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Buffalo Bills News - January 2, 2005

Marker Pittsburgh 29, Buffalo 24 [4:13 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'After Rian Lindell missed a 28-yard field goal that would have given the Bills a four-point lead, Parker raced 58 yards down the left sideline on the next play to set up a 37-yard field goal by Reed to put the Steelers ahead 19-17.'

Marker Bills Offense to Figure Into Defensive Ranking [12:58 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'The Bills currently stand No. 3 overall in defensive yards allowed per game, trailing Pittsburgh and Washington heading into the final week of the NFL season.'

Marker What to Look for vs. Steelers [12:58 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Pittsburgh has the best rushing defense in the league and will be ready to stop Willis McGahee. The Steelers have been wearing down and punishing runners for most of the season and Willis will be next on their list. "They're tough op front," McGahee said. "It doesn't change how I prepare. It's just like any other game."'

Marker Fabulous finale [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I told our people it's business as usual," Mularkey said. "Whatever you typically do on a Sunday during our game (regarding out-of-town scores), just do the same thing."'

Marker McGahee has biggest challenge [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"They're physical up front. They got a nice linebacking corps. They're all on point right now. They're playing good ball. They're on a good high, and they're going to come in here with the intention of winning."'

Marker Steelers won't shift to cruise control [9:18 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I doubt the Steelers will do that. Their franchise has been the Rooney family's from the start. Integrity came with the family coat of arms.'

Marker As good as it gets: Bills try to complete a miracle [9:16 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So whatever happens today, be sure to savor the moment. I don't care who the Bills have played, this six-game winning streak is one of the more incredible runs we'll ever see. Back in October, who would have imagined that the Bills would show up for the season finale with something to play for, with a possible playoff berth on the line?'

Marker Clash of power teams will be fought in the trenches [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills' win streak reaches seven as they beat depleted Steelers, 20-13.'

Marker Fire & Ice [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I was telling him they're like fire and ice," Fletcher said. "They're two totally different temperament-type players, which is good. The way we run our defense, the strong safety a lot of times is like a fourth linebacker. He has that hitter's mentality, that chip on his shoulder, that attitude. Lawyer plays with a lot of aggression, a lot of anger. Lawyer's definitely angry on the football field."'

Marker Visit our chat room for real time game discussion [9:01 AM]
TBD reports: Talk with your follow Bills fans from around the world during the big game today!

Marker Grudge Match [7:33 AM]
Beaver County Times reports: 'In the big picture, as Cowher so often says, his relationship with Donahoe means nothing. But even though today's game means little for the Steelers, don't think for a minute that Cowher wouldn't love to beat the Bills today and keep Donahoe out of the playoffs.'

Marker Weather is fine in Buffalo [7:31 AM]
Beaver County Times reports: '"I remember a few of the guys talking about going to Buffalo," fullback Dan Kreider said. "We all thought, 'Man, it's going to be cold up there.'"'

Marker Buffalo thrills, Pittsburgh chills [7:29 AM]
Beaver County Times reports: '"It sounds as if the Steelers will come in here and do everything that they can to win the game," Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe said. "But to us, it doesn't matter. We win, or we're done. We have to beat the team they put on the field."'

Marker The jackpot for Buffalo is clearly in sight [7:25 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'Put aside the subplots of how this is rookie Bills coach Mike Mularkey's first game against his former team; or how Bills president Tom Donahoe, another ex-Steeler, has built what could be considered a "Pittsburgh North" in Buffalo during his four-year tenure. All that matters is the playoffs.'

Marker Panthers, Bills in playoffs would be rewarding [7:07 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'If there's a football god, then the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills surely will make the NFL playoffs today when the regular season concludes.'

Marker Odds are Steelers will have trouble [6:01 AM]
Washington Observer Reporter reports: 'Because their game is at 1 p.m. and the other two games are later in the day, the Bills won't immediately know if they are in the playoffs. But the Steelers certainly wouldn't mind ending the Bills' season. "They are a hot team that we might have to face down the road," said quarterback Tommy Maddox, who will start for Roethlisberger. "They've won six in a row and something like nine out of 11, so if we can beat them and keep them out of the playoffs that wouldn't be a bad thing. Plus, we want to keep our own streak going."'

Marker Still no clear winner in Cowher-Donahoe split [5:59 AM]
Washington Observer Reporter reports: 'How much responsibility did Donahoe and Cowher share in acquiring those players? Who knows? We do know this: Donahoe and Cowher collaborated to create quite a few winning teams. Neither has produced a big winner without the other. Donahoe's successor, Kevin Colbert, has brought in Pro Bowlers as free agents and the Steelers drafts have been productive on his watch. Until Cowher and Colbert produce a strong Super Bowl contender with only players that they have acquired and developed, Donahoe will have to get some credit for their success.'

