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Buffalo Bills News - September 18, 2000

Marker Jets fly off to best start since '66 [6:53 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'They are 3-0 for the first time since Weeb Ewbank coached Gang Green in 1966. They are in sole possession of first place in the division earlier than any season since 1987. And after vanquishing the Bills (2-1), they take a full head of steam into a matchup with the unbeaten Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their loquacious former teammate, Keyshawn Johnson.'

Marker Two-way Coleman scorches Bills [6:52 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Vinny Testaverde had one minor criticism of Marcus Coleman as an offensive player. "Marcus came running on the field a little late," Testaverde said. Yeah, but his timing was perfect after that.'

Marker Now it's time for Keyshawn [6:52 AM]
Bergen Record reports: '"I'm not going to get caught up in whatever he says or doesn't say," Testaverde said as he left the locker room following the Jets' 27-14 triumph over Buffalo on Sunday. "I'm not worried about proving points to anybody outside of here."'

Marker Jets instant replay [6:51 AM]
Bergen Record reports: 'Goat: Chris Watson's first punt return fumble was swatted out of his grasp from behind by Hayes and recovered by Bernie Parmalee at midfield with 13:05 to play. He muffed the second that Hayes recovered at the Bills' 26 with 4:35 left to set up John Hall's final field goal.'

Marker Jets' big leap of faith [6:50 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills have a bye week to dwell on everything they did wrong Sunday, especially a terrible performance on special teams. Kevin Williams returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and cornerback Marcus Coleman's first career reception was good for a Hail Mary score to close the first half as the Jets downed the Bills 27-14 to gain sole possession of first place in the AFC East.'

Marker Sprinkler of magic dust [6:49 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'A lot of players had their gripes about the way things were being approached. But it's paying off. "Coach Groh has set a course, and the ship has sailed, and we're heading in a good direction." For a change, the ship isn't beginning to sink before the turning of the autumn leaves.'

Marker 1965 champions receive a hero's welcome [6:48 AM]
Business First of Buffalo reports: 'Because the Bills were down for so long throughout the late '60s, much of the '70s and a good part of the '80s there is the perception that the Bills were never truly born until the Jim Kelly era began in 1986. For long-time observers that is certainly not the case and many can just as easily recite the names of those AFL championship teams as they could the Bills Super Bowl squads.'

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September 17, 2000

Marker Beasts of the East [7:21 PM]
Fox Sports reports: 'But finally, what really sealed the deal for the Bills were turnovers. If the game was markedly closer than the score might indicate, the Bills destroyed themselves by committing three turnovers in the game's final 15 minutes.'

Marker Jets 27, Bills 14 [7:20 PM]
AP reports: 'Cornerback Marcus Coleman caught a 45-yard scoring pass from Vinny Testaverde on the final play of the first half Sunday, breaking a tie and lifting the Jets to a 27-14 victory over the Buffalo Bills. "We work on that play every Friday, so I knew there was a possibility we would run it," Coleman said of his spot on the Jets' alley-oop pass unit. "I was surprised that no one was on me as I ran down the middle. Once the ball was in the air, I don't care who was around me, I think the ball is mine.'

Marker Jets 27, Bills 14 [7:15 PM]
Sportsticker reports: 'The Jets made all the big plays, getting a 97-yard kickoff return from Kevin Williams in the first quarter and another touchdown on a fourth-down run by tight end Fred Baxter in the second period.'

Marker Parcells casts a big shadow on Jets [10:53 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: 'Bill Parcells is a big man ... and his shadow is vastly larger than his considerable physical size. That's Al Groh's problem. The latest coach of the New York Jets is going to have a hard time establishing an identity away from his long-time friend and current benefactor.'

Marker No Jet lag for the Bills [10:51 AM]
Olean Times Herald reports: '"This game will be a good key for us," said Bills' coach Wade Phillips. "This could actually be our biggest game of the year." Of his own team's start, he added, "I thought we were going to have a good team, but all coaches think they're going to have a good team."'

