Notes on Bills/Colts game [5:08 AM]
D and C reports: 'Phillips eschewing the field goal in the third quarter might have been one of his most dubious decisions in his Bills' tenure. The Bills were leading 9-7 and Christie -- who had already made three field goals -- would have had about a 47-yarder to make it 12-7. Maybe Christie would have missed, but maybe he would have made it and those three points could have been the difference.'
Prepared for victory [4:46 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'With time winding down and no room for error, the Manning-led offense turned preparation into production. It needed just seven plays and less than a minute to maneuver into position for Mike Vanderjagt's 45-yard field goal as time expired.'
Colts deserve extra credit for this one [4:45 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Really, this one should count double. Because it wasn't enough for the Indianapolis Colts to beat the Buffalo Bills once Sunday. They had to do it twice. With 2 minutes to play, they had them beat. And when that was wiped away, they went out and beat them again in the final seconds.'
Vanderjagt's wind-aided appeal pays off [4:44 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Vanderjagt meandered up to Jim Mora in the locker room and informed the Colts' coach it would be a good idea for the team to kick into the wind in the third quarter. " . . . So in the fourth quarter when I kick a game-winner, we'll have the wind," Vanderjagt said, retelling his brief dialogue with Mora. So, in the fourth quarter, with the wind at his back, Vanderjagt did precisely that. His 45-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Colts to an 18-16 victory over the Bills.'
Manning can show a little mobility when it's necessary [4:43 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Though the new wave of quarterbacks -- led by Daunte Culpepper, Cade McNown, Donovan McNabb, Shaun King and Akili Smith -- all are superior runners, none even approaches Manning as a quarterback. Even so, Manning has added a little mobility to his game. He'll run when he must. Only then does he resemble a dinosaur.'
Defense's timely plays save the day [4:41 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Though Buffalo came out hot, racking up 164 total yards on its first three offensive possessions, the Colts kept the Bills out of the end zone. In the process, they prevented the Bills from building a more sizable lead than 9-0, and made life that much more bearable for the offense, which recovered from a sloppy start to post an 18-16 victory on Sunday.'
Plan backfires: Buffalo QB feels the pressure [4:40 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'All week long the Buffalo Bills talked about the importance of putting pressure on the passer. Come Sunday, most of it was on theirs. For the second consecutive game, the Indianapolis defensive front came hard and often. It sacked Rob Johnson four times and helped the Colts to an 18-16 victory. Often as not, it was rookie linebacker Marcus Washington chasing Johnson around Ralph Wilson Stadium.'
Missed opportunities haunt Bills [4:38 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"Things could happen. Could've, should've, would've," Moulds said with a grimace. "We can't live like that. We've got to go down there and score points."'
At the stadium [4:37 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Buffalo fans are among the most avid tailgaters in the NFL, and have been for more than two decades. A parking lot adjacent to Ralph Wilson Stadium starts filling up with motor homes on Friday night and is packed hours before the game starts.'
Report card [4:35 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'The Bills thoroughly dominated the statistics. They outrushed the Colts 170-81, out-passed them 215-184 and held the ball nearly 12 minutes longer. Buffalo also drove 80 yards for what could've been the game-winning touchdown with 1:08 left. In the face of all that, the Colts simply found a way, coming up with just enough plays at critical times to beat another quality team on the road.'
Stats not all [4:34 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'Buffalo wracked up 385 offensive yards (the Colts had 265), quarterback Rob Johnson outthrew Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning (246 yards to 187) and the Bills outran the Colts, 170-81, but Manning and the Colts prevailed, 18-16, on a last-play field goal by Mike Vanderjagt.'
They like Mike [4:32 AM]
Fox Sports reports: '"It was a big finish, but we expected to do that," said running back Edgerrin James. "The problem (for Buffalo) is that they gave us too much time. If there were only 14 or 15 seconds, OK, but what did we have a minute something (actually 63 seconds), and that's plenty of time for us. "Besides, we got the coolest kicker in the NFL by far. He's cocky and he knows what he's doing. He's one of those kickers who knows exactly what he's going to do. That's a chip shot for him."'
