Bills, Jets have a theme: defense dominates [9:14 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The AFC East showdown between the Bills and the New York Jets pits two defensive-oriented teams that have a habit of playing close games. In addition, weather forecasts are calling for windy conditions, which could hinder the passing game.'
Educating Sammy [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Sammy Morris' journey to the Buffalo Bills has more twists and turns than a belly dance. He can look back at his days at Texas Tech and laugh now that his troubles are over, knowing his banishment from college, in many ways, saved him from troubles later in life.'
Henning's offense will have tricks [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It's time for the Bills' defense to play a great game. . . . Bills, 20-16.'
New Day Dawns for Jets, Who Wake Up to Flutie [7:28 AM]
New York Times reports: 'Indeed, Flutie's competitiveness was on display last week when he chafed at what he perceives as slights against him and Vinny Testaverde, and at his own benching before Buffalo's wild-card playoff game last season. "We both went to the Pro Bowl in 1998, yet the following year Vinny has to go through a torn Achilles' and re-earn people's respect this year and I'm not good enough to start for this team in the playoffs," Flutie said. "You're always trying to prove yourself, and Vinny and I have always been in that situation."'
Miracle Workers Meet [7:26 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'If today's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium were a battle of breakfast cereals, it would be Lucky Charms versus Flutie Flakes.'
Jets Scouting Report [7:25 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Prediction: Jets, 27-20.'
One more win puts Jets in pilot's seat [7:24 AM]
New York Post reports: '"Looking at some of the tapes, at times we've played like [garbage] but we still won." One of those games was the last encounter against Buffalo, a 27-14 win on Sept. 17 at Giants Stadium, where the Jets scored one TD on a 97-yard Kevin Williams KO return and on a 45-yard Hail Mary pass at the end of the half to Marcus Coleman. There was a consensus among some players that the Jets stole one from the Bills. Buffalo linebacker Sam Cowart disagreed. "They didn't steal it, we gave it away," Cowart said.'
Cardiac kids could use more reliable safety net [7:21 AM]
New York Post reports: 'In their first meeting against Buffalo, Bills' WR Jeremy McDaniel caught a 74-yard bomb on the Jets' defense. Green, who was late with help on the play, was the culprit, as he was on a couple big plays against Miami. Speaking about the big plays, Jets' nickel back Ray Mickens said, "You can't make excuses for that. We have to be on the same page back there."
That, however, isn't likely to happen until the Jets settle on a consistent starter at free safety. With Bills' top WR Eric Moulds tied for second in the NFL with 53 receptions - 23 of those coming in the last two games - the Jets face some dangerous possibilities today.'
Forget the Miracles, Groh Preaches Reality [7:19 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'How long can the good times last? How far can the Jets ride this wave? "The sky's the limit, I don't know," safety Victor Green said. "Hopefully, all the way to Tampa." Green means Tampa as in the host city of Super Bowl XXXV. Before Keyshawn Johnson starts making dinner reservations for his old buddies for the last week of January, hold on a minute. There's some more business to be taken care of today against the Bills.'
Jets expect tough time in their visit to Buffalo [7:17 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Add to the Bills' general physical play their specific mood, which is ornery -- about their 3-4 record, which they think should be better, and about the 27-14 loss to the Jets, which featured Testaverde's 45-yard desperation TD pass to Coleman, in the Meadowlands six weeks ago.'
Whose magic will vanish? [5:56 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Magic Man meets the Magic Team at soldout Ralph Wilson Stadium today. Quarterback Doug Flutie, the helmeted Houdini of the Buffalo Bills, against the New York Jets, who have rallied for victories four times in the fourth quarter this season to sit atop the AFC East Division with a 6-1 record. The Bills (3-4), who have lost four of their last five games, are 0-3 in the division and simply can't afford another another division loss if they plan on playing in January. A must-win? In this instance, it's not a cliche.'
A great debate: Flutie vs. Johnson [5:55 AM]
D and C reports: 'With two seasons remaining on Johnson's contract, the Bills need to find out, once and for all, if he's the answer. And the only way to do that is by playing him. But can you afford to do so if the 38-year-old Flutie gives you a better chance of winning?'
