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Buffalo Bills News - December 19, 2004

Marker Bills savor taste of big stakes [9:27 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bengals' offense is one of the hottest in the NFL, averaging 478 yards a game over the past three weeks. Even though Cincinnati (6-7) will be without starting quarterback Carson Palmer, who has a knee injury, the Bengals will turn to one of the most competent backups in the NFL - Jon Kitna. He threw the third-most touchdown passes in the league last year.'

Marker Punching the clock [9:26 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills' ability to control the clock probably will be a huge factor against a Bengals offense that has been racing up and down the field the past month. "That's one of the first things I go to see," Mularkey said. "Obviously if you have the ball, you have chances to score and they don't. It's been a couple years since I did it, but typically the top teams in the league are at the top in time of possession."'

Marker Mularkey's toughness drives Bills' resurgence [9:25 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It seems like I've always started at the bottom," Mularkey said. "If we'd have started 4-0, maybe then I'd have been caught off-guard."'

Marker Mental toughness of Bills nears its final exam [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Today's game in Cincinnati will be a demonstration course. The Bengals virtually have been eliminated from playoff possibilities, but they are still a work in progress, a team that is almost certain to insert itself into much more serious contention in the next few years.'

Marker Bills, Bengals making a run with red-hot offenses [9:24 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Bills survive a shootout with a 34-27 win.'

Marker A Gifted Class [9:23 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But in reality, it was an 11-round draft for the Bills, because four rookie free agents made the roster. Three of those - safety Rashad Baker, corner Jabari Greer and tight end Jason Peters - also have contributed. That's an impressive accomplishment for the Bills' college scouting department, headed by Assistant General Manager Tom Modrak.'

Marker Isolation booth [5:42 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'The Bills employ five offensive and defensive starters as blockers on the kickoff return team, including 245-pound linebacker London Fletcher as McGee's fellow deep man and designated blocker. The Bills also are dangerous on punt returns, so the Bengals' cover team will have to be sharp. Nate Clements and Jonathan Smith have returned punts for touchdowns this season, and the Bills' five return TDs in one season are the most since the Chicago Cardinals returned five for scores in 1959. Buffalo is ranked in the top five in kickoff return average, punt return average, average drive start (offense) and kickoff return average (defense).'

Marker Who's got the edge? [5:41 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Bengals 24, Bills 23.'

Marker What you need to know about Bengals vs. Bills [5:40 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'Don't be surprised if the scoreboard resembles a pinball machine. The Bengals will miss the center-QB exchange of Braham & Palmer, but I have faith that Jerry Fontenot and Kitna will get the job done. The Bengals will spoil Spikes' homecoming. The final: Bengals 38, Bills 31.'

Marker Plenty at stake in Bengals-Bills game [5:39 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: 'And this is a game that could make or break the playoff chances of both clubs.'

Marker Sunday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:38 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
More to friends than the job (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Who's got the edge? (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Isolation booth (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Plenty at stake in Bengals-Bills game (Dayton Daily News)
What you need to know about Bengals vs. Bills (Dayton Daily News)
5 Questions with... (Dayton Daily News)
Off the field with Willie Anderson (Dayton Daily News)
Bengals Mailbag: Will Peter Warrick be back in 2005? (Dayton Daily News)
Daunting defenses (Columbus Dispatch)
Game-day matchup (Columbus Dispatch)
Once more into the ‘D’ (Columbus Dispatch)
Special day on tap (Bengals.com)
Braham to IR; Wilson signed (Bengals.com)
Braham to IR (Bengals.com)
Kitna is back in familiar role: Bengals starter (Seattle Times)

Marker Bills-Bengals winner still can make the postseason [5:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'During their four-game winning streak the Bills have scored 154 points, the highest four-game production in team history. Meanwhile, the Bengals have scored 113 points in their last three games, with 55 coming against the highly respected defenses of Baltimore and New England the last two weeks.'

Marker Bills' Spikes set to tackle his former team [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Anderson said he doesn't begrudge Spikes' decision to leave the team. "He's happy. They're winning and he enjoys his teammates," Anderson said. "He made a great decision for himself and his family, an opportunity for him to get out of the Cincinnati market and get the exposure he wants. He's a great player and has always been a great player. He's getting a chance to shine right now."'

Marker Q&A: Troy Vincent [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'You were close to signing with this week's opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals. Why did you choose the Bills?
"My wife. We just felt this was where I needed to be. I left money on the table in Cincinnati, but it wasn't about the dollars, it was what would be best for myself long term. I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach (Marvin) Lewis, and coach (Leslie) Frazier was my secondary coach in Philly. We have a great friendship and it was hard to say no."'

Marker Several Bills worthy of Pro Bowl nod [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Here are the Bills most likely to be invited (in order of probability)...'.

