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Buffalo Bills News - December 15, 2003

Marker Volek takes a step toward NFL reputation [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I had anticipated Steve playing based on his reputation in the past," Bills linebacker London Fletcher said. "But obviously Volek played one hell of a football game."'

Marker Monday Billboard [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'There were three former residents of Walla Walla, Wash., in the game. Both starting quarterbacks, Bledsoe and Volek, grew up there. So did Titans linebacker Peter Sirmon. In fact, Bledsoe used to baby-sit him.'

Marker Bills miss playoffs -- again [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“We have no one to blame but ourselves. It’s a dejected feeling when you have a team with this much talent and knowing that you didn’t get it done.”'

Marker Bills' Music City encore sour [5:16 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'That it was referee Tom White at the center of the storm somehow seemed fitting in this 6-8 season when the Bills dug a hole too deep and left too much to chance. Think about it. Their season is on the line and they draw the man in stripes who has become the poster child for controversy, recently being docked half a paycheck by the NFL for botching the clock that cost Seattle a win.'

Marker Henry's absence felt in last drive [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In fact, Henry wasn’t on the field for the entire drive in the final two minutes as the Bills desperately tried to save their season with a stirring comeback victory. How can this be? The explanation from coach Gregg Williams is that Henry isn’t part of the third-down or two-minute passing packages. That role belongs to Sammy Morris. Oh.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:14 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Quarterbacks: Drew Bledsoe made it close with a big fourth quarter, but his 2-point conversion pass to Bobby Shaw was way too low and ruled incomplete. Was outplayed by backup Billy Volek overall, and game turned on his sack/fumble in the third quarter that sparked Titans from a 17-6 deficit. Bledsoe is now 2-9 in last 11 road games.'

Marker McNair stays on sideline as Volek pulls out victory [4:54 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''Billy's my MVP right now,'' McNair said. It was the first time he didn't play since Sept. 23, 2001, a streak of 45 starts.'

Marker V for Volek, W for Titans [4:53 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''They probably don't want to come back here anytime soon,'' Titans tight end Frank Wycheck said.'

Marker Volek makes most of first NFL start [4:52 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''He was wonderful and outstanding,'' said wide receiver Derrick Mason, who caught nine of Volek's passes for 137 yards, including a 37-yarder that set up a late touchdown. ''(The Bills) threw everything at him … to confuse him. But Billy kept his poise.'''

Marker Bills unable to exploit porous Titans secondary [4:51 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''The Titans did a good job of mixing up coverages,'' Bledsoe said. ''You are never, in this league, going to have guys running around wide open. Sometimes you have to make a tight throw and have to make a good catch in tight coverage.'''

Marker Williams, Gray fuming, not celebrating this time [4:50 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''You try to show him that you have it because it's low to the ground. As far as I am concerned, it's a very bad call. How long do I have to have it before they rule it complete?'''

Marker Turnaround begins with Bulluck burst [4:49 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''I had blitzed earlier, and I told (defensive coordinator) Jim Schwartz I could beat 'em, I could get there,'' Bulluck said. ''So then he came back to it, and like I told him, I got there and the rest is history.'''

Marker Like previous Miracle, call goes Tennessee's way [4:48 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'For the Bills, however, visions of the Music City Miracle appeared again. Another wind-swept winter day in Nashville. Another referee's face flush against the replay monitor. Another long flight home from a game they believe was taken away from them.'

Marker Sitting out McNair's smartest call [4:47 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: '''I couldn't have gotten out of harm's way,'' he said. ''I couldn't get out of my own way. I just couldn't play.'''

Marker Titans report card [4:46 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Passing defense: The Titans played exceptionally well against the pass until the very end, when Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe drove the Bills to their last score. Bledsoe had just 51 yards passing heading into the fourth quarter, but finished with 168. Cornerbacks Samari Rolle and Andre Dyson played well against Bills receivers Bobby Shaw and Eric Moulds. The Titans had an opportunity for a couple of interceptions, but failed to pull them in.'

