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Buffalo Bills News - September 13, 2004

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.'

Marker Photo finish [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The blueprint for success drawn up by new coach Mike Mularkey in many ways was followed to the letter. The Bills held the ball more than seven minutes longer than the Jaguars. Travis Henry outrushed Fred Taylor, 75 yards to 61. Drew Bledsoe was sacked only once. The Bills converted 50 percent of their third downs. They didn't lose the turnover battle. They still lost.'

Marker Bills' secondary comes up a bit short [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Clements appeared to have position to make a play on the long pass, but Smith made a move inside and was able to rip the ball from Clements' grasp. "I was right there," he said. "I had two hands on it. I should have made the play."'

Marker Wilford's leap a giant step for Jags [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'And the play is called? "Catch it," Leftwich said. "I mean we have some guys running some routes and he was out there. The guy can jump out of the gym. The guy is a basketball player, playing football."'

Marker Lack of scoring punch reminiscent of 2003 [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Mularkey said the Jags had 11 men at the line of scrimmage on third-and-goal from the 1. Which was it? Was it scripted, or was it the 11 men at the line? What about living up to your supposed identity as a running team? Run the ball and let the world know you mean business.'

Marker Byron shows signs of being a winner [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'But here's what resonates: The Bills, by choice, put the ball in Bledsoe's hands on third and goal from the Jacksonville 1 with just more than 10 minutes remaining. He froze, surrendering a sack, taking a fourth-down touchdown try out of the equation. Jacksonville, out of necessity, put its trust in Leftwich on the final drive and came away with a victory, a vital victory considering the next three weeks on the schedule read: Denver, Tennessee, Indianapolis.'

Marker Offense stays with running game [8:56 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I felt good about it," said running back Travis Henry. "We had been playing good in the preseason. Everybody wants to run the ball. We ran it good sometimes, but there were sometimes where we got negative plays. But for the most part, I though we stuck with it and did a good job."'

Marker A crushing blow [8:55 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Team isn't good enough to overcome missed FG by Lindell.'

Marker Monday billboard [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Zebra Report: The men in black and white were rather busy in this one, calling 16 penalties for 128 yards.'

Marker Just out of reach [5:12 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'There have been some gut-wrenching defeats in the 45-year history of the Bills franchise, but this 13-10 loss to the Jaguars zoomed right into top-10 territory.'

Marker Bills look like last season's losers [5:11 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'But if you're going to play your cards close to the vest, you'd better employ players who don't swallow hard at gut-check time.'

Marker Two plays take away victory from Bills [5:10 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We had guys in position, but he wound up making a big play and we didn't," said Reese, who ended a 43-game interception drought by Bills safeties with a fourth-quarter pick that set up a 25-yard field goal by Rian Lindell. "They had tried that play earlier in the game, and although it didn't work, we thought it was a possibility they would come back to it again."'

Marker Bills need to learn how to win [5:09 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'This was a game the Bills expected to win. It was a game they should have won. Yet they lost, and the reason was simple: While Mularkey has a talented bunch to work with, they don't know how to win, and that's an intangible that is paramount to success in a league where the majority of games are decided by a touchdown or less.'

Marker The 'Two-Minute' Read [5:08 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'How Wilford was able to make the catch with three Bills surrounding him is a nightmare the Bills won't easily forget, but they have to, and fast.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:07 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Coaching, D+: The effort was there, but Mike Mularkey's regular-season debut was marred by the turnovers and penalties that plagued his team during the preseason.'

Marker Bills lose real heartbreaker [5:06 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Linebacker Takeo Spikes, who was among the defenders draped all over Wilford: "It was a helluva catch. (Pause.) A helluva catch. ... I didn't believe he caught it. Then, more so, I didn't believe he'd stayed in bounds."'

Marker Bills die in seconds [5:05 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'How unlikely? A Jaguars team that was unable to move the ball most of the afternoon had suddenly found life. Leftwich, who had thrown for just 75 yards previously, amassed 72 on that 122-second drive.'

Marker Bills in a state of disbelief after being robbed of win [5:04 AM]
Syracuse Post Standard reports: '"That was an act of God," said Darius, the one-time Syracuse University Orangeman who now punishes people out of the Jacksonville Jaguars' secondary. "That's what that was. It was divine intervention."'

Marker Monday's Jacksonville Coverage [5:03 AM]
TwoBillsDrive.com reports:
Opening thriller (Florida Times Union)
Wilford wins jump ball -- and game (Florida Times Union)
Smith kept it alive (Florida Times Union)
Defense grasps role against Bills (Florida Times Union)
Get ready for a season of drama (Florida Times Union)
Impressive debut for Scobee (Florida Times Union)
Grading the Jaguars (Florida Times Union)
Monday Morning Quarterback (Florida Times Union)
Game photos (Florida Times Union)
Good to the last catch (Orlando Sentinel)
Rookie receiver takes hit to get drive started (Orlando Sentinel)
`Project' Wilford continues to flash his potential at wide receiver (Orlando Sentinel)
High time for Jaguars (Jaguars.com)
Leftwich quiets wolves (Jaguars.com)

Marker Bills Drop Opener On Last Play [5:02 AM]
RNews.com reports: 'The Bills offense failed to produce for most of the game. Buffalo was in the red zone three times and came away with one Eric Moulds touchdown and one Rian Lidell field goal.'

Marker Veteran Mistakes Ruin The Bills Opener [5:01 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Looking at the full picture as this loss pertains to the season, it means Buffalo now must go out and get a win it isn't expected to get. That means beating New England or maybe winning in Seattle or next week in Oakland.'

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September 12, 2004

Marker Positive Signs from Offensive Line [7:50 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"We're going to go in, watch film, look at the mistakes we made and get back to work on Monday," said Henry.'

Marker Game Notes [7:48 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: 'With today's loss, Buffalo fell to 18-27 all-time in season openers while Jacksonville improved to 7-3.'

Marker Bills Lose Close Game, Still in Shock [7:10 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: '"Our job is to score points and today we had opportunities to do that and we didn't," wide receiver Eric Moulds said. "We had so many mistakes that we made in the course of trying to get down to the red zone that we put ourselves in position where we couldn't finish them (drives)."'

Marker Jacksonville 13, Buffalo 10 [4:24 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Following three unsuccessful attempts into the end zone, Leftwich lofted a pass to the back of the end zone that was caught by Wilford in the midst of three Buffalo defenders. Jimmy Smith made a tough 45-yard reception earlier on the 80-yard drive, saving the Jaguars on a 4th-and-14 situation.'

Marker Jacksonville 13, Buffalo 10 [4:14 PM]
AP reports: 'The touchdown ruined coach Mike Mularkey's debut with Buffalo, and placed the blame squarely on a Drew Bledsoe-led offense that bumbled, coming away with 10 points despite three trips into the red zone.'

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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
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11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
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