Stumbling Bills survive [5:53 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills' offense -- at least through three quarters -- was woefully inept, continuing a season-long trend; Johnson, despite the fact that he rallied the team back into the game in the fourth quarter, suffered through a very tough day, and it ended with a separated shoulder that will sideline him 2-4 weeks; The normally solid defense was burned for a couple of long touchdowns and 24 points overall; Guard Ruben Brown engaged line coach Carl Mauch in a visible shouting match on the sidelines; Chargers head coach Mike Riley made a second-guesser's dream come true by playing backup quarterback Moses Moreno for two series in the second quarter. In four plays, Moreno lost two fumbles deep in Chargers territory that set up a pair of Buffalo touchdowns. Imagine where the Bills would be today if San Diego starter Jim Harbaugh hadn't been relegated to the sidelines during that stretch.'
Bills offensive line redeems itself [5:51 AM]
D and C reports: 'It's been a tense year for the line and its curmudgeonly coach. The criticism has been considerable. Much of it has been justified. "We are growing kind of sick of it," Ostroski said. "We've been taking a lot of crap from media and the fans."'
Even Flutie can't save these Bills [5:49 AM]
D and C reports: 'If Flutie Fanatics can restrain their glee and take a deep breath, they'd realize that this isn't 1998. It's so not '98...They are what they are, a .500-type club. Just enough wrong. Just enough right. A lot of good young players finding their way for a better tomorrow.'
Notes on Bills/Chargers game [5:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'Center Jerry Ostroski was aggravated by all the booing the Bills offense endured from the home crowd. "Personally I think it's damn ridiculous," he said. "It's sad when a football team is excited to go on the road, because they don't want to stay at home and get booed by their own fans and have their head coach and their quarterback called out like that. I think it's a damn shame. I realize everybody pays their money. I realize everybody has a right to say whatever they want. Just like I have a right to say what I want. I'm stating my opinion. And I know I'm not the only one in this locker room who feels that way."'
Flutie in relief sparks the Bills [5:46 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Ten-point favourites heading into the contest against the winless Chargers (0-7), the Bills didn't just dodge a bullet in halting their three-game losing slide and levelling their record at 3-3. They escaped a hail of Jim Harbaugh gunfire. And they have Moses to thank for it. Were it not for a pair of fumbles by young San Diego pivot Moses Moreno that Buffalo converted into touchdowns by Sammy Morris and Jerry Ostroski early in the second quarter, the Bills would have suffered their most humiliating defeat in recent memory.'
Flutie kick-starts Bills [5:44 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"I just went in there with a handful of plays and tried to execute to take advantage of the opportunity," said Flutie, who hit Peerless Price for nine yards and Eric Moulds for 21 to advance to Christie's range. "I guess we'll take it one at at time. We have a fun place to play in Minnesota (next Sunday against the Vikings). I just have to prepare and get ready."'
Christie foots Bills to win [5:43 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Lining up for a game-winning field goal in overtime, kicker Steve Christie saw the orange flag fly and shrugged his shoulders. A 41-yard field goal attempt was now 46. "No big deal, just had to kick it a little harder, let 'er rip," said Christie, who booted the sixth overtime winner of his NFL career in the Buffalo Bills' 27-24 win yesterday. "I don't want to make (overtime winners) a habit but it's enjoyable. "As long as we win. If we get in a situation where we have a chance to win, I'll do my best."'
Christie's kick does it [5:41 AM]
Toronto Globe & Mail reports: 'It wasn't the dominant win they may have wanted, but coming off three consecutive losses to divisional rivals, the Bills needed a win over the supposedly inept 0-6 San Diego Chargers like a starving man needs a free lunch. They almost blew it, giving up four sacks, two turnovers and 103 yards in penalties, performance glitches that offset 424 yards of total offence they were able to run up.'
Bills quarterback out 2-4 weeks with shoulder injury [6:15 PM]
AP reports: 'Bills quarterback Rob Johnson will miss two to four weeks after separating his shoulder during Buffalo's 27-24 overtime win over San Diego on Sunday.'