Marker Titans Q&A with Derrick Mason [4:45 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Q: How important was this game? A: ''It's very important. We play the No. 1 team, the No. 1 defense in the NFL, and we were able to score 28 points. We knew we can do it. Our previous weeks we just let it slip. This week we didn't. We were able to score some points and put ourselves in position to score. This is a big lift for this team, knowing that we can go out there and play with the best.'''

Marker Q&A with Bills' Lawyer Milloy [4:44 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'Q: Was this game symbolic of how your season has gone? A: ''All year. It was the same story all year. It's just so frustrating, we're losing all these games that we really shouldn't be losing and that's the difference between teams that are going to the playoffs or not. It's not like we don't have the effort, it's not like we're not playing good ball. For four quarters we're just not there completely as a team.'''

Marker After further review [4:43 AM]
Nashville Tennessean reports: 'White is the referee who was fined earlier this season for not handling the clock correctly in a Ravens-Seahawks game.'

Marker Volek wins battle of Bills [4:42 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: 'The Titans appeared headed down another slippery slope, when the defense, which had gone eight quarters and counting without a turnover, came through. Keith Bulluck sacked Bills QB Drew Bledsoe, stripping and recovering the ball at the Buffalo 24. From there, Volek directed the Titans to a score on a 14-yard pass to Erron Kinney, and with Robert Holcombe’s two-point conversion run, cut the Bills lead to 17-14.'

Marker Multi-purpose Mason returns in Titans’ win [4:41 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: '“I had fun out there actually,” Mason said of his stint as a returner. “The first play, I was kind of anxious, because I hadn’t been out there for a whole year, and I was anxious to get my hands on the ball.”'

Marker Pained McNair defers to Volek [4:41 AM]
Nashville City Paper reports: '“I felt like this was the best thing to do,” McNair said. “You’ve got a healthy No. 2 and a lame No. 1. Who gives you the best chance to win [Sunday]? I felt like at this point in time, it was Billy.”'

Marker Titans' backup steps up [4:40 AM]
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle reports: '"There's a lot of fight in our locker room, and you are always disappointed when you don't make it," said Bills coach Gregg Williams, referring to his team's elimination from the playoffs.'

Marker Mason does it all against Bills [4:39 AM]
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle reports: 'Mason completed the game with 302 all-purpose yards in catching nine passes for 137 yards, returning five kickoffs for 106 yards and five punts for 59 yards -- with no fumbles.'

Marker Titans hold off Bills' rally, earn tough 28-26 victory [4:38 AM]
Knoxville News Sentinel reports: '"It was good," Shaw said. "The only time the ball came out was when I tried to raise my hand to show that I had it. The whole time I was sliding, I had the ball. How can (the official) call it incomplete when I lost it when I am showing him I had it?"'

Marker Volek looks McNair-like in win [4:37 AM]
USA Today reports: 'Tennessee's 28 points were the most scored in the last six games against Buffalo, which had the NFL's No. 2-rated defense going in.'

Marker Volek shines in McNair's absence [4:37 AM] reports: 'The four-year pro completed 26 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns Sunday. He threw no interceptions in 41 attempts. He also rushed for a touchdown from the 2-yard line – the first of his career.'

Marker Happy returns for productive Mason [4:36 AM] reports: 'Mason returned five punts in the game for an average of 11.8 yards. He also returned five kickoffs for a total of 106 yards.'

Marker Defense answers the call in victory [4:35 AM] reports: 'Bulluck’s sack, forced fumble, and fumble recovery against Drew Bledsoe with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter gave the Titans the spark they desperately needed in their 28-26 victory over Buffalo on Sunday.'

Marker Titans/Bills post-game quotes [4:34 AM] reports: 'What can you say about Billy’s (Volek) effort? That is a very tough defense to throw against. Billy hung in there and took a lot of hits. He made big plays. When you are not 100 percent, everybody has to step up, and that is what we got. Billy got a lot of help today and proved he is worthy of that backup spot and he can play in the league.'

Marker Titans Game Notes [4:33 AM] reports: 'The Titans improved to 4-1 in their last five games vs. Buffalo, dating back to their 28-17 win in 1995.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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