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Buffalo Bills News - October 29, 2002

Marker Bledsoe has been reborn in Buffalo [6:13 PM] reports: But this being today's NFL, in which teams and careers can be revitalized faster than President Bush's popularity rating, it shouldn't be surprising that Bledsoe is playing this well, that the Bills are 5-3 and a half-game out of first place in the AFC East and that he could make the Patriots' season even more gloomy. Payback indeed can be sweet.

Marker Bledsoe driven by 'renewed appreciation' [6:12 PM] reports: "We definitely want to get the win for him. We know how important it will be for him. But at the same time, we won't allow that to cause us to alter our approach in a way that might be detrimental."

Marker Page 2: Dishing out the dirt about DirecTV [5:23 PM]
ESPN reports: Stat of the Week No. 5: Bills running back Travis Henry has lost six fumbles in eight games, while Wayne Chrebet fumbled for the first time since 1996. Henry is fumbling once every 29 touches; Chrebet went 323 touches between fumbles.

Marker Pats LB Vrabel facing former teammate [3:53 PM]
AP reports: '``You've got to get pressure on him in the pocket,'' Vrabel said. ``I think that every long play I've seen on the highlights this year he's been able to step up and deliver the ball downfield. With Moulds and Price, you can't give him a lot of time to get back, let those guys run downfield, and then let him step up three or four yards and throw the ball as hard as he can throw it.'''

Marker Even Bills surprised by start [1:16 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“I’m just a little surprised at how fast we’ve jelled. The big thing is this team’s starting to expect to win.”'

Marker On Any Given Tuesday: Oct. 29, 2002 [11:04 AM] reports: Among Bills In The Community This Week: Linebacker London Fletcher will be visiting kindergarten students at the Broadway Village Elementary Community School (PS 57), located at 231 Sears Street in Buffalo. Fletcher will sign autographs and answer questions.

Marker Hey, Why NOT Us? [10:09 AM]
WGRZ-TV reports: 'The Patriots are desperate for a win over anybody, no matter who the quarterback happens to be, and the Bills are suddenly starting to think “hey, why NOT us?”.'

Marker Drew finally gets shot at former com-Patriots [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Belichick privately has told friends over the years that while he admired Bledsoe's toughness he did not consider Bledsoe his ideal quarterback.'

Marker Bledsoe evens our score with New England [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'We knew Bledsoe was a wonderful quarterback, but we had no idea he was this great.'

Marker Winfield, Williams may be back [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Winfield has missed two games due to minor arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his knee. Williams has been out two weeks with a strained hamstring.'

Marker Drew Bledsoe or Tom Brady? [5:26 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Patriots absolutely made the right choice to stick with Brady -- they won a Super Bowl with him. That team caught a spark with Brady and Belichick wisely rode the hot hand. What was he supposed to do for 2002, cut the Super Bowl MVP and go back to Bledsoe, a player who was stagnating in his system and eating up $5 million in cap space?'

Marker Looking ahead: Bills week 9 [5:25 AM]
D and C reports: 'No longer is this going to be a ‘’Win One for the Drewster’’ kind of game. The Bills are in the playoff hunt and they need to beat division opponents because it seems that their best route to a postseason berth will be to win the AFC East.'

Marker Belichick the target for Bledsoe [5:24 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills quarterback is too classy a guy to get into it publicly. But privately he could care less for the Pats coach. He believes Belichick lied to him about giving him a chance to regain his starting job last season after the quarterback returned from a life-threatening chest injury.'

Marker Dropped football pass brought Ralph and Mary Wilson together [5:23 AM]
D and C reports: 'To think, this love affair with Ralph Wilson and football might never have happened had Ronnie Harmon not dropped that ball in the 1989 playoff game in Cleveland.'

Marker Pressure back on Brady, Pats [5:22 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'So how will Brady handle going to a stadium filled with frenzied fans playing against a team aching to win one for the guy -- Bledsoe -- who has given the city and its players a football rebirth? The relentless Boston media will be hounding, too. Some were already in Buffalo on Sunday and one paper is sending seven reporters to chronicle Bledsoe Bowl I.'

Marker The last word [5:21 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Maybe the Patriots aren't as good as a Super Bowl trophy says they are, but the Bills aren't as good as everybody thinks they are, either. This might be a good time to remember that, before the door of that bandwagon smucks somebody in the butt.'

