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Buffalo Bills News - September 12, 2000

Marker Bills very suspect to blitz [6:17 AM]
D and C reports: 'Green Bay recorded five sacks of Johnson, and four came on blitzes where the line, backs and tight ends looked woefully overmatched. On a couple of sacks, the blitzer came through untouched and had a clear run at Johnson. Given his brittle nature, Johnson is lucky none of those shots put him out of the game. "They shouldn't be able to get to us with linebackers and safeties," said Phillips. "We've got to do a better job of picking it up, getting rid of the ball, hots, all those things."'

Marker Bills running game still stumbling along [6:10 AM]
AP reports: 'For a team that finished fifth in the AFC with 2,040 net yards rushing last year, the Bills have averaged 109 yards a game this season, and have yet to establish a consistent threat. Starter Antowain Smith has had trouble finding holes. Backup Shawn Bryson's longest gain of the year has been 10 yards. And third-down stalwart Jonathan Linton is just returning from a rib injury. The Bills leading rusher? That would be Johnson with 91 yards -- many of them coming on scrambles. It doesn't help that Pro Bowl fullback Sam Gash -- released last April due to salary cap constraints -- is no longer forcing open holes to lead the way. "It's certainly not one position's fault, it's a whole team effort. All 11 guys out there have to be on the same page," Johnson said. "It's usually just one or two guys here or there. "I think eventually we'll come out of this little two-game stretch where we haven't run the ball very well."'

Marker Redskins, Westbrook get thrown for loss [6:06 AM]
Baltimore Sun reports: 'Washington Redskins wide receiver Michael Westbrook tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Sunday and will miss the remainder of the season, the team learned yesterday. The Redskins moved quickly to replace him, reportedly agreeing to terms with veteran receiver and former Buffalo Bill Andre Reed. That should open things up for Reed, who reportedly signed a one-year contract worth $500,000, though he will not be paid for the first two games. He had spent this preseason with the Denver Broncos but asked for his release the day before the start of the regular season because he did not feel he would play enough.'

Marker Injury Will Sideline Westbrook for Season [6:03 AM]
Washington Post reports: 'The club was on the verge late yesterday of completing a contract agreement with veteran wide receiver Andre Reed, sources close to the situation said. The Redskins likely will sign the 36-year-old Reed, the former Buffalo Bills standout who is the second-leading receiver in NFL history, today to replace Westbrook on the roster, sources said...Reed apparently will sign with the Redskins for a pro-rated portion of the minimum veteran's salary of $440,000. He had 941 receptions in 15 seasons in Buffalo, where he was a longtime teammate of Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith. Like Smith, Reed parted ways with the Bills unceremoniously during the offseason. Reed was entering the final season of a contract that would have paid him $1.75 million. The Bills wanted him to accept a reduced role and tutor young wide receiver Peerless Price. Reed balked, and his request to be released was granted by the Bills. He signed with the Denver Broncos for a $160,000 signing bonus and a $440,000 salary. But when Reed was told he would be on Denver's inactive list for the opening game of the season, he informed the Broncos he would rather move on and again was granted his release.'

Marker Report: Redskins close to signing veteran WR Reed [6:02 AM]
AP reports: 'The Redskins were close to signing 36-year-old wideout Andre Reed, The Washington Post reported in Tuesday's editions, citing sources close to the situation. Reed, who has the second-most catches in NFL history, was a standout with the Buffalo Bills before asking for his release during the offseason when asked to play a backup role. Reed then signed with the Broncos. But he also wanted out of Denver when he was not on the active roster at the beginning of the season.'

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September 11, 2000

Marker Packers offense is MIA [8:41 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'The Packers defense did give up 27 points, but that wasn't bad considering it was asked to make up for the mistakes of the special teams and the offense. The average starting point of the Bills' five scoring drives was just past the Green Bay 40-yard line. And even though the Bills didn't take full advantage of their opportunities, the Packers offense didn't force the issue.'

