Monday notebook [4:50 AM]
Dolphin Digest reports: 'While most of the attention this week will be on running back Thurman Thomas, playing his first game against his former team, a more important storyline -- if the Dolphins are to run against the Bills Sunday at Pro Player Stadium -- should unfold in the trenches. That's where center Tim Ruddy, who according to head coach Dave Wannstedt is playing the best football of his career, will butt heads with All-Pro tackle Ted Washington. The Bills enter Sunday's game with the league's second-ranked run defense, yielding an average of only 66.3 yards per game. The 6-5, 330-pound Washington, who has averaged nearly 110 tackles the past four years, remains a big reason why Buffalo is so formidable against the run.'
Dolphins offense shows signs of improvement [4:49 AM]
AP reports: 'The Bills rank among the NFL's best defensive teams, and in two meetings against them last year, Miami totaled one touchdown. "They're probably the most physical team we play all year,'' coach Dave Wannstedt said.'
Dolphins acquire TE Mayes from Bears [4:47 AM]
AP reports: 'The Miami Dolphins acquired tight end Alonzo Mayes from the Chicago Bears for an undisclosed late-round draft choice Monday.'
Bills don't bite after being baited by Thurman Thomas [8:55 PM]
AP reports: '"We know Thurman. I think he's pulling everybody's chain," Bills coach Wade Phillips said. "He's a great guy and a great leader. He'll do whatever it takes. ... Thurman's got his own reasons for everything. He's a special guy as far as leadership is concerned, we all know that."'
Vanderjagt's kick beats Bills [4:00 PM]
Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. reports: '"The way this turned out doesn't surprise me at all. The way this turned out -- coming down to the last play -- doesn't surprise me at all. It was a real dogfight right from the beginning," said Colts coach Jim Mora. "To come up here and beat these guys here in a really important game for both teams is a tremendous accomplishment for our football team. I couldn't be more proud of them."'
A loss to remember for the Bills [2:31 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Waiting for the elevator outside the Ralph Wilson Stadium press box, the Indianapolis Colts' assistant coaches who had been in the booth, spotted general manager Bill Polian. Spontaneously, they shared a collective hug and Polian, who held that position for eight seasons with Buffalo, gave a relieved eye roll that said, 'We stole one.''
Colts win at Orchard Park for only second time since '87 [2:30 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Indianapolis sacked Bills' quarterback Rob Johnson four times. The first was recorded by former Bill Cornelius Bennett. Later, Marcus Johnson sacked Johnson, who fumbled, with tackle John Fina recovering. However, Fina wasn't allowed to advance the ball since the fumble occurred in the final two minutes of a half and, thus, could only be taken forward by the fumbler. Dwight Hollier also got a sack. It was first sack of the season for all three linebackers. In addition, defensive end Chad Bratzke recorded his second sack of the campaign.'
Vanderjagt was ready for Colts' call [2:28 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'As for Vanderjagt, he once played a double for actor Tony Danza in a football movie called 'The Garbage Pickin' Field-Goal Kickin' Philadelphia Phenomenon.' That my well be a forgettable part, but his heroics yesterday will be a role that will be remembered for a long time.'
Bills’ Blown Opportunities On Offense Come Back To Bite Them [11:07 AM]
Jamestown Post Journal reports: 'Nope, the burden of this second straight AFC East loss sits squarely on the shoulders of Buffalo's offense. "We definitely blew good opportunities in the first half," Johnson said. It came back to bite them in the end.'
Colts Win in Buffalo [11:01 AM]
ColtsNews.com reports: 'In a game that was dominated by the Bills in almost every statistical category the Colts have to feel fortunate to come out of there with a win. The Bills who has had a very weak running game so far this year was able to "run by committee" and put up some impressive numbers. The combination of running Bryson and Litton had 101 yards on 24 carries. Rob Johnson had a solid day connecting on 21 of 32 for 246 yards and a TD. What hurt Buffalo the most was their inability to punch the Ball in the end zone. In the first half Buffalo had three impressive drives that got them in the red zone every time, but had to settle for field goals.'
