball machine. The Bengals will miss the center-QB exchange of Braham & Palmer, but I have faith that Jerry Fontenot and Kitna will get the job done. The Bengals will spoil Spikes' homecoming. The final: Bengals 38, Bills 31.'

Marker Plenty at stake in Bengals-Bills game [5:39 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'And this is a game that could make or break the playoff chances of both clubs.'

Marker Sunday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:38 AM] reports:
More to friends than the job (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Who's got the edge? (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Isolation booth (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Plenty at stake in Bengals-Bills game (Dayton Daily News)
What you need to know about Bengals vs. Bills (Dayton Daily News)
5 Questions with... (Dayton Daily News)
Off the field with Willie Anderson (Dayton Daily News)
Bengals Mailbag: Will Peter Warrick be back in 2005? (Dayton Daily News)
Daunting defenses (Columbus Dispatch)
Game-day matchup (Columbus Dispatch)
Once more into the ‘D’ (Columbus Dispatch)
Special day on tap (
Braham to IR; Wilson signed (
Braham to IR (
Kitna is back in familiar role: Bengals starter (Seattle Times)

Marker Bills-Bengals winner still can make the postseason [5:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'During their four-game winning streak the Bills have scored 154 points, the highest four-game production in team history. Meanwhile, the Bengals have scored 113 points in their last three games, with 55 coming against the highly respected defenses of Baltimore and New England the last two weeks.'

Marker Bills' Spikes set to tackle his former team [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Anderson said he doesn't begrudge Spikes' decision to leave the team. "He's happy. They're winning and he enjoys his teammates," Anderson said. "He made a great decision for himself and his family, an opportunity for him to get out of the Cincinnati market and get the exposure he wants. He's a great player and has always been a great player. He's getting a chance to shine right now."'

Marker Q&A: Troy Vincent [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'You were close to signing with this week's opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals. Why did you choose the Bills?
"My wife. We just felt this was where I needed to be. I left money on the table in Cincinnati, but it wasn't about the dollars, it was what would be best for myself long term. I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach (Marvin) Lewis, and coach (Leslie) Frazier was my secondary coach in Philly. We have a great friendship and it was hard to say no."'

Marker Several Bills worthy of Pro Bowl nod [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Here are the Bills most likely to be invited (in order of probability)...'.

Marker It's 'something special' [4:59 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Unfortunately, just what the Bills have left to play for is not entirely in the hands of Spikes and that tough defence and suddenly rejuvenated offence. At 7-6, the Bills must win their final three games beginning with today's testy road contest against the Bengals (6-7) who are still alive but by mathematics only. They'll also need varying degrees of collapse from at least a couple of the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars.'

Marker Donahoe well aware of QB's needs [4:58 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'He is one of the most stationary targets in the history of the NFL, one of the few guys you would bet against in a race with Dan Marino. Thus, Bledsoe needs receivers who can get open quickly and who can run.'

Marker Bills thrive with Vincent at free safety [4:57 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Vincent's transition is more a move of selflessness than an indication that he can no longer play cornerback consistently well. Bills second-year cornerback Terrence McGee has done a solid job replacing Vincent, while Izell Reese and rookie Rashad Baker weren't making much impact at free safety. "The thing I'd hate to do is take Terrence off the field, have Troy go back to left corner and still have a younger guy at free safety," said Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, whose third-ranked defense has played a significant role in Buffalo's rebound from an 0-4 record to 7-6.'

Marker Bills GM Donahoe makes right moves [4:56 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'Donahoe is not going anywhere. He is one of the best pure football men in the NFL and would get snapped up in a minute if the Bills fired him. In a changing time for management, Donahoe is a great leader whose decisions are starting to pay off in Buffalo.'

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December 18, 2004

Marker Snow, Arctic Blast Coming Sunday [2:17 PM]
WLWT-TV Cincinnati reports: 'Fans going to Paul Brown Stadium will feel as if they’re in Buffalo while watching the Bengals and Bills. For the 1 p.m. kickoff, it should be about 20° with a wind chill of 0° to 5°. By the fourth quarter, it should be about 17 with a wind chill of 0° to minus-5°.'

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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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