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Buffalo Bills News - September 29, 2003

Marker Opening drive sets tone for success [5:19 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"The offensive line was coming off and dominating, and the backs were patient," coach Andy Reid said. "Jon Ritchie, who gets zero credit, stepped up there and blocked along with the tight ends. They did a very nice job of controlling the line of scrimmage. . . . This offense is best when you can mix and match, and keep the defense off balance a little bit."'

Marker Wide receivers find route to victory [5:18 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"It was a big first series," Bills Coach Gregg Williams said. "They did a good job checking out of a hitch and hitting a nice fade route on the very first play. You're going to get that a couple times when you play press coverage."'

Marker Akers breaks Birds' field-goal record [5:17 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'With an unpredictable wind swirling through Ralph Wilson Stadium, Akers made a 26-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter to give the Eagles a 10-0 lead. With nine seconds left in the half, Akers made a 34-yarder for a 13-0 advantage, then hit a 22-yarder late in the third quarter for a 16-0 Eagles lead.'

Marker Up-down drill [5:16 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Gregg Williams - DOWN: The Bills had a third and 1 to start the fourth quarter and tried to complete a 50-yard pass. The Bills coach also challenged a late fourth-quarter call with his team six inches from the goal line. The call correctly stood, and the Bills lost a valuable time-out.'

Marker For depleted secondary, a primary role [5:15 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Moulds did his usual damage, pulling in eight catches for 114 yards. But he didn't get into the end zone. Brown, meanwhile, finished with a team-high nine tackles. He also had a sack of quarterback Drew Bledsoe and forced a fumble to stop the Bills on the second drive of the third quarter.'

Marker McNabb finds balance as Eagles shine [5:14 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: '"I personally think Donovan just took over," Eagles tight end Chad Lewis said. "He loved the challenge that came with all the adversity. He made some unbelievable plays that first drive. To see his will, it set the tone for all of us. He was fired up, and he played with a lot of emotion."'

Marker Eagles snap out of slump with 1st win [5:13 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'The Eagles (1-2) answered their critics against Buffalo (2-2) with an impressive performance that featured big plays by the offense, a gutsy performance by an injury-riddled defense and a team-wide energy that was lacking in the first two games.'

Marker Backup guard Williams helps out [5:12 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'Williams, Mayberry, center Hank Fraley, left guard John Welbourn and tackles Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan allowed two sacks after surrendering 10 in the first two games and paved the way for Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter, Duce Staley, McNabb and wide receiver James Thrash to rush for 177 yards on 34 carries.'

Marker Rookie DB contributes to Eagles in a pinch [5:11 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe and his wide receivers posted gaudy statistics but could not find the end zone often enough. That was partly due to Hood and Brown, who made a series of pivotal plays.'

Marker Two-Minute Drill [5:10 AM]
Press of Atlantic City reports: 'Bills wide receiver Eric Moulds: "What can you do? We started off 2-0 and dropped the last two. But at the same time, we have 12 games left. It's still a long season.'''

Marker Eagles run to victory over Bills [5:09 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'Overall, the Eagles rushed the 34 times and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.'

Marker Young secondary gets the job done [5:08 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: 'Moulds ended up catching eight passes for 114 yards, and Shaw caught eight for 92 yards as Bledsoe completed 27 of 43 passes for 296 yards. But the beleaguered Eagles defense still held the Bills scoreless until the fourth quarter, and they made enough big plays to keep the offense in the game.'

Marker Energized Eagles trample Bills [5:07 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'The Philadelphia Eagles didn't just borrow an idea or two from the game plan the Miami Dolphins had used the week before against the Buffalo Bills. This was blatant plagiarism.'

Marker Sum of defense better than parts [5:06 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'The defensive line still got pressure on quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who was sacked by Simon on the Bills' first offensive play and later was sacked by the blitzing Brown. ''We just went out and got after it,'' Simon said. ''When Troy went out of the game, we just knew we had to force them into some mistakes, and we did that.'''

Marker The 'real' McNabb emerges [5:05 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'Tight end Chad Lewis could sense it. Could sense from the moment McNabb entered the huddle at the start of the first offensive series, he was back to being himself. Back to ''relaxing and having fun and keeping the guys smiling.'''

Marker A recap of Sunday's 23-13 win over the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Field [5:04 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'BEST HIT: It wasn't delivered by a Philadelphia or Buffalo player, but by one of the stadium security guards. With the Bills preparing for the failed two-point conversion attempt that followed their first touchdown, a fan ran on the field and raced approximately 70 yards before he was stopped cold and driven to the ground by the security guard.'

