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Buffalo Bills News - December 23, 2002

Marker Monday Billboard [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Ruben Brown, asked if the cold and 25-mph winds were an excuse for the Bills getting shut out: "What? You've been to Buffalo. No. There's no excuses, and it would be a cop-out on my part to make an excuse. We play this game. They play it. They played it better than us today, and we got beat."'

Marker Bills are leveled at Lambeau [5:38 AM]
D and C reports: 'For the first time in Green Bay coach Mike Sherman’s memory, Favre struggled in the cold and biting winds that raged through this football-mad outpost Sunday, but the Bills failed to take advantage of that rare occurrence and saw their slim playoff hopes disintegrate with a mistake-filled 10-0 loss.'

Marker Bledsoe's play has gone south for the winter [5:37 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bledsoe, the man who stood so tall in the pocket in September and October, has been shaky for two months, his throws off the mark, an easy target to hit, like the Drew whose career went splat! in New England. Worst, he’s still in denial, a team leader unable or unwilling to accept blame.'

Marker The two-minute read [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'He’s going to the Pro Bowl, and he became the first Buffalo quarterback in history to surpass 4,000 yards passing in a single season. But there’s no denying Bledsoe has been far below average the last three weeks, and you can make a strong argument that his slump at the end of the year, more than anything else, short-circuited Buffalo’s run to a playoff berth.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Report Card [5:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'QUARTERBACK: Drew Bledsoe found out just how good the Packers’ ball-hungry (league-high 45 takeaways) can be. Completed just half of his throws for 142 net yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions on cold, windy day. Also lost two fumbles after being sacked, one that set up Green Bay’s clinching touchdown, and wind had nothing to do with that. Zero points in 12 possessions is pretty hard to defend. D'

Marker Holliday’s gifts delight in Packers’ victory [5:34 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'The Bills threw two interceptions and lost four fumbles...'

Marker Inspired Holliday has big day for Packers [5:33 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'All of five of Holliday’s sacks came in the second half and four were in the game’s final 10 minutes.'

Marker Moses struggling with returns [5:32 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'Against the Bills, he gained only 8 yards on three punt returns, including cleanly fielding another bouncing punt and getting hit immediately thereafter. His lone kickoff return yielded 9 yards.'

Marker Packers’ Green sets mark by hitting 1,500 for the 3rd time [5:31 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'The fifth-year back has gained 1,561 yards from scrimmage this season, an average of almost 112 yards per game. He’s gone over the 100-yard mark nine times in his career.'

Marker The greatest present of all [5:30 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'Mike Hollis missed on a 33-yard field-goal attempt early in the third to spoil a drive of nearly 10 minutes.'

Marker Packers dominate on ... defense? [5:29 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"Our game plan basically was to stop the run first," said Packers' strong safety Marques Anderson. "We knew it was a windy day, so we knew they were going to try their ground attack first. Once we stopped their run we knew that they were going to try to open it up."'

Marker Bills buffaloed [5:28 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"They were all over us," said Henry, who finished with 46 yards on 20 carries. "I thought we could run the ball on them from watching film, but they did a great job of containing the running game."'

Marker Tragedy sparks huge day by Holliday [5:27 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'Holliday had back-to-back sacks on the Bills' second possession of the fourth quarter - the latter resulting in a fumble that led to Green Bay's only touchdown of the afternoon. He sacked Bledsoe and forced another fumble - recovered by Buffalo - on its next possession, then added his fifth takedown and third forced fumble with 1:19 remaining after the Bills drove deep into Packers territory.'

Marker The Green stampede [5:26 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'With Green rushing for all but 3 of the Packers' 119 rushing yards, Green Bay exploited a woeful Bills' run defense that ranks 31st of 32 teams in rushing yards allowed per game (135.9) and a per-carry average of 4.5.'

Marker Favre chills out in frigid Lambeau [5:25 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'To illustrate just how badly the elements hampered the passing game on both sides, Favre, who was intercepted twice, finished with a shockingly low passer rating of 39.2 - just a tad behind the 41.3 rating compiled by Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe.'