Bills 27, Chargers 24 (OT) [5:31 PM]
AP reports: 'Set up by Henry Jones' interception of Jim Harbaugh's pass, Flutie marched the Bills 31 yards for Steve Christie's 46-yard field goal with 6:34 remaining. Curiously, Christie got a second chance to win the game after his first attempt - which bounced off the right goalpost - didn't count because the play had been called dead when Buffalo center Jerry Ostroski false-started. Christie's second attmempt just sneaked over the bar.'
Bills 27, Chargers 24 [4:47 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Flutie replaced starting quarterback Rob Johnson, who left after landing on his right shoulder following a hit by Chargers defensive end Neil Smith on the Bills' first possession of overtime. After the game it was revealed Johnson will be sidelined two to four weeks with the injury.'
Bolts CB struggles to prove he's worth that fat contract [3:29 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: 'Cornerback DeRon Jenkins knows the Chargers were counting on him to be their version of a stopper after signing him to a three-year, $9.6 million deal in the offseason. He was supposed to shut down the opposing team's leading wide receiver, or at least limit the number of big plays the receiver made. But more often than not Jenkins has been the one walking off the field with his head down and his spirits low during the game.'
Conway ready to fill bill for Chargers [3:24 PM]
North County Times reports: 'And, really, is there a better poster boy for the 2000 Dead Bolts than the 2000 Conway? Like the Chargers, he entered the season with hype and hope. Like the Chargers, he has been unable to deliver on either count.'
Bills' job summed up in two words: must win [3:21 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Suddenly, Buffalo's primary mission is just making the playoff ... forget home-field advantage.'
Seau makes sure Chargers defense never rests [9:02 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '[The Buffalo Bills] are 10-point favorites to end their three-game losing streak. But there's no way [Junior] Seau will let the Chargers roll over and die.'
Bills' offense needs new microscopes for future self-exams [9:00 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Maybe multiple formations are not the way to go with this lightly experienced bunch. Maybe doing away with the traditional fullback and using the tight ends as H-backs was too radical a change. Young pro players need a lot of coaching help. Joe Pendry, the Bills' offensive coordinator, should have come to grips with this weeks ago.'
Chargers are the prescription to cure what's ailing Bills [8:58 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Outlook: Hard to see Chargers offense doing much. . . . Bills, 23-14.'
Johnson holds [7:32 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'It's only a matter of time before Doug Flutie is back in place as the Bills starting quarterback, even though there is no big push in western New York for him to replace Rob Johnson...Although Johnson has seven touchdown passes and only two interceptions, he's been getting drilled with regularity, causing questions about his ability to remain healthy.'
Bills need to re-Charge [5:43 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'No one is suggesting Wade Phillips, who has a 23-14 record as head coach in Buffalo, is on the way out. But a loss by the 10-point favourite Bills would seriously dent the playoff hopes of a team well known for its resilience.'
Pain relievers [5:31 AM]
Fox Sports reports: 'The Buffalo Bills haven't won a game in four weeks. Their quarterback has taken too many hits. Their most proven running back wants out. And the offensive line is under fire. Looks like someone just answered 911. The San Diego Chargers are in town.'
Bills take winless Chargers seriously [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: '"We're not a good enough team right now to take anything for granted, and I hope myself, along with the coaches and the rest of my teammates understand that," [Phil] Hansen said.'
Phillips gives fans a lightning rod [5:20 AM]
D and C reports: 'It's Monday night in Rochester and time for the Wade Phillips Show on WHAM 1180, where fans have the only direct pipeline to the man in charge of the Buffalo Bills...It's easy to speak to fans when things are going well, but when your team has lost three games in a row for the first time in two years, the natives can get restless. "Hopefully, this is the worst it gets," Phillips says. "But there are still people, the media, everybody, who will always say something is wrong, even when we're winning. That's just the way it is in society."'
Scouting report [5:18 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if...they don't play down to the level of their competition. Sometimes the Bills do this, and they can't afford it against a winless team looking to earn some respect and restore some pride...they avoid damaging turnovers. San Diego will need all the help it can get, so the Bills can't play giveaway...they pressure [Jim] Harbaugh and force him into throws he doesn't want to make. He's a veteran, but he's limited physically now.'
