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Buffalo Bills News - December 15, 2002

Marker Bills 20, Chargers 13 [4:50 PM]
AP reports: 'Gametime temperature was 36 degrees, making it the 11th coldest game in Chargers history. San Diego, which hadn't played a game in conditions 57 degrees or colder this season, is 3-8 when the temperature is 40 degrees or colder.'

Marker Buffalo 20, San Diego 13 [4:40 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Bledsoe completed only 11-of-33 passes...'.

Marker Buffalo Bills Notebook: Inactives, Notes & More [1:59 PM] reports: Updated throughout the game --- On his first completion, a 7-yard pass to Dave Moore, Drew Bledsoe set a new franchise record for passing yards in a season, surpassing Jim Kelly's mark of 3,840 yards (1991).

Marker Wiley will hear about his return [10:31 AM]
North County Times reports: '"Seriously, (Butler) was about 80 percent of the reason I came here, because he believed in me,'' Wiley said. "He first understood what kind of player I was and what I could become in this league."'

Marker Flutie hopes Brees braves Buffalo winds [10:29 AM]
North County Times reports: '"The fans live and die with the Bills. On Wednesday night, trailers and campers start showing up in the parking lot. They stake their claim, go to work ---- but instead of going back home, they return to the parking lot. They will tailgate every evening. There will be bonfires in the parking lot to keep warm. It is probably the loudest outdoor stadium there is. As you get late in the season, when fans get bundled up a little bit, the warm gloves muffles the sound. That might help us out a bit."'

Marker Chargers matchups [10:27 AM]
North County Times reports: 'Pick: BILLS 23, CHARGERS 13.'

Marker Chargers are where the Bills wanted to be [9:41 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Even winning out wouldn't guarantee the Chargers their first playoff berth in seven years, but it certainly would go a long way.'

Marker Henry-Tomlinson duel a battle within battle [9:40 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The problem: The three leading rushers in the NFL are in the AFC, and only three running backs in each conference make the NFL all-star game. Kansas City's Priest Holmes has 2,104 scrimmage yards and is poised to break the NFL scoring record. Miami's Ricky Williams is on pace to rush for 1,850 yards. Tomlinson has more than a 200-yard lead on Henry, with 1,375 yards.'

Marker Chargers sticking with Brees [9:39 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The 40-year-old Flutie has not taken a snap this year and is likely only to play if Brees gets hurt.'

Marker Bills not necessarily headed for big things [9:38 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If Williams does come back for the final year of his contract, he should have a lot of adjustments to make no matter how many helpful free agents they sign.'

Marker Nose for the ball [9:37 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I think the best tackles in the AFC are me and Gary Walker," he said.'

Marker Chargers' trade of Vick has worked for both sides . . . so far [9:36 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"We couldn't go wrong either way if we had taken Michael Vick," Chargers General Manager John Butler said this week. "We thought that he was just one heck of a football player. But we needed more than just one player."'

Marker The subsidy game [9:35 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'In negotiating a new lease with Erie County for the stadium that now bears his name, Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. extracted a variety of concessions and flat-out grants that amounted to a $123 million package when the deal was finalized in 1998.'

Marker Chargers downplay impact of weather [9:34 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'The last time the Chargers were in Kansas City - Dec. 23 of last year - it was 28 degrees. "That was so co-o-old," said defensive end Raylee Johnson. That was the sixth consecutive game played in chill below 40 degrees that the Chargers lost.'

Marker Game Day [9:33 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'It's late, it's freezing, snowing hard, and Bills are Buffaloed when Drew Brees hits Doug Flutie with the winning touchdown pass. Chargers, 24-21.'

Marker O'Shei's Three Keys to the Game [9:00 AM] reports: Last year, the Bills were 3-13. The season will obviously be an improvement, but by how much? That's a question only the Bills can answer in the next three weeks. A 9-7 finish-or even 8-8-would certainly give the team a strong springboard into 2003.

Marker Chargers, Bills forget grudges [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'The only ex-Bills contributing on the field this season for San Diego are kicker Steve Christie and defensive end Marcellus Wiley.'

