Wives go to bat for Food Bank drive [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills will conduct their annual Cans From Fans food drive at Sunday's game against the New York Jets. Fans are welcome to bring in cans and other non-perishable food items, which will be collected at the stadium gates by wives of the Bills' players and coaches. Cash donations also will be accepted. The drive benefits the Food Bank of Western New York. Bills coach Wade Phillips and his wife, Laurie, are chairing the effort. "There are thousands and thousands in our own community who are hungry, and one small way to help alleviate the problem is this drive for the Food Bank," Laurie Phillips said.'
Groh wants team to focus on Bills [9:05 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'The Bills are looming, waiting to pay the Jets back for a 27-14, Sept. 17 loss like extra-hot Buffalo chicken wings eaten too late at night. "You can't sit back and bask in the glory, you have to move on," defensive tackle Ernie Logan said, recalling Groh's message. "We won. Now we're playing Buffalo. "You sit back and you think about last week's game when Buffalo is preparing to get back at you. . . . The Bills felt that was a game they let get away from them, rather than us beating them." There is a cautionary warning right there on game film of the 3-4 Bills. If not for receiver Peerless Price's fumble with less than three minutes left last Sunday, the Bills might have left the Minnesota Vikings in an imperfect heap instead of at 7-0 as the league's lone undefeated team.'
Riemersma may return vs. Jets [8:02 AM]
D and C reports: 'He's officially questionable for this Sunday's critical AFC East showdown with the New York Jets, the team he was injured against on Sept. 17, but it's looking more and more as if he'll play.'
Tillman taking Porter's spot at safety [8:01 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills coach Wade Phillips hinted yesterday that he might make a change in his dime defense, and though he wouldn't confirm it, Daryl Porter all but did. "I'm not going to count myself out, I'm just basically going to learn and try to help out Travares (Tillman) and make sure he knows exactly what he's doing," said Porter. Porter has been torched the last few games for big plays, including the winning touchdown by the Vikings last week, and it appears that he's headed for the bench in favor of the rookie second-round draft choice Tillman.'
Jets Play Catch-Up With Style and Frenzy [8:00 AM]
New York Times reports: 'Do not look for a Jets player among the league leaders for quarterback, receiver, running back, sacks or interceptions. The Jets are not ranked among the top offensive or defensive teams, either. There is only one place in a sea of statistics where one can easily find the Jets: atop the American Conference East.'
Groh Gets High Marks on Tests [7:59 AM]
New York Times reports: 'When Al Groh described his halftime tirade during the Jets' 40-37 Monday night classic victory over the Miami Dolphins in overtime, he smiled. "I sang 'em a lullaby," he said. Not really; a lullaby puts a baby to sleep. This lullaby would have burned little kids' ears. It woke up all those big babies in green-and- white uniforms who fell behind, 30-7, before their fourth-quarter explosion on four of Vinny Testaverde's five touchdown passes. More important, this lullaby showed not only that the Jets' new head coach is in command, but also that his players will play hard for him.'
Jets Out of Clouds [7:58 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'The first-place Jets (6-1) face the Bills (3-4) Sunday at Orchard Park in a game that screams of a potential emotional letdown. Coach Al Groh, trying to prevent it, addressed the subject in yesterday's team meeting. "I think they're well aware of the fact that most of (the Bills) had gone to bed, and so they're not all that impressed with what we did," Groh said.'
Anderson Catches on in Win [7:57 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'It was overshadowed by Vinny Testaverde's five touchdown passes and Jumbo Elliott's improbable touchdown and Marcus Coleman's interception hat trick, but perhaps the most impressive individual performance in the Jets' dramatic comeback win over the Dolphins was Richie Anderson's receiving. He caught 12 passes for 109 yards. Think about that for a second: 12 receptions. Only three times in the 41-year history of the Jets has a player produced more receptions in a single game - Clark Gaines (17 in 1980) and Al Toon twice (14 in 1988 and 13 in 1988). Anderson didn't garner much publicity for his monster game, but it has been that kind of season for him - sneaky good. "A lot of people talk about me being the most underrated back; I think Richie is the most underrated back," Curtis Martin said yesterday at Hofstra. "He means so much to this team. He's like the motor for this team. Once Richie gets going, a lot of us get going.'
