Colts, Bills rematch will be personal [5:50 AM]
AP reports: 'The Colts might be coming off a 35-28 victory over Kansas City, but the win didn't hide all of their blemishes. Their defence, ranked among the worst in the league, has yet to hold an opponent under 23 points.'
Bills look to contain Colts [5:41 AM]
D and C reports: 'Five weeks ago, Manning had a career day against the Bills in one afternoon, passing for 421 yards and four touchdowns in the Colts' 42-26 victory at the RCA Dome. It wasn't so much WHAT Manning did but HOW he did it that agitates the Bills like sand in a swimsuit. During one stretch of the first half, Manning needed just six plays and 2:08 of possession time to complete three long TD passes to blow the game open.'
Bills' players aren't afraid of fan mail [5:40 AM]
D and C reports: '"With the millions and millions of pieces of mail circulating in this country, I have to think 'Why would they target me?'" fullback Larry Centers said.'
Q & A with Jake Arians [5:39 AM]
D and C reports: '''(At Jacksonville), I missed my first two kicks so you want to redeem yourself. Everybody had played so great, so you're thinking, 'OK, you missed two, if you want a job next week, you better knock this one down.' There's no way I could have missed that kick, because the team had played its heart out. At San Diego, the same thing. We fought our butts off and just fell short. I couldn't tell what happened (on the block). I hit it good and it came off my foot well. Everyone wanted to win that game so bad and Mr. Wilson (team owner Ralph) wanted it the most of all. I'm really sick we couldn't pull it out for him. I think he'd be proud of the effort and the grit we showed, but we're all disappointed."'
Scouting report [5:38 AM]
D and C reports: 'Jerry Ostroski may return to action today, and if he does, the offensive line will get a boost. With that boost, it must give Johnson protection so he has a chance to peck away at the Colts.'
Thoughts on the Bills and TV games [5:37 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Before today's game, two former Bills' stars - center Kent Hull and special teams ace Steve Tasker - will be honored with Ralph Wilson Distinguished Service Awards.'
Colts offense wants to put an end to slow starts [5:34 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'In six games, the Colts have scored first only once, that occurring 10 days ago at Kansas City. An offense that ranks No. 1 in the NFL in total yards and No. 2 in scoring has tacked up just two first-quarter touchdowns. Both came Sept. 23 in the RCA Dome against the Bills. But both came after the Colts turned the ball over on their first two possessions of the game.'
Hansen's toughness sets example for Bills [5:33 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Hansen sets an example with tenaciousness. He's usually so focused, others find him amusing because of his blunt honesty. "I think that's probably why he and I get along so well," said first-year Bills coach Gregg Williams. "We're both that way."'
Rhodes faces test in blocking skills [5:32 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'The Bills have not mounted a consistent pass rush this year, registering just 10 sacks. They likely will make Rhodes prove he's up to the task of keeping the blitz away from Manning. "It's no secret that's something a defense will try to test," Manning said. "But we feel good about (Rhodes)."'
Putting it together [5:29 AM]
Colts.com reports: '"You can see they're more confident because of their experience," Manning said as the Colts (3-3) prepared to play the Bills (1-5) Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. The more games you play, the more everybody's on the same page and the fewer busted assignments you're going to have. You figure if you're going to score points, you've got to be really good at what you're doing. You're not going to be able to get them out of position. "In the second game, a few times we might have caught them out of position, due to their lack of experience in that scheme."'
Johnson makes connection [5:26 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'If he continues the kind of quarterback play he's given Buffalo in those two games, the Pats might not have the pushover game they're expecting when the Bills come to town next week.'
Bills' O-line battered [10:35 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Starting tackles John Fina and Jonas Jennings missed their third straight practice Friday with leg and foot injuries, respectively. They haven't been completely ruled out for Sunday, but the best-case scenario would have them serve as emergency backups.'
Improved Bills are ready for Colts [5:28 AM]
D and C reports: 'After their rout of the Bills, the Colts lost their next three games -- two to New England by a cumulative score of 82-30.'
James' availability will be a game-day decision [5:26 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'He practiced for the first time Friday but remains questionable for Sunday's visit to AFC East rival Buffalo. James' availability for the game might not be determined until he tests the knee that morning.'
Bills look to continue turnaround [5:24 AM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'The Buffalo Bills are honoring Kent Hull and Steve Tasker on Sunday, an added attraction to the Indianapolis Colts' final annual visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium. Too bad the Bills can't get Hull and Tasker to suit up. Their respective areas of specialty, the offensive line and special teams, stand as Buffalo's primary areas of concern as the season approaches the midway point. While Rob Johnson has been able to improve over the last two weeks and stay more or less in one piece, the Bills' inability to run consistently makes the quarterback their sole offensive threat.'
Bills Rookie Class--Great Nucleus [4:39 PM]
CBS Sportsline reports: The last item is Pete Prisco's evaluation of our 2001 Draft Class. Did he steal this from John in Hemet? Sounds like something John already wrote on the Stadium Wall message board.....
