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Buffalo Bills News - January 7, 2002

Marker Sprained shoulder ends Van Pelt's day and season [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think it's a partial dislocation, and the doctors said it should take about six to eight weeks to completely heal."'

Marker Monday billboard [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Fiedler is 4-0 against the Bills since becoming the starter last year.'

Marker Buffalo finishes out season with loss [7:22 AM] reports: 'The Bills wrapped up their 42nd season with a 34-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins Sunday afternoon at Pro Player Stadium, a game in which the Dolphins were able to keep the Bills offense off the field in the first half. As a result of a dominant 30 minutes early, Miami wore out the Buffalo defense in the second half, and broke open a close game in the fourth quarter.'

Marker Plug is finally pulled on long, painful season [5:50 AM]
D and C reports: 'There couldn't have been a more fitting end to this pathetic season for the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Chilling reminder under Miami sun [5:50 AM]
D and C reports: 'But losing this way, manhandled on both lines of scrimmage, melting down with penalties and special teams mistakes -- Dolphins safety Brock Marion returning an interception 100 yards at the buzzer for the merciful exclamation point, for crying out loud -- well, there won't be any false pretenses engulfing the club heading into free agency and the draft.'

Marker Brown can handle No. 3 role [5:49 AM]
D and C reports: 'Let's put it this way: How much worse was he than Johnson?'

Marker Bills report card [5:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'There were some dubious offensive play calls (a pass on critical third-and-one in third quarter was among them) made and the lackluster defensive unit made Fiedler and Smith look like Griese and Csonka. Lousy finish spoils a good last month for Gregg Williams.'

Marker Convincing romp over Bills ensures playoff game at Pro Player Stadium vs. Jets or Ravens [5:47 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"It was a great team win,'' coach Dave Wannstedt said after Miami outgained Buffalo on the ground 202-39 to clinch a home playoff game next Sunday.'

Marker Just In Case: Backup excels [5:46 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The stingy Dolphins defense allowed 38 rushing yards on 17 attempts. That included 3 rushing yards in the first half on eight attempts in what was a stunning defensive effort.'

Marker Buffalo QB R. Brown gets first extensive playing time [5:45 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '"He did some good things with a limited amount of practice time and game-speed experience,'' Bills coach Gregg Williams said. "We saw him do some good things, but he saw some things that he has to improve to take the next step."'

Marker A mirage, or start of something special? [5:45 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The remnant of a big home crowd howled, coach Dave Wannstedt jogged off the field into a grinning hug from old Hurricanes quarterback Jim Kelly, and Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga waited inside the winners' dressing room, beaming, squeezing every sweaty player's fingers in a pistoning handshake. Everybody felt great.'

Marker Moulds held in check [5:44 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'But in three of the past four meetings, Moulds has been held to 12 catches for 164 yards and no touchdowns.'

Marker Huizenga: Spurrier a nonissue [5:43 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Quarterback Jay Fiedler finished the season with a rating of 80.3, the highest for a Dolphins quarterback since Dan Marino's 80.7 in 1997.'

Marker Five keys to Dolphins-Bills [5:43 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '[Pat] Williams played approximately a half-dozen downs on a sore knee. After Ruddy blocked him low a couple of times, Williams called it a game. That essentially took out Buffalo's best defensive player, who the Dolphins believed should have made the Pro Bowl.'

Marker Dolphins enter playoffs on a high note [5:42 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Fiedler only attempted 16 passes, completing nine for 110 yards. But with a 27-point victory and the offense not committing a turnover, Wannstedt doesn't mind the unimpressive aerial numbers.'

Marker Smith's momentum carries entire team [5:41 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'He rushed for a season-best 158 yards and on a season-high 30 carries, and he was running aggressively, slamming into the holes and carrying defenders while grinding out the tough yards.'

Marker The backup plan works just fine [5:40 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Linebackers Tommy Hendricks and Scott Galyon and free safety Arturo Freeman, members of the "JIC Club," have proven in the past two weeks that they are ready when the Dolphins need them. "We tagged it the `Just In Case Club,'" Galyon said, "and we prepare ourselves to be ready when the team needs us. You never know when your time will come, but you can't let your teammates down."'

Marker To Turk, if shoe fits ... [5:40 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Five punts, five balls down inside the 20-yard line for Matt Turk, whose value has grown enormously as the offense has turned increasingly more docile in the second half of the season.'

Marker Mounting injuries a concern [5:39 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The list of injured players increased for the Dolphins after Sunday's 34-7 victory over Buffalo, and that could be troublesome for a team that had nine starters on last week's injury report.'

Marker Enjoy, but don't kid yourself [5:38 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'The good news: They start with a home game Sunday. The bad news: They start against the Ravens or Jets. Pick your poison.'

Marker The J-word can give Huizenga the jitters [5:37 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"But that team from New York is 8-0 against us lately! And they're 7-1 on the road this year! And they came back from 17-0 to beat us this season! And there was the Monday Night Meltdown last year! They're a Stephen King character in a green uniform!"'

Marker Bills coach notes some bright spots [5:36 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"Nine of our last 12 games have been competitive," Williams said. "We were extremely competitive [today] until that penalty. When we pressed to get back into the game, our younger players committed some turnovers, negating some significant big-play opportunities. We've got a lot to do in the offseason, but we've come a long ways also."'

Marker Run defense registers another good showing [5:35 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Bills running back Shawn Bryson was coming off back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, and the Dolphins held him to 16 yards on 12 carries.'

Marker Grading the Dolphins [5:34 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'It was easy to say this was only the 3-12 Bills, but this club had beaten the Jets 14-9 last week and this was a game the Dolphins needed to clinch a home game in the playoffs.'

Marker Smith runs for 158 in 'Fins rout [5:33 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"We win by being a team every week," Wannstedt said. "We've got our half a dozen or so dominate guys, but that's what's encouraging about this group going into the playoffs. We've won a lot of games by having a lot of different people stepping up and doing different things."'

Marker Galyon, Hendricks were ready just in case [5:32 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Just in case you didn't notice, neither performed like a backup in the Dolphins' 34-7 victory against Buffalo that clinched a home playoff game for Miami. Galyon had a season-high five tackles, the first interception of his six-year NFL career and the first sack of the season. Hendricks, playing linebacker for the first time in his career -- he was a star safety in high school and college -- had four tackles while replacing the defense's leader.'

Marker Brown emerges as Buffalo backup QB [5:31 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"He is a smart QB," Moulds said. "Give him credit. He got in and made the most of his opportunity. I felt like he made plays and made the most of what was there. He certainly had some nice throws today."'

Marker Playoff time: Sizzle or fizzle? [5:30 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Is it a mirage, this two-game running start on the post-season, or a genuine Miami Dolphins' miracle in the making?'

Marker No Dan, no Troy, just Jay [5:29 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'After the Dolphins defeated Buffalo, for example, Miami coach Dave Wannstedt called it "the type of win we enjoy." That meant watching Fiedler throw only 16 passes.'

Marker Jets or Ravens? Dolphins say they don't care [5:28 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'For the second straight week, Brock Marion returned an interception for a touchdown.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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