Bills' Flutie Still Stumped by Benching [7:55 AM]
New York Daily News reports: '"It was very frustrating and it made for a very unsettling offseason for me, personally," Flutie said yesterday in conference call with New York reporters. "I guess we weren't winning by enough." Flutie, who will start for the injured Rob Johnson (shoulder) Sunday against the Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium, led the Bills to a 10-5 record last season. He was benched in the regular-season finale and the AFC wild-card playoff game in Tennessee. "I went to the Pro Bowl in '98, and I was the first alternate at the Pro Bowl last year, yet I'm not good enough to start for the team in the playoffs," he said.'
Never-say die Jets: Anything's possible [7:54 AM]
New York Post reports: 'A win over the Bills Sunday would make the Jets 7-1 at the halfway point in the regular season, assure them of sole possession of first place for another week and make them 5-0 against AFC East competition - a huge tiebreaker factor. It, too, would leave the Bills at 3-5 at the turn with a debilitating 0-4 division record, including 0-2 against the Jets. In essence, a Jet win over the Bills Sunday would allow the Jets to just about bury Buffalo the way they've buried the 2-6 Patriots with a season series sweep.'
Snippy Flutie feels slighted [7:53 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Flutie, who's obviously not a real fan of the Bills' organization for the way he's been treated, was asked if he's playing for his future. "I'm under contract for another two years and it's very difficult for them to release me because of salary-cap situations," he said.'
Groh denies quote [7:51 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Al Groh and a number of Jet players yesterday vehemently denied a report that Groh, in his halftime tirade Monday night, called the players "pathetic losers." Groh called the report "totally inaccurate," adding, "I'm not going to repeat what I said, but that's nothing I would ever think of saying to those players. It's nothing that I would ever say. It's a complete and total fabrication." Several Jet players were asked yesterday if they heard those words and none said they did.'
It's Back to Earth [7:50 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The Jets, 4-0 against AFC East opponents, face the Bills Sunday in Buffalo in a game Groh marked down on his calendar long ago as one of the toughest of the season. It is certainly a dangerous game, coming off a thrilling comeback and facing a team that linebacker Sam Cowart said is "in a desperate situation." Buffalo is 0-3 in the division and has wilted with three losses in four games after losing to the Jets.'
Anderson's Magnetism Is Catching [7:49 AM]
New York Newsday reports: '"A lot of people talk about me being the most underrated back," Curtis Martin said. "I think Richie [Anderson] is the most underrated back, because he means so much to this team. He's like the motor to this team. Once Richie gets going, a lot of us get going."'
Anderson has caught on as secret weapon [7:48 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: '"Richie [Anderson] is a big-play guy," running back Curtis Martin said. "A lot of people talk about me being the most underrated back. I think Richie is the most underrated back. He means so much to this team. He's like the motor to this team. Once Richie gets going, a lot of us get going."'
Angry Flutie goes off [7:46 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Bills coach Wade Phillips said he watched the Jets-Dolphins game until the score was 30-7 and was shocked to learn of the Jets' comeback the next morning. "It's just like with Dewey and Truman," Phillips said. "I expected to see it in the papers and it wasn't there." Phillips was an infant in 1948 when the Chicago Tribune mistakenly proclaimed Thomas Dewey the winner over Harry Truman in the Presidential election. ... Sure enough, The Miami Herald ran a headline touting a Dolphins' victory on its Web site early yesterday morning.'
Jets go forward after comeback [7:45 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'In general, the Bills are grumpy about their 3-4 record, with all four losses coming in the last five games. Specifically, they weren't thrilled about nearly upsetting the unbeaten Vikings at Minnesota before falling, 31-27, Sunday. "Especially when you come off a loss," said quarterback Doug Flutie, who will start a second straight game for the injured Rob Johnson, "you've got to get a win and get the bad taste of the loss out of your mouth. We can't wait till Sunday." And while the Bills aren't saying anything provocative this week, some expressed irritation after they held the Jets to 234 "legitimate" yards and one "genuine" touchdown in Game 3, only to be beaten by Kevin Williams' kickoff-return touchdown, Testaverde's 45-yard Hail Mary scoring pass to cornerback-turned-receiver Marcus Coleman, and their own special-teams gaffes.'
Groh admits to error [7:43 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Al Groh concurred with several commentators who accused him of committing an error during the Jets' Monday night comeback win over Miami. "It was a mistake by the head coach," Groh said Wednesday of his decision to go for two points after the Jets had cut their deficit to 30-13 early in the fourth quarter. "I don't have a chart. I just have a gut and a heart and I try to use those. I just made a mistake. It wasn't good thinking."'
Tight end hurting [7:42 AM]
Jets Confidential reports: 'Two Jets players who were listed a questionable last week are doubtful this week. Tight end Anthony Becht's knee has gotten worse and he likely won't play against Buffalo. John Abraham definitely won't play because of an abdominal strain in his stomach.'
