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Buffalo Bills News - September 14, 2004

Marker Inside slant [9:42 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'It's a play that will keep cornerback Nate Clements up at night.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [9:41 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'COACHING: D-plus -- Mike Mularkey's regular-season debut was marred by the turnovers and penalties that plagued his team in the preseason. Some questionable passing calls by coordinator Tom Clements, twice passing on third-and-one unsuccessfully to stir memories of Kevin Gilbride of a year ago. Bills never tested Jaguars' deep cover 2 zones with the speed of Evans. Meanwhile, Jacksonville scored winning TD throwing into triple coverage. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray needed to find way to get to quarterback Byron Leftwich on final drive.'

Marker Notes, quotes [9:40 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'The loss dropped Buffalo to 3-8 in its last 11 regular-season openers and snapped a three-game win streak against Jacksonville.'

Marker HS Football "Coach of the Week" - Week 2 [9:36 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'Head coach Jim Kuhn of West Seneca West High School has been named the Buffalo Bills’ high school football “Coach of the Week” for the second weekend of the 2004 season (Sept. 10-11). Kuhn led the Indians to an impressive 28-0 victory over Class AA rival Jamestown HS, a traditional powerhouse in WNY high school football.'

Marker Flashback: Bills Rally to Beat Raiders [9:34 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Steve Tasker kind of just stepped up and made a huge play," says Williams. "It was a situation where we had game-planned their punt team. I remember where a couple punts before, their up-back hit me pretty hard a couple times because I was going to be one of the guys that was going to be freed to try to block it. So coach (Bruce) DeHaven decided to go from the opposite side and he switched Steve and I. Steve made a move and blocked the punt. I was there to recover it and 38 yards later, we took the lead and never looked back."'

Marker No finger pointing (yet) with the Bills [9:32 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I’m going to find a positive in this and I hope they will too. Right now, I know everybody is down in the dumps. But when we put that tape on and they see what they’re capable of doing, it should help us."'

Marker Defense Wilts In End Of Tough Loss [9:31 PM]
BillsDaily.com reports: The Bills executed their gameplan well but when things got tight at the end of the game, it looked like the same old Bills from 2003. The Defense dominated most of the game but tired after the Offense could produce only 10 points. The team didn't show any toughness at the end and collapsed on the final play for a devastating loss. Here are our position by position grades:

Marker Jags Stun Bills On Final Play 13-10 [9:31 PM]
BillsDaily.com reports: Losing on opening day is tough enough, but losing on the final play of the game is too much to take. Take in the fact that the Bills have to beat the Jackonvilles of the league at home to be considered a post season contender and what you get appears to be similar to the Bills of 2003.

Marker Tough Loss To Take [4:46 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'This is going to be a good football team. They just need to correct a few of their mistakes and eliminate their turnovers. They have a strong running game and a great defense and that's what wins games in the NFL. They have a chance to do a lot better than we did last year and finish with a better record.'

Marker Gray upset by ending of game [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I don't feel like we lost the game on the last play of the game," coach Mike Mularkey said. "I felt like there were opportunities, many of them, that one of them could have been the difference in the game."'

Marker At this rate, Lindell might get the boot [8:51 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Since the start of the 2001 season, Lindell is the only NFL kicker who has coverted fewer than half his kicks from 40-49 yards.'

Marker Bills regroup for Raiders [5:10 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"It's one round in a 16-round fight," Vincent continued. "It's a great teaching tool, unfortunately. That one counts, it's in the loss column and it's a tough one to swallow, but we'll look at it, we'll correct the mistakes we made and we'll move on. We played extremely well and there's things we can take from the game and build on."'

Marker Week 1: Is the offense any better? [5:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'What, you don't like 36 running plays and a succession of 5-yard dump passes?'

Marker What Went Wrong [5:08 AM]
RNews.com reports: 'Buffalo's commitment to run disappeared on third and goal from the one when the Bills decided to pass resulting in a sack. "We did run the ball and we didn't get chased out of it," said head coach Mike Mulakey. "It's third down and they had 11 guys within two feet of the football. We took a chance that we'd get the fullback in the flat and they won that play."'

Marker Stars Don't Shine In Bills Opener [5:07 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'My point is that Bills fans are told and sold on these players being the Bills “stars”, and those players are paid as "stars". Maybe we should take a step back, and until they can make those critical plays, and get the Bills back to a winning tradition admit that they are just good players, and not yet “stars”.'

