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Buffalo Bills News - December 9, 2002

Marker Like old times [4:47 AM]
USA Today reports: 'Jones said the Patriots noted a Buffalo tendency to pass on second down when close to the goal line. "It was one of the plays they ran in practice," Jones said of New England's coaching staff. "Practice makes perfect."'

Marker December is New England's time to shine [4:46 AM]
ESPN reports: 'In winning their third straight contest and fifth of the last six games, the Patriots utilized the formula that brought them success in 2001: spread the ball around on offense and confuse the opposing quarterback into making mistakes.'

Marker Bills shoot their feet off in New England [4:45 AM]
Shout! reports: 'If you were watching the Patriots beat the Bills 27-17 on Dec. 8, you may have thought you were watching a repeat of the teams' first game from five weeks earlier.'

Marker Flashback: Cookie Gilchrist's Big Game [12:11 AM] reports: The Buffalo Bills have had many memorable battles over the course of their 42 year history. One that stands out is a game on December 8, 1963 versus the New York Jets when Bills' running back Cookie Gilchrist ran for five touchdowns and racked up 243 yards on the ground at War Memorial Stadium.

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December 8, 2002

Marker New England 27, Buffalo 17 [5:21 PM]
UPI reports: 'New England has taken the last five meetings between the teams.'

Marker Patriots sweep series with Bills [4:45 PM] reports: 'New England jumped out to a 20-0 lead and cruised from there, winning its eighth game of the season against five losses, 27-17.'

Marker Patriots 27, Bills 17 [4:44 PM]
AP reports: 'The Patriots dominated Buffalo for the second time in barely a month.'

Marker New England 27, Buffalo 17 [4:42 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '[Bledsoe] completed 32-of-51 passes, but threw four interceptions in a game for the first time since 1999 and was one shy of a career high.'

Marker Forget Drew; it’s all about the teams [10:53 AM]
Nashua Telegraph reports: '“This team is real tight chemistry-wise and we’re healthy,” Williams said. “Our confidence is obviously buoyed some from the last ballgame (the win over Miami), and we have to go out and execute.”'

Marker Lots riding on this one for New England and Buffalo [10:52 AM]
Portland Press Herald reports: 'While Bledsoe's return to Foxboro certainly adds suspense to this matchup, it is merely a footnote to the real drama - the 7-5 Patriots have a chance to eliminate the 6-6 Bills from AFC playoff contention with a victory. If Buffalo wins, the playoff picture gets further muddled, with Miami and the New York Jets still hanging close and the increasing likelihood that only the division winner will advance to the postseason.'

Marker WR Eric Moulds Q&A [10:15 AM] reports: In the offseason, what do you fell will be the most important transaction to be made? Offensive (Peerless) or Defensive (D/Lineman)? - Nick F. Schneider "I think all of the above. Hopefully we can resign Peerless but at the same time sure up our defensive unit and get those guys stronger and I think we'll have more of a complete team."

Marker O'Shei's Three Keys to the Game [10:14 AM] reports: New England quarterback Tom Brady has been successful this season by using short passes for small gains. So, give them to him. By maintaining tight zone coverage on the Pats' receivers, the Bills defense can relegate Brady to tiny tosses. If the defenders collapse on the receiver and bring him down almost on the spot-sort of like other teams were doing to Buffalo's offense last month-then those mini-passes will move the Pats nowhere.

Marker Updated Profile: Quarterback Drew Bledsoe [10:13 AM] reports: vs. MIAMI (12/1): Recorded 1st rushing touchdown as a Bill (3rd of career) on 2-yd plunge in the 2nd qtr…had two touchdown passes of 50+ yards (73 yards to Peerless Price, 57 yards to Eric Moulds)…13th time in Bills history that a quarterback had a pair of 50-yd TDs in the same game (Last: Alex Van Pelt vs. MIA, 11/25/01)…threw for three touchdowns for the 3rd time this season (23rd in career).

Marker Bledsoe's New England fans should move out of region [10:02 AM]
Connecticut Post reports: 'He calls himself a big Bledsoe fan. I call him an idiot.'