Whewwww!!! [11:00 AM]
ColtsNews.com reports: 'Overall, this was a tough battle in a tough place to come away with a win. Perhaps not the prettiest of victories but I'll take it. I'm sure Jim Mora and the Colts will say the same.'
Whatever happened to wide right? [9:16 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo had run for 170 yards and a 5.2 average, passed for 246, performed well on special teams, had no turnovers and almost a 12-minute advantage in time of possession. In addition, the Bills' defense limited the production of the Colts' talented trio of Manning, Harrison and running back Edgerrin James. Usually that is a prescription for winning. Not Sunday, however. The problem was the Bills' inability to put the ball in the end zone, especially in the first half.'
Bills let Colts slip from lasso [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"Our defense held them to 18 points," said center Jerry Ostroski. "I feel bad. I don't even want to look those guys in the eye. It's a joke. That's another week now that they've played lights out. . . . We're a 4-0 football team and here we are sitting 2-2 and we've dug ourselves a nice little hole by losing the last two weeks."'
Bills' ground game comes to life [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"It gets us past the frustration that now we know we can run the ball," Linton said. "But we didn't win. That's the biggest stat there is.
"We didn't score a rushing touchdown. The running backs obviously didn't do enough."'
Vanderjagt delivers on prediction [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"I told Coach Mora at halftime that we needed to kick into the wind in the third quarter so in the fourth quarter, when I kick the game-winner, we'll have the wind," Vanderjagt said. "He's like, "I don't care how you do it, just go get it done.' " He said, "I'm gonna kick the winner for ya,' " Mora said. "I kinda laughed it off."'
What if Johnson could have outplayed Manning? [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'If Indianapolis' hair-raising, 18-16, last-play victory over Buffalo could be distilled down to one essential factor, it would be this: Johnson, for all his skills, is not yet up to winning a war of nerves against the Colts' wonder quarterback, Peyton Manning.'
Colts' Big Three figures out way to win [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sunday's 18-16 win over the Buffalo Bills was a case in point. It wasn't the greatest day for the Colts' triplets. But when a pass needed to be completed, when a clutch run or catch had to be executed, they delivered.'
Christie denied chance to pad lead [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Kicker Steve Christie kicked three field goals in the first half, but he was miffed when coach Wade Phillips declined to attempt another on fourth-and-6 from the Colts' 29 with about four minutes left in the third quarter and the Bills leading, 9-7. After Christie and holder Chris Mohr took a few steps onto the field for the 46-yard field-goal attempt, Phillips waved them back because he wanted to go for the first down. Christie threw up his hands and ripped off his helmet. "I told (special teams coach) Ronnie (Jones) I was ready to go, and Ronnie called for the field goal," Christie said. "But then Wade overruled him and kept us off. I was ready to go. "He said we were going for it and that was it. His call. I'll just leave it at that."'
Monday billboard [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Unsung Heroes: The Colts' defense. In spite of giving up the 40-yard TD pass, they held Buffalo to three field goals on first-half trips into the red zone, keeping the offense within striking distance the entire game.'
Thurman's mouth warming up for Bills [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Thurman Thomas fired the first salvos in his upcoming battle with the Buffalo Bills, who visit his new team, the Miami Dolphins, on Sunday. In an interview with the Miami Herald published today, the Bills' all-time leading rusher said he is itching to beat his former teammates in Miami. And he said he's especially eager to take a few legal shots at a few teammates with whom he is unhappy.'
He wants to 'stick it to' Bills [7:42 AM]
Miami Herald reports: "But there are some other guys on that team and some other people in that organization I [Thurman Thomas] will not speak to or shake hands with. Those guys and the organization as a whole, every time I get the ball, I'm going to try to stick it [to them] and let them know I haven't forgotten what happened this offseason."...he has particularly strong enmity for three defensive players. Defensive end Phil Hansen, linebacker John Holecek and safety Henry Jones.'