Marker Sharper pays price for interception return [5:24 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"There's no hindsight on that; he shouldn't have brought the ball out," Sherman lamented. "We never practice bringing the ball out that deep. It looked like he should have taken a knee. There's no hindsight there."'

Marker Buffalo bumped from playoff race [5:23 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"We had opportunities to make plays and we didn't make them. They had opportunities and made more plays than we did. It's not more complicated than that."'

Marker Inside the numbers [5:22 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '20: Combined points the Packers have allowed in their three games thus far against AFC East foes.'

Marker Lambeau luck works wonders for the Packers [5:21 AM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'Nobody may circle the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, but perhaps nobody circles the rabbits’ feet like the Green Bay Packers.'

Marker Even the Bills aren’t sure if Green fumbled [5:20 AM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'It was unclear, even on television replays, whether Green managed to get control and complete the catch before the ball popped out. The play was whistled dead a few seconds after the ball hit the ground, meaning the Bills couldn’t challenge the call.'

Marker Sharper may play despite knee injury [5:19 AM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: '“We were in the red zone and I saw that (wide receiver Eric) Moulds lined up on my side, so I stayed backside to help out the corner,” Sharper said though a spokesperson. “We had great coverage on the crossing route and Antuan was able to hit the ball as he came across. I turned back when I took my eyes of Moulds and I saw the ball coming right to me. I thought, ‘Man, this is a gift,’ and caught it. Then after that ... I don’t remember what happened.”'

Marker Holliday on ice [5:18 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'The Bills, their cup runneth over with individual talent on offense and still in the AFC playoff hunt, turned the ball over six times and could muster merely 185 yards, including 60 yards at the end.'

Marker Home, sweet home [5:17 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'How else do you explain fumbles being ruled incomplete passes, long passes being handled like molten rock and place-kicks bending in unthinkable angles inches away from becoming field goals?'

Marker Ferguson firmly grabs spot as No. 3 receiver [5:16 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'After watching Moses' erratic play, Bills general manager Tom Donahoe was asked if he'd be petrified entering the playoffs with him as a dual returner. "A little bit, but it's not my problem," Donahoe said. "He's got to make better decisions."'

Marker Defense stops 'em cold [5:15 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: '"Our DBs had great coverage going all day on those receivers," Hunt said. "I heard a lot talking from those (Buffalo) receivers, too, and they ignored it, stepped up, shut them down and made them eat these words."'

Marker Sharper's status still up in the air [5:14 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'Sharper sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee after returning an interception from 5 yards deep in the end zone. Instead of kneeling down and taking a touchback, Sharper took the ball out and paid the price when Buffalo fullback Larry Centers drove into the side of the safety's legs at the Packers' 14.'

Marker Williams puts it on the line [5:13 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'Price dropped one pass that could have been a game-breaker. It occurred in the third quarter with the Bills facing third and 12 on the Packers' 42-yard line. Bledsoe put it right in Price's hands, but he dropped it.'

Marker Packer Replay [5:12 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: '3.9 -- Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe's quarterback rating after the first half.'

Marker Packer Report [5:11 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'PLAY OF THE GAME: The Packers were ahead, 3-0, and driving for another score when running back Ahman Green was stripped of the ball and cornerback Nate Clements took off running with it in the open field. He probably would have scored if the play had not been ruled an incomplete pass. The officials blew the whistle because they thought Green never had control of the ball before defensive tackle Pat Williams reached in and poked the ball free. The Bills were unable to use instant replay to challenge the call because the whistle had blown. Bills coach Gregg Williams said the officials should have let it go and put the onus on Sherman to decide whether to review it. "That's what instant replay is for, to have that play ruled a fumble," Williams said. The Packers scored on the next play to take a 10-0 lead with 7 minutes 23 seconds to go.'

Marker Packer Perspective [5:10 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'Sacks are very important. We all know that third down is the most crucial down in this game. If you can get the quarterback on the ground on third down, then it's pretty safe to say you're going to get off the field. They're very important that way. In key situations, such as the situations where Vonnie had his sacks today, they were crucial. On third down, this is when Buffalo was trying to come back. These were crucial sacks. They just weren't run out of bounds, you're the closest man to him so you get a sack. These were sacks where in the time of need, they were coming up with the big play.'

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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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