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Buffalo Bills News - January 3, 2005

Marker Bills' playoff hopes dashed [5:29 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'With offensive starters Ben Roethlisberger, Jerome Bettis and Plaxico Burress inactive for the game, the Steelers controlled the ball for 35 of the 60 minutes, outrushing Buffalo 157-92. Pittsburgh also played without two defensive starters and substituted frequently.'

Marker Steelers' subs super to the end [5:13 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: '"That's just the sign of a good team," Buffalo linebacker Takeo Spikes said, "when you have depth, when they come in and can still be efficient when the game counts. The credit goes to them." Said Buffalo coach Mike Mularkey, the Steelers' former offensive coordinator: "If you've watched closely, when they've had guys go down all season -- not just the last game -- they've had guys come in and be extremely effective. This is not the NCAA, where you have guys that can't play."'

Marker An agonizing loss for surging Buffalo [5:12 AM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: 'Hope unraveled in a fashion that surprised most Buffalo observers, folks who counted the Bills as perhaps the NFL's hottest team. In six games before yesterday, the Bills averaged 38 points. Yet, against the Steelers, turnovers and penalties sabotaged them.'

Marker Steelers stick to standard [5:11 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'When the Bills got the ball back, Colclough blitzed, Harrison caught it and ran 18 yards for a touchdown. Game over. "It was a great call by the coordinator (Dick LeBeau)." Colclough said. "That's all it was."'

Marker Play of the Game: Harrison’s TD turned tide [5:10 AM]
Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports: 'With the Bills in a shotgun formation, Bledsoe dropped back and spotted wide receiver Josh Reed down field. Just as he went back to throw the ball, he was hit by Colclough at the 17. "I was trying to look for someplace down the field to get rid of the ball and was just getting ready to turn it loose to throw it at Josh, or at least throw it at his feet," Bledsoe said. "That's when he hit me, and I only had one hand on the ball, and that's when the ball came up."'

Marker Steelers defeat Bills [5:09 AM]
Uniontown Herald Standard reports: '"It's a nice achievement," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "The guys worked their tails off to get here, but now is not the time to reflect. The season isn't over yet. All it means right now is we get to sit back and heal a little bit. Other than that, all I know is after tonight everybody's 0-0 and our next game is at Heinz Field.'

Marker Monday's Pittsburgh Coverage [5:07 AM] reports:
Steelers' subs super to the end (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Reed punctuates outstanding season with five field goals (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
An agonizing loss for surging Buffalo (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
QB subs capitalize on chance to contribute (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Steelers Sound Off (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Photo Gallery (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Steelers stick to standard (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Play of the Game: Harrison’s TD turned tide (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Ben watches, learns (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Bungling Burress burglars drop ball (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Play of the Game: Harrison’s TD turned tide (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
At 15-1, Steelers know they still have long way to go (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers Report Card: Bills (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers spotlight (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers rally around Ben (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)
Steelers finish regular season with team-best 15 wins (Beaver County Times)
15-1 is nice, but now Steelers are back to 0-0 (Beaver County Times)
Maddox gets his work in (Beaver County Times)
Reed expects, achieves perfection down the stretch (Beaver County Times)
Steelers finish 15-1 as reserves KO Buffalo (Washington Observer Reporter)
Going from 9-point underdogs to Super Bowl favorites (Washington Observer Reporter)
Well-rested Parker has first 100-yard game (Washington Observer Reporter)
Steelers defeat Bills (Uniontown Herald Standard)
Steelers don't plan on anything different (Uniontown Herald Standard)
WellSteelers finish season 15-1, eliminate Bills (Erie Times News)
Even The Backups To The Backups Find A Way To Win (Erie Times News)
Oh So Close And Yet... (Erie Times News)
Playoffs unravel for Bills (Erie Times News)
Steelers' reserves help deliver win (Erie Times News)
Steelers end regular season with 29-24 win and improve to 15-1 (
Steelers-Bills Post-game quotes (

Marker Over and out [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'During their depressing and season-killing 29-24 loss to the Steelers, the Bills played like the Bills of September and October, the Bills who started 0-4 and 1-5 and had no business even dreaming about a trip to the postseason.'

Marker Here come Bledsoe's critics [5:06 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'It's inexplicable how a team with everything to play for would lose to a team that had little at stake.'

Marker Bills coaches fumbled big call [5:05 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'The Bills were ultimately confronted with a third-and-one at the Pittsburgh 11. Here was a chance to send Willis McGahee into the line against a second-string Steelers defense that was tired and ready to break. But there was Bledsoe, dropping back and throwing to Shelton. Yes, Shelton made the catch and picked up the first down. Too bad it didn't count because Josh Reed was called for offensive pass interference.'

Marker Steelers JVs get the job done [5:05 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'This was a chance for Buffalo (9-7) to convince anyone skeptical of its six-game winning streak, built against a string of NFL misfits, that it was a legitimate playoff contender. Instead, the Bills suffered the ultimate indignity, not just losing to the Steelers (15-1), but to their second-, third- and in some cases, fourth-string players. They were exposed, just as AFC East Division champ New England exposed them twice.'

Marker Fans find no solace in a near miss [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"Drew didn't perform as well as he should have," said Beth Gardner of Hamlin. "There were too many turnovers. It's time to turn the page. It's J.P.'s time."'

