A crucial test passed [5:16 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills got no help from anyone else yesterday as Indianapolis beat Detroit and Miami rallied to overtake Green Bay. The Jets, Dolphins and Colts are all 6-2, leaving the 4-4 Bills mired in fourth place in the AFC East. Elsewhere in the AFC, record-wise the Bills still trail Tennessee, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Kansas City. Do the math. With six teams eligible for the post-season, the Bills currently rank ninth in the AFC. Imagine where they would be had they squandered another fourth-quarter lead.'
Bills ground another Jets comeback [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'As long as there is time on the clock, we don't get down on ourselves," said Jets running back Curtis Martin. It's a sentiment shared by Dougie and the Bills. After the Jets tied the game at 17 with 2:20 remaining, Doug Flutie took over at his 27 and guided Buffalo on a drive that culminated with a 34-yard, game-winning field goal by Steve Christie as time expired.'
Phillips turns dogs loose on Jets [5:14 AM]
D and C reports: '"He just said go out, play loose and bring some of the fun back," linebacker Sam Rogers said yesterday. "It's not fun when you lose, so he just wanted us to relax a bit, just do our jobs and have faith that everything will take care of itself in the end." When the dust settled on a very entertaining 23-20 Buffalo victory on a glorious fall day at Ralph Wilson Stadium, several Bills started barking in the locker room.'
Notes on Bills/Jets game [5:13 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills LB Sam Cowart: Another tremendous performance as he further enhanced his case for a Pro Bowl berth with two fumble recoveries and a game-high 11 tackles, none bigger than his stop on Anderson to thwart the Jets last possession. Two plays before that, Cowart was crossed up on a 12-yard pass to Richie Anderson, but he atoned for that mistake in a big way.'
Bills 23, Jets 20 [7:22 PM]
AP reports: 'The Jets could only blame themselves, committing four turnovers, three of which led to Bills scores. A fumble by Vinny Testaverde at the Bills 10 foiled a scoring bid in the second quarter. Testaverde was intercepted twice, once by Henry Jones, who ran it back 45 yards for a touchdown. "Turnovers will cause you to lose, and that was confirmed today," Jets coach Al Groh said. "Too many hurdles to overcome."'
Bills 23, Jets 20 [4:13 PM]
Sportsticker reports: Taking over on their own 27 with 2:11 to play, the Bills went to work behind Flutie. After picking up an initial first down, Buffalo (4-4) was faced with a 3rd-and-10, but Flutie hit Peerless Price with a 17-yard pass to move the ball to the New York 40.
Jets or Bust for the Bills? [11:01 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Coming into the season, the Bills faced the NFL's toughest schedule based on last year's records. And, in fairness, their four losses - to Minnesota (7-0), Jets (6-1), Miami (5-2) and Indianapolis (5-2) - have been to teams whose combined record is 23-5. Still, realistically, it's going to take 10 victories to make the playoffs and that means Buffalo must go 7-2 down the stretch ... starting today. And even if Buffalo holds serve at home and goes 7-1 at The Ralph, the Bills must also win 3-of-5 on the road.'
Mixing Bills game with business [9:18 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Nine consultants who help companies pick suitable regions in which to relocate or expand will be guests of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise at today's game. They'll be wined-and-dined in a stadium suite, watching their home team as it rides atop the tough AFC East division. Of course, it so happens that regional marketers have also set up meetings with local development officials who dole out incentives to companies. And yes, there will be a few visits to some commercial office parks and industrial sites on Monday, prior to the visitors' departure. While they're here, union leaders will meet with at least one of the visitors to highlight labor-management initiatives that have boosted productivity. Talk about a classic carrot-and-stick strategy.'
Bills, Jets have a theme: defense dominates [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The AFC East showdown between the Bills and the New York Jets pits two defensive-oriented teams that have a habit of playing close games. In addition, weather forecasts are calling for windy conditions, which could hinder the passing game.'
Educating Sammy [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sammy Morris' journey to the Buffalo Bills has more twists and turns than a belly dance. He can look back at his days at Texas Tech and laugh now that his troubles are over, knowing his banishment from college, in many ways, saved him from troubles later in life.'
