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Buffalo Bills News - December 21, 2004

Marker Bledsoe needs to win respect from defenses [8:50 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The question is whether they can play to that standard against elite opposition. You shouldn't have to apologize for your schedule, but only one of the Bills' eight victories (the Jets) has come against a team with a winning record.'

Marker Bills playoff hopes hurt [6:47 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Here's a look at the Bills' opposition and what must happen if they are to make the playoffs...'.

Marker Chilly offense can't cool off Bills [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"That was one of our worst football games," Wyche said following the Bills' 33-17 victory over the Bengals. "We played bad (offensively). But we didn't play very well and still won big, so that's the good news."'

Marker Which Bills deserve trip to Pro Bowl? [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Along the lines of underrated players, what about punter Brian Moorman? That old sage Marv Levy said the best punter in the league will never lead the league in punting statistics. That's certainly the case with Moorman. Oakland's Shane Lechler annually has the best numbers, but when you think about it, who does a better job given the conditions he plays in than Moorman?'

Marker Bills' wild-card run improbable minus star back [4:59 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'A month ago, a playoff spot for the Buffalo Bills seemed as likely as western New York getting the Rose Bowl Parade.'

Marker Inside slant [4:58 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The NFL will announce its Pro Bowl selections Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN and the Bills could place as many as five players on the AFC squad. If so, that would be their highest number since six went in 1998.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:57 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'With his team 8-2 since a 0-4 start, Mike Mularkey will garner some coach of the year votes. His team was focused for yet another must-win game, and all three of his coordinators had their moments of brilliance. Tom Clements' flea-flicker call caught the Bengals' off guard, surprising considering Marvin Lewis' staff faced Mularkey and Clements twice last year when they were coaching the Steelers. Jerry Gray's defense came up with four more takeaways, giving Buffalo 22 during their five-game win streak. April continues to squeeze everything out of his players, this time using Peters on punt rush, a huge coaching move.'

Marker Notes, quotes [4:56 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'WR Lee Evans continued his march to make several all-rookie teams with five catches for 101 yards and his team-leading seventh touchdown. He's the first Bills rookie to make a touchdown catch in four consecutive games and his seven touchdowns ties the rookie record set by Elbert Dubenion in 1960.'

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December 20, 2004

Marker Bills win in Cincy, but could lose McGahee [9:55 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Bills and 49ers have split eight all-time meetings, with San Francisco earning a 35-0 home shutout when the teams last met, in 2001. Buffalo's most recent win versus the Niners took place in 1998, and their last win in San Francisco took place in 1992. The Bills are 2-3 against the Niners on the road all-time.'

Marker Ask Him Yourself: Tom Donahoe [9:42 PM] reports: 'Coach Mike Mularkey, his staff, and the players deserve tremendous credit for the turnaround for the team this year. Mike is a very determined individual who believes strongly in certain things and he and the team never deviated from that approach. It is very easy when things don't go well to try something different. If you believe in what you're doing and stick with it, you will generally get the results that you want. It takes great resolve and a firmness of purpose, but our coaches and players are an excellent example of just that.'

Marker Ask Him Yourself: Mike Mularkey [9:42 PM] reports: 'What are you doing differently from the first four weeks? Why is this team suddenly firing on all cylinders? Is there one area that you can point to that led to the turnaround?
MM: We're making a lot of plays. I think we're finding ways to win and we're not relying on one phase or another or one player here or there to win it for us. We are all depending on each other like good teams do.'

Marker McGahee has bruised, hyperextended knee; status uncertain [9:41 PM]
AP reports: 'Tests conducted Monday showed the injury is not more severe than initially feared, and indicated the running back will not require surgery, McGahee's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told The Associated Press.'

Marker Bills getting special effort from special teams [9:40 PM]
AP reports: '''It's been exciting, that's for sure,'' special teams coach Bobby April said Monday. ''There's been a lot of big plays.'''

Marker McGahee Day to Day [9:39 PM] reports: 'McGahee hyperextended and bruised his right knee during the first half of the Bills win at Cincinnati. It is not the same knee he injured in his final game at the University of Miami that forced McGahee to miss his rookie season.'

Marker McGahee's Status Still Cloudy [9:39 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Mularkey said Travis Henry will work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday which is a lot more than he;s worked since suffering a lower leg injury in Seattle. He left the door open to Henry returning Sunday in San Francisco.'