Marker Down to business in December [10:00 AM]
Manchester Union Leader reports: 'The Bills defense, however, remains porous and defensive mad scientist Belichick has had 10 days to prepare a fresh batch of anti-Bledsoe serum. That’s nine more days than he needs. Prediction: Patriots, 27-20.

Marker Bledsoe Bowl II finds Bills in thick of race [9:28 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo's playoff hopes are flickering, but a loss to the Pats would probably snuff the flame.'

Marker Bills need to scheme like last year to stop Brady [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Whether the Bills' coaches can throw a few kinks in the Patriots' game plan will be a key factor in "Bledsoe Bowl II." New England has a distinct edge in defensive talent. But the Bills' defense needs to find some way to contain Brady better than in the first meeting.'

Marker Shaken, not stirred [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I'm being consistent, but I'm not making enough of the big plays," Robinson said.'

Marker Call the Patriots' attack the East Coast offense [9:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He has Pats quarterback Tom Brady attacking the defense horizontally, with high-percentage, rhythm throws, many within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.'

Marker Ex-Bill Covington's demise followed death of his NFL dream [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It was no surprise that Covington went down fighting. He wasn't one to back away from a challenge, a party or a fight. People who knew him in Buffalo weren't surprised by the news of his death, either. Since his career ended, there were whispers he had fallen into a bad crowd.'

Marker Is Patriotism divided in New England? [5:47 AM]
D and C reports: '“I do know I have a lot of fans there and there are a lot of people who appreciate what I did,” Bledsoe said earlier in the week. “I expect a little bit of a mixed reaction. There will be some people who cheer for me. But during the course of the game, I expect the New England fans to do exactly what they did when I was there which was support their team.”'

Marker Question and answer with Kendrick Office [5:46 AM]
D and C reports: '’’The people are friendlier in the south. People in New York, they just walk past you. You say something and they just keep walking.’''

Marker Bills win Super Bowl? Only in Hollywood [5:45 AM]
D and C reports: 'The winningest coach in Bills history wasn’t even aware of Second String until a reporter mentioned it to him the other day. When apprised of the film’s plot, his interest was piqued. “I’ll probably take a look at it, just out of curiosity, and who knows, maybe I’ll enjoy it,” he said of the dramatic comedy that airs at 8 p.m. Dec. 18 on TNT.'

Marker Bills out to win back respect [5:44 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'A loss by Buffalo will effectively eliminate it from the congested conference race due to its poor AFC (3-6) and division (2-6) records, dooming the Bills in any tiebreaker among 9-7 teams.'

Marker Not just another game for Bledsoe [5:43 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Classy and reserved by nature, Bledsoe never has been one to provide billboard material for the opposition. But if his pride was hurt when he got traded, it may have been trampled in that debacle five weeks ago. He may be quiet about it, but Bledsoe has plenty to prove today.'

Marker Who will Pats pick on today? [5:42 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"In that game, the Patriots played with the formula they used to win the championship last year," Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. "They allowed us to make some plays coming down the field but really tightened up when we got into the red zone. We didn't put the ball in the end zone and that's what we need to do."'

Marker No lie: Smith keeps Patriots in running [5:41 AM]
Boston Globe reports: '''I wouldn't say I'm running better this year,'' he said. ''I look at myself, and I'm a little bit hesitant on certain plays. I look at the film and I see I could have hit the hole a little harder instead of stutter-stepping.'''

Marker He gives them a healthy chance [5:40 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Since Brady took over on Sept. 23, 2001, vs. the New York Jets in relief of the injured Bledsoe, the former Michigan star has played in 30 consecutive games (including the playoffs).'

Marker Homeward bound [5:39 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``At a certain level I was disappointed that I didn't get to play as a Patriot in the new stadium,'' said Bledsoe. ``But I am proud of the fact that I was part of the teams that were there when the stadium was approved, and when it started to be built. It's a little bit disappointing that the thing didn't get done before I left, but at least I get a chance to come and see it now.'''

Marker Bills get `O' back on the go [5:38 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The Bills are certain to be ready for that approach if the Patriots try to repeat it, so it's up to the Pats coaching staff to come up with another way to keep Bledsoe out of his rhythm. You can be sure it involves pressure up the middle of the field, because it's suicide to let Bledsoe step up into the pocket with clean looks into the secondary.'

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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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