Marker Phillips blasts Bill [10:12 AM]
Jets Confidential reports: 'Not only did Buffalo Bills head coach Wade Phillips come off as bitter during his Wednesday conference call with Jets beat reporters, he also exposed himself as a somewhat hypocritical "country coach." It wasn't difficult to figure out that Phillips was lambasting Bill Parcells when he said "We kind of country coach 'em here. They don't get a lot of that city coaching of those geniuses. But we get them to work hard, play sound football and not make mistakes." Phillips went on to define country coaching as "...a way of treating people, I guess." Oh. So that explains why Phillips benched Doug Flutie for the playoffs last year even though Flutie had directed the Bills to the postseason two years in a row and had all but saved Phillips' job and football in Buffalo in 1998. And that "country coaching" must explain why Phillips canned special teams coach Bruce DeHaan for a loss that was entirely Phillips' fault. Remember, it was Phillips who let Steve Christie kick a go-ahead field goal with 16 seconds left in last year's AFC wild card game instead of waiting until there were just a few seconds left on the clock. That move allowed Tennessee enough time to pull off the "Music City Miracle" kick return.'

Marker Stars are suddenly aligned [10:10 AM]
Albany Times Union reports: 'The Bills and Jets had never been 2-0 at the same time before this season. For all the Bills' success in '90s, they started only four of those seasons by winning the first two games. "We've started the last few years pretty slowly," Bills receiver Eric Moulds said. "We've always had to pick it up and try and catch other teams. We wanted to come out this year and have them try and come after us."

Marker Bills put a bull's-eye on Jets' Martin [9:13 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Buffalo Bills' defense aims to continue its winning streak against New York Jets workhorse running back Curtis Martin today. The Bills have shut down Martin in four straight meetings. Making it five in a row will be one of the Bills' keys to success in today's AFC East showdown at Giants Stadium.'

Marker Ultimate sleeper [9:12 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'He grew up in a divided, zero-income household. He toiled in the hay fields and picked peas for a pittance. He got his high school girlfriend pregnant. He was recruited to play football by major colleges such as Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss. He took the American College Testing exam three times, but couldn't qualify. So he enrolled in a junior college and later a Division II program. He dedicated himself to becoming a fine player, and it eventually came time for NFL scouts to notice. They labeled him a reject. But they couldn't have been more wrong about Bobby Collins, a player who was drafted in 1999 as the sleeper of all sleepers. "I came out of the blue," the second-year Buffalo Bills tight end said, flashing a smile that would glitter even without his shiny gold tooth. "Everybody else (in the draft) they know about by their sophomore or junior year. But the Bills just got me like a mutt."'

Marker Bills could use a Jersey bounce toward postseason position [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'The Bills still have to prove they can run a little against a good opponent, and the Jets are tough to beat at home. . . . Jets, 17-16.'

Marker The Bills didn't have a prayer? [9:10 AM]
Buffalo News reports: 'Millions tuned in to watch the Clinton-Lazio debate last week, but only a few hundred people got to see host Tim Russert's preshow warm-up. It was vintage Russert. The South Buffalo native had people in stitches when he told a story about the 1994 Buffalo Bills-Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl in Atlanta.'

Marker Jets, Bills battle for top mark in east [8:36 AM]
New York Post reports: 'The Bills are formidable. Their defense, ranked No. 1 a year ago, is ranked third in the NFL this season. Rob Johnson, their new starting QB, scrambles like Doug Flutie but has a rocket for an arm. "I respect a lot about the way (the Bills) play," Groh said. "They've got their system based on their belief on how they want to play and they stay with those systems year after year, game after game. "They made some bold moves in the offseason (letting Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed go) and they're faster and just as tough, and as a result they've made themselves better than they were the last couple years."'

Marker Jones back in black [8:35 AM]
New York Post reports: ' comes Marvin Jones. He is back, and he is all the way back, maybe all the way back to the terror he was coming out of Florida State, when we hailed him as The Black Butkus.'

