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Buffalo Bills News - December 4, 2002

Marker Pioli, Pats may be near deal [5:33 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Richard Seymour practiced with the team yesterday, a good sign that the defensive tackle, who suffered what he called a bruised thigh in Detroit last Thursday, will be ready to play Sunday against the Bills.'

Marker Bills are tough on the corners [5:32 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Wide receivers Eric Moulds and Peerless Price starting making big plays as soon as the season began. It seemed for a few weeks leading up to last Sunday's game against Miami that defenses had found a way to contain the pair, but Drew Bledsoe was again finding his favorite targets against the Dolphins in what turned out to be a 38-21 victory.'

Marker Patriots add Hayes for safety reasons [5:32 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'Recognizing a need at safety, the Patriots reacquired veteran Chris Hayes on Monday to fill their roster vacancy. Hayes, 30, was with the Patriots during training camp, but they released him on Aug. 30 before the season began.'

Marker Last year’s ‘Team of Destiny’ controls its own destiny now [5:31 AM]
Woonsocket Call reports: 'So who has the edge at Gillette this weekend? The Patriots have already exposed the Bills’ weaknesses on defense once this season. It’s doubtful that they will execute the exact same game plan, but why stray from what works?'

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December 3, 2002

Marker Funke on the Bills [9:53 PM]
WHEC-TV reports: 'But every offense needs one thing and it was the big difference against Miami. It's what the Bills didn’t have against the Jets. Field position.'

Marker Patriots enter home stretch hosting the Bills [9:35 PM] reports: 'Patriots running back Antowain Smith will play in his fourth game against his former team this weekend when the Patriots host the Bills. Smith has rushed for an average of 102 yards in his three games against the Bills, including his 111-yard effort in the Patriots 38-7 victory on Nov. 3.'

Marker Wind advisory [1:14 PM]
Quincy Patriot Ledger reports: 'In many ways the setup is similar to that of Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, which debuted last year as a kickers' graveyard - the Steelers and their opponents combined to miss 16 of 33 field goal tries there during the regular season. Once December rolled around it was worse with the two sides going a combined 7-for-15.'

Marker Circling the Wagons [1:12 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'But if we’re going to blame Williams for some of the Bills’ shortcomings, and they still have many, we should also point out how he’s kept an even keel through the ups and downs.'

Marker Week 13: Gregg Williams Postgame Quotes [9:52 AM] reports: "It was a big game and a big win for us. We had our backs against the wall, we needed to answer and we did. I'm very proud of how the team responded and battled back through some tough times in the ball game and didn't lose confidence in themselves. They came up with a hard fought victory today."

Marker Thanks for the Tip [9:52 AM] reports: Pardon the Miami Dolphins' defensive backs if that's how they feel today. They thought they had Eric Moulds covered, they were sure they had Peerless Price contained. They read Moulds' route perfectly well, they collapsed on him-- and, uh, left Price open. That's a safety who fled from a danger zone. They zoned in on Drew Bledsoe's pass. They reached out and touched it-- tapping it right into Moulds' outstretched hand. How touching, Moulds must have been thinking. Thanks for the tip, guys.

Marker Bills keep postseason within reach [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Based on the records of all contenders in the conference, it's very possible that only one team will come out of the AFC East.'

Marker Defensive shake-up helped stop Dolphins [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The team has about 13,000 tickets remaining for the Dec. 15 game against the San Diego Chargers and 28,000 for the Dec. 29 season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.'

Marker What is wide receiver Peerless Price's future with the Bills? [5:29 AM]
D and C reports: 'You also put fannies in the seats by winning, and this team is not going to be a consistent winner until it fields a viable defense. And I just think that while Price is a terrific talent, the Bills could plug Josh Reed into his role, find a third receiver just about anywhere -- free agency or the draft -- and then put Price’s money to good use by bringing in defensive linemen and linebackers who can actually play.'

Marker Bills begin warming up to the Ralph [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'Dating to the end of the 2000 season, Buffalo had lost nine of its last 12 home games. That included a dismal 0-8 record against AFC East opponents by an average losing score of 30-17.'

Marker Bills replay: Week 13 [5:27 AM]
D and C reports: 'Why did the Dolphins even bother trying to pass? With Williams running as well as he was, it was puzzling that the Dolphins didn’t give him the ball on every play. Naturally that sounds ridiculous, but he was killing the Bills, and the only time Buffalo stopped Miami is when Ray Lucas or Jay Fiedler tried to put the ball in the air. It was another case of coaches out-thinking themselves.'

Marker For Patriots, it may come down to ground [5:26 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The Patriots have given up 1,520 yards on the ground, 4.6 yards a pop, ranking them 25th in the league.'