Marker Packers defense has its moments [8:39 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'The Packers held the Bills scoreless until late in the first half. But their offense only gained nine yards on a drive that started at its three-yard line, and even a good punt by Josh Bidwell gave Buffalo good field position at its 46. The Bills drove the 54 yards in six plays, scoring with 44 seconds left in the half to take a 7-0 lead. The defense gave up three more points before the half was over, without giving up a yard. Quarterback Brett Favre was hit from behind by Marcellus Wiley and fumbled, and the ball was picked up by Bills defensive end Phil Hansen, who returned it to the Packers 27-yard line. The Bills took one shot at the end zone and had a deep pass fall incomplete before Steve Christie kicked a field goal as the half ended.'

Marker Postgame breakdown [8:37 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'Worst sight: Buffalo tackle Jamie Nails taunting the Packers' Vonnie Holliday when the defensive end appeared to be hurt. On the following play, fans cheered when Packers defensive back Antuan Edwards was hurt.'

Marker Questions and answers [8:35 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'Q: Did I really see Tyrone Williams celebrating and playing to the Buffalo crowd after knocking away a pass to Eric Moulds in the fourth quarter, with the Packers hopelessly behind by 17 points? A: Unfortunately, yes.'

Marker Packers notebook [8:31 PM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'The Bills celebrated Alumni Weekend by honoring the 1965 AFL Champion-ship team before kickoff. Among those on hand were Hall-of-Famer Billy Shaw, Jack Kemp, Elbert Dubenion, ErnStratton and coach Lou Saban. Incidentally, next Sunday's home game against ie Warlick, Booker Edgerson, Ron McDole, Al Bemiller, Wray Carlton, Mike Philadelphia has been designated Green Bay's homecoming, featuring many former players. ... Buffalo tight end Jay Riemersma extended his receiving streak to 15 games and recorded his second multi-touchdown game of his career. ... Buffalo is off to a 2-0 start for the 12th time in team history, and first time since 1996. The last time Green Bay started a season 0-2 was 1992. The club finished 9-7, but missed the playoffs. ... Green Bay has lost three straight road games, its longest streak since 1995.'

Marker Bills Bullish on Defense [4:37 PM]
Syracuse Post-Standard reports: 'Bills fans spent the off-season moaning over the controversial lateral in the playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans and eulogizing the Buffalo careers of popular veterans Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed. The easiest way to forget the past is embrace the present, and Bills fans are doing just that. They've spent the past two weeks rejoicing the revenge of the Home Run Throwback with a win over the Titans and cheering on a bright crop of new young stars.'

Marker Bills pack away a win [4:28 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Two areas where Buffalo needs to improve are the offensive line and the running game, which are also tied together. Johnson was sacked five times - though two were off blitzes that weren't the line's fault - and was hit on virtually every throw. And, on the ground, the Bills totaled a mere 89 yards (2.6 per carry) with feature back Antowain Smith held to an anemic 17 yards on a dozen attempts. "I was a little disappointed that we didn't run the ball better," admitted Buffalo head coach Wade Phillips, "especially late in the game when we could have run out the clock." But while the line has to answer for the failings of the ground attack, the pressure on Johnson involves everyone. "I think it's on all of us," said Riemersma. "You can point somewhat to the offensive line but by no means is it all their responsibility. "We have to take responsibility as an offensive unit - to get our hot reads, to get our blitz pickups - and make it one of our goals that Rob doesn't get hit like that."'

Marker Bills pay tribute to '65 AFL title team [4:25 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Among there were quarterback Jack Kemp, wide receiver Elbert Dubenion, guard Billy Shaw, center Al Beimiller, defensive end Ron McDole, defensive backs Butch Byrd, Booker Edgerson and Hagood Clarke, tight end Ernie Warlick, running backs Wray Carlton and Ed Rutkowski and linebacker Mike Stratton.'

Marker Having Favre wasn't enough for Packers [4:24 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'When asked if the Bills' defense was better than he thought they would be, Favre slowly shook his head. "Yep," he said. "They're big and fast. I couldn't tell who's who. I know they're good, and I know their names. And I'm pooped out right now."'