Marker McGahee to Be Evaluated Day-to-Day [5:21 PM] reports: 'Buffalo's No. 2 back, Travis Henry, has been sideline for the past two weeks with a leg injury and it's unknown whether or not he'll be available to play this weekend in San Francisco if McGahee is sidelined. "He's running more and more as we go and will probably get more work (Tuesday) than he has the last couple of weeks," said Mularkey. "We'll evaluate him after he gets some more work done."'

Marker Buffalo cruising towards playoffs [4:48 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'It's really not as easy as the Buffalo Bills are making it look.'

Marker Game Notes: Bills vs. Bengals [3:22 PM] reports: 'With a 33-point performance at Cincinnati, the Bills have scored 30+ points in five straight games for the first time in team history, and the 187 points over the last five games are also a new club record.'

Marker Bills Receive BIG Play from Rookie Peters [3:22 PM] reports: '"It was just all about determination and getting through there and trying to make a big play and I did," said Peters. "The first punt we rushed them they were kind of soft so I told Bobby the next time we should blitz them and he called the play and I got the block."'

Marker Vincent's move to safety makes a strong Bills defense even better [3:21 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'As a safety, Vincent has an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery, and his pass rush also forced another interception that was returned for a touchdown by Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes in a 33-17 win over Cincinnati last Sunday. "It has almost rejuvenated me," Vincent says. "It's a brand new challenge, trying to find my way at a position I think I can excel at."'

Marker Bills Team Report [2:09 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'Coordinator Jerry Gray's blitzes help give the team one of the NFL's most disruptive pass rushes, and they involve everyone. LBs London Fletcher and Takeo Spikes use their instincts and timing to find open lanes up the middle. Ss Lawyer Milloy and Troy Vincent are effective off the edges or up the middle. Gray also sends cornerbacks, depending on the down and distance.'

Marker Spikes' big return to Cinci marked by a big return [1:29 PM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'Spikes said don't count this team out if it does get into the playoffs. "We think we can take it all the way," he said. "When we get there, all of the stats are thrown out. I don't care if you've been scoring 40 points a game. I don't care how good your defense is. I think we can beat anybody."'

Marker Bills report card [1:28 PM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'Buffalo held Chad Johnson, Cincinnati’s top receiver and biggest mouth, to 10 yards on two receptions. Bills came up with four turnovers, highlighted by Takeo Spikes’ 62-yard interception return for a TD. Bills never let Kitna feel comfortable.'

Marker Bills stay in playoff contention [12:53 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“”We had some struggles on offense,” admitted rookie wide receiver Lee Evans, whose fumble helped the Bengals to a 7-0 lead before his 5-yard touchdown reception, tied the game. “My teammates stood behind me through the whole thing ... they just said (after the fumble), ‘Keep going, keep going, you’re all right,” he recalled. "One thing I learned, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond and I was able to respond in a good way.”'

Marker A perfect homecoming for Spikes [12:52 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“We think we could go all the way,” said Spikes. “Everything is thrown out (In the post-season). God willing, we want to make the playoffs ... and when we get there, all the stats — I don’t care if you’ve been putting up 40 points a game or if your defense has been doing this or that. If we show up in the playoffs, we don’t care about that. (Other teams) put their pants on one leg at a time, just like we do and we’re coming to get it. We feel like this is our fate. We hated that we had to go through what we went through the first four games, but it was all part of the plan to get where we are right now.”'

Marker Peters makes a special play for the Bills [12:51 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Of the 22-year-old, 6-foot-4, 328-pound Peters, special teams coach Bobby April noted, “He could be a heckuva a tight end and he could be a heckuva tackle in this league ... and we got him as a free agent."'

Marker By Golly, The Patient Is Getting Stronger Doctor [12:49 PM]
Erie Times News reports: 'After the demolishing in New England, which brought Buffalo's record to 3-6, I said that, barring the Bills running the table, the season was officially over. Well, look at where we stand today.'

Marker McGahee having tests on injured knee; status uncertain [12:22 PM]
AP reports: 'The good news is the injury is not to McGahee's left knee, the one he tore up in his final college outing for Miami in the Hurricanes' loss to Ohio State in the 2003 national championship game. That injury forced the first-round pick to miss his entire rookie season last year.'

Marker Bills earn stripes against Bengals [12:18 PM]
Niagara Gazette reports: '“In order for us to have a chance we have to go out and handle our business this week,” Bledsoe said. “We have to be focused and step up to the challenge of going across the country. We’re going to spend time with our families this week, but we have to keep our minds on football.”'

Marker Bills' McGahee twists knee in Sunday's win [10:33 AM]
The Sports Network 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."'

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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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