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Buffalo Bills News - December 20, 2004

Marker Wait 'til next year [5:40 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"I can't be any more disappointed with the way we played," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said of his team's uninspired showing. "We were fighting for the same thing the Bills are. They came in here and won the football game."'

Marker Spikes gets TKO [5:39 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: '"I've never been in a position this late in December to have something to play for other than pride," said Spikes, who signed with Buffalo as an unrestricted free agent prior to last season. "That's very big to me. I cared about (coming back here). But at the same time, the playoffs far outweigh this more than anything else."'

Marker Couldn't get hands on enough turnovers [5:38 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Buffalo managed one touchdown and four field goals in five trips to the red zone. It tallied 212 net yards - a season low for the Bengals defense - and had only one offensive play go for more than 16 yards.'

Marker Blocked punt painful, not special [5:38 AM]
Cincinnati Enquirer reports: 'Peters ran through a gap between long snapper Brad St. Louis and the right guard. Larson said he keeps his head down and did not see what happened. St. Louis said the Bills had six players "in the box" at the line of scrimmage and that the Bengals should have been able to double-team some rushers. "We just didn't execute," Lewis said. "I saw what happened, a lack of focus and not finishing the play off and getting the guy blocked."'

Marker Red-hot Bills put big chill on Bengals' playoff hopes [5:36 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: '"It was one of those crazy games," Kitna said. "Everything seemed to go their way. On the interception to Takeo, he tackles our running back and picks it off. You don't think that's going to happen, and you think when it does happen, (the refs) would make a call. They didn't."'

Marker Takeo finally plays for playoffs [5:35 AM]
Dayton Daily News reports: '"I tell you though, it couldn't have happened any better way. It reminded me of 2001 when I got an interception (and a 66-yard touchdown return) against the Ravens here. I remember looking on the JumboTron screen to see if somebody was running up behind me. This time I thought the same thing. I said, 'Man, I hope Chad's (Johnson) not behind me.' I didn't want somebody fast back there, but really I didn't care. They might have caught me, but nobody was taking me down."'

Marker Bills TKO Bengals' play-off bid [5:35 AM] reports: '“He’s a game changer. That’s the thing we need,” Anderson said . “We need game changers.”'

Marker Monday's Cincinnati Coverage [5:34 AM] reports:
Wait 'til next year (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Spikes gets TKO (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Kitna's play puts Palmer's in perspective (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Is Bengals' progress on ice? (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Couldn't get hands on enough turnovers (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Blocked punt painful, not special (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Photo Gallery (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Playoff hopes dashed (Cincinnati Post)
Spikes' return a dream come true (Cincinnati Post)
Big chill on Sunday played into Bills' hands (Cincinnati Post)
Rudi would rather have wins (Cincinnati Post)
Offense (Cincinnati Post)
Defense (Cincinnati Post)
Special teams (Cincinnati Post)
Coaching (Cincinnati Post)
Key player (Cincinnati Post)
Key play (Cincinnati Post)
Key stat (Cincinnati Post)
They said it (Cincinnati Post)
Red-hot Bills put big chill on Bengals' playoff hopes (Dayton Daily News)
Takeo finally plays for playoffs (Dayton Daily News)
Johnson & Johnson share in disappointment (Dayton Daily News)
Mistakes make for miserable day (Dayton Daily News)
Bengals go pfffffft! (Columbus Dispatch)
Bills bide time, wait for mistakes (Columbus Dispatch)
Promising season turning out to be mirage for Bengals (Columbus Dispatch)
Booing doesn’t distract Spikes from his game (Columbus Dispatch)
Blocked punt ends run with thud (
Bengals can't get off treadmill (
Freeze-dried frustration (
Bills TKO Bengals' play-off bid (
Postgame quotes (
Photo gallery (

Marker Buffalo's drive is alive [5:02 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"We started off bad, but we're finishing strong and that's what you want to do. God willing we can continue to push forward and we have things happen that we need to have happen and maybe we can get in the tournament."'

Marker Spikes scores big 'TKO' in Ohio homecoming [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: '"A lot of the Cincinnati fans were calling me a traitor, but I was thinking that they just love me and don't know how to act," Spikes said with a devilish grin. "Like a bad relationship, they see you with somebody else and they don't like it for a minute, but then they learn to love you."'

Marker The two-minute read [5:01 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'Came to play: Bills LB Takeo Spikes: So who wrote this movie script, Walt Disney? In the feel-good performance of the day, the ex-Bengals linebacker returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown and recovered a Rudi Johnson fumble forced by Nate Clements that led to a field goal.'

Marker Buffalo Bills report card [5:00 AM]
Rochester D&C reports: 'With his team 8-2 since a 0-4 start, Mike Mularkey deserves some coach of the year votes.'

Marker Bills continue to pay off [4:54 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: '"We notice it," said Spikes when asked if the Bills have started scoreboard watching. "We said 'Okay, that happened, let's go take care of what we need to.' "'

Marker A Spikes in Bengals' heart [4:54 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'If there was ever a doubt as to why Takeo Spikes wanted to leave Cincinnati, it was played out in front of him yesterday. As the Bengals were guaranteeing a 14th consecutive season without a playoff berth, one of their old warriors played a big part in making it happen.'

