Bench warmers get hot when it counts [9:08 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Sure, Doug Flutie scored the winning touchdown with 70 seconds remaining, but he was in that position only because of a 72-yard kickoff return seconds earlier by Ronney Jenkins. And that touchdown wouldn't have been enough to ward off an overtime period were it not for an even more unlikely hero than Jenkins -- Ed Ellis.'
Bolts believers in Flutie Tales [9:07 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Of course, Butler and Wilson did not play. Flutie and Johnson did. And they did not disappoint. Both played well, played with heart. If you want to say Johnson, who had the stronger numbers, played better, go ahead. The scoreboard says Flutie won.'
Johnson had super day running, passing [9:06 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'This was the irony of the afternoon for Johnson. As strongly as he played in what became a 27-24 San Diego triumph, he is aware that what he did is not apt to silence those in Buffalo, and they are many, who contend that the team acted unwisely when it determined to retain him rather than Flutie. "But I don't care," Johnson said. You don't care? "It's been three years," he said.'
Buffalo's Moorman could just kick self [9:04 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Both kickers in yesterday's Chargers-Bills game made tackles on kickoffs. San Diego's Wade Richey got a cheer. Buffalo's Brian Moorman got a penalty flag.'
Owning up to Bills' loss [9:03 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"This was no grudge match," Wilson said after the Chargers' 27-24 escape in Qualcomm Stadium. "It was a tremendous game."'
Flutie Races Off With Another Big Victory [7:16 AM]
Los Angeles Times reports: 'The game that started as a rout--the Chargers led, 10-0, after one quarter--settled down to a snooze--Chargers 13, Bills 10 after three quarters. But the fourth quarter proved a heart-stopper as the Bills took the lead for the first time, 24-20, with 1:45 remaining on a 12-play, 68-yard drive capped by a three-yard touchdown plunge by Travis Henry. But Charger Ronney Jenkins returned the kickoff 72 yards and, after the Bills were assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the stage was set for Flutie's fateful scramble and head-long dive with 1:30 remaining.'
Ex-Bill leads Chargers to emotional win [6:33 AM]
Los Angeles Daily News reports: 'Johnson, the former USC standout, once again seemed to be dwarfed by his 5-foot-9 counterpart on the field when it mattered most, though by no fault of his own.'
Lightning strikes Bills [6:29 AM]
Orange County Register reports: 'Doug Flutie ran into the end zone. Rob Johnson ran out of time.'
Colts-Bills game start time moved to 1 p.m. by NFL [6:13 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'The league has informed the team it has moved up its kickoff against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium from 4:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.'
Flutie flouts Bills in grudge match [6:09 AM]
USA Today reports: 'Once all the bad blood between the Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers spilled onto the field Sunday, the game turned into 3 1/2 -hour classic.'
It's sweet music to Flutie [5:44 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'Yet there's no doubt that when he added Flutie, Butler hit the jackpot - and Buffalo lost its charger.'
It's payback time for Flutie [5:39 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"This is so great," he said. "After the game, my buddies, who have been Bills fans for 15 years, wouldn't talk to me."'
Big defeat, small victory [5:38 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'When he finally was hauled down, it was at the Bills' 28-yard-line. Buffalo kicker Brian Moorman followed the brilliance of tackling Jenkins with a boneheaded unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. And almost all 63,698 in the house plus thousands of Bills fans had to know what was coming next.'
Magic still left in Flutie [5:36 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Though crushed at the defeat -- he was close to tears in the Bills locker room -- Johnson refused to say the winning score was the result of charmed Flutie fortune. "He didn't luck into it, he played well," Johnson said. "He's a competitor and we had a chance to sack him. He spun out of it and made a play."'
Flutie vs. Johnson: Call it even [5:35 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Even the diehard Doug Flutie fans need to cut Rob Johnson at least a little slack now. If he could play special teams - if anybody could - maybe the heartbreaking 27-24 defeat the Bills suffered yesterday to the Chargers and their old pal, Doug Flutie, could have had a happier ending for fans on the Niagara Frontier.'
Late Flutie run sinks Bills [5:15 AM]
D and C reports: 'But in a scene that was eerily reminiscent of a deciding kickoff return in a playoff loss at Tennessee two years ago, the Chargers' Ronney Jenkins returned the ensuing kickoff 72 yards to set up Flutie's clinching heroics, something Bills fans got used to seeing him do the past three seasons in Buffalo. "Another day at the office, I guess," Flutie said.'
