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Buffalo Bills News - September 23, 2002

Marker This time, it's Portis' turn to take charge [5:44 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Anderson rushed for 28 yards on seven carries and the Broncos finished with 163 rushing yards and 342 total yards of offense.'

Marker Two Watson penalties aid his 'ex' [5:43 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'He committed two defensive penalties to keep Denver drives alive, and he had been part of the Bills defense that allowed Brian Griese's first-and-five touchdown pass to Rod Smith with 2 minutes, 39 seconds remaining to put the game away.'

Marker Bledsoe almost pulls out victory [5:42 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'While his statistics weren't the monster numbers he put up in two overtime games to open the season - a league-leading 734 yards and a 69 percent completion percentage - Bledsoe gave the Denver Broncos defense fits, even with an ineffective running game, and nearly pulled off the upset.'

Marker No victories are ugly when a team is 3-0 [5:41 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: '"I do have more touchdowns than Shannon Sharpe right now," McGlockton said.'

Marker Broncos hardly the stuff of history, headlines [5:40 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'The Broncos were supposed to whip the Buffalo Bills as game favorites for the first time this season, and that is what they did Sunday. According to the Broncos and the impartial truth, it was not pretty. But in a tense fourth quarter, the Invesco pilgrims, loud and anxious, did not agree. Beauty in football is a scoreboard thing, and for the third time the scoreboard preferred the Broncos.'

Marker McCaffrey survives big hit [5:39 AM]
Denver Rocky Mountain News reports: 'Bills cornerback Chris Watson was making his first trip to Denver since being traded for a fourth-round draft choice in 2000. Watson had a rough day primarily matching up with Rod Smith most of the game. He was called for two defensive penalties.'

Marker Crunch bunch seals deal [5:38 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'Denver's defense allowed too many big plays, its special teams botched too many of them and its offense did not produce enough. The Broncos knew it, too. When the players walked into the locker room, they were pleased with the victory, but disappointed with their performance.'

Marker Monkey off back [5:37 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'It's what Portis didn't do. He didn't fumble.'

Marker In defense for a shootout [5:36 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"We wanted to force Bledsoe to throw the ball," said linebacker John Mobley, who got his first sack of the season. "We got burned a couple of times, but hey, you win some, you lose some."'

Marker One-dimensional 'O' proves futile for Bills [5:35 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"Going into the game we knew that if we hit (Henry) hard enough, he would fumble the ball at some point," Reagor said.'

Marker Big Blue Scoring Machine blocking out the opponents [5:35 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'With this irresistible force and immovable object anchoring the middle of the Denver defensive line, nobody ever has any offense against the Broncos.'

Marker Broncos becoming hit among golden oldies [5:34 AM]
Denver Post reports: '"It wasn't pretty," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.'

Marker Lepsis' injury creates domino effect [5:33 AM]
Denver Post reports: 'Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel had one of four sacks on Griese in the game and forced Salaam into a couple of false starts and a holding penalty. But the play he won't soon forget was an end-around by Broncos wideout Scottie Montgomery that went for 28 yards and led to Denver's touchdown in the third quarter. "I thought the pass rush was all right, but I got beat on a reverse for the third week in a row," Schobel said.'

Marker Broncos put Bills away in fourth [5:32 AM]
Boulder Daily Camera reports: 'Drew Bledsoe, even when he gets sacked four times as he did on Sunday, never loses his confidence. And after his offense abandoned the run he kept Buffalo in the game with big plays.'

Marker Portis celebrates 103-yard effort [5:31 AM]
Boulder Daily Camera reports: 'As a second-round pick out of Miami, Portis looked good in the preseason, except for a three-fumble game at Arizona. In the first two games of the season, he only had 45 yards on nine carries. He doubled that and didn't put the ball on the ground once.'

