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Buffalo Bills News - December 20, 2004

Marker McGahee may miss game with 49ers [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"He came back and played with it," Mularkey said of McGahee. "He just felt like it was not 100 percent and I didn't want to try it right now."'

Marker Bills inch closer to Steelers showdown [7:41 AM]
Erie Times News reports: 'Let's imagine the Bills go to San Francisco and smoke the 49ers on Sunday and come home with a 9-6 record, needing a win, and perhaps a little help, to secure a most improbable playoff spot after an 0-4 start. Let's imagine first-year Bills coach Mike Mularkey needing to beat his old team to get in. Let's imagine Steelers coach Bill Cowher needing to beat his old protege to avoid a potential trip to Foxboro, the last place the Steelers want to play with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Let's imagine Cowher having the chance to tweak his old boss — Bills president Tom Donahoe, who had an icy relationship with Cowher in Pittsburgh — by knocking Buffalo out of the playoffs. Now you're seeing why naughty can be so much fun.'

Marker Blocked punt ends run with thud [7:32 AM] reports: '. “He dragged two guys back into the ball, blocked the punt and recovered it in the end zone,’ said Bills special teamer Josh Stamer. “It’s just amazing. He has a great combination of strength and speed.”'

Marker Playoff hopes dashed [7:20 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"We're fighting for the same things the Bills are and they came in here and won the football game," said Lewis. "It means we're not as far along as I would hope we would be. I think that's the biggest thing that was evident today. We had an opportunity to win the football game and do things, to get off to a good start and we let them right back into the football game. We kind of imploded from there."'

Marker Spikes' return a dream come true [7:18 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '"It came so quick and I just caught it and thought 'I'm off to the races,'" Spikes said. "In 2001, I got an interception here against the Ravens and running it back 66 yards and I was looking up at the Jumbotron and saw someone running behind me. This time I did the same thing this time, and I said I hope Chad (Johnson) isn't behind me or somebody fast. But I didn't care, because nobody was going to catch me."'

Marker Big chill on Sunday played into Bills' hands [7:18 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'There's a reason why Spikes has never ventured anywhere near the postseason. It's because, in games that count the most to that end, the Bengals invariably play like they did Sunday. They've been doing it now for 14 years.'

Marker Defense [7:17 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'The Bills offense managed one big play but it came right after the Bengals had taken a 7-0 lead.'

Marker Special teams [7:16 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'Buffalo blocked a punt and dominated the field-position battle with good coverage teams and a strong return game.'

Marker Key player [7:15 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'Buffalo linebacker Takeo Spikes returned to the place of his professional football birth and didn't disappoint.'

Marker Key play [7:15 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: '...the Bills doused that flame with a 60-yard flea-flicker from quarterback Drew Bledsoe to rookie wide receiver Lee Evans. The play set up Buffalo's first TD and completely turned the game's momentum.'

Marker Key stat [7:14 AM]
Cincinnati Post reports: 'The Bengals turned over the ball four times, leading to 16 Buffalo points...'.

Marker Wait 'til next year [5:40 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"I can't be any more disappointed with the way we played," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said of his team's uninspired showing. "We were fighting for the same thing the Bills are. They came in here and won the football game."'

Marker Spikes gets TKO [5:39 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"I've never been in a position this late in December to have something to play for other than pride," said Spikes, who signed with Buffalo as an unrestricted free agent prior to last season. "That's very big to me. I cared about (coming back here). But at the same time, the playoffs far outweigh this more than anything else."'

Marker Couldn't get hands on enough turnovers [5:38 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Buffalo managed one touchdown and four field goals in five trips to the red zone. It tallied 212 net yards - a season low for the Bengals defense - and had only one offensive play go for more than 16 yards.'

Marker Blocked punt painful, not special [5:38 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Peters ran through a gap between long snapper Brad St. Louis and the right guard. Larson said he keeps his head down and did not see what happened. St. Louis said the Bills had six players "in the box" at the line of scrimmage and that the Bengals should have been able to double-team some rushers. "We just didn't execute," Lewis said. "I saw what happened, a lack of focus and not finishing the play off and getting the guy blocked."'

Marker Red-hot Bills put big chill on Bengals' playoff hopes [5:36 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: '"It was one of those crazy games," Kitna said. "Everything seemed to go their way. On the interception to Takeo, he tackles our running back and picks it off. You don't think that's going to happen, and you think when it does happen, (the refs) would make a call. They didn't."'

Marker Takeo finally plays for playoffs [5:35 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: '"I tell you though, it couldn't have happened any better way. It reminded me of 2001 when I got an interception (and a 66-yard touchdown return) against the Ravens here. I remember looking on the JumboTron screen to see if somebody was running up behind me. This time I thought the same thing. I said, 'Man, I hope Chad's (Johnson) not behind me.' I didn't want somebody fast back there, but really I didn't care. They might have caught me, but nobody was taking me down."'

