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Buffalo Bills News - November 23, 2003

Marker Peyton awaits true test [9:35 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'With every move the Indianapolis Colts make towards being one of the NFL's top teams, the asterisk grows bolder. Until Peyton Manning wins a playoff game, how seriously can he be taken as one of the league's elite quarterbacks? "It's just a fact, you can't hide from it," Manning said this week in a conference call with Buffalo media.'

Marker More Reps More Comfort [9:33 AM] reports: '"I just try to get better everyday so that my teammates can rely on me when I get out on the field," McGee said. "They are starting to have more confidence in me since I have been playing decent in the games."'

Marker What's the plan? [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'In Buffalo, more often than not, Williams' offense has sabotaged his defense.'

Marker Do Bills have the horses to run with Colts? [9:05 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'That's a lot of pressure, but the Bills put themselves in this predicament. They have played like a team looking forward to the offseason, rather than the postseason, during their three-game losing streak. The offense has been abysmal, failing to score a single touchdown in three games and putting way too much of a burden on a good defense.'

Marker Player to watch [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It's like Michael Jordan at the foul line and he closes his eyes. What are you going to say to Michael Jordan that's really going to make him miss? What are you going to say to me that's going to make me miss a field goal? I'm the most accurate kicker in the history of the game. You better bark up somebody else's tree, really."'

Marker Mood swings [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"When we play things properly we can be pretty good and we've had stretches where we have been," Dungy said. "But the two games we've lost we had 10-point leads or more in the second half and kind of self-destructed and given up big plays. That's the thing that I'm not used to seeing is the big plays we've given up."'

Marker AFC's rising tide points to a smooth postseason ride for Colts [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Colts are very good, but so are Kansas City, Tennessee and New England. All belong to the AFC. All four teams have good quarterbacks with Manning in Indianapolis, Trent Green in K.C., Steve McNair in Tennessee and Tom Brady in New England. The Chiefs, like the Colts, have a premium running back in Priest Holmes.'

Marker Dungy brings class act to Indianapolis sideline [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Tony Dungy is an outstanding person because of his strong Christian faith, and he lives it out every day," Steckel said. "He looks so poised and peaceful because of who he is. That kind of posture is an excellent example to young men. I think that poise spreads throughout the team on game day. . . . I think his example was honored the night they had that great comeback in Tampa this year."'

Marker Fuel for football fans [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Except for Saturdays, Sundays in Erie County have the highest number of DWI arrests, according to data from the county's Stop DWI program. Sundays during football season, in particular, had some of the largest numbers of DWI arrests.'

Marker Bills' spark still MIA [5:18 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'What some would interpret as an emotionless, comatose team going through the motions for a lame-duck head coach, the Bills say is actually a team of professionals uniting to make the most out of the NFL season’s final six games.'

Marker Big lack of depth at QB is scary for Bills [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Suggestions for Bills general manager Tom Donohoe: select a quarterback in the middle rounds of the 2004 NFL college draft and hope for the best and/or sign a free-agent QB this off season. It has paid off for other teams.'

Marker Bills Q&A: Sam Aiken [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I would say just being around the team. It’s really family oriented around here. On the off days there might be 10 or 15 guys going bowling. I’m not used to that. Being in Buffalo they work together as a family and go out as a team, and that’s something I never experienced.”'

Marker The Scouting Report [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The mathematicians will tell you the Bills are still in the hunt for a playoff berth. The mathematicians are not being realistic.'

Marker Bills reduced to playing for pride [5:14 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“Guys are extremely angry and very disappointed,” he said. “I don’t think anybody anticipated that this is where we’d be at this point in the season, especially after the first two games.''

Marker Colts face a 'should win' game [5:13 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"Every team is good," Bratzke said. "We won't look past Buffalo because Tony doesn't and he won't let us."'

Marker Bledsoe scrambles for answer [5:12 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"I'm never going to be a run-around guy," he said. "If that's what it takes to win, they're going to have to find a different guy because I'm not going to go run around a ton."'