Marker Q&A with Justin Bannan [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: '[Q:] Have you hit the rookie ‘wall’ yet? [A:] ’’I’m actually doing OK. Last year in college, I played 15 games, a bowl game and two All-Star games. I didn’t stop playing football until February. The way I look at this season, is that we’ve got three weeks left and then hopefully we’ve got the playoffs.’’'

Marker Butler fights cancer with humor, guts [5:22 AM]
D and C reports: '“I just don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again,” said the man who was one of the primary architects of Buffalo’s Super Bowl run of the early 1990s. “We had a special group of guys. They were resilient, and we were able to keep them together for a long time. The way the game has changed with free agency and the salary cap, I just can’t see that happening again where you are able to retain a corps of players that defy the odds and go to four straight Super Bowls.”'

Marker Bills fans are realistic about chances [5:21 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Yeah, the Buffalo Bills are still alive in the AFC playoff race ... and David Letterman might take over for Dan Rather on the CBS Nightly News.'

Marker Expect Chargers to run ... a bunch [5:20 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'He ranks third in the league in rushing with 1,375 yards. And considering the Bills have the 31st-ranked run defence -- which the Dolphins exploited to the tune of 228 Williams yards two weeks ago -- it's not hard to guess the Chargers' game plan.'

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December 14, 2002

Marker Crucial misses haunt kickers forever [7:24 PM]
New York Times reports: 'As the ball sailed through the air, some players on both sidelines held hands, and when it went right, the Bills were stunned, not only because the game was lost, but also because Norwood had connected on several last-minute, game-winning kicks in previous years. They weren't simply hoping Norwood would connect, they fully expected him to.'

Marker Chargers await chilly reception in Buffalo [7:05 PM]
AP reports: '''I used to laugh at articles in the paper when they used to say the opponents are going to be at a disadvantage,'' Wiley said. ''I was like, 'Man, I play with the Bills and I'm not used to the cold.' They're going to be just as cold as we are. I don't care who they are or how many years they played there.'''

Marker Good? No, fabulous [7:04 PM] reports: Tom Donahoe knows about salary cap problems. He knows about seasons sacrificed to the concept of salary cap repair, and about weathering the storm of criticism that accompanies self-imposed losing, and about somehow remaining firm and committed and hopeful of what a couple seasons of sacrifice will mean to the long-term health of the franchise.

Marker Punter Brian Moorman Q&A [1:09 PM] reports: When did you start wearing earplugs and why? - Dan (Dudley, MA) "I learned it from Jeff Feagles my first season, preseason, with the Seahawks. He's been doing it for years and he got me into it. I started doing it religiously over in Europe when I was over there (for the NFL Europe season) because they have very loud stadiums with all the noisemakers they use. I just feel like it helps me concentrate - block out the background noise - and let me focus on what my job is."

Marker Bills Named Football's "Fan Friendliest Team" [12:43 PM] reports: The Ft. Lauderdale, FL-based Sports Fans of America Association, Inc. has awarded its 2002 NFL Sports Fan’s Quality Award to the Buffalo Bills as the league’s “Fan Friendliest” team.

Marker Another Schott [10:01 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Marty Schottenheimer doesn't get back often, but he always thought fondly of Western New York. He enjoyed some of his best days playing football as a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills in the 1960s.'

Marker Fans tuning in the Bills on radio may hear precious Miller time [10:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Friends say he remains undecided. Bills officials have heard these rumblings before and won't give them much credence until they hear it from Van the Man himself.'

Marker Awards presentation on tap Monday [9:59 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Quarterback Drew Bledsoe was elected Bills Man of the Year, fullback Larry Centers earned Unsung Hero, receiver Josh Reed was named Rookie of the Year, and the trio of Mike Hollis, Brian Moorman and Sammy Morris will be honored as Special Teams Players of the Year.'

Marker Bledsoe, Bills are bummed over 6-7 [9:58 AM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"It's been a great transition coming in here," he said. "The perception of Buffalo from the outside world is not real strong. You think it's just a bunch of snow and nasty weather. But it's really been great. This area is a very family-oriented place. People are friendly; they kind of leave you alone. It's almost like playing in a college town. It's not crowded. They support the team. The whole thing has been a good move for us all around."'

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