Marker Victory is an all-out team effort [9:15 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Buffalo Bills quarterback Rob Johnson again took a pounding but threw three touchdown passes. The Buffalo defense was outstanding once more, and special teams finally made a big play. Those are just three reasons the Buffalo Bills are 2-0 today after Sunday's 27-18 triumph over the Green Bay Packers before a sellout crowd of 72,722 in a hot (81 degrees) and steamy Ralph Wilson Stadium.'

Marker The beat goes on for 2-0 Bills [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It was far from a perfect performance for Johnson or the Bills. But a sellout crowd of 72,722 at The Ralph hardly could have asked for any more from their quarterback or their young team after two weeks of the NFL season. The Bills are 2-0. In their first game, they beat the odds-on favorite to win the AFC. In their second, Johnson outplayed the Packers' three-time NFL Most Valuable Player. And in both games, the Bills' defense - the unit that lost four starters from last year and was supposed to take a step backward - has looked even better than last season, when it led the league.'

Marker Stats don't do Cowart justice [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Cowart is a major reason the Bills may have the premier defense in the NFL again. Yet you have to wonder if the rest of the country fully realizes how good he is. It's hard to argue with Cottrell's assertion that Cowart should have made the Pro Bowl last year after leading the Bills with 186 tackles. Cowart, one of the most humble players around, said it would be nice to earn a trip to Hawaii, "if people think I'm worthy." "But the decision is out of my hands," he said. "It's up to the people who vote." It's a pretty good bet that he has the Packers' vote.'

Marker Favre pained by latest loss [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"(If) you win a ball game like this, it kinda makes the aches and pains feel a little bit better. But when you lose, it feels like they're twice as bad," Favre said, peering out from a blue baseball cap. "As frustrating as it is to lose a football game, any football game, I felt like I did everything I could do and left it out on the field. Sometimes it's, I guess, not enough. I'm just hoping I don't fall off this podium."'

Marker Under siege, Johnson proves he's tough enough [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'On a day when he again was a second-degree assault victim, when his running game went south once more, and when Brett Favre accomplished something that eluded illustrious Packer quarterbacks from Arnie Herber to Bart Starr, Rob Johnson was the difference in the game as the Buffalo Bills got off to a 2-0 start. Johnson's performance won't be enshrined at the Buffalo Historical Society, but it was more than good enough to gouge a Green Bay defense handicapped by injuries and collaborate with the defensive unit for a victory that was close to being easy.'

Marker What is Bills' chief concern? It's the blocking, dummy [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'John Fina, the son of a physician, earned numerous academic awards when he played football at Arizona. He majored in psychology and could talk for hours about the human mind. But sometimes, it all comes down to mathematics. "You know, when they have eight or nine guys on the line of scrimmage, you can only block six or seven of them," Fina said late Sunday afternoon. "That's how the math works." Simple arithmetic also says the Bills beat the Packers, 27-18. It says they're the only 2-0 team in the AFC East. Rob Johnson put some impressive numerals on the stat sheet, completing 18 of 26 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns. Still, Fina has a point. Despite putting 27 points on the board, the Bills had a serious math problem. For the second week in a row, they were outnumbered by the opposition blitzes. Football is essentially a game of blocking and tackling. Buffalo is doing just fine in the tackling department. It's the blocking that leaves a lot to be desired.'

Marker Moulds' actions speak volumes [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Eric Moulds should gripe more often. Moulds spent part of the past week voicing his displeasure about the Buffalo Bills' offense and his role in it. But the fifth-year wide receiver let his hands and legs do the talking on Sunday. After catching just two passes for 46 yards against the Tennessee Titans last week, Moulds responded with seven receptions for 103 yards in the Bills' 27-18 win over the Green Bay Packers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Moulds made all kinds of catches, including a spectacular one-handed diving grab for 42 yards. He also made Green Bay defensive backs look silly with some dazzling runs after the catch. "We just wanted to get out there and make some plays," said Moulds, referring mostly to himself. "When I was asking for the ball, I'm challenging my teammates, I'm challenging myself and trying to get us ready to play. "You can see the explosiveness on this offense. You've got Peerless (Price), (tight end) Jay Riemersma and then Jeremy (McDaniel) coming into the ball game. All the guys are making plays. If you've got that type of skill people out there, you've got to give them the ball."'

