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Buffalo Bills News - December 23, 2002

Marker Bills never quite close the gap in Green Bay [1:30 PM]
Niagara Falls Reporter reports: 'BILLS MVP: Buffalo's defense still needs major renovation in the offseason, particularly up front, but it's hard to imagine a defensive tackle playing much better than Pat Williams did Sunday.'

Marker Bills’ offense sputters in Green Bay [1:29 PM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'On a day when the maligned Bills’ defense conjured its best effort of the season in one of the NFL’s toughest venues for a visitor, Buffalo’s flimsy playoff hopes crumpled because the offense didn’t exist. And it started with Bledsoe.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Geography: Lesson #15 [10:43 AM] reports: Buffalo Bills Geography is an educational program that integrates geography, language arts and math using the excitement of the NFL and the Buffalo Bills.

Marker DL Coach John Levra To Retire [10:32 AM] reports: After coaching football for 44-years (7 in high school, 14 in college football, 23 in the pros), Bills' defensive line coach John Levra will coach his final game on Sunday, December 29, when Buffalo entertains the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Marker 'We're just not good enough' [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: '"The way we played most of this year we didn't deserve to get in anyway," cornerback Antoine Winfield said.'

Marker Improving 'D' makes Favre, Packers look ordinary [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'It was the Bills' best defensive performance of the season, in a game they dearly needed to stay in the playoff hunt.'

Marker Was Bledsoe's magnificence just a passing fancy? [9:09 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'I suppose you could look on the bright side. The Bills are 7-8 and could finish .500 with a win over the Bengals next week. But watching the offense struggle in recent weeks, it's been hard to see it as progress. It seems more like an opportunity squandered.'

Marker Thomas makes the most of opportunity [9:08 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Despite the Bills' 10-0 loss, Thomas raised eyebrows with a solid performance. In addition to his interception, he broke up another pass and played very good coverage all afternoon.'

Marker Monday Billboard [9:07 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Ruben Brown, asked if the cold and 25-mph winds were an excuse for the Bills getting shut out: "What? You've been to Buffalo. No. There's no excuses, and it would be a cop-out on my part to make an excuse. We play this game. They play it. They played it better than us today, and we got beat."'

Marker Bills are leveled at Lambeau [5:38 AM]
D and C reports: 'For the first time in Green Bay coach Mike Sherman’s memory, Favre struggled in the cold and biting winds that raged through this football-mad outpost Sunday, but the Bills failed to take advantage of that rare occurrence and saw their slim playoff hopes disintegrate with a mistake-filled 10-0 loss.'

Marker Bledsoe's play has gone south for the winter [5:37 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bledsoe, the man who stood so tall in the pocket in September and October, has been shaky for two months, his throws off the mark, an easy target to hit, like the Drew whose career went splat! in New England. Worst, he’s still in denial, a team leader unable or unwilling to accept blame.'

Marker The two-minute read [5:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'He’s going to the Pro Bowl, and he became the first Buffalo quarterback in history to surpass 4,000 yards passing in a single season. But there’s no denying Bledsoe has been far below average the last three weeks, and you can make a strong argument that his slump at the end of the year, more than anything else, short-circuited Buffalo’s run to a playoff berth.'

Marker Buffalo Bills Report Card [5:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'QUARTERBACK: Drew Bledsoe found out just how good the Packers’ ball-hungry (league-high 45 takeaways) can be. Completed just half of his throws for 142 net yards, 0 TDs and 2 interceptions on cold, windy day. Also lost two fumbles after being sacked, one that set up Green Bay’s clinching touchdown, and wind had nothing to do with that. Zero points in 12 possessions is pretty hard to defend. D'

Marker Holliday’s gifts delight in Packers’ victory [5:34 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'The Bills threw two interceptions and lost four fumbles...'

Marker Inspired Holliday has big day for Packers [5:33 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'All of five of Holliday’s sacks came in the second half and four were in the game’s final 10 minutes.'

Marker Moses struggling with returns [5:32 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'Against the Bills, he gained only 8 yards on three punt returns, including cleanly fielding another bouncing punt and getting hit immediately thereafter. His lone kickoff return yielded 9 yards.'