Marker Pass some credit to Bledsoe [5:20 AM]
Boston Globe reports: 'It would appear the guy he lumped in along with the running backs, the fullback, and the wide receivers has had more than a little to do with it. It would appear The Quarterback, who calls Belichick The Head Coach, has had an effect on things, an effect the skilled receivers and skilled running back who wore the Bills' colors a year ago willingly have acknowledged.'

Marker Pats draw Drew [5:19 AM]
Boston Herald reports: '"We have to focus on beating the Buffalo Bills. It doesn't matter who their quarterback is," Pats receiver Troy Brown said.'

Marker Bigger than Drew [5:18 AM]
Boston Herald reports: 'It is most likely already over for the Patriots. They'll probably need to win at least seven and maybe eight of their remaining nine games just to sneak into the playoffs.'

Marker Time to face the facts [5:17 AM]
Providence Journal reports: 'This could be a rallying point, but it seems the last thing Belichick would do at this point is invoke Bledsoe as a means of motivating his team. That might not work anyway, given the strong ties many of his players have to their former teammate.'

Marker Staggering Patriots' Next Move: Prepare For Bledsoe [5:16 AM]
Hartford Courant reports: '"You've got to get pressure on him," said Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, who pledges to help make his friend Bledsoe's answering machine overflow with messages this week. "Every play I've seen on the highlight films, he's able to step up in the pocket and throw the ball downfield."'

Marker Bills braced for Bledsoe's big week [5:01 AM]
AP reports: 'That hasn't stopped local radio stations from referring to this as ''Bledsoe Week,'' or a number of Boston media outlets from sending reporters to Buffalo for the game against Detroit. Bills fans have had this game circled on their calendars since Buffalo acquired Bledsoe in a trade last April, a move that prompted immediate lineups at the ticket windows. And it's a game that has even more meaning now that Bledsoe has rejuvenated the Bills, erasing the memories of last year's dreadful 3-13 finish.'

Marker Slumping champs hint at subpar effort [5:00 AM]
AP reports: '''We had some chances to make some big plays in the game that we were close on but we just didn't make them.'''

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October 28, 2002

Marker Bills get defensive in taming Lions [7:55 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“We’re a solid team, but we have to continue to improve. By no means are we one of the best teams in the National Football League right now.”'

Marker Confident Harrington kept poise despite Lions’ struggles [7:53 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“They played better than us,” Harrington said. “I can’t give you an exact answer, I only know what I feel, and I feel like we couldn’t move the ball. I feel like we were on the verge of clicking. But it didn’t happen. It just didn’t click.”'

Marker Centers’ streak ends at 143 games [7:51 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '“It just didn’t happen for me to catch the ball, but the good news is we came away with a win.”'

Marker Bills place Robertson on reserve list [7:39 PM]
AP reports: 'The Buffalo Bills placed defensive tackle Tyrone Robertson on the reserve/non-football illness list Monday after he completed a four-game NFL suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.'

Marker No bucking this trend - Answers not forthcoming [5:55 PM]
Boston Globe reports: This morning the Patriots are two games out of first place in the AFC East and a game and a half behind the second-place Buffalo Bills. The Bills are 5-3 because Belichick gave aid and comfort to the enemy when he turned Drew Bledsoe over to them. Bledsoe has now thrown for more than 300 yards in half the games he's played this season and his team is a half-game out of first place with the season half gone and the Patriots heading to Ralph Wilson Stadium next Sunday.

Marker Bills Notebook: Injured Players Scheduled To Return To Practice [5:33 PM] reports: Gregg Williams on the team's progress: "This is the midway point of the season. We've got a bunch of tough matchups here. We've made some progress but we can't stay where we're at. If we don't improve… The good teams will start to stand out in November and December. The teams that show up in November and December give you a chance to play in January. So we've got a long ways to go."

Marker The Bills might have to be taken seriously [3:57 PM]
AP reports: 'What makes the plot more intriguing are the troubles of the Patriots, who have lost four straight games. It lets second-guessers wonder whether New England should have dealt Bledsoe, especially to a team in its own division, and kept Tom Brady.'

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09/13 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
09/20 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
09/27 @ Miami Dolphins 4:25 pm
10/04 New York Giants 1:00 pm
10/11 @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm
10/18 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/25 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 9:30 am
11/08 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
11/12 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/23 @ New England Patriots 8:30 pm
11/29 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/6 Houston Texans 1:00 pm
12/13 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 pm
12/20 @ Washington Redskins 1:00 pm
12/27 Dallas Cowboys 1:00 pm
01/03 New York Jets 1:00 pm

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