Even Flutie can't offset Bills' deficiencies [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'Flutie is 17-9 as starting QB for Buffalo and Johnson is 7-7 over that span. The Flutie-Johnson debate seems pretty simple to me: Short-term gain vs. long-term potential. Flutie is the more experienced, charismatic and entertaining player. At this stage of their careers, he might win a game or two more per season than Johnson. It is understandable that the majority of fans would prefer to go with the proven commodity at QB. Johnson has the physical talent to win in the NFL but still has lots to learn. He's not going to develop sitting on the bench. The Bills are a relatively young team and figure to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender in a year or two -- assuming they don't lose Eric Moulds to free agency and can shore up the offensive line. Quarterback is the most important position, and from an organizational standpoint it is logical to have him play now to grow with the rest of the team.'
Bills floundering as defense coughs up latest loss [8:03 PM]
AP reports: '"We just made some mental errors," second-year linebacker Keith Newman said on Monday. "We didn't close things out in the fourth quarter. We didn't put the stamp on the victory."'
Flutie Flakes are a breakfast hit again [1:36 PM]
AP reports: 'Since the seemingly unsinkable Flutie Flakes were introduced in 1998, 1,945,500 boxes of the frosted cereal have been snapped up. The original red box remains the best seller, with 1,152,000 boxes sold. Fans have also snapped up 680,000 Flutie Flakes chocolate bars, which are made by Buffalo's Fowlers candy company; 86,512 boxes of Flutie Fruitie Snacks; 9,811 Flutie T-shirts; 570 baseball caps; and 362 mini-footballs.'
Postgame Report [1:24 PM]
Viking Update reports: 'All week, the Vikings talked about starting strong and playing 60 minutes of football. It didn't happen for the Vikings, but they didn't need it to win against the Bills.'
It wasn't the offense that betrayed the Bills [1:20 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'If anybody had told the Bills' coaching staff that its offense would go into Minneapolis, score 27 points, roll up over 400 yards, commit only one turnover and enjoy an 11-minute-plus edge in time of possession, a victory would have been assumed. But, alas, the Bills didn't win their second straight game. They didn't steal back the victory they let slip away to Indianapolis three weeks ago. Instead, Buffalo saw its record slip to 3-4 and its playoff odds grow even longer with barely half a season to go. And the reason is, for the second straight week, the Bills were betrayed by their defense.'
Flutie Did His Job, But Johnson Is Still The Bills' Best Bet [1:17 PM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'The calls to talk-radio stations will be overwhelmingly in favor of keeping Flutie as the starter, even after Johnson returns in two or three weeks. They'll rave about Flutie's poise, his command of the offense and his ability to avoid a sack. And, to be honest, they'll have a point. Flutie demonstrated all of those in a rather remarkable performance. But it says here that if Coach Wade Phillips, who isn't afraid to make the tough decision (remember he benched Flutie last year before the Tennessee playoff game), will stick to his convictions and return Johnson to the starting position. He has to. Why? Because this team is not attempting to make one last run toward the Super Bowl, as it was two years ago.'
Spunky Bills spiked by Vikes' rally [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills had an opportunity to knock off the last of the National Football League's undefeated teams Sunday, but failed.'
Bills beaten to finish line again [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills almost played a great game Sunday. A couple more of these "almost" games and their playoff hopes are going to be history.'
Defensive backs taken to school [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The numbers might say otherwise, but the Bills' secondary actually held its own with Moss and Carter for most of the game. The defensive backs jammed them at the line of scrimmage to knock them off their pass routes and effectively took away the slant routes, one of the Vikings' pet plays. Moss and Carter had just one catch between them before each made a 28-yard grab to set up a field goal at the end of the first half. Then came the second half.'
Flutie shows Bills have plenty in reserve [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'At an average of $5 million per season, Flutie is probably the highest-paid backup quarterback in the NFL. Against the Vikings he played like it. He deserved the victory.'
Morris and Bryson revive running game [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Morris rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 39 yards and another score. Bryson, looking more and more comfortable in the backfield, ripped off 72 yards on 11 carries. He added 17 yards on two receptions.'
Monday billboard [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This one falls into the "nice try" category. If Peerless Price hadn't fumbled after catching a first-down pass with 2:46 left in the game, who knows what would have happened? As it is, the Bills fell to 3-4, deep in the AFC East, and the Vikings are a shaky 7-0.'
Defense rests in Bills' late collapse vs. Vikes [6:41 AM]
D and C reports: '"I told a lot of the offensive guys that we let them down today," Jones said after the once impregnable Buffalo defense surrendered 18 fourth-quarter points, allowing Minnesota to escape the annoyingly noisy Metrodome with a 31-27 victory, leaving the Vikings (7-0) as the lone unbeaten team in the National Football League. "Early in the season (when the offense was struggling) I kept telling those guys to keep your head up, there's going to be a time when we're going to need you, and this was one of those times against an explosive offense like this. "If we had held them to one less touchdown we would have won it, but we didn't."'
Defense confesses: We stunk [6:40 AM]
D and C reports: 'If you've lost count, that's two consecutive games of allowing not one, but two receivers to gain 100 yards.'