Henning's offense will have tricks [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's time for the Bills' defense to play a great game. . . . Bills, 20-16.'
New Day Dawns for Jets, Who Wake Up to Flutie [7:28 AM]
New York Times reports: 'Indeed, Flutie's competitiveness was on display last week when he chafed at what he perceives as slights against him and Vinny Testaverde, and at his own benching before Buffalo's wild-card playoff game last season. "We both went to the Pro Bowl in 1998, yet the following year Vinny has to go through a torn Achilles' and re-earn people's respect this year and I'm not good enough to start for this team in the playoffs," Flutie said. "You're always trying to prove yourself, and Vinny and I have always been in that situation."'
Miracle Workers Meet [7:26 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'If today's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium were a battle of breakfast cereals, it would be Lucky Charms versus Flutie Flakes.'
Jets Scouting Report [7:25 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Prediction: Jets, 27-20.'
One more win puts Jets in pilot's seat [7:24 AM]
New York Post reports: '"Looking at some of the tapes, at times we've played like [garbage] but we still won." One of those games was the last encounter against Buffalo, a 27-14 win on Sept. 17 at Giants Stadium, where the Jets scored one TD on a 97-yard Kevin Williams KO return and on a 45-yard Hail Mary pass at the end of the half to Marcus Coleman. There was a consensus among some players that the Jets stole one from the Bills. Buffalo linebacker Sam Cowart disagreed. "They didn't steal it, we gave it away," Cowart said.'
Cardiac kids could use more reliable safety net [7:21 AM]
New York Post reports: 'In their first meeting against Buffalo, Bills' WR Jeremy McDaniel caught a 74-yard bomb on the Jets' defense. Green, who was late with help on the play, was the culprit, as he was on a couple big plays against Miami. Speaking about the big plays, Jets' nickel back Ray Mickens said, "You can't make excuses for that. We have to be on the same page back there."
That, however, isn't likely to happen until the Jets settle on a consistent starter at free safety. With Bills' top WR Eric Moulds tied for second in the NFL with 53 receptions - 23 of those coming in the last two games - the Jets face some dangerous possibilities today.'
Forget the Miracles, Groh Preaches Reality [7:19 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'How long can the good times last? How far can the Jets ride this wave? "The sky's the limit, I don't know," safety Victor Green said. "Hopefully, all the way to Tampa." Green means Tampa as in the host city of Super Bowl XXXV. Before Keyshawn Johnson starts making dinner reservations for his old buddies for the last week of January, hold on a minute. There's some more business to be taken care of today against the Bills.'
Jets expect tough time in their visit to Buffalo [7:17 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Add to the Bills' general physical play their specific mood, which is ornery -- about their 3-4 record, which they think should be better, and about the 27-14 loss to the Jets, which featured Testaverde's 45-yard desperation TD pass to Coleman, in the Meadowlands six weeks ago.'
Whose magic will vanish? [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Magic Man meets the Magic Team at soldout Ralph Wilson Stadium today. Quarterback Doug Flutie, the helmeted Houdini of the Buffalo Bills, against the New York Jets, who have rallied for victories four times in the fourth quarter this season to sit atop the AFC East Division with a 6-1 record. The Bills (3-4), who have lost four of their last five games, are 0-3 in the division and simply can't afford another another division loss if they plan on playing in January. A must-win? In this instance, it's not a cliche.'
A great debate: Flutie vs. Johnson [5:55 AM]
D and C reports: 'With two seasons remaining on Johnson's contract, the Bills need to find out, once and for all, if he's the answer. And the only way to do that is by playing him. But can you afford to do so if the 38-year-old Flutie gives you a better chance of winning?'
Q&A: Eric Moulds [5:53 AM]
D and C reports: '[Q:] You become a free agent this offseason and fans have their fingers crossed, praying the Bills re-sign you. Are there any other teams you'd like to play for though? [A:] "There are a lot out there that I'd enjoy playing for, I suppose, but I'd love to stay with the Bills. I've established myself here, I know the people and the organization. It would be very difficult to leave and adjust all over again."'
