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Buffalo Bills News - October 23, 2000

Marker Bills beaten to finish line again [9:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills almost played a great game Sunday. A couple more of these "almost" games and their playoff hopes are going to be history.'

Marker Defensive backs taken to school [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The numbers might say otherwise, but the Bills' secondary actually held its own with Moss and Carter for most of the game. The defensive backs jammed them at the line of scrimmage to knock them off their pass routes and effectively took away the slant routes, one of the Vikings' pet plays. Moss and Carter had just one catch between them before each made a 28-yard grab to set up a field goal at the end of the first half. Then came the second half.'

Marker Flutie shows Bills have plenty in reserve [8:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'At an average of $5 million per season, Flutie is probably the highest-paid backup quarterback in the NFL. Against the Vikings he played like it. He deserved the victory.'

Marker Morris and Bryson revive running game [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Morris rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 39 yards and another score. Bryson, looking more and more comfortable in the backfield, ripped off 72 yards on 11 carries. He added 17 yards on two receptions.'

Marker Monday billboard [8:57 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'This one falls into the "nice try" category. If Peerless Price hadn't fumbled after catching a first-down pass with 2:46 left in the game, who knows what would have happened? As it is, the Bills fell to 3-4, deep in the AFC East, and the Vikings are a shaky 7-0.'

Marker Defense rests in Bills' late collapse vs. Vikes [6:41 AM]
D and C reports: '"I told a lot of the offensive guys that we let them down today," Jones said after the once impregnable Buffalo defense surrendered 18 fourth-quarter points, allowing Minnesota to escape the annoyingly noisy Metrodome with a 31-27 victory, leaving the Vikings (7-0) as the lone unbeaten team in the National Football League. "Early in the season (when the offense was struggling) I kept telling those guys to keep your head up, there's going to be a time when we're going to need you, and this was one of those times against an explosive offense like this. "If we had held them to one less touchdown we would have won it, but we didn't."'

Marker Defense confesses: We stunk [6:40 AM]
D and C reports: 'If you've lost count, that's two consecutive games of allowing not one, but two receivers to gain 100 yards.'

Marker Growing pains keep hurting [6:39 AM]
D and C reports: '"I don't think it has to do with winning on the road, it has to do with little nuances of the game," said Flutie, who started in place of an injured Rob Johnson. "Little, subtle adjustments, little things that come over time with experience. Our young guys played exceptionally well. I don't think that was a factor, but they will get better as the year goes along."'

Marker Mistakes add up to 0-3 on road [6:37 AM]
D and C reports: 'How long is it going to take coach Wade Phillips to realize that the second-best receiver on his team is Jeremy McDaniel? For the second time this season, Price lost a critical fumble late in the fourth quarter, this one coming with the Bills trailing 28-27. Price is supposed to be a big-play player, but he continues to be a huge disappointment.'

Marker Vikings survive as lone unbeaten [6:35 AM]
USA Today reports: '"We made some mistakes late," said Flutie, who piloted the offense to 406 yards and was sacked only once. "With the explosiveness they have, you can't turn the ball over."'

Marker Flutie good, Vikes great [6:29 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Despite the most productive day in his NFL career, Flutie and a fired-up Bills offence couldn't negate big-play Vikings receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter. "I felt great, it's like riding a bike," said Flutie, who completed 28 of 43 attempts for 294 yards in his first start this season in place of the injured Rob Johnson. "You jump back on and you go. "But God, we should have won the ball game. We should have found a way to win it and I thought we would."'

Marker Moss shows off fancy footwork [6:28 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'With the Vikes trailing 27-21 late in the fourth quarter, Moss raced down the left side, got behind two Bills defenders and hauled in Daunte Culpepper's toss deep in the end zone, deftly tucking both feet in bounds before falling over the dead-ball line. "That is football. I picked that up from watching Cris Carter," Moss said of Minnesota's other star receiver. "I learned the position of your footing and watching the ball in the air. "Coach (Dennis) Green brought me here to make plays and I'm going to do whatever it takes to help us win."'

Marker Vikings' rally stuns Bills 31-27 [6:23 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Outplayed through three quarters by the visiting Buffalo Bills, and trailing by 11 early in the fourth, the Vikings again played their best when it mattered the most.'

Marker Bills made big plays, but Vikings made ones that counted [6:22 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '"We don't play like we're 3-4," said Bills defensive end Marcellus Wiley. "We're just 3-4. There are teams that don't play well and win. We're one of those teams that play well and find a way to lose."'

Marker When Moss calls, everyone listens [6:21 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'For Moss, who had made a similar prediction before a game-sealing touchdown reception against Miami in Week Two, it was just further proof that you can slow the Vikings receivers some of the time. But not when it matters.'

Marker Defense didn't rest, but it did win [6:20 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Said defensive coordinator Emmitt Thomas: "They were running a lot of pick routes, and we were getting lost. So we changed our personnel, got more defensive backs on the field to help. They had us off balance the whole game, but we hung in there and made some plays at the end."'

Marker In unpredictable NFL, Vikings are a constant [6:17 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'Of course, just like every other team the Vikings have played this season, the Bills were their own worst enemy, with penalties, fumbles and broken defensive coverages.'