Flutie dashes Bills' hopes [5:14 AM]
D and C reports: 'But fate doesn't like Johnson. Neither do the football gods...'.
Bills-Chargers surpassed hype [5:13 AM]
D and C reports: 'Wilson, the Bills' ultra-competitive 83-year-old owner saying he wanted to beat the Chargers more than he wanted to win this season's Super Bowl, raised eyebrows around the league, but he gets my applause.'
Buffalo Bills report card [5:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'Special teams -- Brian Moorman was called for delay of game on the opening kickoff and it didn't improve much after that. The kickoff team allowed the mistake of the game -- Ronney Jenkins' 72-yard return plus an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Moorman to the Buffalo 13, setting up Flutie's final heroics with 1:10 left. Kicker Jake Arians was 1-for-3 with the potential tying kick from 44 yards blocked in the closing seconds. D'
Chargers 27, Bills 24 [7:55 PM]
AP reports: '"I thought he played the best game he's ever had," Wilson said. "We just came out on the short end. I am not going to second-guess anything."'
San Diego 27, Buffalo 24 [7:54 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'After the game as the players were shaking hands, Flutie looked toward the Buffalo sideline, but Johnson raced into the dressing room. "We just don't get along personally and I respect him as a player and that's it," Johnson said. "I saw him before the game and just gave him a what's up."'
Writer Was Surprised by Flutie's Smallness [10:20 AM]
Los Angeles Times reports: 'Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News has some harsh things to say about Doug Flutie, the former Bills' quarterback, now playing for the San Diego Chargers.'
Hype gives way to Bolts-Bills battle [10:12 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Now comes the Bills, who on the surface look as dangerous as a domestic cat. But considering all that's riding on this game, their claws will be sharpened.'
Bills draw blueprint to make Flutie stretch [9:45 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The blueprint for defending the 4-2 Chargers is no secret: Keep rookie back LaDainian Tomlinson in check; keep Flutie in the pocket by having the defensive ends stay in their rush lanes; make Flutie try to beat the defense with throws to the sideline and deep down the field.'
The goal standard [9:44 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The list is scribbled toward the back of the notebook he uses for scouting opposing players. The rookie cornerback opens it daily, making sure he's keeping an eye on receivers around the league while keeping tabs on himself. It reads: 1. Improve every day...2. Be the best defensive back in the league...3. Lead the league in interceptions...4. Defensive rookie of the year...5. Pro Bowl..6. Best kickoff and punt returner...7. The word "can't" is not an option for me.'
Parker and Ellis have their own Buffalo connections [9:42 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'They are two guys with strong ties to Buffalo. But any feelings Vaughan Parker and Ed Ellis have for the Queen City will be put aside today. Parker and Ellis are offensive linemen for the San Diego Chargers, who host the Buffalo Bills in Qualcomm Stadium. "I grew up in Buffalo, so I was a big Bills fan," Parker said. "I still want them to do well...when we're not playing them."'
Bills-Chargers: It's a whole new ballgame [9:40 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But Wilson and Butler won't be able to carry their bitterness onto the field. The players will, though.'
Wilson gave aid, comfort to Chargers [9:39 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A whole lot of talking has been going on in the past week, though. Chargers linebacker Sam Rogers, yet another transplanted Bill, said today's game will be "very, very personal." He said they want to beat Buffalo for Butler in the same way they wanted to beat Washington for Norv Turner, their offensive coordinator.'
Bills need to see another good game from Johnson [9:38 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Doug did a con job with the media this week, lavishing praise on Buffalo's cornerbacks, Antoine Winfield and rookie Nate Clements. Yes, they're good, but Flutie's wide receivers, Jeff Graham and Curtis Conway, are big and have long experience.'
Bills-Bolts not a game; it's a made-for-TV soap [9:06 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Even so, the Chargers don't believe they will fall today. Rogers said publicly during the week that the Chargers should win by 10 points, which surely made the worrisome Butler cringe. He is an old-school guy who doesn't like providing bulletin board material to opponents, which is why he has told writers he plans to remain silent until after the game.'
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