Q&A: Eric Moulds [5:53 AM]
D and C reports: '[Q:] You become a free agent this offseason and fans have their fingers crossed, praying the Bills re-sign you. Are there any other teams you'd like to play for though? [A:] "There are a lot out there that I'd enjoy playing for, I suppose, but I'd love to stay with the Bills. I've established myself here, I know the people and the organization. It would be very difficult to leave and adjust all over again."'
Scouting report [5:50 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if . . . Flutie plays another efficient, turnover-free game, a tough task against a good New York defense...The Jets come out flat after their emotionally and physically draining victory over Miami last week...Shawn Bryson and Sammy Morris can continue to pile up yardage both running and receiving. They were keys to the 27-point production last week, and they showed how important a good running game is to overall offensive success.'
Jets keep on gutting opposition [5:49 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Realistically, to make the playoffs Buffalo will have to finish up no worse than 7-2. After going 1-4 in their past five, it is crucial the comeback begins today.'
Bills seek to redeem themselves against high-flying Jets [9:54 PM]
AP reports: 'Six weeks have passed and Marcellus Wiley still can't get over how his Buffalo Bills failed to beat the New York Jets. "That was tough," the defensive end said, referring to Buffalo's 27-14 loss on Sept. 17. "You watch the film and you take the scoreboard out and you're like, 'How did we get killed?'" Join the growing club, Marcellus. The Jets have cornered the NFL market on remarkable comebacks and unfathomable victories this season. Matching their best start in franchise history, the Jets (6-1) have left many opponents scratching their collective heads.'
Bills better at running for cover [9:11 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'A 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Kevin Williams propelled the Jets to a 27-14 victory on Sept. 17 and dropped the Bills to last place in the NFL in average yards allowed per kickoff (35.7). "It was a struggle," safety Raion Hill said. "There was always a breakdown here or a missed tackle there. It was something that had to change." The change has been dramatic. The Bills now have the sixth-ranked kickoff coverage unit in the NFL, giving up 21.1 yards per return. Last week, the Minnesota Vikings were held to just 17.7 yards on six returns.'
Enberg feels right at home in return to the Ralph [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Enberg has been back doing NFL games for six weeks now and he and Dierdorf work their fourth Bills game Sunday when the AFC East leading New York Jets visit Ralph Wilson Stadium. "I'm back in my old home," Enberg said. "I'm expecting (Jim) Kelly and Cornelius (Bennett) and Thurman (Thomas) and everyone to come and meet me at the airport." The Bills' strong schedule certainly has something to do with Enberg's Buffalo schedule. Enberg and Dierdorf are slated to work a fifth Bills game in Tampa Bay next month. "They do have a terrific schedule in terms of appealing matchups and you know they are going to play well," Enberg said. But not well enough. The Bills have lost all three road games that Enberg has worked, making one wonder about an Enberg jinx.'
Coleman becoming a big part of Jets' defense [9:07 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'His fellow Jets defensive backs call Marcus Coleman, "The Phenom." That is an appropriate assessment for the 6-foot-2, 210-pound cornerback blessed with wide receiver speed and NBA small-forward leaping skills.'
Bills' pressure weak without All-Pro Smith [7:48 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Buffalo Bills knew sacking opposing quarterbacks was going to be more difficult this season due to the loss of superstar defensive end Bruce Smith. But they couldn't have envisioned having just 14 sacks, which is four below the NFL per team average. "Our pass rush isn't where it needs to be for us to be consistently successful in this league," said defensive end Phil Hansen, whose lack of production (two sacks, six pressures) is one of the reasons for Buffalo's struggles.'
Trick Plays Treat Jets Kindly [7:47 AM]
New York Times reports: 'None of the plays are an accident. They are practiced repeatedly.'
Marcus Key Fit for Jets [7:45 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Marcus Coleman heard the whispers last offseason. He had just signed a five-year, $20 million contract to remain with the Jets, and now the club was refusing to meet Keyshawn Johnson's demands for a new contract. It raised a question: Did the Jets, choked by the salary cap, have their priorities mixed up? "I'm sure people were wondering," Coleman said this week at Hofstra. "If they have any questions now, hopefully they saw the game the other night and have been watching us all year, seeing that I'm a quality player. I'm not a one-year wonder with a big contract, just trying to hang on. I definitely have some things I want to do in this league."'