Colts conquer Bills [7:31 AM]
USA Today reports: '"There was one minute, three seconds left," tailback Edgerrin James recalled of the drive that began at the Colts' 31. "That's way too much time for us."'
Christie denied chance to give Bills a leg up [6:37 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'But yesterday, under sublime conditions at Ralph Wilson Stadium, in a game decided by just two points, 18-16 in favour of the Colts, Bills' head coach Wade Phillips passed up a 46-yard Christie attempt as the third quarter wound down, choosing unsuccessfully to leave quarterback Rob Johnson in on fourth-and-six from the Colts 29. A confused Johnson looking desperately to the sidelines, finally lined up in the shotgun, fumbling with the play-call. The clock ran out. The Bills were backed up another five yards, making it potentially a 51-yard attempt, still within Christie's range. Instead, Chris Mohr hoofed a 34-yard punt deep into the endzone. The 12th man was angry. Fans booed. The Colts took over on their own 20 and marched 80 yards in 4:31 for the go-ahead touchdown, a 10-yard pass from Peyton Manning to Terrence Wilkins. They added a disputed two-point conversion, challenged by the Bills. "It was in-between as far as a field goal goes," Phillips explained. "It was fourth and four (sic). I thought we'd go for it. There was still plenty of time. A touchdown would have put them away." Actually, Wade, it was fourth and six. "I told (special teams coach) Ronnie (Jones), I was ready to go," an obviously disappointed Christie said. "But it's (Phillips) call."'
Colts jolt Bills [6:35 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Leading 9-7, the Bills had marched the ball into Colts territory and facing a fourth down and six from the Colts 29, helmet on, Christie looked for the signal for what would have been a 46-yard field goal attempt. Instead, Bills coach Wade Phillips opted to go for a first down, an ill-fated decision that looked sicker when quarterback Rob Johnson let the play-clock expire resulting in a delay of game penalty to force a punt.
"I said 'yes' (to special teams coach Ronnie Jones to go for a field goal) and Ronnie looked at Wade and Wade said no," Christie said, shrugging his shoulders. "He said `We're going for it.' It's his call. That's why he's the head coach, let's leave it at that."'
Bills seeing red after missed scoring chances [6:33 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Through three quarters, the Bills had hogged the ball for 29 minutes and 56 seconds leaving it to the Colts for just 15:04. "It was tough early, but we hung in there," said Manning, who keyed a last-minute drive to set up Mike Vanderjagt's 45-yard field goal for a 18-16 win as time expired. "We made just enough plays to win the game."'
Young Colts play with great poise [6:32 AM]
Toronto Globe & Mail reports: 'The Bills were the better team throughout most of the game, which was far more entertaining than the low score would suggest. They fell short in the most crucial area -- finishing off drives. The only time they managed to find the end zone was when they absolutely needed to.'
Vanderjagt kick a pain to Bills [6:31 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'Bills center Jerry Ostroski spoke as though he were ready to apologize to his defensive mates. "I feel bad," Ostroski said. "I don't even want to look our defense in the eye. It's a damn joke. Our defense held that team to 18 points. That's the second week in a row that our defense played lights out."'
From joy to heartbreak with just 1 Colts kick [5:12 AM]
D and C reports: 'You guys (the media) cloud the issues all the time," Ostroski said. "All that matters is that we have more wins, that's it. If you win in this league, you're successful; if you don't win, you're not, you're yesterday's news. "Personally, I don't give a damn about the running game. We didn't run it a lick in the first two games and we won both. I felt a hell of a lot better after those two games than I do right now."'
Bills amass more yardage but lose on points [5:10 AM]
D and C reports: '"They made more plays than we did, it's as simple as that," free safety Keion Carpenter said. "You can say it's a good day holding them to whatever points, but obviously it wasn't enough. We lost." The Bills' won the numbers game, but the Colts won the game because of more big plays. They were 2-for-2 in the red zone (inside the 20), with Manning firing two touchdown passes.'
Bills ensnared in Red Zone [5:09 AM]
D and C reports: 'In order to win, teams have to score touchdowns, not field goals, in the Red Zone.'
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