Colts 18, Bills 16 [4:51 PM]
AP reports: 'Peyton Manning showed the Buffalo Bills offense how to get it done in the red zone and in the clutch.'
Colts 18, Bills 16 [4:45 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Peyton Manning showed his poise, Edgerrin James made the big plays and Mike Vanderjagt boomed the winning field goal.'
Bennett heads back to Buffalo, again [10:38 AM]
Anderson Herald Bulletin reports: 'The fans will still not boo him Sunday during introductions. He meant too much to them for too long for them to do that. With the more recent departure of stalwarts Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed from the Bills' Super Bowl years, familiar faces are tougher to come by. "We made (game days at Rich Stadium) special," Bennett said. "When I played there we had some special guys, but I thought we did a great job making it a special place." But now, the Bills and Colts are fighting the New York Jets for supremacy in the AFC East. It is still difficult to win at Rich Stadium, but that is what Bennett is about this weekend. Forget sentimentality. "It's another game. There's always going to be great memories, but right now I'm just still trying to get better and help this team win football games," he said. "That's about all it means now."'
Bills look to Linton to provide a lift [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The third-year veteran from North Carolina will try to add a spark to a Bills offense that has been average through three games. The Bills' attack ranks 12th in yards and 16th in points. It has a fair fight on its hands today, because average is an apt description of the Indy defense. The Colts finished 15th on defense last year. They're 15th this year.'
Holler guy [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Intense . . . loyal . . . high attention to detail," Bills center Jerry Ostroski said when asked to describe [Carl] Mauck. "He wants to win. I never dread hearing what he has to say, even when we lose. A lot of times he's feeling the loss just as bad as we are, because he's been on our side, and he knows what it's like."'
Bills' offense must help the defense rein in the Colts [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'No matter what the oddsmakers say, a Bills win would be a mild upset. . . . . But the timing, after a Colts Monday night game, might just be right for Buffalo. Bills, 27-26.'
Passing ability seems to run in the Manning family [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The style of college football changed so much while he [Peyton Manning] was there [at Tennessee] that his sophomore season was better than his junior or senior seasons," said Archie [Manning]. "Part of it was the offensive line was better, but the SEC, the toughest conference to begin with, was stronger and there were great defensive coaches like Bill Oliver at Alabama and later Auburn, Bob Stoops of Florida (now head coach at Oklahoma) and Woody Widenhofer (the ex-Steeler defensive coordinator) at Vanderbilt.'
Can Bills defense keep Peyton in place? [8:15 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"As a quarterback, I know any time you face Buffalo it's tough to move the ball," Manning said. "So when you have it, you really want to take advantage of the possession because you won't get many. "I think Buffalo has the best defense in the league ... and I'm not just saying that, I thought that last year."'
Colts, Bills play for real this time [7:04 AM]
D and C reports: 'When the Bills (2-1) and Colts (2-1) square off today at The Ralph, nobody will say the game doesn't mean anything. Neither club can afford to slip too far behind the idle New York Jets (4-0) and the 3-1 Miami Dolphins, who also have a ''bye'' facing winless Cincinnati. The Bills, coming off a 27-14 loss to the Jets two weeks ago, are in the midst of a critical three-game stretch against division rivals, traveling to Miami next week. Today marks the start of a three-game road trip for the Colts with the first two against division foes Buffalo and New England. Both sides are crying sympathy, if anyone cares to listen.'
Bills' scouting report [7:02 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if...Their special teams don't implode again. The only thing Ronnie Jones can ask of his beleaguered unit is to not lose the game. The Bills stack up well in the offense vs. defense matchups, but special teams could be huge...Manning doesn't have another game like he had last Monday. If he gets hot, it could be lights out for the Bills despite their great defense...Rob Johnson continues to play at the efficient level he has worked at so far, then adds a couple of big plays. The Bills need to score points today, and it would be nice to not have to work too hard for a score such as a 75-yarder to Eric Moulds, Peerless Price or Jeremy McDaniel.'