Marker It's 'something special' [4:59 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Unfortunately, just what the Bills have left to play for is not entirely in the hands of Spikes and that tough defence and suddenly rejuvenated offence. At 7-6, the Bills must win their final three games beginning with today's testy road contest against the Bengals (6-7) who are still alive but by mathematics only. They'll also need varying degrees of collapse from at least a couple of the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars.'

Marker Donahoe well aware of QB's needs [4:58 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'He is one of the most stationary targets in the history of the NFL, one of the few guys you would bet against in a race with Dan Marino. Thus, Bledsoe needs receivers who can get open quickly and who can run.'

Marker Bills thrive with Vincent at free safety [4:57 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Vincent's transition is more a move of selflessness than an indication that he can no longer play cornerback consistently well. Bills second-year cornerback Terrence McGee has done a solid job replacing Vincent, while Izell Reese and rookie Rashad Baker weren't making much impact at free safety. "The thing I'd hate to do is take Terrence off the field, have Troy go back to left corner and still have a younger guy at free safety," said Bills defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, whose third-ranked defense has played a significant role in Buffalo's rebound from an 0-4 record to 7-6.'

Marker Bills GM Donahoe makes right moves [4:56 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'Donahoe is not going anywhere. He is one of the best pure football men in the NFL and would get snapped up in a minute if the Bills fired him. In a changing time for management, Donahoe is a great leader whose decisions are starting to pay off in Buffalo.'

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December 18, 2004

Marker Snow, Arctic Blast Coming Sunday [2:17 PM]
WLWT-TV Cincinnati reports: 'Fans going to Paul Brown Stadium will feel as if they’re in Buffalo while watching the Bengals and Bills. For the 1 p.m. kickoff, it should be about 20° with a wind chill of 0° to 5°. By the fourth quarter, it should be about 17 with a wind chill of 0° to minus-5°.'

Marker Bills keep rolling towards postseason [1:50 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Bills, 30-20.'

Marker A punter's deep thoughts [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Moorman, if not for the emergence of wunderkind Willis McGahee, might be the Bills' most valuable player.'

Marker Showtime for Schobel brothers [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Having sons playing on opposite sides might create some family conflict as for whom to root. But Aaron Schobel said his parents won't have that problem. "They just want us to play well," he said. "Who wins, it doesn't matter. As long as their boys play well and come out of the game injury-free, they'll be happy."'

Marker Spikes happy with move to Bills [8:33 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'This season is the first time he has played a game in December when his team was above .500.'

Marker Bengals vs. Bills [8:32 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'Field position will be important and Buffalo's special teams are among the best in the NFL. Whichever team gets better play, or a big play, from its special teams will have the advantage.'

Marker Saturday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:14 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Getting finer with time (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Palmer is all but ruled out (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Bengals staying focused (Cincinnati Post)
Barring miracle, Kitna's the starter (Cincinnati Post)
Spikes happy with move to Bills (Cincinnati Post)
Bengals vs. Bills (Cincinnati Post)
Kitna gets chance to prove his merit (Dayton Daily News)
Lewis notes McGahee comeback (Columbus Dispatch)
Kitna gets nod (Bengals.com)
The Cell Phone Game (Bengals.com)
Bengals practice squad move (Bengals.com)
Injury report (Bengals.com)
Key matchups (Bengals.com)

Marker Tricks of Bills a real treat [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We'd run 'em in practice and I say, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Villarrial says. "And then we'd go out there on Sundays, and our opponents would wind up being completely fooled. I'm a believer now. Mike Mularkey and Tom Clements are like mad scientists. Anything goes with them. I can't wait to see what they pull out of the hat next."'

Marker Spikes will finally play big game [5:00 AM]
AP reports: '“This is what I wanted to do, to be part of something special,” Spikes said. “The emotions are going to run wild, man. The biggest reason is I’ve never been in the month of December, this late, and still had something to play for other than pride.”'

December 17, 2004

Marker Clements Returns To The Field [5:19 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Mularkey said that Clements told him he was able to go full out and it went well. The Bills head coach said he'll see how the cornerback feels on Sunday. He's listed as probable with a sore shoulder.'

Marker Bengals Have Balanced Attack [3:58 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Takeo Spikes is going back to Cincinnati this week and we'll see how he handles the situation during the week. We don't want him to get so tight that he doesn't play well. I want to make sure he goes out and does his job, cutting it loose, just as he has done for the last year and a half with the Buffalo Bills. As a coach, I don't want to build any pressure on him going back home where he got drafted. I think it's just another game for Takeo and there isn't any animosity toward the Bengals. He has to out and play like that because a player can get so wound up that he doesn't play well.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
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12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
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12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
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