Pats only playing by the rules [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Fortunate doesn't even come close to describing it. Had the Pats gone on to lose, it would have dampened their playoff hopes. Then we could have all gone nuts like the Bills fans and claimed they were ``screwed'' by a bad call. Only, most of us wouldn't have known to complain.'
Patriots dust off backers [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Three yards and a cloud of disgust. That's what Pats bettors got yesterday when Antowain Smith fell that much short of a touchdown in overtime as the Patriots beat the Bills, 12-9, on a field goal. The bettors needed the six points to reap a dividend with the Pats as 4-point favorites.'
Bills paying the price in dismal season [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The way the Buffalo Bills season has gone, they knew they were in trouble once the officials started reviewing their recovery of a Patriots fumble in overtime.'
Bills can't KO Pats [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' defensive backs scored several knockdowns against the Patriots yesterday. But the Pats refused to be knocked out.'
Warm reception for J.R. [6:08 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'Remember J.R. Redmond? Tom Brady sure did. Redmond, the Patriots' rarely used third-down running back, came out of a season-long hibernation yesterday, catching three key passes from Brady late in a 12-9 win over the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'
Brady, Patriots not at best, but they get the job done once again [6:08 AM]
Metro West Daily News reports: 'Even if you're a fully vested member of the International Brotherhood of Brady, you gotta realize that the Pats survived him yesterday. Survived him on a day when he went 19 for 35. Survived him on a day when he took six sacks and, at one point late in the game, seemed to unilaterally decide to run a quarterback draw from the Bills 11 on third-and-9. And survived him on a day when the offensive game plan was finally designed for him to go long and he went extra long. Yesterday, Brady was Rick Ankiel in shoulder pads, Mark Wohlers with eye black. He was responsible for more overthrows than the busiest Central American revolutionary, and yet the Pats survived him.'
'W' marks the spot [6:07 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Some teams are good. Others are lucky. When a team can get both in its favor, it can win four games in a row and six of seven.'
Brady able to save face -- and the rest of his head [6:06 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'Tom Brady has a good head on his shoulders. No thanks to Buffalo cornerback Nate Clements, who did his best to decapitate the Patriots' young quarterback on a third-quarter scramble.'
Defense giving up yards, but few points [6:05 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'The Bills had 310 yards in offense and 19 first downs. Yet, they managed only three field goals.'
A little-known rule has big implications in the playoff picture [6:04 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"When you have a season like we have, where you only win two games, it makes it very hard to get those calls," Centers said. "It's hard for the ball to bounce your way. For whatever reason, I don't know why that is, but that's the way it happens."'
Locker room filled with talk about dead-ball rule [6:03 AM]
Providence Journal reports: '"I had heard of the rule," he said of Rule Three, Section 20, Article Two, Paragraph C, which says the ball is dead when a player who has any part of his body out of bounds touches the ball. "I guess everybody knows about it now," Patten said.'
Help From Above [6:01 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"I have never seen a play like it," Bills coach Gregg Williams said.'
Fumble A Touchy Subject [6:00 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: 'In the NFL officials handbook, it's rule three, section 20, article two, paragraph C: "The ball is out of bounds when a loose ball touches a boundary line, or anything on or outside such line."'
Overturned fumble, Vinatieri field goals boost New England [5:58 AM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: 'And while there's no truth to the rumor that the crew that officiated the game received a game ball from New England, it certainly played a major role in the Patriots' fourth victory in a row and third straight in December.'
Smith sets up winning kick [5:57 AM]
Worcester Telegram and Gazette reports: '"It always feels good when you win when you're going against your old team," Smith said. "That run at the end put us in position to kick the winning field goal, so that's extra special."'
Review aids New England [5:56 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'There are many playoff scenarios still in play, but the most encouraging reads like this: If the Patriots win their final two games, and the Jets lose of any of their last three, the Patriots win the division title.'
Luck plays role on bizarre play [5:55 AM]
Springfield Union News reports: 'Patten was the central figure in a bizarre play which seemed destined to derail the New England Patriots but instead sent them on their merry way.'
Patriots 12, Bills 9 OT [5:41 PM]
AP reports: 'The breaks -- as they have virtually all season -- went against Buffalo.'
New England 12, Buffalo 9 (ot) [5:30 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'On the winning drive, the Patriots were aided by an instant replay after David Patten fumbled and safety Keon Carpenter recovered for the Bills at their 41. But Patten was ruled to be out of bounds when he fumbled along the sideline.'
Bills put Fred Smerlas on Wall of Fame [5:00 PM]
AP reports: '"I thank God for the gifts he gave me," Smerlas said. "God made me a big, strong, 300-pound man who could kick some (behinds) on the field."'
Bills lose Henry to knee injury [4:59 PM]
AP reports: 'Travis Henry, the Buffalo Bills' leading rusher, was knocked out of the game with a sprained left knee in the second quarter Sunday against New England.'
Scouting the Patriots with John Guy [1:17 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Buffalobills.com sat down with Bills Director of Pro Personnel John Guy to find out the latest on the New England Patriots, who visit Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday. Guy, who has provided tips this season on the opposition, also evaluates the Patriots' playoff chances and gives an update on his report from last month.
Bills can spoil all Patriots have achieved [9:20 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills are feeling better about themselves after beating Carolina last week for their second win. They would like nothing better than to derail the Patriots' roll towards the postseason in their final home game.'
Pats turn topsy-turvy, for the better [9:18 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Brady-for-Bledsoe switch is the most stunning of many strange turns the Patriots' season has taken. And it's the biggest reason New England takes the field in Ralph Wilson Stadium today as one of the most surprising success stories in the NFL this year.'
Building blocks [9:17 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'So why aren't Riemersma's numbers up? Part of the reason is that the Bills' offensive line has been decimated by injury and Riemersma had to be used more as a blocker than a pass receiver.'
Younger quarterbacks showing salary isn't everything [9:16 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Tom Brady, who entered the 2001 season anonymously and is likely to leave it a millionaire, will be the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. The startling aspect is that he may be the Pats' starter next season and in the foreseeable future.'
Veteran Patriots face youthful Bills [6:46 AM]
D and C reports: 'The New England Patriots are streaking and the Buffalo Bills are reeking.'
Bills Experience is free for today's game [6:45 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills Experience, which takes place in the Bills Fieldhouse prior to every home game, will be free to attend prior to today's game against the New England Patriots.'
Q & A with Leif Larsen [6:44 AM]
D and C reports: '[Q:] Where is it colder, Buffalo or Norway? [A:] ''Oh, Norway. I lived in the warmest part of Norway and it's still colder than it is here. There's a lot of snow. When I lived in the north we'd have 10 feet of snow and it could be minus-40 there. This is summer for me right now.'''
Smerlas hasn't mellowed, not one bit [6:43 AM]
D and C reports: 'Of course, Smerlas' strong views aren't what made him one of the most popular Bills of all time. It was his play -- he gobbled up blockers as if they were buckets of chicken wings -- and his regular Joe, lunch-bucket approach that endeared him to Buffaloanians. Though raised in the Boston 'burbs, Smerlas was and is a Buffalo guy. There has always been a mutual empathy between player and town. A feeling that they've both had to scratch and claw to receive their just due.'
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