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Buffalo Bills News - September 27, 2003

Marker Bills vs. Eagles Preview [10:58 PM]
TBD reports: 'This season couldn't have started much worse for the Eagles, who many experts picked to finally take that last step and make it to the Super Bowl after 2 straight Championship Game losses. Injuries have crippled the defensive line and secondary. Quarterback Donovan McNabb is mired in the worst slump of his young career. They lost their first 2 games, both in their new stadium, by a combined score of 48-10 against the last 2 Super Bowl champions (Buccaneers & Patriots).'

Marker Crosby's Broken Leg Puts Him Out For The Season [6:40 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Ken Simonton has been added from the practice squad.'

Marker Bills' Simonton on active roster; Crosby on injured list [6:37 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills placed backup fullback Philip Crosby on injured reserve and he will miss the rest of the season.'

Marker Buffalo is in similiar boat as Philly [9:06 AM]
Bridgeton News reports: 'Seems the Eagles and the Bills have a lot in common as they prepare to face each other in Buffalo on Sunday. The difference is the Eagles have yet to win a game or look good trying to win a game. The Bills were off to a 2-0 start and had outscored their opponents, the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots, 69-17. It just goes to show how fast a team in the NFL can fall. The Eagles now have a chance to show just how fast a team in the NFL can rise.'

Marker Stuck in neutral [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'His completion percentage is a reflection of how uncomfortable he has looked in the pocket. McNabb never has been one of the most accurate passers. His completed 58.4 percent last year and ranked 22nd in the NFL. But 45 percent is in the Ryan Leaf neighborhood. That's not McNabb.'

Marker Henry looks doubtful for Sunday [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It still looks like the Pro Bowler casualty count for Sunday's 1 p.m. game will be Philadelphia 2, Buffalo 1.'

Marker Bills' run game going nowhere [5:24 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Buffalo ranks 31st in the NFL in rushing yards per game (63.7), dead last in average yards per rushing play (2.4), and Travis Henry — who did not practice all week because of a rib injury and will be a game-time decision on whether he can play — has a paltry 122 yards on 53 attempts (2.3 per carry).'

Marker Bills' hocus-pocus plays have no magic [5:23 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'I love the razzle, but this is too much dazzle. One trick play a game? From a team good enough to win without gimmicks? I like ice cream, but I don’t partake every day.'

Marker Walker doubles as engineer, buttress for Birds' defense [4:50 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'Q: Improving pressure, is that what you guys are looking at this weekend against Buffalo? A: We definitely want to get more pressure, no doubt about it.'

Marker Bragging rights are at stake for friends Emmons, Spikes [4:48 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'The two linebackers who share the No. 51 as well as a charity that raises money for children's health care in Atlanta became best friends four years ago when Emmons moved from Mississippi to Georgia. "I met him when we started working out with the same trainer," Emmons said before the Eagles' practice yesterday at the NovaCare Complex. "We just instantly clicked. He's just like a brother to me. We're together almost every day. We're extremely close."'

Marker Despite extra week off, Birds' wounded are not healed yet [4:46 AM]
Philadelphia Inquirer reports: 'The Eagles will also be without strong safety Brian Dawkins and right cornerback Bobby Taylor, both of whom are sidelined by foot injuries. Rookie first-round draft pick Jerome McDougle will miss his third straight game because of a high ankle sprain, but he is at least moving around the locker room considerably better than he was a week ago.'

Marker D-line realizes that the pressure is on [4:45 AM]
Philadelphia Daily News reports: 'For the 0-2 Eagles to have a chance for their first win of the season, the offense must control the ball, and when the 2-1 Bills and dangerous deep-throwing quarterback Drew Bledsoe do get it, the Birds must get strong pass-rush pressure to give the secondary a fighting chance. "That's the key to the game," defensive tackle Hollis Thomas said yesterday. "We've got to make it a point to get there."'

Marker Westbrook hoping to put fumble behind him [4:43 AM]
Cherry Hill Courier Post reports: '"I'm supposed to be a positive, not a negative," Westbrook said. "That's not why I'm on the field, so now I have to show everybody why I'm out there - to make big plays, not bad plays."'

Marker Expect Eagles to run the ball more against Buffalo [4:37 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'The video from last Sunday shows the Dolphins' Ricky Williams carrying the football 42 times for 154 yards, giving Miami possession for almost 41 of the game's 60 minutes. ''I think all teams that are playing against the Buffalo Bills will be using a little of that tape,'' Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said. ''But you also look at some of the other games they played. Early on, Jacksonville was able to hit some passes as well as some big runs . So you have to pretty much keep them balanced.'''

Marker Westbrook's 'absolutely' the punt returner [4:36 AM]
Allentown Morning Call reports: 'Barring a late change, Brian Westbrook will retain his job as the Philadelphia Eagles' punt returner for Sunday's game at Buffalo. ''Absolutely,'' Eagles special teams coordinator John Harbaugh said.'

