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Buffalo Bills News - September 29, 2003

Marker McNabb no longer McBad [4:55 AM]
Orlando Sentinel reports: '"The Case of the Vanishing Buffalo." After the first two weeks, Bills fans were clearing their calendars for a trip to the Super Bowl. But after the last two weeks, they just want to go hide. Between Miami and Philadelphia, the Bills went eight quarters without scoring before mounting a mini-rally in the final minutes against the Eagles. One obvious clue -- RB Travis Henry is missing and Joe Burns is not the answer.'

Marker That's one for the Birds [4:54 AM]
New York Daily News reports: '"It felt like we were fighting an uphill battle an awful lot," Bledsoe said. "We just didn't make enough plays. That's the bottom line."'

Marker Eagles Flutter Back to Life [4:53 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'McNabb led the Eagles to a textbook opening touchdown drive today in extremely hostile territory and the Philadelphia Eagles breathed a sigh of relief when the final gun sounded in their 23-13 victory over the often-bumbling Buffalo Bills (2-2).'

Marker Eagles finally fly off [4:52 AM]
New York Post reports: 'When the Bills tried to stack the line of scrimmage and play man defense, McNabb floated perfect touch passes behind the secondary. When the pass protection broke down, McNabb used his legs to pick up 47 yards rushing.'

Marker McNabb's outlook sunnier [4:51 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'The next possession, a 16-play drive that inhaled 8:36 of the first quarter, was pure McNabb. Three times he converted on third down, finding enough time and space in the pocket to hit James Thrash for 16 yards, and Pinkston for 11 and 5. After a 26-yard David Akers field goal, the Eagles had already matched their offensive output on the season.'

Marker McNabb, Eagles find lost rhythm [4:50 AM] reports: '"He just set the tone for all of us," Eagles tight end Chad Lewis said. "I don't know if it was the week off or if it was any inward thinking that he did, but he came today with a will and it was Donovan's will. He asserted that on the first drive. He really took all of us on his back and said, 'Let's go!' You could just feel that he was our leader from snap one."'

Marker Bullying Buffalo [4:39 AM]
Comcast Sportsnet reports: 'For the first time this season, McNabb actually looked like he was enjoying himself out there.'

Marker Hey Sheldon, You Get to Cover Eric Moulds [4:38 AM]
Comcast Sportsnet reports: '"We knew that they had struggled a little bit running the ball," defensive tackle Corey Simon said. "We knew their best running back was out, so we just had to go out there and not have a letdown. Last year, when we went into the Indianapolis game, and we figure OK, we can just go out and play the pass, and James Mungro had a huge game. So, we knew Joe Burns can run the ball. He's a tough runner. We had to go out there, focus and bear down and get after it."'

Marker Eagles on winning track with victory in Buffalo [4:33 AM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Drew Bledsoe's offense was ineffective for much of the game, but he still finished with 296 yards and a TD on 27-of-43 passing for Buffalo (2-2), which was coming off a 17-7 loss in Miami last Sunday night. Bledsoe also rushed for a score.'

Marker Bills Drop Second Straight [4:29 AM] reports: 'The Bills failed to put points on the board until the fourth quarter when quarterback Drew Bledsoe passed for a touchdown and ran for a score to pull Buffalo within three points. But, Eagles running back Brian Westbrook killed any chance of a come back with a late 62 yard score.'

Marker Week 4: Gregg Williams Quotes [4:21 AM] reports: 'On the Bills' Running Game: "We have got to execute a lot better there. You can't be one-dimensional and we were one-dimensional today."'

Marker Week 4: Drew Bledsoe Quotes [4:20 AM] reports: 'On the Lack of a Rushing Game Putting Too Much Pressure On the Passing Game: "The areas that I think we need to address are two areas. Number one, too many negative plays on early downs. We have a penalty on first down or we have a sack on first down, or we have a negative play on first down makes it hard to stay patient with the running game. Number two is our third conversions, partly because of that problem, but overall our third down conversion percentage has not been strong enough. When you don't convert your third downs then you don't get a chance to be patient with the running game. Those two areas are really making it hard for us to stay patient with the running game and on top of that we just haven't been very effective with it the last couple of weeks."'

Marker Week 4: Eric Moulds Quotes [4:20 AM] reports: 'On the Inability To Run the Ball: "It's not a lack of running game. It's doing what you have to do on the field. We have to be able to stay on the field. We have to convert third downs and our defense needs to stop third downs. That's how you win ball games."'