Bills-Oilers playoff game earns the title [8:54 PM]
NFL Insider reports: 'I was at the greatest comeback in NFL history. I was sitting in the press box, rubbing my eyes and shaking my head in disbelief, just as I did several times Monday night at Giants Stadium. But what happened Monday night did not equal what happened on the afternoon of Jan. 3, 1993 in Orchard Park, N.Y. Not in terms of sheer drama and absolute jaw-dropping, eye-popping, heart-stopping shock.'
Riemersma's 50-50 to return for Sunday's game [8:38 PM]
AP reports: '"I feel I'm right at 50-50. It felt a lot better than last week," Riemersma said Wednesday after practicing with Buffalo's first unit for the first time since his injury. "But I think the true test will be tomorrow on how I feel. I worked it pretty good today, but I'm going to see how it jumps back tomorrow and take it day to day."'
Who's Got Randy? [10:42 AM]
Buffalo Post reports: "I'm going to take the blame," said Irvin, whose third-down holding penalty on Moss sustained Minnesota's other touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. "I didn't do the things I on that last play that I needed to.
Breakdown In Minneapolis [10:41 AM]
Buffalo Post reports: "Too many mistakes," said linebacker Sam Rogers, whose third-quarter interception set up what looked like the clinching Buffalo touchdown. "I hate to say that week in and week out, (but) that's what's killing us. Mistakes always seem to wind up as touchdowns."
Collins says Riemersma's ready [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills coach Wade Phillips isn't quite ready to say it, but tight end Bobby Collins will: Jay Riemersma will return for Sunday's game against the New York Jets in Ralph Wilson Stadium. "He'll be back this week," Collins said.'
Bills' hopes for playoffs are fading [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I wouldn't say the window's starting to close," linebacker Keith Newman said. "There's still a lot of things that gotta happen in the division. The Jets gotta come here this weekend. Miami's gotta come here the beginning of December. And Indy hasn't played either of them. "But you don't want to count on the other teams."'
Flutie's days in Buffalo should be numbered . . . no matter what [9:06 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Doug turned 38 Monday. He's too old for this team. It needs time to grow and he doesn't have that sort of time left to watch them grow. Beyond that Rob Johnson needs to play in order to develop. He hasn't had enough starts to constitute an entire season. He needs to be allowed to make mistakes, to see every situation a couple of times, gain the experience necessary to operate as Flutie did Sunday.'
It's imperative: Beat Jets [6:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'The teams that Buffalo has lost to on the road -- Jets, Dolphins and Vikings -- are a combined 17-2 and the Bills were in every game. In fact, the Bills have outgained six of their seven opponents so far in total yardage and tied the other (Miami with 254). "Certainly, we gave a great effort," coach Wade Phillips said of the loss to the Vikings, in which the Bills rang up 406 yards and controlled the clock for 36 minutes but yielded two fourth-quarter touchdown passes. "We've played some tough teams on the road and we could've beaten all three. But, we've got to find a way to beat them.'
Flutie cool in dome, but tests to come [6:11 AM]
D and C reports: 'Flutie has it all over Johnson in terms of experience, coolness under pressure, and pocket awareness. There were times in this game when I'm sure Johnson would have taken an untimely sack, or would have needed to waste a timeout because he couldn't communicate the play properly. This, of course is unacceptable. Johnson has to learn to deal with adversity, and he has to learn to cope with noise and to win on the road, something he's done only once in five career road starts as a Bill. That said, Flutie did not win the game.'
Even Flutie can't offset Bills' deficiencies [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'Flutie is 17-9 as starting QB for Buffalo and Johnson is 7-7 over that span. The Flutie-Johnson debate seems pretty simple to me: Short-term gain vs. long-term potential. Flutie is the more experienced, charismatic and entertaining player. At this stage of their careers, he might win a game or two more per season than Johnson. It is understandable that the majority of fans would prefer to go with the proven commodity at QB. Johnson has the physical talent to win in the NFL but still has lots to learn. He's not going to develop sitting on the bench. The Bills are a relatively young team and figure to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender in a year or two -- assuming they don't lose Eric Moulds to free agency and can shore up the offensive line. Quarterback is the most important position, and from an organizational standpoint it is logical to have him play now to grow with the rest of the team.'
Bills floundering as defense coughs up latest loss [8:03 PM]
AP reports: '"We just made some mental errors," second-year linebacker Keith Newman said on Monday. "We didn't close things out in the fourth quarter. We didn't put the stamp on the victory."'
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