Marker This performance long overdue [5:03 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'The Eagles were exceptional on third-down conversions (9 of 16) and had a 7 minute, 36 second edge in the time of possession. And that kept Bledsoe -- and his rifle arm -- off the field for big chunks of the game. The Bills had just 12 offensive plays from scrimmage in the first and third quarters combined.'

Marker Secondary comes of age [5:02 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'With three-quarters of his star-studded secondary sidelined with injuries and facing quarterback Drew Bledsoe and the Bills dangerous stretch-the-field passing game, Johnson patched together a unit that somehow, someway, limited Buffalo to just two touchdowns and 296 yards through the air.'

Marker Akers continues to prove his value to Birds [5:01 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'Moments after his extra point gave the Eagles an early 7-0 lead, Bills return specialist Antonio Brown broke through the first few waves of tacklers, broke to the outside and was threatening to even the score on the ensuing kickoff. That’s when Akers prevented it.'

Marker Eagles on track [5:00 AM]
Wilmington News Journal reports: 'In one afternoon, the Eagles pushed aside three weeks of doom and gloom. In just 60 minutes of football, they regained their confidence and their status as a contender in the NFL.'

Marker Eagles' young cornerbacks do just fine [4:59 AM]
Wilmington News Journal reports: 'Said Johnson: "The young guys really stepped up to the plate today. They went up against a great quarterback and a great receiver and did the job they had to do. That's what I enjoyed the most. Those young guys had their backs against the wall, and they responded the way you want them to respond. They came out fighting."'

Marker Westbrook provides big finish [4:58 AM]
Wilmington News Journal reports: '"The offensive line did a great job pushing everybody down and it just opened up for me,'' Westbrook said of his first NFL touchdown.'

Marker Battered Birds buffalo Bills [4:57 AM]
Trenton Times reports: '"I love this kind of game," defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, who got a break when the Bills made injured running back Travis Henry inactive, said. "Our backs are against the wall, we're losing players and we just fought and fought. I don't know if I thought we could win without those guys (Vincent, Dawkins and Taylor), but the young secondary just gave us a great effort."'

Marker Thrash's big grab was a season-saver [4:56 AM]
Trenton Times reports: 'Moulds, Buffalo's Pro Bowl receiver, put up numbers but didn't make the plays his team needed. Thrash's third and final catch of the day may have been the game's most important play.'

Marker McNabb no longer McBad [4:55 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: '"The Case of the Vanishing Buffalo." After the first two weeks, Bills fans were clearing their calendars for a trip to the Super Bowl. But after the last two weeks, they just want to go hide. Between Miami and Philadelphia, the Bills went eight quarters without scoring before mounting a mini-rally in the final minutes against the Eagles. One obvious clue -- RB Travis Henry is missing and Joe Burns is not the answer.'

Marker That's one for the Birds [4:54 AM]
New York Daily News reports: '"It felt like we were fighting an uphill battle an awful lot," Bledsoe said. "We just didn't make enough plays. That's the bottom line."'

Marker Eagles Flutter Back to Life [4:53 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'McNabb led the Eagles to a textbook opening touchdown drive today in extremely hostile territory and the Philadelphia Eagles breathed a sigh of relief when the final gun sounded in their 23-13 victory over the often-bumbling Buffalo Bills (2-2).'

Marker Eagles finally fly off [4:52 AM]
New York Post reports: 'When the Bills tried to stack the line of scrimmage and play man defense, McNabb floated perfect touch passes behind the secondary. When the pass protection broke down, McNabb used his legs to pick up 47 yards rushing.'

Marker McNabb's outlook sunnier [4:51 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The next possession, a 16-play drive that inhaled 8:36 of the first quarter, was pure McNabb. Three times he converted on third down, finding enough time and space in the pocket to hit James Thrash for 16 yards, and Pinkston for 11 and 5. After a 26-yard David Akers field goal, the Eagles had already matched their offensive output on the season.'

Marker McNabb, Eagles find lost rhythm [4:50 AM] reports: '"He just set the tone for all of us," Eagles tight end Chad Lewis said. "I don't know if it was the week off or if it was any inward thinking that he did, but he came today with a will and it was Donovan's will. He asserted that on the first drive. He really took all of us on his back and said, 'Let's go!' You could just feel that he was our leader from snap one."'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
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