Marker '91 Colts can identify with Bills [5:11 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"They haven't scored a lot of points," coach Tony Dungy said, "but we know they've got a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, a great receiver and a great running back. So we . . . expect them to play their best."'

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November 22, 2003

Marker Colts at Bills [5:00 PM] reports: 'The Bills and Colts played twice a season from 1970-2001, when both teams were members of the AFC East. The Bills lead the series, 34-28, and the Colts have won the last four meetings between the teams. That’s one game shy of Indianapolis’ longest winning streak in the series, a streak that was achieved twice (1970-72 and 1975-77).'

Marker Playing for position [4:59 PM] reports: 'The Colts this season have played five teams that entered the game with losing records. They are 4-1 in those games, with the lone loss coming at Jacksonville, 28-23, two weeks ago.'

Marker Manning key as surging Colts face slumping Bills [4:58 PM]
AP reports: 'Under Manning, the Colts are a 3-1 when playing without either leading rusher Edgerrin James or leading receiver Marvin Harrison. And they're 4-2 in games in which Indianapolis allows 21 or more points, including last week's 38-31 win over the New York Jets.'

Marker Freeney leads Colts' sack attack [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Maybe in a lot of systems he would not be, but for what we do he was an ideal fit," said Colts coach Tony Dungy. "We liked his energy and his speed. We liked everything about him. So it was a matter of the right type of talent coming to the right type of system to flourish."'

Marker Hobbled Henry optimistic about facing Colts [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I felt great as far as making my cuts and showing burst," Henry said. "I was accelerating. I didn't favor it today. I've got to give it another day of rest, and I'll go early to the game on Sunday and try it out."'

Marker New talent makes Channel 7 sports team one to watch [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Unfortunately, neither Criqui nor Tasker spent much time on the controversy at the end of the game when a Bills player accepted a Texans penalty that enabled Houston to run out the clock. You could hear Bills defensive captain London Fletcher wail in protest in front of referee Johnny Grier and see Grier point to some player who accepted the penalty. But it would have been nice to have been given an explanation of how many seconds that mistake cost the Bills.'

Marker First-down follies giving Bills fits [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills’ 4.69-yard average on first down ranks 27th, the shaky foundation of their 30th-place third-down conversion rate (31.8 percent, 42 of 132). Last season, Buffalo averaged 5.44 yards and converted 42.5 percent on third down, ranking it ninth in each category.'

Marker Harrison returns to practice, likely available against Bills [5:16 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'As long as Harrison doesn't experience a setback with his right hamstring, the Indianapolis Colts' four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver will be available for work against the Bills.'

Marker Colts shy $10.6 million, says NFL [5:15 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'That's how much it would take for the city to bring the football team's 2002 season revenues up to the National Football League's median income, according to an affidavit released by the league Friday.'

Marker How 'bout them Jills? [5:14 AM]
Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin reports: '"Performing has never made me nervous, but when the first game came, I was terrified," Buda said. "There were 75,000 people there, and you feel so little." Buda said she will try out for the squad next year if she's living near Western New York.'

Marker Henry, Moulds remain questionable for Sunday [5:13 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The duo has accounted for 10 of the team's 17 offensive touchdowns this year and has combined for 1,427 yards -- more than half the Bills' total offense. Buffalo's offense has been held out of the end zone for the last three games.'

November 21, 2003

Marker Larry Felser: Math [7:29 PM]
ESN reports: Since the Bills have just six games left on their schedule and only mathematics on their side, this is what the coaches should consider doing for the rest of the year:

Don’t call a timeout to ponder whether you should go for it on fourth and goal from the 1.5-yard line or kick a field goal. The time for conservatism is past. You’re now a 500-1 shot to make the playoffs. You have no choices. You have to live a little.

Marker Harrison might play Sunday [5:22 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Harrison said afterwards that he feels good, but will wait until Sunday to decide if he will play against Buffalo.'

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