Manning key as surging Colts face slumping Bills [4:58 PM]
AP reports: 'Under Manning, the Colts are a 3-1 when playing without either leading rusher Edgerrin James or leading receiver Marvin Harrison. And they're 4-2 in games in which Indianapolis allows 21 or more points, including last week's 38-31 win over the New York Jets.'
Freeney leads Colts' sack attack [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Maybe in a lot of systems he would not be, but for what we do he was an ideal fit," said Colts coach Tony Dungy. "We liked his energy and his speed. We liked everything about him. So it was a matter of the right type of talent coming to the right type of system to flourish."'
Hobbled Henry optimistic about facing Colts [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I felt great as far as making my cuts and showing burst," Henry said. "I was accelerating. I didn't favor it today. I've got to give it another day of rest, and I'll go early to the game on Sunday and try it out."'
New talent makes Channel 7 sports team one to watch [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Unfortunately, neither Criqui nor Tasker spent much time on the controversy at the end of the game when a Bills player accepted a Texans penalty that enabled Houston to run out the clock. You could hear Bills defensive captain London Fletcher wail in protest in front of referee Johnny Grier and see Grier point to some player who accepted the penalty. But it would have been nice to have been given an explanation of how many seconds that mistake cost the Bills.'
First-down follies giving Bills fits [5:17 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills’ 4.69-yard average on first down ranks 27th, the shaky foundation of their 30th-place third-down conversion rate (31.8 percent, 42 of 132). Last season, Buffalo averaged 5.44 yards and converted 42.5 percent on third down, ranking it ninth in each category.'
Harrison returns to practice, likely available against Bills [5:16 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'As long as Harrison doesn't experience a setback with his right hamstring, the Indianapolis Colts' four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver will be available for work against the Bills.'
Colts shy $10.6 million, says NFL [5:15 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'That's how much it would take for the city to bring the football team's 2002 season revenues up to the National Football League's median income, according to an affidavit released by the league Friday.'
How 'bout them Jills? [5:14 AM]
Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin reports: '"Performing has never made me nervous, but when the first game came, I was terrified," Buda said. "There were 75,000 people there, and you feel so little." Buda said she will try out for the squad next year if she's living near Western New York.'
Henry, Moulds remain questionable for Sunday [5:13 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The duo has accounted for 10 of the team's 17 offensive touchdowns this year and has combined for 1,427 yards -- more than half the Bills' total offense. Buffalo's offense has been held out of the end zone for the last three games.'
Larry Felser: Math [7:29 PM]
ESN reports: Since the Bills have just six games left on their schedule and only mathematics on their side, this is what the coaches should consider doing for the rest of the year:
Don’t call a timeout to ponder whether you should go for it on fourth and goal from the 1.5-yard line or kick a field goal. The time for conservatism is past. You’re now a 500-1 shot to make the playoffs. You have no choices. You have to live a little.
Harrison might play Sunday [5:22 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Harrison said afterwards that he feels good, but will wait until Sunday to decide if he will play against Buffalo.'
Tricky Dungy [5:21 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'The Colts hope to have Harrison back for this week's game in Buffalo. He tested his hamstring at practice this week and was able to run. Indianapolis will still be short at receiver, even if Harrison can play. Walters had four receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown in the first half of the Jets game before pulling his hamstring. Walters and Pollard are out at least one more week. Brandon Stokley, signed as a free agent to be the No. 3 receiver, has just three catches on the year. He is still feeling the after effects of a concussion and is questionable to face Buffalo.'
Tops Game Ball Winner: Travis Henry [5:07 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Q: Do you think you and Willis McGahee can thrive together just like the days of Thurman Thomas and Kenneth Davis? - Dennis Hough (Rochester, NY)
TH: We can be better than them. I really think we can be way better than Thurman and Kenneth Davis.'
A formidable foe [5:06 PM]
Colts.com reports: 'One reason is they have made it difficult for opponents to run. Adams, who played with AFC Champion Oakland last season, is one of the NFL’s better run-defending defensive tackles. Spikes and Posey are solid against the run, as is Milloy, and Buffalo is the NFL’s 12th-ranked rushing defense.'
Colts' Harrison might return against Buffalo [3:50 PM]
AP reports: '''I feel good,'' Harrison said after Friday's workout. ''But we'll have to see what happens. I just don't want to do anything stupid to reinjure it. But right now, it feels real good.'''
