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Buffalo Bills News - September 20, 2004

Marker Bills' Bledsoe way off mark [7:23 AM]
Oakland Tribune reports: 'As bad as the Bills played, replacing Bledsoe is not currently an option. The current backup is the well-traveled Shane Matthews. The quarterback of the future -- and possibly the near future -- is J.P. Losman, the first quarterback taken by the Bills in the first round since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly in 1983. Losman has the mobility Bledsoe lacks, a key factor for a Buffalo team which waived veteran guard Ruben Brown for salary-cap purposes and had free-agent guard Chris Villarial go down with an ankle injury Sunday.'

Marker Monday's Oakland Coverage [7:22 AM] reports:
Sack-happy 'D' bags Bills (Oakland Tribune)
Bills' Bledsoe way off mark (Oakland Tribune)
Raiders' running game slow to take hold (Oakland Tribune)
Wounded Rice leaves field empty (Oakland Tribune)
Raiders defense grabbing the attention (Oakland Tribune)
Moulds laments Rice's status (Oakland Tribune)
Raiders win at Rice's expense (Contra Costa Times)
Curry settling in as bona fide wide receiver (Contra Costa Times)
Rice vents, deals with streak's end (Contra Costa Times)
By the numbers (Contra Costa Times)
Goal-line stand paves the way (San Jose Mercury News)
Rice's frustration shows on no-catch day (San Jose Mercury News)
Rice's marathon catch streak comes to a stunning end (San Jose Mercury News)
Time capsule (San Jose Mercury News)
Receiver aims to make finding end zone a habit (San Jose Mercury News)
Raiders rewind (San Jose Mercury News)
Winning is good enough (San Francisco Chronicle)
A Raider defense that fit the Bill (San Francisco Chronicle)
Rice has to hold his tongue (San Francisco Chronicle)
Curry opens eyes with his receiving, running ability (San Francisco Chronicle)
Instant replay (San Francisco Chronicle)
Game grades (San Francisco Chronicle)
Raiders build great wall (Sacramento Bee)
Bills buckle under the pressure (Sacramento Bee)
Rice receives does of harsh reality (Sacramento Bee)
Passing game finally turns in Curry's favor (Sacramento Bee)
Raiders' D' saves the day (Vallejo Times-Herald)
Rice's streak of consecutive games with a catch ends at 274 (Vallejo Times-Herald)
Curry jumps out in Raiders' victory (Marin Independent Journal)
Raiders hang on (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Rice fumes as his streak ends (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Despite new coordinator, special teams aren't (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Raiders Sack Bills 13-10 (
Photo Gallery (

Marker Ransacked [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Another mistake-filled 13-10 loss, the same score the Bills fell to Jacksonville by in Week 1, the only difference being that instead of a dramatic last-play ending, this one was a slow but sure death.'

Marker Mularkey's fourth-down call was right [5:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'But forget all that speculation. This is why it was the right call: Mularkey knew his offense wasn't going to have a better opportunity to score a touchdown. After watching Drew Bledsoe and his mates stumble around for two games, Mularkey knew he needed to take his shot right there.'

Marker 0-2 Bills lost in Raiders' 'Black Hole' [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Sadly for the Bills, it wasn't only young players who flunked this test, it was also veterans, led by (cue up the broken record) quarterback Drew Bledsoe. With seven sacks, an interception and too little too late, Bledsoe couldn't secure the road win he desperately needed to get the critics off his back.'

Marker 2-minute read [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Unfortunately for members of the Bills defense, they don't have the luxury of ever failing. They have to play an almost perfect game to give this offensively challenged team a chance to win.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Quarterback: F.'

Marker Bills Muddle Through Another Close Loss [4:59 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Gregg Williams was fired because this club was not mentally tough, but after two games there's been absolutely no improvement in that area.'

Marker Bills Falls To 0-2 [4:58 AM] reports: 'Drew Bledsoe was sacked seven times, and Travis Henry was stopped short on a fourth and goal at the Raiders one yard line with the Bills trailing 10-3 early in the fourth quarter.'

Marker Bills Lose In Oakland 13-10 [4:57 AM] reports: Two games into the Mike Mularkey era and everything seems eerily familiar to the old Gregg Williams era. Stop me if you've heard this before: A pathetic performance by the offense and untimely penalties by the special teams was too much to overcome. Another valiant effort by the defense went to waste as the Bills fell to 0-2 with a 13-10 loss in Oakland.

Marker Two of Three Units Awful In Loss [4:56 AM] reports: The Bills struggled mightily offensively for a second straight week, actually maybe it is 16 straight weeks dating back to the third game of last season. The special teams made one big play but had three called back because of penalties. The defense single handedly, as a unit, kept the team in the game before they tired down the stretch. Here are our position by position grades:

Marker Defense Keeps Game Close [4:55 AM] reports: '"We didn't shut down the big plays and we had too many penalties," Adams said. "Once we're able to solve these problems we'll be a better football team."'

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September 19, 2004

Marker Oakland 13, Buffalo 10 [7:27 PM]
AP reports: 'Drew Bledsoe's first career game in Oakland wasn't much fun, either. Playing before Raider Nation for the first time in his 12th season, Bledsoe was sacked seven times and struggled for the second straight week to take advantage of good field position.'

