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Buffalo Bills News - December 22, 2003

Marker Fish go down fighting [5:12 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"All we can control is what we can control," Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said when asked about a 10-win team missing the playoffs. With some generous assistance from the Bills, the Dolphins certainly did that yesterday.'

Marker Not how they Drew it up [5:11 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'With just 20 passing yards going forward and four sacks for a combined 36 yards going backward, a statuesque Bledsoe had arguably his worst game in two seasons as a Bill.'

Marker It's all over [5:10 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins have regressed every season under Wannstedt. They won the AFC East in 2000, finished second in 2001, were eliminated from playoff contention in the final week in 2002 and were eliminated from playoff contention with one week to play this season.'

Marker Dolphins win big -- but miss the playoffs [5:09 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Sunday's events ensure a disappointing season, one in which fans were thinking playoffs and talking Super Bowl.'

Marker Deja blues [5:08 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Another season in the flickering primes of Thomas, Taylor and Bowens thrown away.'

Marker Buckley stops the Bills again [5:07 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '''It just so happened we were in the right call [man-to-man coverage],'' he said. ``It was one of those rhythm-type passes, and I just beat him to the spot.'''

Marker Wannstedt uses media to advantage [5:06 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '''I don't want to get into coaching things,'' he said. ``If you want to talk about the game, we'll talk about the game.'''

Marker Fans try to draft Turner to Bills [5:05 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'A large group of fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium turned toward Turner as he sat in the coaching booth and essentially begged him to consider taking the Bills job should it become open.'

Marker From bad to bewildering for Bledsoe [5:04 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '''Right now I'm just so mad,'' Bledsoe said. ``That is my reaction. I didn't see this season going this way. I'm trying to figure out what the answers are, and I know some of them."'

Marker Game plan is no hit [5:03 AM]
Miami Herald reports: '''It is frustrating,'' middle linebacker London Fletcher said. ``You hold a team to 169 yards, an average of 3 yards per offensive play, you should win the football game.'''

Marker Keys to the game [5:02 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Inexplicably, the Bills tried to run their normal offense, which required a lot of deep drop-backs by Bledsoe. The rush was hardly fair for Sullivan and Price, who were reserve tackles at the beginning of the season.'

Marker Strategy corner [5:01 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'The Dolphins jumped to a 10-0 first-quarter lead. The Bills couldn't move the ball as they went against the wind in the first quarter. By the second quarter, the Dolphins were able to begin pass-rushing throughout the game.'

Marker Grading the Dolphins [5:00 AM]
Miami Herald reports: 'Secondary -- A.'

Marker Dolphins eliminated from playoffs despite beating Bills [4:59 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"That's what happens when you wait around for when another team has to win to decide your fate," said right tackle Todd Wade, whose team will now have consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance for the first time since the 1988 and 1989 campaigns. "It's very, very disappointing. When you have high expectations like our team had, everybody expects big things out of you. We didn't deliver, so it's a shame."'

Marker Sore-shouldered RB Williams makes the Bills pay [4:58 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"I have been doing it all year pretty much, and parts of last year," Williams said of playing with the shoulder. "It is something I have learned to [play with]. It is not the funnest thing, but it is part of the game."'

Marker Front four Bills' offense [4:57 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Miami sacked quarterback Drew Bledsoe six times, forced him to fumble once, and harassed and hit him on several other plays. The Dolphins bottled up running back Travis Henry between the tackles -- Henry had just 67 yards on 24 carries, his lowest production since the Giants held him to 53 yards Oct. 12.'

Marker Some consolation for beleagured Dolphins [4:56 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'If the Dolphins had lost in Buffalo, their exasperated supporters would have had them drawn and quartered before they played another quarter. So give them some credit for not quitting and for jumping on a demoralized opponent early enough to make it think about doing so.'

Marker Dolphins deny Huizenga is considering Spurrier [4:55 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: '"Don't ask me about all that stuff," Spurrier said. "Talk to me about the Bears kicking our butts."'

Marker Spurrier? It could happen [4:54 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'We don't need to belabor the obvious, do we? Dave Wannstedt is done.'

Marker Awful season frustrates Bledsoe [4:53 AM]
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports: 'Bledsoe, once the toast of Buffalo, now only draws the ire of Bills fans. When third-string quarterback Travis Brown replaced Bledsoe late in the game, the few fans left cheered loudly.'

Marker Lackluster victory not enough to stay alive [4:52 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"We had this in our hands, and we dropped the ball," Dolphins defensive end Jay Williams said.'

Marker Dolphins prove unfit for playoffs [4:51 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'The Dolphins prevailed 20-3. But what did they really gain? A few more hours of life?'

Marker Buckley's interception, TD cap defense's stellar day [4:50 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"We saw that play during the week, and it just so happened we were in the right man-to-man call," Buckley said. "That allowed me to use what I saw during the week as a benchmark. I can't say enough about the pass rush and the guys up front. The route was one of those rhythm passes. I just beat him to the spot."'

Marker Buffalo players critical of offensive strategy [4:49 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"This was a day we should have dominated," right tackle Marcus Price said. "But when you don't stick to what you do best, it opens the door for inconsistency."'

Marker Taylor resigned to inevitable changes for '04 [4:48 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: '"I've never been a big worrier about things I can't control," Taylor said. "I've never understood why people stress out about things they can't do anything about. Isn't there enough to worry about when it comes to things you can control and maybe make a difference?"'

Marker 'Courageous' Williams takes shots from doctor, Bills [4:47 AM]
Palm Beach Post reports: 'Williams said the Dolphins did a good job of "managing the game," and "understanding the circumstances," which basically means giving the ball to him, which is always Miami's best option. "We used Ricky, got ahead and then let our defense tee off on them," Fiedler said.'

Marker Dolphins drive falls short [4:46 AM]
Florida Today reports: 'But that's exactly what the Dolphins did, holding Buffalo to only 11 yards of offense in the first half and only 177 for the game while forcing four turnovers, including a 74-yard interception return for a touchdown by cornerback Terrell Buckley that sealed the game.'

Marker Dolphins defense inspired by criticism [4:45 AM]
Florida Today reports: 'When that pass rush is coming like that, it's like stealing out there, Buckley said. Those guys always have been my best friends and anytime they do anything, I make sure I tell them thank you. And today, thank you, they was bringing it.'

Marker Taylor is all-time Dolphin sack leader [4:44 AM]
Florida Today reports: 'One fan leaving Sunday's game late in the fourth quarter blurted out, Bledsoe shirts . . . at a discount.'

Marker Pats want payback, rest [4:43 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '``We owe them one,'' safety Rodney Harrison [news] said. ``Everyone knows that. They came out and flat out kicked our butts. We're going to enjoy this for a day, but by Monday morning it's Buffalo 100 percent. We have to be ready.'''

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