Marker Packers’ Green sets mark by hitting 1,500 for the 3rd time [5:31 AM]
Green Bay Press Gazette reports: 'The fifth-year back has gained 1,561 yards from scrimmage this season, an average of almost 112 yards per game. He’s gone over the 100-yard mark nine times in his career.'

Marker The greatest present of all [5:30 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'Mike Hollis missed on a 33-yard field-goal attempt early in the third to spoil a drive of nearly 10 minutes.'

Marker Packers dominate on ... defense? [5:29 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"Our game plan basically was to stop the run first," said Packers' strong safety Marques Anderson. "We knew it was a windy day, so we knew they were going to try their ground attack first. Once we stopped their run we knew that they were going to try to open it up."'

Marker Bills buffaloed [5:28 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"They were all over us," said Henry, who finished with 46 yards on 20 carries. "I thought we could run the ball on them from watching film, but they did a great job of containing the running game."'

Marker Tragedy sparks huge day by Holliday [5:27 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'Holliday had back-to-back sacks on the Bills' second possession of the fourth quarter - the latter resulting in a fumble that led to Green Bay's only touchdown of the afternoon. He sacked Bledsoe and forced another fumble - recovered by Buffalo - on its next possession, then added his fifth takedown and third forced fumble with 1:19 remaining after the Bills drove deep into Packers territory.'

Marker The Green stampede [5:26 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'With Green rushing for all but 3 of the Packers' 119 rushing yards, Green Bay exploited a woeful Bills' run defense that ranks 31st of 32 teams in rushing yards allowed per game (135.9) and a per-carry average of 4.5.'

Marker Favre chills out in frigid Lambeau [5:25 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: 'To illustrate just how badly the elements hampered the passing game on both sides, Favre, who was intercepted twice, finished with a shockingly low passer rating of 39.2 - just a tad behind the 41.3 rating compiled by Buffalo's Drew Bledsoe.'

Marker Sharper pays price for interception return [5:24 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"There's no hindsight on that; he shouldn't have brought the ball out," Sherman lamented. "We never practice bringing the ball out that deep. It looked like he should have taken a knee. There's no hindsight there."'

Marker Buffalo bumped from playoff race [5:23 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '"We had opportunities to make plays and we didn't make them. They had opportunities and made more plays than we did. It's not more complicated than that."'

Marker Inside the numbers [5:22 AM]
Green Bay News Chronicle reports: '20: Combined points the Packers have allowed in their three games thus far against AFC East foes.'

Marker Lambeau luck works wonders for the Packers [5:21 AM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'Nobody may circle the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, but perhaps nobody circles the rabbits’ feet like the Green Bay Packers.'

Marker Even the Bills aren’t sure if Green fumbled [5:20 AM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: 'It was unclear, even on television replays, whether Green managed to get control and complete the catch before the ball popped out. The play was whistled dead a few seconds after the ball hit the ground, meaning the Bills couldn’t challenge the call.'

Marker Sharper may play despite knee injury [5:19 AM]
Appleton Post Crescent reports: '“We were in the red zone and I saw that (wide receiver Eric) Moulds lined up on my side, so I stayed backside to help out the corner,” Sharper said though a spokesperson. “We had great coverage on the crossing route and Antuan was able to hit the ball as he came across. I turned back when I took my eyes of Moulds and I saw the ball coming right to me. I thought, ‘Man, this is a gift,’ and caught it. Then after that ... I don’t remember what happened.”'

Marker Holliday on ice [5:18 AM]
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: 'The Bills, their cup runneth over with individual talent on offense and still in the AFC playoff hunt, turned the ball over six times and could muster merely 185 yards, including 60 yards at the end.'

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09/11 @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm
09/15 New York Jets 8:25 pm
09/25 Arizona Cardinals 1:00 pm
10/02 @ New England Patriots 1:00 pm
10/09 @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 pm
10/16 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 pm
10/23 @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
10/30 New England Patriots 1:00 pm
11/07 @ Seattle Seahawks 8:30 pm
11/20 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 pm
11/27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 pm
12/4 @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 pm
12/11 Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 pm
12/18 Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm
12/24 Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm
01/01 @ New York Jets 1:00 pm

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