Marker Oakland 13, Buffalo 10 [7:26 PM]
Sportsticker reports: '"It's tough having to think about the 0-2 record going into the bye week," Moulds said. "They have a solid D and played a lot more cover-two than I thought they would."'

Marker Oakland 13, Buffalo 10 [7:26 PM]
The Sports Network reports: '"We're a better offense than what we showed," said Bledsoe. "We have to execute better. There were some glaring mistakes."'

Marker Countdown to Kickoff... Pregame Notes [3:46 PM] reports: 'Former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman will be honored with a league-wide tribute this week, as every team will don a #40 on their helmets in honor of the fallen hero.'

Marker Gannon, Mularkey share common roots [9:33 AM]
Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports: 'Mularkey's ascent in the coaching ranks has been rapid, especially when you consider he started at Concordia (Minn.) College in 1993. He spent seven seasons as a position coach with the Buccaneers and Steelers, was promoted to offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, and three years later was hired as Bills head coach at the age of 42. "He's a real innovative guy, a real sharp guy, " Gannon said.'

Marker Building a safety net [9:04 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I want to be the best safety that I can be in this defense," said Wire, who will start at strong safety this afternoon when the Bills (0-1) face the Raiders (0-1) in Oakland. "That's the most that I can offer and what's expected of me. I feel I bring everything I have when I go out on that field."'

Marker Downfield passing game nonexistent for Bills' offense [9:03 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Can you remember the last time they completed a touchdown pass of at least 25 yards? It was in last year's Jacksonville game, in the second game of the season.'

Marker Raiders return to old-style offense [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We are going to push it down the field and we're going to take our shots," said Gannon. "I think we have a little different personnel than a year ago. You look over the preseason and the first two games of the season, and you can see we do have some people who can really get vertical and stretch the defense."'

Marker Strong, silent type [6:28 AM]
San Francisco Chronicle reports: 'During games, Wyche works in a booth upstairs connected via headset to offensive coordinator Tom Clements, who calls the Bills' plays. When he's with the quarterbacks, say on the field before a game or at practice, Wyche has a miniature amplifier he can wear on his belt. So far, he really hasn't had to use it.'

Marker Mularkey lands in Buffalo [6:16 AM]
Contra Costa Times reports: 'People close to Mularkey say he said no to the Raiders because the Bills made it clear that Mularkey was the front-runner among the seven candidates they interviewed.'

Marker Sunday's Oakland Coverage [6:15 AM] reports:
Running into Black Hole (Oakland Tribune)
Mularkey lands in Buffalo (Contra Costa Times)
Bills (0-1) vs. Raiders (0-1) (Contra Costa Times)
Raiders still ironing out the kinks (San Jose Mercury News)
Raiders' need to strike balance puts emphasis on run game (San Francisco Chronicle)
Raiders (0-1) vs. Bills (0-1) (San Francisco Chronicle)
Strong, silent type (San Francisco Chronicle)
There's money in it if Woodson plays big (Sacramento Bee)
Raiders vs. Buffalo (Sacramento Bee)
Gannon, Mularkey share common roots (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
Rice adjusting to role (Springfield Republican)

Marker Bills are ready for Raiders and their fanatics [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '“I looked up in the stands and this kid was probably 8 years old and he was giving me the finger, and he was standing next to his dad,” Villarrial recalled. “You can expect the unexpected at this place.”'

Marker Roland is a Raider to the core [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"I look at things this way," said Williams, who will hold his sixth youth football camp in Rochester next summer. "The average NFL career lasts 2.5 years, so I've almost tripled that. That makes me pretty lucky."'

Marker Bills face Raiders and Oakland Coliseum’s mystique [5:07 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Meanwhile, first-year Raiders’ coach Norv Turner is delighted by the intimidating reputation of his team’s home field. “It’s hard to play here,” he said, “just like it’s hard to play in Pittsburgh or Buffalo. We’ve got to make it a homefield advantage. We have a great start with our fans ... they’re fabulous and they’re different, but we have to do what it takes at home to ignite them.”'

September 18, 2004

Marker I'll be billionaire in 10 to 15 years [6:08 PM]
Atlanta Journal Constitution reports: 'Q: How long is it going to take you to make $1 billion? A: It's something I threw out there. I don't know. Say, 10 to 15 years. I think that's conservative.'

Marker What to Look for…Bills vs. Raiders [5:51 PM] reports: '"They've got a tough defense," Bledsoe said. "They're not afraid to come after you with the blitz because they have one of the best corner tandems in the league in (Charles) Woodson and (Phillip) Buchanon. Those guys can cover man-to-man as well as anybody. When they leave those guys in coverage we're going to have to make plays against them."'

Marker Lindell finds life beyond 40 [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's the longer kicks that he falters on. The longest field goal Lindell hit last season was a 44-yarder - every one of the other 31 NFL teams had a kicker make a longer field goal than that.'

Marker Bills' Bledsoe is prepared for a 'Black Hole' welcome [8:56 AM]
Sacramento Bee reports: '"I do feel like we have enough (talented) skill position guys that the big plays are going to happen for us," Bledsoe said.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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