Growing pains keep hurting [6:39 AM]
D and C reports: '"I don't think it has to do with winning on the road, it has to do with little nuances of the game," said Flutie, who started in place of an injured Rob Johnson. "Little, subtle adjustments, little things that come over time with experience. Our young guys played exceptionally well. I don't think that was a factor, but they will get better as the year goes along."'
Mistakes add up to 0-3 on road [6:37 AM]
D and C reports: 'How long is it going to take coach Wade Phillips to realize that the second-best receiver on his team is Jeremy McDaniel? For the second time this season, Price lost a critical fumble late in the fourth quarter, this one coming with the Bills trailing 28-27. Price is supposed to be a big-play player, but he continues to be a huge disappointment.'
Vikings survive as lone unbeaten [6:35 AM]
USA Today reports: '"We made some mistakes late," said Flutie, who piloted the offense to 406 yards and was sacked only once. "With the explosiveness they have, you can't turn the ball over."'
Flutie good, Vikes great [6:29 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Despite the most productive day in his NFL career, Flutie and a fired-up Bills offence couldn't negate big-play Vikings receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter. "I felt great, it's like riding a bike," said Flutie, who completed 28 of 43 attempts for 294 yards in his first start this season in place of the injured Rob Johnson. "You jump back on and you go. "But God, we should have won the ball game. We should have found a way to win it and I thought we would."'
Moss shows off fancy footwork [6:28 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'With the Vikes trailing 27-21 late in the fourth quarter, Moss raced down the left side, got behind two Bills defenders and hauled in Daunte Culpepper's toss deep in the end zone, deftly tucking both feet in bounds before falling over the dead-ball line. "That is football. I picked that up from watching Cris Carter," Moss said of Minnesota's other star receiver. "I learned the position of your footing and watching the ball in the air. "Coach (Dennis) Green brought me here to make plays and I'm going to do whatever it takes to help us win."'
Vikings' rally stuns Bills 31-27 [6:23 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Outplayed through three quarters by the visiting Buffalo Bills, and trailing by 11 early in the fourth, the Vikings again played their best when it mattered the most.'
Bills made big plays, but Vikings made ones that counted [6:22 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '"We don't play like we're 3-4," said Bills defensive end Marcellus Wiley. "We're just 3-4. There are teams that don't play well and win. We're one of those teams that play well and find a way to lose."'
When Moss calls, everyone listens [6:21 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'For Moss, who had made a similar prediction before a game-sealing touchdown reception against Miami in Week Two, it was just further proof that you can slow the Vikings receivers some of the time. But not when it matters.'
Defense didn't rest, but it did win [6:20 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Said defensive coordinator Emmitt Thomas: "They were running a lot of pick routes, and we were getting lost. So we changed our personnel, got more defensive backs on the field to help. They had us off balance the whole game, but we hung in there and made some plays at the end."'
In unpredictable NFL, Vikings are a constant [6:17 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Of course, just like every other team the Vikings have played this season, the Bills were their own worst enemy, with penalties, fumbles and broken defensive coverages.'
Culpepper comes through in clutch [6:15 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'The second-year quarterback is already getting a reputation as a clutch performer when the game is on the line. He credited the team's fourth-quarter success -- it has scored 73 of its 184 points in the fourth quarter and has outscored opponents 73-58 in that quarter -- to gritty play. "We work hard and we learn," Culpepper said. "That's the main thing. We learn to stay humble, and we work hard."'
Anderson sets NFL record [6:14 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '"It's one of the biggest records, probably in sports," said punter and holder Mitch Berger. "And he did it seven years shorter than [Blanda], and that's without scoring any touchdowns."'
Sideline [6:12 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '"One play, and it's the difference in the game. We had two guys covering Moss. Obviously, we didn't have him covered." - Buffalo coach Wade Phillips.'
The buzz [6:10 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'We're all for making history, but things almost got a little out of hand after Gary Anderson's 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter made him the NFL's all-time leading scorer. The referee stopped the game, Anderson's sons ran onto the field for pictures, there were handshakes and hugs all around -- and there was still 1:04 to play. How about keeping your eyes on the big picture and then celebrating?'
A perfect ending [6:07 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'The young quarterback made his worst decision of the season. Interceptions were dropped. The visitors dominated possession of the ball and third-down conversions. There was a game-clock mess. A major NFL career record was broken. And, at the end of the blizzard of sloppiness, weirdness and history, there was another fourth-quarter comeback with a spectacular scoring play. When sanity was finally was restored at the Metrodome, the resilient Vikings stood as the NFL's only unbeaten team after a 31-27 victory over the Buffalo Bills in front 64,116.'
Moss true to his word on winning catch [6:06 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'With four minutes remaining Sunday and the Vikings trailing the Buffalo Bills 27-21, right tackle Korey Stringer bent over in the team's huddle, looked at Moss and said, "Somebody has to make a play." Moss accepted the challenge, adding, "Y'all pass protect; I'm going to score this touchdown." The huddle broke, and Moss headed to the left side of the field. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper took the snap and rolled right. Cornerbacks Daryl Porter and Ken Irvin froze, and Moss broke toward the end zone. As he neared the end line, Moss hauled in the 39-yard pass and managed to keep his feet in bounds, Cris Carter style, giving the Vikings a 28-27 lead.'
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