Ex-Trojans all set to meet in Buffalo [3:11 PM]
San Diego Union Tribune reports: '"[Chargers Coach Mike Riley's] an unbelievable coach and person," [Rob] Johnson said. "He taught me a lot about football and life." Johnson and Riley were together at USC in 1993 and '94. Johnson was the starting quarterback, Riley the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. They were together before practice, at practice and sometimes after practice. "He was always in there with me," Riley said, referring to his office. "We had lunch most every day." The two would watch film and talk football, but they would talk about other subjects as well. "He's one of my favorite people that I've ever met," Johnson said. "He's so positive and has such a good attitude. I would go up to the office and talk about his family and what he likes to do. It wasn't football all the time. "I remember him being very patient, very understanding, very receptive. He's very intelligent.'
It's been a rough ride for Johnson, Buffalo [3:08 PM]
North County Times reports: 'Buffalo's [quarterback] Rob Johnson needs something, some hook to get the Bills' faithful on his side. But it's a tough road for Johnson, the Newport Beach [California] native and former USC star, with fan favorite Doug Flutie constantly peering over his shoulder. Wrong choice of words. At 5-foot-10, Flutie couldn't do that to the 6-4 Johnson without a step ladder. Wrong choice of words, again. Forget the Bills and ladders - it's the winless Chargers, one can guess, who walked under a ladder at some point for an unlucky 0-6 start. The Bills and Johnson aren't concerned with the Chargers' woes. They've lost three straight, after opening with two wins, and they'll try to snap their skid Sunday when entertaining San Diego at Ralph Wilson Stadium.'
Johnson to face his mentor [8:54 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Aside from Rob Johnson's parents, it's unlikely anybody at Ralph Wilson Stadium will be looking at the Buffalo Bills' quarterback more admiringly on Sunday than San Diego Chargers coach Mike Riley. The reason isn't just because Riley is saddled with a quarterbacking combination that has compiled the second-worst combined passer rating in the NFL this season. Riley was the offensive coordinator at Southern California in Johnson's junior and senior seasons and loves the Bills' QB. "I think the world of him," Riley said. "I really, really, really appreciated my time with Rob at USC. It was a great experience. I think he's one of the most coachable people I've ever been around." The feeling is mutual.'
Life of Riley not all fun [6:25 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"We are all very frustrated with what's gone on," said [San Diego Chargers Coach Mike] Riley, whose team will have a tough task snapping out of it tomorrow against the Buffalo Bills at a sold-out Ralph Wilson Stadium. "We're just trying to climb out of the barrel. Our goals are fairly immediate. Records and playoffs and all that stuff are not necessarily (out of the question), but the first thing we have to do is get a win."'
Chargers give Bills a great chance to revive [6:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'So the Bills are dragging 'ya down? You're stayin' awake nights haunted by third-and-five, Carl Mauck's face and another kickoff? Take a break and think of the un-plugged Chargers. The Bills' record is 2-3; the Chargers are 0-6.'
Bills 'ruff' it for charity [6:07 AM]
D and C reports: 'Having lost three consecutive games, the Buffalo Bills have gone to the dogs, some say. Actually, coming home to the dogs is more accurate. The team's second annual "Bills and Their Pets" calendar, which went on sale this week with proceeds benefitting the SPCA of Erie County and the Bills Youth Foundation, reveals the team is loaded with dog lovers.'
Parker eager to shuffle off to Buffalo [5:41 PM]
North Country Times reports: When inquiring about Chargers right tackle Vaughn Parker's ticket list for Sunday, one needs to only look at his jersey number: 70. "I ordered 70, but it might get up to 75,'' said Parker, the former Buffalo prep star who is headed to familiar haunts this weekend. "It's cool to go home."...In Parker, Buffalo gets to see one of its good guys. This offseason he donated a substantial sum to his alma mater, St. Joseph High. He gave $10,000 for a new weight room and $20,000 for an endowment, which he has committed an additional $20,000 to for each of the next four years.'
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