Marker Monday billboard [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Big Picture: For at least a day, the Buffalo Bills sit atop the AFC East standing after their 27-18 win over the Green Bay Packers. Since Indianapolis and Miami both lost, the Bills, at 2-0, are first in the division. The Jets (1-0), however, host New England (0-1) tonight. For the Packers, life's a little more dismal. This is Green Bay's first 0-2 start since 1992.'

Marker Bumbling in Buffalo [8:44 AM]
Packer Report reports: 'The Packers bumbled and fumbled their way to their second straight defeat Sunday, losing to the Buffalo Bills 27-18 at Ralph Wilson Stadium at Buffalo. Green Bay lost three fumbles while starting the season 0-2 for the first time since 1992.'

Marker No-go in Buffalo [7:19 AM]
Wisconsin State Journal reports: 'You knew things had gotten pretty bad for the Green Bay Packers when the team chaplain got kicked out of the postgame team meeting.'

Marker 'It ain't good,' and it may not get any better [7:18 AM]
Wisconsin State Journal reports: 'Sherman, the likable, detail-oriented first-year coach, wasn't about to take a barrel over Niagara Falls just because his team lost. But he was more realist than optimist after this defeat. "I really thought we could come up here and I really thought we could win a football game, in spite of the fact that this is a great football team," Sherman said when asked in what direction he thought the Packers were headed now. "We had a great week of practice. I think we addressed issues during practice that needed to be addressed. But for whatever reason, we didn't get it done up here today. We have to look and analyze that. I'm not happy being 0-2. We didn't perform well enough at any phase."'

Marker Avid Bills fans have a reason to feel secure [5:55 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'The...survey, from a Philadelphia firm called CAP Index Inc...rates the safety of neighborhoods where NFL stadiums are located. CAP bills itself as experts on crime. According to their study the New England Patriots play in the lowest-risk location -- Foxboro, Mass. The Bills, based in Orchard Park, and Green Bay Packers play in the second least risky location.'

Marker Buffaloed and bamboozled [5:52 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'But the Bills (2-0) have one of the best defenses in football and dominated the Packers in two ways. First, a week after holding Pro Bowl running back Eddie George of Tennessee to only 37 yards and a 2.2-yard rushing average, they held the Packers to only 40 yards rushing. Second, they dominated the Packers on third down, allowing Green Bay to convert only two of 12 third-down plays.'

Marker Edwards' injury tests the depth at defensive back [5:51 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'Antuan Edwards, starting Sunday in place of the injured Mike McKenzie, sprained his left knee midway through the third quarter of the Packers' 27-18 loss to the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Packers' defense was solid until it became 3rd down [5:50 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'At times, the Packers rushed quarterback Rob Johnson, getting five sacks and forcing an interception. At times, they stuffed the run. Buffalo averaged just 2.6 yards rushing a carry. Yet the Bills still managed to pile up 309 yards of offense, including 85 yards on third down, where a myriad of mishaps plagued the Packers.'

Marker Dotson's sudden back pain worries Packers [5:48 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'On the Green Bay Packers' second play from scrimmage in their 27-18 loss to Buffalo, Dotson doubled over in pain as his ailing back seized up and forced him to leave the field.'

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09/07 @ Chicago Bears 1:00 pm
09/14 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
09/21 San Diego Chargers 1:00 pm
09/28 @ Houston Texans 1:00 pm
10/05 @ Detroit Lions 1:00 pm
10/12 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/19 Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm
10/26 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/09 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
11/13 @ Miami Dolphins 8:25 pm
11/23 New York Jets 1:00 pm
11/30 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/07 @ Denver Broncos 4:05 pm
12/14 Green Bay Packers 1:00 pm
12/21 @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 pm
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