Scouting report [5:50 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if . . . Flutie plays another efficient, turnover-free game, a tough task against a good New York defense...The Jets come out flat after their emotionally and physically draining victory over Miami last week...Shawn Bryson and Sammy Morris can continue to pile up yardage both running and receiving. They were keys to the 27-point production last week, and they showed how important a good running game is to overall offensive success.'
Jets keep on gutting opposition [5:49 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Realistically, to make the playoffs Buffalo will have to finish up no worse than 7-2. After going 1-4 in their past five, it is crucial the comeback begins today.'
Bills seek to redeem themselves against high-flying Jets [9:54 PM]
AP reports: 'Six weeks have passed and Marcellus Wiley still can't get over how his Buffalo Bills failed to beat the New York Jets. "That was tough," the defensive end said, referring to Buffalo's 27-14 loss on Sept. 17. "You watch the film and you take the scoreboard out and you're like, 'How did we get killed?'" Join the growing club, Marcellus. The Jets have cornered the NFL market on remarkable comebacks and unfathomable victories this season. Matching their best start in franchise history, the Jets (6-1) have left many opponents scratching their collective heads.'
Bills better at running for cover [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Kevin Williams propelled the Jets to a 27-14 victory on Sept. 17 and dropped the Bills to last place in the NFL in average yards allowed per kickoff (35.7). "It was a struggle," safety Raion Hill said. "There was always a breakdown here or a missed tackle there. It was something that had to change." The change has been dramatic. The Bills now have the sixth-ranked kickoff coverage unit in the NFL, giving up 21.1 yards per return. Last week, the Minnesota Vikings were held to just 17.7 yards on six returns.'
Enberg feels right at home in return to the Ralph [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Enberg has been back doing NFL games for six weeks now and he and Dierdorf work their fourth Bills game Sunday when the AFC East leading New York Jets visit Ralph Wilson Stadium. "I'm back in my old home," Enberg said. "I'm expecting (Jim) Kelly and Cornelius (Bennett) and Thurman (Thomas) and everyone to come and meet me at the airport." The Bills' strong schedule certainly has something to do with Enberg's Buffalo schedule. Enberg and Dierdorf are slated to work a fifth Bills game in Tampa Bay next month. "They do have a terrific schedule in terms of appealing matchups and you know they are going to play well," Enberg said. But not well enough. The Bills have lost all three road games that Enberg has worked, making one wonder about an Enberg jinx.'
Coleman becoming a big part of Jets' defense [9:07 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'His fellow Jets defensive backs call Marcus Coleman, "The Phenom." That is an appropriate assessment for the 6-foot-2, 210-pound cornerback blessed with wide receiver speed and NBA small-forward leaping skills.'
Bills' pressure weak without All-Pro Smith [7:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills knew sacking opposing quarterbacks was going to be more difficult this season due to the loss of superstar defensive end Bruce Smith. But they couldn't have envisioned having just 14 sacks, which is four below the NFL per team average. "Our pass rush isn't where it needs to be for us to be consistently successful in this league," said defensive end Phil Hansen, whose lack of production (two sacks, six pressures) is one of the reasons for Buffalo's struggles.'
Trick Plays Treat Jets Kindly [7:47 AM]
New York Times reports: 'None of the plays are an accident. They are practiced repeatedly.'
Marcus Key Fit for Jets [7:45 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Marcus Coleman heard the whispers last offseason. He had just signed a five-year, $20 million contract to remain with the Jets, and now the club was refusing to meet Keyshawn Johnson's demands for a new contract. It raised a question: Did the Jets, choked by the salary cap, have their priorities mixed up? "I'm sure people were wondering," Coleman said this week at Hofstra. "If they have any questions now, hopefully they saw the game the other night and have been watching us all year, seeing that I'm a quality player. I'm not a one-year wonder with a big contract, just trying to hang on. I definitely have some things I want to do in this league."'
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|09/21||San Diego Chargers||1:00 pm|
|09/28||@ Houston Texans||1:00 pm|
|10/05||@ Detroit Lions||1:00 pm|
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