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September 13, 2004

Marker Confidence in Bills Defense Not Lost [9:41 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"I believe in our defense that much," Mularkey said on Monday after meeting with the team. "You've got to base it on what you've seen up to that point and trust those guys. I'd do it again 10 times over."'

Marker Buffalo Bills Team Report [9:29 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"I came into this game with a very strong belief that this was a good football team," said Bledsoe. "I come out of this game with that same belief. But no matter how good we are, if we make those mistakes at key times it's going to be very hard to win."'

Marker 72 Dolphins Are Safe [9:15 PM]
WOKR-TV reports: 'The positives? The offense line was passable. Travis Henry ran hard. Willis McGahee looked strong in his debut. Eric Moulds is back. Drew Bledsoe got rid of the ball. The defense forced 2 turnovers.'

Marker New-look Bills face familiar questions [9:14 PM]
AP reports: '''It seems like deja vu,'' running back Travis Henry said Monday, shaking his head.'

Marker Late-game flashback brings back bad memories [3:09 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Smith and Wilford made the two biggest plays of the game, looking very much like they simply wanted the ball more than Buffalo's overrated defenders. To be fair, Bills such as Spikes, Fletcher and Clements showed a diverse array of struts and dances. Too bad they didn't make any plays truly worth celebrating.'

Marker Bills have no one else to blame [1:25 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'As wide receiver Eric Moulds, part of two lost fumbles, noted, “It’s so hard to win in this league ... you can’t let a game like that get away.” But the Bills did. Let’s count the ways...'.

Marker No jagged edge with poised Leftwich [1:24 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“As an offense we made the plays that we had too,” Leftwich said with a smile. “We didn’t make all the plays, but we made the plays when we had to win the football game.”'

Marker Reese Snaps 43-Game Streak [1:02 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: The last Bills safety to make an interception was Tavares Tillman in the 2001 regular season. Now, nearly three years later, the streak has finally been snapped. The Bills stressed during the off-season that they were going to create more turnovers and on opening day, they stole two from the Jaguars.'

Marker Bills, Jags Matched-Up Well [1:01 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'This match-up was a close one, as were the rest, but the Bills have to feel pretty good about this phase of the game. Last year, Travis Henry carried the ball 21 times for 26 yards in Jacksonville. This year, he ran 23 times for 75 yards before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with cramps. Had he continued to play, he may have been able to break the century mark. Henry never backed down from running right at the Jags interior linemen, considered to be one of the best tandems in the NFL with Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. Head Coach Mike Mularkey stressed that his team was going to run the ball throughout the game and that's what the Bills did on Sunday against the Jaguars.'

Marker Last Second Heartbreaker [12:51 PM]
Erie Times News reports: 'I mean, really, what is there to say about this one. It shouldn't be as hard as it is to write this column, but that queasy feeling in my stomach is just rolling over me like you wouldn't believe.'

Marker Bills lose home opener [12:35 PM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'Officials weren’t too sure. There was an indefinite touchdown signal on the field as the 6-foot-4, 223-pound receiver was pounded out of bounds. There was a call for a replay. However, there was no question. It was a good catch, a great catch.'

Marker The Bills’ offense goes into an early hibernation [12:34 PM]
Lockport Union Sun and Journal reports: 'In fact, if it wasn’t for the effort of the Buffalo defense, the Bills may not have scored at all. Buffalo’s two scoring drives went for a combined 14 yards.'

Marker Bills buckle against Jags [12:34 PM]
Wellsville Daily Reporter reports: 'McGahee was only able to gain 2 yards on the ensuing play and after a Jacksonville timeout with 2:18 on the clock, Mularkey was left with his first crucial head coaching decision of his young coaching career -- let Rian Lindell attempt a 51-yard field goal after he had already missed one from 9 yards closer, or play for field position and put the game in the hands of the defense, which had given up just 145 yards to that point. "It's a judgment call and where do you want to give them the ball," said Mularkey. "I really thought our defense, if we could pin them back in there ..., I just felt like our defense had played well all day. Let them continue doing what they did. I went more with my defense than I did on my gut feeling on missing a field goal."'

Marker Bills Team Report [12:33 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'The team intends to continue alternating Ryan Denney and Chris Kelsay at left end. Both should get plenty of playing time. Denney is the better run defender while Kelsay provides a better pass rush.'

Marker Bills beaten on final play [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"No matter how good we are, if we make those mistakes at key times it's going to be very hard to win," Bledsoe said.'

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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
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
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12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
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