Marker Best team in the NFL right now is... [4:54 AM]
Toronto Star reports: 'Team of destiny, you say? Hard to believe that this is the same bunch that started winless in four. Can that really be the same Drew Bledsoe the Buffaloons were trying to run out of town, or worse, a few weeks ago?'

Marker Rookie blocks punt, scores TD [4:53 AM]
ESPN reports: 'He is about the most unlikely-looking special teams player in the NFL, a 6-feet-4 and 328-pound behemoth who caught the attention of league scouts at the annual combine workouts, clocking an eye-opening 40-yard time of under five seconds.'

Marker Bills Win Fifth Straight 33-17 [4:53 AM] reports: The blueprint was to use a ball control style of offense to win games. During the Bills feverish rise in the standings they have found other ways to win. The 33-17 win over Cincinnati was similar to last week's win against Cleveland. The offense didn't do that much, but they didn't have to. All three units scored touchdowns while the Bills forced four turnovers and made a couple of big plays on offense to pull off their fifth straight win, seventh in their last eight, and eighth in their last 10 after an 0-4 start.

Marker All Three Units Lead Bills To Win [4:49 AM] reports: 'The offense didn't have an explosion but they did enough to win. The defense struggled against the run but made big plays when they had to. Special teams made one big play, a few smaller ones, and flirted with disaster on a few other plays. Here are our position by position grades...'.

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December 19, 2004

Marker Bills keep playoff hopes alive [8:17 PM]
ESPN reports: 'The fact the Bengals were so repulsive, though, should not diminish the resourcefulness of the Bills, who won for the fifth straight time.'

Marker Bills Win Fifth Straight [7:28 PM] reports: 'Rookie Jason Peters blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Defensive end Chris Kelsay recorded his first career pick.'

Marker Spikes Shines As The Bills Rip The Bengals [7:27 PM]
WGR-AM reports: 'Rudi Johnson opened the scoring with a three yard TD run and had 130 yards on the afternoon. Despite that, I think the Bills defense really arrived. Cincinnati had been a scoring machine lately picking up 113 points in three games. The Bills held them to just ten more points after falling behind.'

Marker McGahee twists knee, sits out last quarter [7:25 PM]
AP reports: '``I was thinking, 'Get up, Willis,''' Bledsoe said. ``He's been so pivotal in us turning this thing around, and it's a testament to him to get to where he is, with what he's gone through. Hopefully he'll be all right.'''

Marker Postgame quotes [7:19 PM] reports: 'Mike Mularkey on the destiny of the Bills: “I don’t know if it’s destiny or just a team that’s made up of good character — guys that have never given in ... not once. Even again, in this game, being down early and not blinking.”'

Marker Bills in the Thick of the Playoff Picture [5:36 PM] reports: 'Just five short weeks ago, the Bills were left for dead at 3-6 after an embarrassing defeat to the New England Patriots. Since then, Buffalo has scored at least 33 points in each win, making the 2004 team the first to score 30 points in five straight games in franchise history.'

Marker Freeze-dried frustration [5:35 PM] reports: 'For the second straight week against a playoff contender, the Bengals self-destructed with turnovers and gaffes and blew up their own playoff chances as well as a shot at a winning season during an ugly and cold 33-17 loss here to the Bills at Paul Brown Stadium.'

Marker Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 17 [4:28 PM]
AP reports: 'With the defense and special teams playing so well, the Bills' offense didn't have to do much. Drew Bledsoe was 15-of-30 for 183 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans.'

Marker Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 17 [4:27 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'Linebacker Takeo Spikes all but ended his former team's postseason hopes and kept his current squad in the thick of the playoff chase.'

Marker Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 17 [4:27 PM]
The Sports Network reports: 'Buffalo running back Willis McGahee left the game with a hyperextended knee after rushing for 25 yards on 11 carries.'

Marker What to look for vs. Bengals [11:32 AM] reports: 'The Bengals offense has played extremely well but Spikes could single-handedly disrupt their offense. He is both a stout run stopper and can also play back in coverage. He has three interceptions on the year, tied for second on the team. Cincinnati needs to be aware of where he is on the field at all times. Even if the Bengals double or triple team him, it may not be enough to contain the excitement he will be feeling on the field this week.'

Marker Special day on tap [9:27 AM] reports: 'What is going to decide the Bengals’ first home game in December between two playoff contenders (Cincinnati at 6-7 and Buffalo 7-6) in nine years is that little matchup in agate print: Special teams.'

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09/10 New York Jets 1:00 pm
09/17 @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 pm
09/24 Denver Broncos 1:00 pm
10/01 @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 pm
10/08 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
10/22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm
10/29 Oakland Raiders 1:00 pm
11/2 @ New York Jets 8:25 pm
11/12 New Orlean Saints 1:00 pm
11/19 @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 pm
11/26 @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 pm
12/3 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/10 Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm
12/17 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
12/24 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
12/31 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm

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