Marker Veteran Bills QB still going strong [5:13 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: '"He has been around the league for so long and seen so many different things, he never got flustered," Mularkey said. "That would have been easy to do here with the media pressure and the fan pressure. I just never once saw it. He is very much like this team. He exemplifies this team. He stayed the course and you've seen the results."'

Marker Surging Bills will provide stiff test for Steelers [5:12 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: '"They are not just beating teams," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "These games have been over in the third quarter."'

Marker Sunday's Pittsburgh Coverage [5:11 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Steelers after a Super Bowl, not a 15-1 record (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Nine teams fight for last four spots (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Cowher sticking to QB plan (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Steelers fans can rock to band's fight song (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Haynes remains patient, thriving in reserve role (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Surging Bills will provide stiff test for Steelers (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Breaking into the game (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Veteran Bills QB still going strong (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Q & A with Chris Gardocki (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Grudge Match (Beaver County Times)
Buffalo thrills, Pittsburgh chills (Beaver County Times)
Weather is fine in Buffalo (Beaver County Times)
Odds are Steelers will have trouble (Washington Observer Reporter)
Still no clear winner in Cowher-Donahoe split (Washington Observer Reporter)
Teams needing help shouldn't complain (Washington Observer Reporter)
Backups will get not against desperate Bills (Uniontown Herald Standard)

Marker One-game season [5:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"Really, it is no different," wide receiver Eric Moulds said. "People will say it's because the implications are so important, win and we've got a shot at getting into the playoffs. But had we lost once in the last six weeks we pretty much would've been out of it. Every week has been pressure, so we know how to deal with it. We'll just go out and play and see what happens."'

Marker Mularkey proves patience is a virtue [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"A lot of coaches, especially rookie head coaches, might have scrapped their plans at that point to appease their boss, but Mike remained calm during the storm," says Bills quarterbacks coach Sam Wyche, who learned how lonely it can be at the top during head coaching stints with Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. "Mike believed what he was doing was our best bet to become winners, so he stuck with it. That took a lot of guts to do, especially when you are in your first year on the job and your boss says he isn't happy with the way things are going."'

Marker Tom Donahoe's rebuilding job goes on display [5:07 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'In Donahoe's case, he built one franchise into a power, then stole from it to build another. As that beer commercial says, "Brilliant!"'

Marker Q&A: Mario Haggan [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"The people up here are very different. In Mississippi, it's known for a lot of different things in history as being a bad state, but it's a hospitable state. There's a lot of friendly people there, it's a nice home environment where everyone knows each other and you can walk down the road and know someone. It's different here. To me it's kind of segregated up here, different styles of people live in certain areas, and that's much different than in Mississippi."'

Marker Bills first must win, then watch [4:53 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'The oddity is, though, Bills fans might get more effort from both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis than they expect.'

Marker Maddox will be fired up in Buffalo [4:51 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“Any time you put on the uniform and go out there, you play with a lot of pride,” he said. “It comes down to whoever’s out on the field is going to play as good as they can for a lot of reasons ... but mostly for pride and yourself. You look at the way we’ve played all year and there’s guys who have gotten hurt and other guys have stepped in and played very well. So whoever’s on the field will be trying to win.”'

Marker All on the line for Bills [4:50 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'First-year coach Mike Mularkey never promised his team would be contenders overnight. Rather, he has methodically built an offence to complement the once-struggling quarterback Drew Bledsoe and the Bills defence has clearly established itself as one of the best in the league.'

Marker Believing in Buffalo [4:10 AM]
Yahoo Sports reports: 'All this after an atrocious start that saw Bledsoe struggle and get hammered behind a porous offensive line, and Mularkey come under fire from owner Ralph Wilson, who criticized the offense as too conservative. As Bledsoe put it, "When the guy whose name is on the checks says he's not happy, you're going to stand up and take notice."'

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January 1, 2005

Marker The Bills Find Their Footing [11:58 PM]
New York Times reports: '"We got real fans here," Williams said. "They're rough."'

Marker Reborn QBs [11:58 PM]
Tonawanda News reports: '“What we’ve done shows how we feel,” Bledsoe said. “We were 0-4 and 1-5 and got beat up pretty good in New England. I think everybody probably, at different times, had written us off and cast us to the side. But the guys on the team, the guys in the locker room and the guys on the coaching staff stuck to our guns, and we kept working. We’ve dug ourselves out of a hole to a place where we have a chance to continue on if we can win.”'

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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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