Bills ready for rematch [6:55 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"The Bills were the best team in the AFC at the end of last season, in my opinion," Mora said in his weekly conference chat with Buffalo reporters. "And I mean that 100%. Other than that fluke play against Tennessee, they were probably going to be in the Super Bowl. I felt going into the season they were going to be as good as they were last year."'
Healthy Flutie promoted to backup [6:53 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Bills coach Wade Phillips didn't rule out Flutie seeing action against the Colts, but didn't make it sound too likely, either. "We have to play all that by ear, but I think (Flutie's) a guy that can come in and spark-plug you," Phillips said Wednesday. "But I'm awfully happy with how our quarterback is doing. I don't think you want to endanger that."'
Colts haven't enjoyed most trips to Buffalo [6:43 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Since the Colts relocated to Indianapolis in 1984, they've won twice at what now is Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills. Once was during the strike-interrupted 1987 season when the replacement Colts walloped the counterfeit Bills 47-6. Jim Harbaugh led the Colts to a 27-17 victory in 1994, but normalcy has since returned to the series. The home-standing Bills have won five in a row over Indianapolis. "I've only been here for two of them,'' coach Jim Mora said. "Don't blame me for the other ones." OK, but the last two have been decidedly one-sided -- 34-11 in 1998, 31-6 on the final weekend of the '99 regular season. "On those particular days," Mora said, "they were a lot better than we were."'
Colts, Bills stay busy lauding each other [6:40 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Something's been lacking leading up to this afternoon's early-season AFC East showdown between the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills. Namely, bulletin-board material. Rather than spitting verbal barbs back and forth, the two rivals seemed content to swap sugar-coated superlatives.'
Buffalo pulls running back switch [6:38 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Smith, a former first-round pick who rushed for 1,124 yards in 1998, has not taken the demotion well. He lashed out at the decision earlier in the week, saying he was being made a scapegoat for a rushing offense that ranks 16th in the NFL in yards (298) but 25th in per-carry average (3.2). And the bulk of that work has been done by Johnson himself, the team's leading rusher with 109 yards and a 6.8 average. Smith and backup Shawn Bryson have managed 159 yards on 68 carries (2.3). "There aren't any scapegoats," Phillips said. "We're 2-1. Make me the scapegoat if we end up 13-3."'
Opposites attack [6:28 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'The Bills return from their bye week with the No. 2-ranked defense in the NFL (second to New Orleans, believe it or not), allowing an average of only 248 yards per game. The Colts fly into western New York on the wings of very impressive Monday night mauling of the Jacksonville Jaguars, averaging 460 yards of offense per game. That's best in the AFC and second to the unbelievable Rams over the entire league.'
Staff predictions [4:09 PM]
ColtsNews.com reports: 'Colts 27, Bills 16...Colts 27, Bills 24...Colts 31, Bills 24...Colts 27, Bills 17...Colts 27, Bills 14.'
Bring on the Bills [4:07 PM]
ColtsNews.com reports: 'The bottom line is without a consistent rush, the Bills could be in trouble offensively.'
Latest Buffalo Bills Discussions:
|09/08||New England Patriots||1:00 pm|
|09/15||Carolina Panthers||1:00 pm|
|09/22||@ New York Jets||4:25 pm|
|09/29||Baltimore Ravens||1:00 pm|
|10/03||@ Cleveland Browns||8:25 pm|
|10/13||Cincinnati Bengals||1:00 pm|
|10/20||@ Miami Dolphins||1:00 pm|
|10/27||@ New Orleans Saints||1:00 pm|
|11/03||Kansas City Chiefs||1:00 pm|
|11/10||@ Pittsburgh Steelers||1:00 pm|
|11/17||New York Jets||1:00 pm|
|12/01||Atlanta Falcons (Tor)||4:05 pm|
|12/08||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 pm|
|12/15||@ Jacksonville Jaguars||1:00 pm|
|12/22||Miami Dolphins||1:00 pm|
|12/29||@ New England Patriots||1:00 pm|