Coles Has Connected With Vinny [7:44 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'One of the bright spots for the Jets has been the emergence of rookie Laveranues Coles as the No. 3 wide receiver. Coles, who has made 10 of his 13 receptions in the last two games, attributes his rise to an improved line of communication with QB Vinny Testaverde. "Early on, I wasn't comfortable going up to a veteran such as Vinny and asking him what he's looking for," Coles said yesterday at Hofstra. "I would sit back and try to get a feel for what everyone else was doing. Once I realized Vinny wasn't a guy who was going to shut you out, I felt more comfortable going up to him."'
Glenn hoping Flutie decides to try his side [7:42 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Memo to Doug Flutie and the Bills' offense: Aaron Glenn is getting bored. Throw him a bone. Glenn, the Jets' two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, has been feeling somewhat left out this season and that was built up even more by the three interceptions his fellow starting corner, Marcus Coleman, picked off against the Dolphins Monday night . . . in one game. "If I ever have three picks [in one game], I might retire," Glenn joked. "But, they say they come in bunches, so if you have three you can't retire, because you might get four, five or six." Glenn, still in his prime, is not really contemplating retirement. But he would like opposing quarterbacks to throw his way a little more.'
Coles catching on as big-play threat [7:40 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Quietly, but with a definite presence, rookie receiver Laveranues Coles is becoming a significant factor for the Jets as a pressure player. Coles, who enters tomorrow's game against the Bills in Buffalo with 13 receptions, a 12.3-yard average and one TD, has become a go-to receiver for Vinny Testaverde in critical situations.'
With Vinny's Help, Coles Is Passing the Test [7:39 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The transformation for Laveranues Coles occurred about a month ago. A bashful rookie initially content to sit back and observe his surroundings, the third-round pick out of Florida State began approaching Vinny Testaverde and gleaning information. "In the beginning I never said anything; I would just sit back, take it easy and get a feel for what they wanted," Coles said after Friday's practice. "Then it became easier for me to go up to Vinny and ask, 'What do you want me to do?' And he would let me know. "Once I realized that Vinny wasn't the type of guy who would shut you out and say, 'I'm totally right,' I felt more comfortable going up to him."'
Bills plan for action against no-huddle [7:37 AM]
Newark Star Ledger reports: 'The problem, said Cowart, centers around running backs Richie Anderson and Curtis Martin because they can line up anywhere on the field and be a threat. Utilizing Anderson and Martin's versatile was a top priority going into training camp. "They're definitely one of the toughest teams to prepare for because they run so many different formations," Cowart said. "They use their guys in so many various ways. They've got Richie Anderson catching a ton of balls and Curtis Martin lining up wide. "You have to watch out for those guys. They have so many different formations that it gets you confused. They have Richie Anderson out wide and Wayne Chrebet in close. Things like that can make you line up incorrectly. "We're definitely going to prepare for (the no-huddle). We do a good job each time against the Jets. They haven't run wild on us or thrown the ball wild on us. But the hurry-up offense is definitely a concern."'
Running up the numbers [7:36 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'It didn't look like much on the stat sheet. It was only a 2-yard gain, on a night in which the Jets amassed 455 yards of offense. Yet it was one of their most important plays. Richie Anderson's 2-yard reception from Vinny Testaverde converted a fourth-and-one at the Miami 4 late in the fourth quarter Monday night. If not for that play, there would not have been a Testaverde touchdown pass to tackle Jumbo Elliott two plays later. And the Jets' great fourth-quarter comeback almost certainly would have been relegated to the status of nice try, as opposed to instant NFL legend.'
Staying Alive [3:15 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'One thing should be certain about Buffalo's rematch with the New York Jets on Sunday -- the Bills can't relax, regardless of the score.'
No Time To Panic (Yet) [3:10 PM]
Buffalo Post reports: 'The Bills are just 3-4, but the four losses have come against the New York Jets (Sunday's opponent), Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings, teams with a combined record of 23-5. None of those losses was by more than 13 points and despite serious flaws in various parts of each contest, Buffalo had a shot deep into the fourth quarter in three of them. One of the wins was over Tennessee, which has lost just once this year and twice in the Titans' last 15 games, counting postseason.'
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