Marker These Broncos are decidedly blue-collar [5:29 AM]
Boulder Daily Camera reports: 'To be fair, Sunday's game was one the Broncos would have lost a year ago. Instead of a game-clinching touchdown drive, they would have turned the ball over to Drew Bledsoe and allowed him to take the Bills to a game-winning touchdown.'

Marker Bronco notes [5:28 AM]
Boulder Daily Camera reports: 'Former Colorado defensive tackle Justin Bannan returned to Invesco Field for the first time since his Big 12 championship team's victory over Colorado State a little over a year ago. Bannan, who was shaken up twice battling Nalen and Co. in the trenches, was not credited with a tackle.'

Marker Broncos Game 3 report [5:27 AM]
Boulder Daily Camera reports: 'After Smith's clutch catch on fourth down, Griese rewarded him two plays later with a 26-yard touchdown pass to give the Broncos a 28-16 cushion with 2:39 remaining.'

Marker Youngsters contribute to Broncos' victory [5:26 AM]
Pueblo Chieftain reports: 'That is why depth is so important - and it is something the Denver Broncos have in abundance.'

Marker Defense has a blueprint for winning [5:25 AM]
Pueblo Chieftain reports: 'The Broncos forced Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe to beat them through the air - and he couldn’t. That is because Denver’s ‘D’ was flying around all day making plays. It was pressuring Bledsoe constantly and sacked him four times.'

Marker Broncos buck Bills 28-23 [5:24 AM]
USA Today reports: '"When they've got an offense like that, we've got to find a way to stay on the field," Smith said of the Bills (1-2), who had scored 76 points in their first two games.'

Marker Game Notebook at Denver [12:07 AM] reports: BRIAN MOORMAN His 70-yard punt in the first quarter was a career long. It was the 10th punt of 70 yards or longer in Bills history and the longest since Chris Mohr's club record 80-yarder on 10/13/96 at Minnesota…had two punts downed inside the 20 (3 & 15 yard lines) in the first quarter and another one at the five in the fourth quarter.

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September 22, 2002

Marker Broncos 28, Bills 23 [7:33 PM]
AP reports: 'Buffalo (1-2) entered the game leading the league in scoring and passing, but struggled against the Broncos' physical defense.'

Marker Broncos 28, Bills 23 [7:33 PM]
AP reports: 'The Bills entered the game as the league leader in yards passing and were second in total yards, but finished with just 291 yards -- 39 rushing.'

Marker Denver 28, Buffalo 23 [7:32 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Griese passed for two touchdowns and rookie Clinton Portis rushed for 103 yards and a score as the Denver Broncos posted a 28-23 victory over the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Donahoe makes right call in Buffalo by acquiring Bledsoe [4:54 PM]
Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports: '"The advantage is his experience," Donahoe said of the veteran quarterback. "He's seen everything, he's been exposed to everything. We may call something different than what he's used to calling it. But he's been a starter in this league for a long time. That helps. Very few things happen in the course of a game that he's not been exposed to."'

Marker Bledsoe gives his new team immediate results [4:53 PM]
Indianapolis Star reports: '"I've always had confidence in my ability to play this game," Bledsoe said. "I've never doubted, never wavered in that one bit. I know if I've got guys around me that can make plays that I can do my part."'

Marker Good arm, warm heart [4:51 PM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Drew likes Buffalo, and we like Drew.'

Marker O'Shei's Three Keys to the Game [10:44 AM] reports: We know that Eric Moulds, Peerless Price and Josh Reed are all threats at receiver. There's no way to double-cover two or three of them, but if the Bills appear to rely too heavily on the passing game, the Broncos' defense can slip into zone coverage or put pressure on Bledsoe. Done effectively, that could curtail Buffalo's high-scoring tendencies.

Marker Bills look to give Denver a run for its money [9:46 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Today's critical questions are: Can the Bills' offense run the ball well enough to loosen up the Broncos' two-deep zone defense? And can Jerry Gray's defense contain Denver's powerful ground game while at the same time covering future Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe?'

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