Marker The two-minute read [5:04 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Bills QB Drew Bledsoe: Same old story. Play the Browns, Bengals, Seahawks or 49ers and Drew's your man. Play him against a team that can actually play defense, like New England, Baltimore or Pittsburgh, and forget it.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:03 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Former Steelers coaches Mike Mularkey and Tom Clements were taken to school by their former boss, Bill Cowher, who beat them with his backups. Ouch.'

Marker Bills Fall, Lift Jets [4:59 AM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'And on Sunday, those Bills - embraced again by a region and primed to give the poets some serious material - showed up at Ralph Wilson Stadium needing to win only once more ... and splat.'

Marker Bills' hopes fumbled [4:59 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Though Buffalo held a 17-16 lead after three quarters, the end result shouldn't have been that close. The Steelers may have played their 'B' team, but the Bills got a dismal 'D' for effort to finish the season at 9-7 and out of the post-season for the fifth year in a row.'

Marker No rest for grunt guys [4:58 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"What do you think?" Bills safety Lawyer Milloy said when asked if the powerful Steelers linemen controlled the game. "Even if we would have won the game, we would have to get some things corrected with the running game."'

Marker Heartbreak for Buffalo Bills [4:57 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'There was a smell in the air yesterday, the smell of another season gone for naught. The smell of a potential playoff spot washed away by a team that had won six in a row but reverted to the stumbling, bumbling Bills that began the season with four losses.'

Marker Bills were soundly beaten in the game that mattered most [4:56 AM]
Toronto Globe & Mail reports: 'Until the moment the bubble burst, it had been a nostalgic afternoon.'

Marker Unheralded Steelers rookie helps deny Bills playoffs [4:55 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'Parker, a fourth-string back whose career consisted of 13 carries and 84 yards before yesterday, permanently earned his spot in Buffalo football lore yesterday in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 29-24 victory before 73,414 fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The undrafted rookie became just the third back this season to crack 100 yards against the staunch Bills defense while helping end Buffalo's six-game winning streak and improbable playoff run.'

Marker News of Bills' defeat eases pain for Jets [4:55 AM]
St. Louis Post Dispatch reports: 'New York Jets coach Herman Edwards got the word on the sideline, sometime during overtime, he thought. He didn't really remember much except that his son told him the Buffalo Bills had lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, assuring the Jets of a playoff spot. Not that Edwards cared. "I wanted to win the game," he said. "I could care less about that."'

Marker Buffalo can't reach playoffs; Pittsburgh finishes 15-1 [4:54 AM]
USA Today reports: 'In a game that meant everything to the Buffalo Bills' hopes for a mad dash to the postseason and absolutely nothing for improving the lot of a team that had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, it was striking that a couple of the Pittsburgh linebackers in particular, James Farrior and Joey Porter, did not want to take anybody's seats on the bench.'

Marker Steelers backups get the job done [4:53 AM]
ESPN reports: 'Sunday's game turned on Parker's 58-yard scamper on the first play following Lindell's aforementioned miss. The play was "H 45 Base," a draw, and Parker found a hole off the left side and took it up the Steelers' sideline before Clements caught him at the 22. "When he gets into the secondary, he has another gear," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "He's the fastest back we have."'

Marker Time Runs Out on Bills Season [4:52 AM] reports: '"It's going to take awhile [to forget about this game]," linebacker London Fletcher said. "To accomplish what we had…to have a game at our stadium, where you write a storybook ending, this wasn't the ending that we had in mind."'

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January 2, 2005

Marker With nothing to play for, Steelers show they have everything [7:52 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: 'Pittsburgh played much of its season finale with its second, third and -- in the case of Parker -- fourth-stringers, yet it won. And it won decisively, trailing only once when Nate Clements returned an interception for a third-quarter touchdown.'

Marker Bills Lose In Total Team Fashion [7:15 PM] reports: 'With the season on the line, Bledsoe crumbled.'

Marker Fate Turns On Bills Against Pittsburgh [7:14 PM] reports: 'It wasn't that they lost to the best team in the league that was the problem. It was that they lost to their backups, including their third string quarterback after having a 17-16 lead late in the third quarter.'

Marker Late Season Run Comes to an End [7:12 PM] reports: '"It's tough," wide receiver Eric Moulds said. "I feel disappointed because I didn't feel like we played as well as we were capable of playing. It's especially disappointing for me because I've been here the longest of any of the guys. It's five years now that we haven't made the playoffs and it's very disappointing."'

Marker Steelers-Bills Post-game quotes [7:06 PM] reports: '“We’re going to play first class football, regardless of the situation. We knew we were in the playoffs. We didn’t approach this game like it didn’t really matter. So we just came out and played our game. As for them, they needed this win to get on into the playoffs, hopefully, and depending on the other two games that went on today. I guess they sort thought that we were going to lay down and just give it to them. We didn’t do that today.”'

Marker Steelers end regular season with 29-24 win and improve to 15-1 [5:54 PM] reports: 'With their playoff lives on the line and just down by a point, the Bills offense was set to roll. But on third-and-six from their own 24-yard line, the cold Buffalo wind seemed to blow away their chances. The veteran Bledsoe could not get away from rookie Ricardo Colclough, who sacked him for a seven-yard loss and knocked the ball loose. James Harrison was right there and caught the ball in mid-air and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown, giving the Steelers a 26-17 lead that the Bills couldn’t overcome.'

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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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