Marker Eagles avoiding negativity [4:33 AM]
Trenton Times reports: 'Playing the 2-1 Bills in Buffalo, where the Eagles have not won since Oct. 7 1984, actually may be the lesser of two evils this weekend with many Eagles fans already on the verge of major meltdowns. Since 2000, the Eagles are an NFL-best 18-6 on the road during the regular season and 7-1 away from home following a loss.'

Marker Sheppard won’t be Buffaloed [4:32 AM]
Delaware County Times reports: 'With the possible exception of quarterback Donovan McNabb, nobody on the Eagles will be challenged more vigorously than second-year cornerback Lito Sheppard tomorrow in Buffalo. Filling in for All Pro Bobby Taylor -- who is expected to miss another game with a strained foot -- Sheppard will make the first road start of his young career, and the scenario couldn’t possibly be more daunting.'

Marker Eagles have faith in punt returner [4:28 AM]
Wilmington News Journal reports: '"It hurt, but I let it go. You have to let it go," Westbrook said. "The worst thing you can do is dwell on a mistake like that. If you're thinking about your last game or your last play, that means you're not thinking about the next game or the next play.'

Marker Eagles Looking for Some Symmetry [4:24 AM]
Comcast Sportsnet reports: 'The Eagles have run a total of 128 plays this season. They've attempted 32 running plays and 96 passing plays. That's a 25 percent to 75 percent run-pass ratio.'

Marker Henry Does Not Practice On Friday [4:15 AM]
WGR-AM reports: 'The Bills have until 4:00 on Saturday to activate a runningback if they feel they need to.'

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September 26, 2003

Marker Eagles' secondary primed for an aerial assault [9:27 PM]
AP reports: '"I can't imagine they'd run,'' Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said. ''I think they're going to stay with the vertical passing game. They want to go deep. I think they would like to run the ball better. We'll see if they can, but I think their philosophy is to get the ball deep.'''

Marker One step back, two steps forward [8:58 PM]
ESPN reports: 'Sunday's matchup against the Buffalo Bills is a huge deal for the Eagles. And following suit of previous years, the pressure will default to McNabb, who's never had the luxury of a big-time supporting cast. That's part of the reason he's so highly regarded. Such is Donovan's double-edged sword of success -- the good news is that he did it without anybody else before, the bad news is that ... he did it without anybody else before.'

Marker Bills' Henry has rib injury [8:54 PM]
AP reports: 'Williams said Henry's status for Sunday will be a game-time decision. The coach said Henry won't wear a flak jacket if he does play.'

Marker Burns Is Ready To Step Up Sunday If Needed [4:49 PM] reports: '"Joe is a conscientious guy that has grown up a lot from his rookie year," quarterback Drew Bledsoe said Wednesday at his press conference. "We're asking him to do a lot but we expect him to step in and do it. I know that if he is called upon to carry that load, he can come in and do it."'

Marker Loud and Clear [4:13 PM]
ESPN reports: 'But Henry still has a feeling that his show won't be running in Buffalo after this season. He walks up to his friends on the team, like Moulds, and asks, "Do you think I'll be here?" His agent, Greg Johnson, told him he should be prepared to be traded. It's easy to see how Henry would be a tasty piece of bait next off-season. He's a potential two-time 1,000-yard back with an '04 base salary of only $750,000. One GM thinks Buffalo can easily fetch a first-rounder for Henry.'

Marker Bills still hopeful on Henry [3:40 PM]
AP reports: 'Though the Buffalo Bills remain optimistic that running back Travis Henry will be able to play in this Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the actual prospects are getting a bit dimmer.'

Marker OK tailgaters...wanna win a trip to the Super Bowl? [1:43 PM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'The Jack Daniel's Mega Bus will be at Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday in search of Buffalo's top tailgaters. Jack Daniel's Mater Distiller, Jimmy Bedford, will be part of that search team. Bedford agrees Buffalo has the best football fans. Winning tailgate teams will be awarded a trophy and will be qualified for a trip to the Jack Daniel's Ultimate Tailgate Party in Houston on January 29-February 1.'

Marker McNabb perplexed by struggles [1:39 PM]
ESPN reports: 'In June, McNabb married his Syracuse sweetheart, Raquel Nurse, a former basketball player for the Orangemen. Somehow, some folks are implying, this is all her fault. That's what they said about Pete Sampras before he won the 2002 U.S. Open.'

Marker What should we expect from Philly coming off the bye week? [1:38 PM]
ESPN reports: 'The Bills have limited the opposition to 17 or fewer points in six straight games.'

Marker Man arrested after theft of Bledsoe jerseys [1:37 PM]
AP reports: 'Police in Hamburg say the suspects made off with 500 dollars worth of Bills jerseys taken from the Dick's sporting goods store.'

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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
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11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
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