Marker Bills TKO Bengals' play-off bid [5:35 AM] reports: '“He’s a game changer. That’s the thing we need,” Anderson said . “We need game changers.”'

Marker Monday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:34 AM] reports:
Wait 'til next year (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Spikes gets TKO (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Kitna's play puts Palmer's in perspective (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Is Bengals' progress on ice? (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Couldn't get hands on enough turnovers (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Blocked punt painful, not special (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Photo Gallery (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Playoff hopes dashed (Cincinnati Post)
Spikes' return a dream come true (Cincinnati Post)
Big chill on Sunday played into Bills' hands (Cincinnati Post)
Rudi would rather have wins (Cincinnati Post)
Offense (Cincinnati Post)
Defense (Cincinnati Post)
Special teams (Cincinnati Post)
Coaching (Cincinnati Post)
Key player (Cincinnati Post)
Key play (Cincinnati Post)
Key stat (Cincinnati Post)
They said it (Cincinnati Post)
Red-hot Bills put big chill on Bengals' playoff hopes (Dayton Daily News)
Takeo finally plays for playoffs (Dayton Daily News)
Johnson & Johnson share in disappointment (Dayton Daily News)
Mistakes make for miserable day (Dayton Daily News)
Bengals go pfffffft! (Columbus Dispatch)
Bills bide time, wait for mistakes (Columbus Dispatch)
Promising season turning out to be mirage for Bengals (Columbus Dispatch)
Booing doesn’t distract Spikes from his game (Columbus Dispatch)
Blocked punt ends run with thud (
Bengals can't get off treadmill (
Freeze-dried frustration (
Bills TKO Bengals' play-off bid (
Postgame quotes (
Photo gallery (

Marker Buffalo's drive is alive [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We started off bad, but we're finishing strong and that's what you want to do. God willing we can continue to push forward and we have things happen that we need to have happen and maybe we can get in the tournament."'

Marker Spikes scores big 'TKO' in Ohio homecoming [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"A lot of the Cincinnati fans were calling me a traitor, but I was thinking that they just love me and don't know how to act," Spikes said with a devilish grin. "Like a bad relationship, they see you with somebody else and they don't like it for a minute, but then they learn to love you."'

Marker The two-minute read [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Came to play: Bills LB Takeo Spikes: So who wrote this movie script, Walt Disney? In the feel-good performance of the day, the ex-Bengals linebacker returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown and recovered a Rudi Johnson fumble forced by Nate Clements that led to a field goal.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'With his team 8-2 since a 0-4 start, Mike Mularkey deserves some coach of the year votes.'

Marker Bills continue to pay off [4:54 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"We notice it," said Spikes when asked if the Bills have started scoreboard watching. "We said 'Okay, that happened, let's go take care of what we need to.' "'

Marker A Spikes in Bengals' heart [4:54 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'If there was ever a doubt as to why Takeo Spikes wanted to leave Cincinnati, it was played out in front of him yesterday. As the Bengals were guaranteeing a 14th consecutive season without a playoff berth, one of their old warriors played a big part in making it happen.'

Marker Best team in the NFL right now is... [4:54 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Team of destiny, you say? Hard to believe that this is the same bunch that started winless in four. Can that really be the same Drew Bledsoe the Buffaloons were trying to run out of town, or worse, a few weeks ago?'

Marker Rookie blocks punt, scores TD [4:53 AM]
ESPN reports: 'He is about the most unlikely-looking special teams player in the NFL, a 6-feet-4 and 328-pound behemoth who caught the attention of league scouts at the annual combine workouts, clocking an eye-opening 40-yard time of under five seconds.'

Marker Bills Win Fifth Straight 33-17 [4:53 AM] reports: The blueprint was to use a ball control style of offense to win games. During the Bills feverish rise in the standings they have found other ways to win. The 33-17 win over Cincinnati was similar to last week's win against Cleveland. The offense didn't do that much, but they didn't have to. All three units scored touchdowns while the Bills forced four turnovers and made a couple of big plays on offense to pull off their fifth straight win, seventh in their last eight, and eighth in their last 10 after an 0-4 start.

Marker All Three Units Lead Bills To Win [4:49 AM] reports: 'The offense didn't have an explosion but they did enough to win. The defense struggled against the run but made big plays when they had to. Special teams made one big play, a few smaller ones, and flirted with disaster on a few other plays. Here are our position by position grades...'.

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December 19, 2004

Marker Bills keep playoff hopes alive [8:17 PM]
ESPN reports: 'The fact the Bengals were so repulsive, though, should not diminish the resourcefulness of the Bills, who won for the fifth straight time.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
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09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
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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
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12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
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