Marker Week 4: Joe Burns Quotes [4:19 AM] reports: 'On Whether There's a Lack of Commitment to Running Game: "I'm not the one to make that decision. I just go and execute the play that is called to the best of my ability. I just have to go out and do what they tell me to do."'

Marker Week 4: Antonio Winfield Quotes [4:19 AM] reports: 'On the Penalties: "On third downs we couldn't get off the field, which kept us on the field a long time. Offense didn't convert on third downs, which hurt us. We just have to go and get back next week."'

Marker Week 4: Andy Reid Quotes [4:18 AM] reports: 'On Aggressive Play On Last Drive: "It was very important, we kept reminding each other, players and coaches, to stay aggressive. Over our years here there have been times when I haven't been aggressive enough and the coaches did a great job of reminding me of that."'

Marker Week 4: Donovan McNabb Quotes [4:18 AM] reports: 'On the Play of the Offensive Line: "They played well today. We picked up the blitz well and for the ones I wasn't able to pick up, I was able to get the ball out to the hot reads and let them turn up field to get some yards. Collectively the O-line played well."'

Marker Birds fly in Buffalo, 23-13 [4:17 AM] reports: 'Following a touchback, the Eagles started at their own 20-yard line. Westbrook started the drive with a 3-yard run. Pinkston couldn't quite hold onto McNabb's pass on second down. On third down, McNabb fired to the right sideline and Thrash made a leaping grab for a 14-yard gain and first down.'

Marker Thrash Talk On Clutch Catch [4:15 AM] reports: '"All game we were just able to keep fighting," said McNabb, who completed 18-of-29 passes for 172 yards. "We never gave up."'

Marker A Closer Look [4:14 AM] reports: 'CB Sheldon Brown: Thrown into Eric Moulds duty when Troy Vincent went out of the game with a hamstring injury, Brown did a good job. He played tenacious defense, didn't back down and stayed in Moulds' face even though Brown prepared all week to see more of Bobby Shaw than Moulds.'

Marker Westbrook Leads Ground Charge [4:13 AM] reports: 'On one glorious Sunday, the Eagles used the three-headed running back to absolute perfection. Duce Staley, Correll Buckhalter and Brian Westbrook combined to give the offense dreamy production: 24 carries, 125 yards, 4 receptions and 21 yards. Totals: 28 touches, 146 yards and great blocking when quarterback Donovan McNabb faced the blitz.'

Marker Strong Day For D Line In Victory [4:13 AM] reports: 'The defense did its job. Simon set the tone with an 8-yard sack of Bledsoe on Buffalo's first play from scrimmage.'

Marker Kid DBs Come Up Big [4:12 AM] reports: 'But despite the absences of a host of key starters, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson managed to cook up a gameplan that, for the most part, shut down one of the NFL's most-ballyhooed offense.'

Marker Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes [4:11 AM] reports: 'On SS Michael Lewis' forced fumble before halftime: "That was big. There were a couple of other close calls that could have gone either way. The officials had some tough calls they had to make today, but that helped."'

Marker QB Donovan McNabb Quotes [4:10 AM] reports: 'On the Bills getting the momentum back in the second half: "Offensively, we were on the sidelines talking to one another. We said if we got a couple first downs and put the ball in the end zone this game is over. James (Thrash) did a wonderful job of peeling away from the defender and I tried to just put it in a spot where he could get it. And to top it all off was Brian's (Westbrook) touchdown. We never give up and that's what this team is all about."'

Marker Big? Oh, It's A Huge Win For Eagles [4:10 AM] reports: '"We came out and set the tempo on the offensive side and the defense was fired up," said quarterback Donovan McNabb. "We were just consistently making plays."'

Marker The Bills Lack Direction In Loss To The Eagles [4:01 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills were totally unprepared to play football on Sunday and deserved the 23-13 loss in Wilson Stadium and the hands of the Eagles.'

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September 28, 2003

Marker McNabb, Westbrook's run carry Birds to 23-13 win over Bills [6:48 PM] reports: 'Bledsoe was effective throwing the ball, but the Eagles completely shut down the Bills' depleted running game. With starter Travis Henry sidelined by injury, Buffalo managed just 15 yards on nine carries.'

Marker Bills lose again without Henry [6:42 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Third-string backup Joe Burns carried the ball eight times for 17 yards in his absence.'

Marker Eagles 23, Bills 13 [4:53 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills were booed off the field at the end of the half, and were booed again when they went three-and-out on their first possession of the third quarter.'

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