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Buffalo Bills News - September 11, 2000

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.'

Marker Ground game grinds to a halt [5:47 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'The Packers ran just 16 times for 40 yards and got just one first down via the run. Three times the Packers ran on third down. Three times they were held in check.'

Marker It's time for Sherman to start calling the plays [5:46 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'If Mike Sherman wants to instill confidence, he can start by putting his offensive background to good use. He needs to get more involved in the play-calling, unless he is to blame for the lame third-down calls, in which case he should get out of his offensive coordinator's way.'

Marker Favre shows his arm is feeling just fine [5:45 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'Brett Favre didn't show any of the rust in the Packers' 27-18 loss to Buffalo on Sunday that was evident in last week's loss to the New York Jets. Favre missed the final three preseason games because of tendinitis in his right elbow, and it showed early in his 14-of-34 performance against the Jets. But against the Bills, he completed his first 14 passes and finished 25-of-35 for 269 yards.'

Marker Packers in dire straits [5:40 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'The gory details for the winless visitors, as witnessed by 72,722, included four fumbles fueled by a fearsome Bills defense, a close encounter between quarterback Brett Favre and running back Ahman Green and no fewer than five injured players and an equally harsh specter of a season on the brink. The sight of blood on the front of Bills quarterback Rob Johnson's pants afterward was a testament to how frightening things are going for the Packers after two games. "It isn't good," said Favre, matter-of-factly.'

Marker A tough day all around for Edwards [5:38 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'Edwards, the Green Bay Packers' 1999 first-round draft pick making only his second NFL start, was picked on relentlessly by a Rob Johnson-led Buffalo Bills offense. The Bills went after Edwards because he was filling in for Mike McKenzie, injured in the season opener, at left cornerback.'

Marker Defense makes its point, sort of [5:37 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'The most telltale indication is the disparity in the sacks column. Against the Jets: 0. Against the Bills: 5. "A lot was made of how much pressure we weren't putting on the quarterback in the preseason," said Packers' nose tackle Russell Maryland. Unlike the Jets, who ran draw and screen plays and thus forced the Packers to be passive with an otherwise aggressive scheme implemented by new coordinator Ed Donatell, the Bills' fondness of the pass enabled a hungry group of Packers to let loose. They dropped quarterback Rob Johnson behind the line of scrimmage four times in the first half, only one of which was by a lineman - end John Thierry. The other three evolved out of blitzes by safeties LeRoy Butler and Darren Sharper and linebacker Nate Wayne. "We took a lot more chances, and those gambles that we took, they worked," said Maryland, "as opposed to last week when we may not have run as many, and when we did, we weren't as successful."'

Marker Packers experience a painful ordeal [5:36 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"You win a ballgame like this, it kind of makes the aches and pains feel a little bit better," said Favre, who is less than 100 percent physically with tendinitis in his throwing elbow and a sprained thumb on the same right arm. "But, when you lose, it seems like they're twice as bad."'

Marker Bills broke loose late in first half [5:35 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'The Packers-Bills' game was scoreless until 44 seconds remained in the first half. But a sequence of plays after Buffalo finally broke through for the game's first touchdown seemed to make the difference in the outcome.'

Marker Injuries, Bills gang up on Packers [5:34 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'Given that the Buffalo Bills don't have a single starter sidelined by injury, let alone four of their 10 best players like the Packers, it should have been a foregone conclusion who would win. All the point spread - Bills by 6 - really indicated is that the oddsmakers haven't caught up yet to how truly weakened the Packers are.'

Marker Knee injury forced Edwards out [5:33 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'Antuan Edwards' knee injury forced the Green Bay Packers to play much of the second half with only two healthy cornerbacks Sunday in a 27-18 loss to the Buffalo Bills.'

Marker Defense's problem so far is injuries [5:32 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'What was supposed to be a major weakness for the Green Bay Packers still is, but for a much different reason. A Packers defense that wasn't supposed to have the right mix of talent or enough time together to execute the aggressive, hustling scheme coordinator Ed Donatell brought with him from Denver showed signs of being a much more valuable asset than first thought. At least that was the case for most of the Packers' 27-18 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium. But injuries have depleted the unit at a position of strength, and for all the impressive individual efforts put forth against the Bills, the defense couldn't overcome a handful of bad plays. All it took was a mistake here and a letdown there for Buffalo to put three touchdowns on the board.'

Marker Dotson's painful exit leaves teammates with queasy feeling [5:30 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: The Green Bay Packers returned home from their 27-18 loss to the Buffalo Bills not knowing if they'll ever see right tackle Earl Dotson on the field again. Such was the dramatic nature of Dotson's departure on the second play from scrimmage. The 6-foot-4, 317-pound veteran had to be helped off the field because his ailing back locked up on him so badly.'

Marker Favre feeling the pain [5:29 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'Sunday, Brett Favre didn't look like a quarterback who was totally impaired by an aching right elbow or a re-injured right thumb. He looked like a quarterback who gave it everything he had but still could not keep his team from losing to a superior defensive crew, the Buffalo Bills. He looked, after the game, like a quarterback who was, in his own words, "physically exhausted and mentally exhausted."'

Marker Just throw the ball to Freeman [5:28 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'The Green Bay Packers basically ran two offenses Sunday. There was the one in which they did not get the ball to Antonio Freeman, and then there was the one in which Freeman actually got the ball. The second one was much better. It must have been much better because it was the only one that scored touchdowns.'

Marker Johnson passes his way to the head of the pack [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: Johnson didn't play a very vital role last week in the 16-13 win over Tennessee, but he was a key component yesterday. He completed 18 of 26 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns, and only because the Bills were playing a soft prevent defense in the final two minutes of the game was Favre able to finish with more passing yardage (25 of 35 for 269 yards and two TDs). "Rob's a great quarterback and when he has time, he makes the throws," said wide receiver Eric Moulds, who was in a much better frame of mind after this game as he caught seven balls for 103 yards.'

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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
12/28 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm

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