Marker Culpepper comes through in clutch [6:15 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'The second-year quarterback is already getting a reputation as a clutch performer when the game is on the line. He credited the team's fourth-quarter success -- it has scored 73 of its 184 points in the fourth quarter and has outscored opponents 73-58 in that quarter -- to gritty play. "We work hard and we learn," Culpepper said. "That's the main thing. We learn to stay humble, and we work hard."'

Marker Anderson sets NFL record [6:14 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '"It's one of the biggest records, probably in sports," said punter and holder Mitch Berger. "And he did it seven years shorter than [Blanda], and that's without scoring any touchdowns."'

Marker Sideline [6:12 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: '"One play, and it's the difference in the game. We had two guys covering Moss. Obviously, we didn't have him covered." - Buffalo coach Wade Phillips.'

Marker The buzz [6:10 AM]
Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: 'We're all for making history, but things almost got a little out of hand after Gary Anderson's 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter made him the NFL's all-time leading scorer. The referee stopped the game, Anderson's sons ran onto the field for pictures, there were handshakes and hugs all around -- and there was still 1:04 to play. How about keeping your eyes on the big picture and then celebrating?'

Marker A perfect ending [6:07 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'The young quarterback made his worst decision of the season. Interceptions were dropped. The visitors dominated possession of the ball and third-down conversions. There was a game-clock mess. A major NFL career record was broken. And, at the end of the blizzard of sloppiness, weirdness and history, there was another fourth-quarter comeback with a spectacular scoring play. When sanity was finally was restored at the Metrodome, the resilient Vikings stood as the NFL's only unbeaten team after a 31-27 victory over the Buffalo Bills in front 64,116.'

Marker Moss true to his word on winning catch [6:06 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'With four minutes remaining Sunday and the Vikings trailing the Buffalo Bills 27-21, right tackle Korey Stringer bent over in the team's huddle, looked at Moss and said, "Somebody has to make a play." Moss accepted the challenge, adding, "Y'all pass protect; I'm going to score this touchdown." The huddle broke, and Moss headed to the left side of the field. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper took the snap and rolled right. Cornerbacks Daryl Porter and Ken Irvin froze, and Moss broke toward the end zone. As he neared the end line, Moss hauled in the 39-yard pass and managed to keep his feet in bounds, Cris Carter style, giving the Vikings a 28-27 lead.'

Marker Bills control possession but not Vikings offense [6:03 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'On a day when the Bills' ball-control offense chained Daunte Culpepper and his gang of playmakers to the bench for three quarters, their defense could have been jailed for allowing two fourth-quarter touchdown passes that let the Vikings escape with a 31-27 victory at the Metrodome.'

Marker The skinny [6:02 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'Turning point: Vikings rookie punt returner Troy Walters' 28-yard return to the Bills' 34-yard line with 3:54 to go. Three plays later, quarterback Daunte Culpepper hit Randy Moss in the back of the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown. It gave the Vikings a 28-27 lead with 3:42 remaining in the game.'

Marker A short memory helps Culpepper fill tall rally order [6:00 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'Daunte Culpepper used to let bad things gnaw at him. If he'd throw an interception or fumble the ball, or just mess up on a play, it'd stick to his psyche like a barnacle. But that was long ago. Nothing bothers him now. "In high school, I used to get down on myself and get mad," Culpepper said. "Then it would pile up. One problem would turn into another problem." So, way back in high school in Ocala, Fla., he realized it was a whole lot easier if he would just put the bad stuff behind him. Quickly. Very quickly. That's what he did Sunday.'

Marker There's work do to on defense, Vikings agree [5:58 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'Using a mixture of short passes by quarterback Doug Flutie and the running of Shawn Bryson and Sammy Morris, the Bills converted 10 of 17 third-down situations, a season high allowed by the Vikings.'

Marker Extra Points [5:57 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: 'Orlando Thomas stomped out any chance of a Doug Flutie-led comeback when he recovered a Peerless Price fumble in Buffalo territory to set up Gary Anderson's record-setting field goal. Trailing 28-27 with less than three minutes to play and facing third-and-11 from his own 19, Flutie hit Price for 17 yards and a first down. But Vikings cornerback Robert Tate jarred the ball loose, and Thomas pounced on it at the 34. Afterward, Price, who finished with three receptions for 42 yards, wasn't in chatty mood. "He just made a good play, and I fumbled the ball trying to make a play myself, trying to spin out of a tackle," said Price. "I don't want to talk no more."'

Marker Record-setter Gary Anderson credits his late father [5:54 AM]
St. Paul Pioneer Press reports: '"Dad taught me everything I know about kicking and everything I know about life," said Gary Anderson, his voice cracking and his eyes welling with tears. "He would tell me that I could continue kicking until I was 40. . . . But I don't think even Dad thought I'd break George Blanda's record. . . . He'd be surprised."'

Marker Vikings now lone unbeaten NFL team [5:52 AM]
Fargo Forum reports: '"We love the fact that we are 7-0, we are very excited about it," head coach Dennis Green said. "But we do understand that next week we have another very good game. ... But I think that our guys are up for the task and have tremendous character."'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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