Gregg Williams answers e-mails [4:37 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "We had no timeouts left, we were in kind of a disarray with the injury [to Jay Riemersma] happening right there at the end of the ballgame. Our guys were fatigued, and also we had one opportunity in the Jaguar game where we got sacked out of field goal range. It was a collective agreement, with Rob and everyone, that we should go for the field goal right there."
Scouting the Colts with John Guy [4:37 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: "Where the Colts are right now, I think they've had the timing of their offense has been off, and they've been off because they haven't his full corps of wide receivers," Guy said. "They've gone down to their fifth wide receiver at times. Trevor Insley is playing, who hasn't played before, and Reggie Wayne, who was their top draft choice, is playing now after being injured much of the season, so their timing's been off. Now, this week, there's question about whether James will play or not.
Colts a bit banged up heading into Sunday [4:36 PM]
BuffaloBills.com reports: Running back Edgerrin James did not practice with his team on Wednesday or Thursday, as he is still nursing a sprained left knee that he suffered in Indianapolis' 35-28 win over Kansas City a week ago Thursday and is questionable for Sunday's game. James, who rushed 12 times for 111 yards against Buffalo in Week 2, and has 662 yards total in six games so far in 2001, may find himself on the sideline, or at the very least have a limited role use for Indianapolis.
Paul Maguire War Room's third best color commentary [2:52 PM]
The Sporting News reports: 3. Former Bills/Chargers punter/linebacker Paul Maguire, ESPN
(Sunday Night Football with Mike Patrick)
NFL editor picks Buffalo among teams that will pull off upsets [2:38 PM]
USA Today reports: Indianapolis (minus 4) at Buffalo
Rob Johnson is relatively healthy — he's only suffering from foot, ankle, elbow and shoulder injuries. Clearly this is an upset in the making.
BILLS, 27-24 (ATS: BILLS)
Indianapolis at Buffalo Preview [2:22 PM]
CNN/SI reports: The Buffalo Bills may be counting on Mother Nature to slow down the Indianapolis Colts when the AFC rivals meet at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.
Buffalo is traditionally one of the NFL's tougher places to play as the season progresses due to the weather. The Bills should hope for some unfavorable conditions Sunday because they have unable to slow down the Colts recently.
What? No Hall of Fame Nomination for Hull? [1:11 PM]
ESPN reports: Q: I saw the list of nominees for the Hall of Fame and I was shocked that former Bills center Kent Hull was not on the list. He was the keystone to great Bills teams of the early '90s and was just as influential to their offensive success. Does anyone honestly think Jim Kelly and Thomas would have been as successful if it weren't for Hull anchoring the line? -- Christina Barrett, Concord, N.H.
MORT -- Christina, this is a really good observation. I believe Hull is worthy of HoF consideration. However, those interior lineman usually don't get nominated until a little later. That doesn't make it right, just the way it is. Or this could be a classic oversight that needs correction by next year.
Speedy Schobel starts to get it right [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I didn't think playing in the NFL would be easy," said Schobel, who had a school-record 31 sacks at Texas Christian University. "But it's been a little tougher than I expected. This is a different level and you can't just run by people here. I've got to understand some things and adjust to things I haven't done in the past. We're striving to get better each week."'
Tasker, Hull will be saluted Sunday [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Monday Quarterback Club plans to honor Tasker and Hull during its luncheon meeting Monday at 11:30 a.m. in HSBC Arena's Harbour Club Restaurant. There also will be a special salute to the 1961 Bills team, which will be represented by LaVerne Torczon and Tom O'Connell.
Hull, Torczon and O'Connell will also make an appearance at the Bills Alumni Booth in the "Bills Experience" inside the team's field house Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.'
Bills find another Peerless receiver [5:19 AM]
D and C reports: '"I don't think people understand that you don't call the plays and you don't sit back there and throw the ball," Price said. "It's a big misunderstanding when it come to receivers. It also has to do with the company you keep. I've got Eric Moulds on the other side and he's always going to be the go-to guy."'
Bills hurting on first down [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills rank second-to-last in the NFL in yards allowed per first-down play at 6.34. Only winless Detroit is worse at 6.63.'
Blacked out [5:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'It is the first Bills blackout this season and only the third in the last 21 home games. But four of the last five Bills home games could be blacked out because of lagging ticket sales.'
Fake, fade and throw [5:16 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'There is one primary, overriding reason that the Indianapolis Colts work so hard on their play-action passing game and call upon it so frequently. It works.'
This week's uninformed pick -- Take the Bills [5:14 AM]
Indianapolis Star reports: 'Do I make anything of the Colts' past problems at Ralph Wilson Stadium? How about the forecast, which includes rain, with a 20 percent chance of a plague of locusts? It doesn't matter. So here goes: Heads it's Colts. Tails it's Buffalo. Tails it is. (Yes, Phil Luckett, it's tails.) Make mine Buffalo.'
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