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Buffalo Bills News - November 30, 2004

Marker Schedule Seems Easy When You Win [5:04 PM] reports: 'Part of Drew's success was due to the play of the offensive line. These guys have done a great job the past few weeks. Drew has time to throw and they're really clearing out some holes for Willis McGahee to run through. The sacks are also few and far between. Drew seemed to be on the turf a lot at the beginning of the year, but now he's only going down about once a game. That's a huge improvement for a unit that struggled early in the year.'

Marker Flashback: Bills Win in the Orange Bowl [1:04 PM] reports: 'Eleven-year veteran quarterback Joe Ferguson had the best performance of his NFL career that afternoon. He set the Bills’ all-time single-game records with 55 pass attempts, 38 completions [which both still stand] and 419 yards. He also tied his own single-game team record with five touchdown passes.'

Marker Are the Bills playoff bound? [1:02 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Who would have thought the Buffalo Bills would have had a shot at the playoffs after starting the season with four straight losses?'

Marker Recent Bills Successes Are Great [1:01 PM] reports: After defeating the Rams 37-17 at home the Bills took the show on the road and traveled to Drew Bledsoe’s old stomping grounds to defeat the Seahawks 38-9. Suddenly the Bills had the confidence and momentum that allowed them to play up to their potential. The victories showcased solid performances in all three phases of the game – offense, defense and special teams.

Marker McGahee's success makes you wonder [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"These guys are still looking ahead at what we have a chance at, even with that start," Bills coach Mike Mularkey said. "Maybe it's something in the offseason where you wish you could've and would've. There's absolutely nothing we can do about it right now."'

Marker Playoffs for Bills? It's possible [8:53 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I started out writing a temper-your-enthusiasm column, putting the likelihood of the Bills in the playoffs right up there with a Mike Williams hunger strike. But four paragraphs in, while crunching the numbers yet again, I came to the realization that this is no time to write off the Bills, to dismiss their revival as nothing more than a blow to the draft plans of Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones. The race isn't over. There's still a hint of magic in the air.'

Marker The Bickering Bills learn to circle the wagons [8:52 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'We had pulled together at the most crucial time of that otherwise dispiriting season. We had begun to show the fiber that would hold together that unique group of Bills players as they marched forth into the next decade where they would be confronted with new and exhilarating challenges.'

Marker Bills' line starting to block critics [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We're not as bad as people think we are," Jennings said recently. He may be right.'

Marker Is it time to hold off on the Losman watch? [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Boy, three victories in his last 17 road games and you're ready to jump on the Bledsoe bandwagon? I was impressed with his play in Seattle because for the first time in a long time he overcame adversity. But he threw three interceptions and it could have been five.'

Marker Mularkey keeps his eyes on the road ahead [5:00 AM]
Tonawanda News reports: 'First off, Buffalo’s next four opponents have a combined record of 11-33. If the Bills can run that table, they would be 9-6 heading into the season finale against the powerful Pittsburgh Steelers. All of a sudden, a game that looked like a miserable reason to head out to Ralph Wilson Stadium in January becomes a meaningful contest. If only it weren’t for that 0-4 start that saw the Bills lose two games by three points and one by two points along with a 31-17 loss to New England.'

Marker Ride this McGahee bonanza [4:59 AM]
St. Petersburg Times reports: 'McGahee scored four touchdowns in Sunday's drubbing of Seattle, one more than he had managed all season. Still, in the past two months, only Kansas City's Priest Holmes has more rushing touchdowns. With 116 yards, McGahee topped 100 for the fifth time in seven weeks. By no coincidence, Buffalo is 5-0 in those games.'

Marker Bills would be wise to keep McGahee [4:58 AM]
Yale Daily News reports: 'There have been rumors Buffalo is planning on trading one of their running backs next season. With an ailing quarterback who, unlike wine and cheese, just keeps getting exponentially worse with age and whose sole touchdown pass of the game was for fewer yards than McGahee averaged on touchdown runs, it would be foolish for Buffalo to trade away McGahee. While it's understandable why Mularkey chose Henry as the starting running back (the guy HAD averaged 1,300 rushing yards in the previous two seasons), to get rid of McGahee now would simply be, and I apologize in advance, a load of malarkey.'

Marker Inside slant [4:57 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Mularkey, who is always jotting down plays on napkins and scraps of paper, has no shortage of ideas but they're only as good as the players executing them. Too often this year, Bledsoe hasn't demonstrated the ball handling skills or footwork to make a trick play work, or else the line or the running backs had breakdowns. But everything was clicking on Sunday, when the Bills rang up season-highs for yardage (434) and first downs (25). The fake QB sneak left the locker room buzzing.'

Marker Strategy and personnel [4:56 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Mike Mularkey pulled out all the stops to win his first road game, pushing all the right psychological buttons. By giving his team more time off the night before the game, serving the players cheeseburgers and taking them on a stroll of the Seattle waterfront, he put a rested team on the field both mentally and physically.'

Marker Notes, quotes [4:55 AM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'A key to Buffalo's defensive success was its offense running 19 more plays and staying on the field. The Bills defense faced just 57 snaps.'