Manning's extra work paying off [3:49 PM]
AP reports: '''He's making the right decisions, not forcing the ball,'' wide receiver Troy Walters said. ''He's just doing everything right.'''
Bills' Henry hopes can play against Colts [3:48 PM]
AP reports: '''I felt good making my cuts, accelerating, and I'll see how it goes,'' Henry said.'
Panic mode [3:47 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"The big thing is that when that player is called upon to make a play and it's executed pretty well we have to go ahead and finish the play," Williams said. "We did a pretty good job of selecting plays correctly [against Houston] but we didn't finish those plays. We had some opportunities down there to finish them and put points on the board."'
Q&A: Pierson Prioleau [10:33 AM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Q: Is it true that a safety covering a wide receiver is a "mismatch"?
PP: That's true from the offensive eyes. On defense we like to think that safety's can cover anybody on the field as well as anyone else. On offensive eyes they think it is a mismatch because they think corners cover better than safety's. I think I can cover any receiver in the NFL.'
Battered 'O' line fights on [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Part of being a cohesive offensive line is the ability to fight through these type of things," said Bills coach Gregg Williams. "The good lines are obviously talented, but they are also consistent and available week in and week out. When you look across the league at the offensive lines that are functioning at the highest level, you will see a significant number of starts in a row with those guys. That's very vital for an offensive line."'
Thurman Thomas to receive service award [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Many of Henry's friends and family members have advised him against playing, fearing he could make the injury worse. But Henry is determined to be on the field Sunday.'
Bills' Spikes, an ex-Bengal, has no regrets [5:15 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“No, not at all,” Spikes said. “If I had to do it 10 times over and even knowing we’d be at this point record-wise, I’d still do it. I had to believe what was best in my heart for Takeo. I love those guys (in Cincinnati) like brothers. I’ve spent more time with them than the guys here. I’m happy for them. But this is where I belong.”'
Scouting the Bills offense [5:14 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Bledsoe. If he's upright, he's a threat, but he has been sacked 30 times, and that has had a huge impact on the Bills' minus-11 takeaway-giveaway ratio, the league's second-worst. Bledsoe is 11-5 as a starter against the Colts, with 25 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.'
Scouting the Bills defense [5:13 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'After getting past their salary cap problems in 2001, the Bills went on a free agent shopping spree the past two years in hopes of building a defense. They added Pro Bowl SS Lawyer Milloy just days before this season. OLB Takeo Spikes arrived last off-season and MLB London Fletcher the year before. DT Sam Adams clogs the middle. It's worked. The Bills are fourth in the NFL at 271.1 yards allowed per game and sixth in points allowed at 17.0 per game.'
Bills' coaches on the hot seat [5:12 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'If Colts players aren't thrilled with hearing occasional boos in the RCA Dome, they should be glad they're not in the Buffalo Bills' shoes.'
Manning's turnaround one of best in NFL history for a QB [5:11 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"I know he's had some adverse times as well, but he's playing great football for them right now and the team is playing well around him."'
Manning uses his feet to fool Bills' defense [5:10 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'The last time the Colts ventured to Ralph Wilson Stadium, in 2001, they came away with a 30-14 victory -- and one of the most unexpected plays in team history. Quarterback Peyton Manning scored on a 33-yard run, the longest of his career, in the second quarter. The touchdown snapped a 7-7 tie and started a string of 20 unanswered Indy points.'
Quarterbacks' consistency among best in NFL history [5:09 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Sunday's game will feature two of the eight quarterbacks in NFL history who have thrown for 3,000 yards in at least five consecutive seasons. Peyton Manning (left), in his sixth season, has passed for at least 3,000 yards in five consecutive years. Bills QB Drew Bledsoe threw for 3,000 yards for seven seasons in a row (1994-2000) while with New England.'
Bills have backfield woes [5:08 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Coach Gregg Williams remains optimistic Henry will play against the Colts. But Plan B is Burns, a second-year tailback who made the Bills roster as an undrafted rookie in 2002. He has averaged just 2.5 yards on 28 carries this season. In his brief career, Burns has rushed 33 times for 78 yards.'
Road warriors [5:07 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"You could write a book," said Champlin, the Colts' director of player development and travel coordinator, "'Where Are the Expletive-Deleted Buses?' "'
Latest Buffalo Bills Discussions:
|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|