Marker Pats Drew up Bills game plan [5:25 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``Around here, you just never know,'' said defensive end Bobby Hamilton. ``I know Romeo and coach Belichick are going to have something. Whatever it is, we have to make it work. Whether it be five linebackers, two linebackers, no defensive linemen, 11 cornerbacks, whatever. We just have to go out there and get the job done. But we also know Drew is going to be ready.'''

Marker Weis' script downright offensive [5:24 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'It will be interesting to see if there is another dinner date this weekend with Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe and some of his former Pats teammates. Bledsoe hosted Ted Johnson, Mike Vrabel, Larry Izzo and Damon Huard in Buffalo the night before the Pats' big win on Nov. 3. The date drew some negative publicity, but it was not a finable offense for the Pats players.'

Marker Unlike Dolphins, the Pats may have Bills covered [5:23 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Bills were pretty lucky Sunday.'

Marker It's time to move on: I'm letting Bledsoe go [5:22 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Bledsoe is gone, and he's not coming back. He's not our story anymore, one way or the other. He's just another team's quarterback. It's probably about time we started dealing with that.'

Marker Bledsoe Delivers For Patriots [5:21 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'They have the luxury of playing three of their final four games at Gillette Stadium, all against AFC East rivals. If the Patriots win three of four (they also have a Monday night game at Tennessee Dec. 16) they'll finish 10-6, which should be good enough for the postseason. A wild card is tougher this year with realignment.'

Marker Fourth-down gamble doesn't pay [5:20 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'With Buffalo out of timeouts, Wannstedt reasoned it was safe to pass. ''If we throw an incomplete pass, they have 48 seconds on the clock and no timeouts,'' he said. ``They weren't going to move the ball down the field and score on us.'''

Marker Bills' Bledsoe torches coverage [5:19 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Coach Dave Wannstedt said Monday the Dolphins used their usual defensive formations against the Bills. "We always have somebody deep to help," Wannstedt said. "We had that situation [Sunday] with every one of the touchdowns. We just didn't make the plays."'

Marker Necessary gamble? [5:18 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Wannstedt finally said Lucas made the biggest error by holding on to the ball too long. The play had been called for a quick-hitch pattern by both outside receivers, but Lucas had been instructed to throw the ball away if there was nothing there.'

Marker Dolphins' Madison struggling to find difference in his game [5:17 AM]
Florida Today reports: 'In Sunday's loss to the Bills, Bledsoe and Moulds beat Madison for two more big plays. One was a 57-yard touchdown pass, the other a 47-yard completion that put Buffalo at the Miami 3-yard line and led to another score.'

December 2, 2002

Marker Wannstedt: Fiedler will start against Bear [9:45 PM]
ESPN reports: Lucas was 6-for-11 for 40 yards and one touchdown against the Bills, and Fiedler went 5-for-9 for 15 yards and one interception. The Dolphins are 2-4 in games Lucas has started after beginning the season 5-1 under Fiedler, who broke his right thumb against Denver on Oct. 13.

Marker Prime Time Players for Week 13 [9:40 PM]
ESPN reports: Bledsoe was chiefly responsible for the Bills staying in the AFC East title hunt. Bledsoe connected with his favorite targets -- Eric Moulds and Peerless Price -- for a trio of touchdowns in Buffalo's victory over Miami. He was 15-for-27 passing for 306 yards and also had a scoring run.

Marker Peter King: Some Sundays are made for a dish and a quick clicker [9:35 PM]
CNN/SI reports: "Travis Henry was no Ricky in the snow, but he was damn good, and against a much tougher run defense. Miami's run D was rated third in the league entering the game in Buffalo, and what Henry did was nearly Tomlinsonesque: 35 carries, 151 yards. Funny. All anyone was talking about after the game was Williams' big day and Drew Bledsoe passing up a storm in the storm. Hellooooo! Ball possession was vital in this game, and Henry, by being such a big horse, allowed the Bills to keep it for almost 33 minutes. "

Marker Wannstedt not down on defense [8:02 PM]
Dolphin Digest reports: 'The defense was sloppy in a lot of different areas, but probably nothing was as frustrating as watching the Dolphins drop interception after interception. The culprits included Zach Thomas, Jamar Fletcher, Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison, who not only botched the pick but wound up tipping the ball to Buffalo wide receiver Eric Moulds, who strolled into the end zone for a 57-yard touchdown that made it 31-21 late in the third quarter.'

Marker Henry breaks 1,000; Bills break offensive slump [7:35 PM]
AP reports: '``Any good offense has a strength to it, and the focal point of our offense has been the throwing game,'' Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. ``But when people begin to play that, then you have to be able to successfully go after them in another way. And our other dimension is Travis. He's the one who gives the physicality to our offense.'''

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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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