Marker Henry May Still Return. Jennings To Rest A Few Days [4:54 AM]
WGR-AM reports: Jonas Jennings shoulder popped out during Sunday's game. He did get back in, but Mularkey says his left tackle may miss a few days of practice this week.'

Marker The Road Back [4:53 AM]
WIVB-TV reports: 'The cheeseburgers are a funny anecdote but they represent something bigger. They demonstrate a coach who is willing to try anything to win. That willingness comes with one other characteristic that is important in all good coaches---They can’t be afraid to fail. It took desperate times, but Mike Mularkey now has his team playing to win instead of playing not to lose. Early in the season the team lacked confidence and tried to avoid losing. Sunday the Bills seized the game from the beginning and never let up.'

Marker Bills having fun and that's Mularkey [4:52 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'Reverses, flea-flickers, and now we step things up a notch in Seattle, with an on-side kick to start the second half, and later the fake qb sneak and lateral to Willis McGahee for the 30 yard touchdown that salts away the Seahawks. Players absolutely LOVE that attitude from a head coach. It says “we’re playing to WIN”, and we’re gonna keep a team down and then step on them to make sure.'

Marker Bills could make playoffs if they played in NFC [4:51 AM]
Buffalo Beast reports: 'The AFC has seven teams with at least seven wins. Since six teams make the playoffs, at least 10 or probably 11 wins will be needed to qualify.'

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November 29, 2004

Marker Resurgent Bills finding winning identity [9:07 PM]
AP reports: 'It might not be enough for Buffalo (5-6) to creep back into the AFC playoff race, with seven teams that have seven or more wins battling for six postseason berths. But it's enough to convince Mularkey his team is showing some resilience.'

Marker McGahee, Bills drown Seahawks [9:03 PM]
Niagara Gazette reports: '“A lot of things have to happen outside of what we’re doing,” Mularkey said. “All we can control is what we do in our games. We’re still plugging away.”'

Marker Should Bledsoe stay or go? Local fans react [9:02 PM]
Niagara Gazette reports: 'Chris Moore, of Youngstown, praised the Bills’ defense, but said the team needed to boost its offensive line. “They have two-thirds of the puzzle,” said Moore, a 43-year-old karate instructor watching the game Sunday with several long-time friends. “They just don’t have the other third.”'

Marker Ask Him Yourself: Mike Mularkey [5:35 PM] reports: 'Coach, what has changed about this team from the start of the year? They suddenly are overcoming their mistakes. Drew threw 3 picks against Seattle but we still crushed them. Is this team finally buying into what you preach and are they finally playing football the way you believe they are best off playing with tough physical play? MM: We not making the same mistakes that we were earlier and if we do make one mistake we can overcome it, which we did not do earlier in the year. That "here we go away" mentality is hopefully gone.'

Marker Ask Him Yourself: Tom Donahoe [5:35 PM] reports: 'I for one was excited when I heard the Bills took McGahee in the 2003 draft. If you could say one thing to some of the doubters of that pick, what would you say?
TD: Everyone was entitled to their opinion when we selected Willis McGahee in the 2003 Draft. As an organization, we had great faith in Willis and great faith in our medical people. It really came down to whether we were willing to be patient enough to give Willis a chance to rehab and to get healthy. We are starting to see that patience pay off with his performance this year.'

Marker Bills RB Henry's leg injury not as severe as initially feared [5:17 PM]
AP reports: 'Mularkey added the team is conducting further tests on Henry, and should have a more definitive diagnosis when the Bills return to practice on Wednesday.'

Marker Flashback: Cookie Gilchrist's Big Game [3:38 PM] reports: 'Starting in place of quarterback Jack Kemp was rookie Daryle Lamonica, who was making his first pro start. The attack was simple-run the ball against the New York Jets' defense. "Our game plan was to run Cookie and we stuck to it," said Lamonica. "I told him before the game, 'I'm going to put you to work'."'

Marker Game Notes: Bills vs. Seahawks [3:38 PM] reports: 'Willis McGahee: Became only the third player in Bills history to record four rushing touchdowns in a game (Cookie Gilchrist, 5, 12/8/63, and Roland Hooks, 4, 9/9/79).

Marker McGahee makes like cooking while stomping Seattle [2:00 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'Even if they run the table before Pittsburgh visits on Jan. 2, Buffalo postseason aspirations rely on two pretty good teams among the three atop the wild-card standings -- Baltimore, Denver and the New York Jets -- completely collapsing. That's probably not going to happen.'

Marker Bills Team Report [1:58 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 'TE Mark Campbell's three TDs in a November 21 win over the Rams show what a threat he is in the red zone. He is good at finding soft spots in the secondary and has the size (6-6, 255) and hands to make plays in traffic. His receiving skills are too good to be ignored.'

Marker Buffaloed by Bills [12:56 PM]
Vancouver Columbian reports: 'Buffalo would need a miracle to make the AFC playoffs. Yet, the Bills dominated Seattle, which has a strong chance to make the postseason even land a home playoff game because the Seahawks play in a conference in which five of the 16 teams have winning records.'

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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
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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