Marker Becht's good bet against Buffalo [8:33 AM]
New York Post reports: 'Look for the Jets to get rookie tight end Anthony Becht involved in the passing game soon - as soon as today against Buffalo. With the Bills stacking up against the Jets' running game and Curtis Martin, the Jets might look to get the ball outside in - away from 350-pound Bills' NT Ted Washington. They also might look to open it up with more passes to the tight end.'

Marker Jets need to get it going early [8:11 AM]
Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune reports: 'The Jets are 2-0 for the first time since 1994. If they can get off to a better offensive start at 1 p.m. today against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets will set themselves up to achieve an even rarer feat their first 3-0 start since 1966. In fourth-quarter comeback wins against Green Bay and New England, the offense has started like a power lawn mower left out in the rain that needs several pulls before sputtering to life. "We have to get off on the right foot early," center Kevin Mawae said. "We can't win every game in the fourth quarter."'

Marker Bills' game plan loud and clear [7:36 AM]
D and C reports: 'The Bills' offense has a lot of things to improve on, like running the ball and protecting Johnson, but just getting the ball hiked without mistakes in today's first road test will be a challenge. "We know crowd noise is going to be a factor but we've got to keep our composure and not get frustrated if things don't go well in the beginning," running back Antowain Smith said. "We've got to keep plugging and hope something gives for us...This is a big matchup. It's going to be a matter of will, which team is going to be more physical."'

Marker Scouting report [7:35 AM]
D and C reports: 'Bills win if...They shut down Martin and force the Jets to be one-dimensional on offense. Of course, QB Vinny Testaverde has been at his best this season when he's had to rely heavily on the passing game at the end of games...They avoid turnovers. This is their first road game and it will be difficult to communicate on offense. Johnson will get sacked, and when he does, he has to protect the ball and not fumble it away...They can establish their own running game. This will bring their play-action passing back into use, and when the Bills have that working, they are tough to stop.'

Marker Bills D big on stinginess [7:33 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'Short of banging his head against the wall, there is not much the New York Jets' Curtis Martin can do to prepare for an afternoon of running into mounds of Buffalo Bills gut. "Between the two of them (defensive linemen Ted Washington and Pat Williams) you have about 700 pounds in there," Martin said. "It's not a game I look forward to, to be honest."'

Marker Testaverde aims for better start [7:32 AM]
Toronto Sun reports: 'After missing the entire 1999 season, New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde would be expected to have some cobwebs early this season. Fortunately for Jets fans, the veteran has been able to shake them for fourth-quarter rallies in his team's first two wins. But Testaverde, who today will face the AFC's leading defence in the Buffalo Bills, believes he'll need a quicker start if his team is to go 3-0. "We're going to have to go out right away and play some good football this week if we're going to have any chance to beat the Bills," Testaverde said. "But we definitely have confidence that no matter what the situation is at the end of the game, we can come back."'

Marker Bills' Defense Limits the Jets in Playing Catch-Up [7:31 AM]
New York Times reports: 'After two victories in which a dysfunctional offense took three quarters to come to life, today the Jets (2-0) face in the Bills (2-0) a team with a defense so dominating that it is unlikely to let the Jets catch up if they fall behind.'

Marker Bills or Believers [7:30 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Today, the Jets can break the hex with a victory over the Bills (2-0) at Giants Stadium - a battle for sole possession of first place in the AFC East and an intriguing showdown between two teams that survived tumultuous offseasons. The Jets are winning without Bill Parcells and Keyshawn Johnson, and the Bills are doing it without Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, a trio that won six division titles and four AFC championships. They're as synonymous with Buffalo as beef on weck. But life goes on in the NFL. "It's amazing," Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde said of the Bills' resilience. "Without Bruce Smith, Andre Reed and Thomas, you'd think there would be a big dropoff. But there is none. They might be a better team."'

Marker Jets Scouting Report [7:28 AM]
New York Daily News reports: 'Prediction: Bills, 23-21.'

Marker 34 Years Later... [7:27 AM]
New York Newsday reports: 'The Jets haven't started 3-0 since 1966...'.

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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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