‘While some will gush over Van Pelt’s acumen in running the West Coast Offense that so bewildered and ultimately broke Rob Johnson, the Bills provided no evidence Sunday that the final seven games will be much less tedious than the first nine.’
Archives for November 19, 2001
‘Before, during and following their four-year control of the AFC, Kelly was the Bills. Once the Super Bowls stopped being an annual entitlement, the dynasty slowly declined with him.’
‘"We had opportunities…we’ve just got to come up with the plays."’
‘Seattle’ performance Sunday was hardly perfect. The Seahawks’defense was shredded for 316 passing yards from Alex Van Pelt, a quarterback who hadn’t started an NFL game since 1997. Seattle also had to recover an onsides kick in the last two minutes to beat a team that’s won just once. But in the NFL, a win is a win.
‘With a fourth quarter catch, fullback Larry Centers who finished wit 66 receiving yards on the game, now has 6,093 for his career, passing former Bill Ronnie Harmon (6,068). Centers has become the NFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards by a running back.’
Peter King on RJ: "I think Rob Johnson (shoulder) will not play football again this year. The Bills' management team of Tom Donahoe and Gregg Williams , after watching Johnson play for half a season, might have otherwise had a tough decision on whether to re-do the quarterback's contract over the long term. But it won't be so tough. Donahoe's a believer."
Quotes from Kelly, Gregg Williams, Peerless Price, Centers, Van Pelt, Holmgren, Hasselbeck and Alexander.
Yesterday, the retired wide receiver returned to Orchard Park to watch his former quarterback, Jim Kelly, get inducted onto the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame. Feats like yardage marks and touchdown records are what got Kellys name on the wall. But Lofton, who must have had Plato in his hands, molded the day into something much larger. “Look at a football player”, he said, “and you see a narrow strip of a man.”
The Hawks take a 23-20 win, their first ever in Buffalo in two appearances, and hand the Bills their fifth-straight loss at home this season, and seventh dating back to last season.
‘The Seahawks’ front four failed to mount a significant pass rush most of the game, but Michael Sinclair came up big with the game on the line. Sinclair teamed with linebacker Chad Brown to sack Alex Van Pelt, forcing a fourth-quarter fumble that sailed into the arms of defensive tackle Antonio Cochran. The turnover led directly to the clinching field goal.’
The Bills (1-8) lost sloppily and are off to their worst start in 16 years. They’ve also lost seven straight at home — their longest stretch since dropping eight straight from 1983-84. Van Pelt showed flashes of efficiency in making his first start in four years, finishing 28-for-42 for a career-high 316 yards passing and two TDs.
‘"We have a critical mistake at the most inopportune time…"’
‘"He was the focus of our team. He was the catalyst. He was great in the clutch."’
‘The Bills have allowed six running backs to reach the 100-yard barrier this season so limiting the production of the second-year pro out of Alabama was significant.’
‘Van Pelt was far from perfect, but this was the best the offense has looked all year, even better than the San Diego game.’
‘Yet another great game by Williams was overshadowed by a 23-20 loss to the Seahawks.’
‘"I feel like I let the team down. I want to apologize to all the fans and everybody who came out. I felt it was big-time (disappointing) on my part."’
‘Red-zone malfunctions notwithstanding, he made the offense purr.’
‘Throw in some remarkable November weather and a very beatable opponent in the Seattle Seahawks and you had to think that if ever there was a game this band of Bills was destined to win, this was the one. Think again.’
‘It was the surprise retirement of his jersey, the first time in the 41-year history of the franchise a number was officially taken out of circulation. It wasn’t Simpson or Shaw or Sestak that moved owner Ralph Wilson to break club policy. It was Kelly. And fittingly so.’
‘Eric Moulds is finding out that being the highest-paid player in Bills history carries significant responsibility. Lately, Moulds hasn’t been very responsible.’
‘He looked comfortable out there.’
‘Coaching: Had a game plan good enough to win on both offense and defense but turnovers and killer penalties — the story line of this 1-8 season — sabotaged any chance of securing the win. B’
‘The Kelly game has generated bobblehead sales in the few thousands and the other two, honoring Levy and Smerlas, only sales in the mid-hundreds.’
‘"I talked to (Buffalo Bills coach Gregg Williams) a little before the game," Holmgren said. "And (the Bills) are going through some things we had to go through last year as far as salary cap and that kind of stuff. They’ll get it going."’
‘Unfortunate timing has plagued the Bills in both the macro and micro. If not for bad luck, etc.’
‘Pretty? Not exactly.’
‘"We threw the ball effectively today," said Van Pelt, the first quarterback to have a 300-yard passing performance against the Seahawks this season. Van Pelt was able to do what Rich Gannon (twice), Brian Griese, Mark Brunell and Donovan McNabb could not. Of course, Van Pelt wasn’t able to beat the Seahawks, either.’
‘With quality NFL receivers such as Price, Eric Moulds and fullback Larry Centers, the Bills should have taken better advantage than they did. But teams are 1-8 for good reasons, and failing to exploit a youngster such as Fuller can be advanced as a reason good as any.’
‘Even though the Seahawks defense gave up 372 yards to the 1-8 Bills, the NFL’s second-youngest team, it made crucial red-zone stops to hold Buffalo to three second-half points until a late touchdown drive after the Seahawks had a 23-13 lead.’
‘The TV cameras caught the Seahawks coach venting his frustration at special teams coach Pete Rodriguez along the Seattle sideline at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The problem? The Seahawks almost allowed the 30-second play clock to expire before getting off the kick that proved to be the difference in their 23-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills yesterday.’
‘Seattle trailed in every meaningful statistical category, yet none that seemed to matter.’
‘Buffalo lined up to punt, Seattle sent Charlie Rogers deep to receive the kick, then the Bills snapped the ball to the up man, reserve running back Sammy Morris. Morris tucked the ball under his arm and ran right, cutting past lunging and diving Seahawks for a 9-yard gain and a first down.’
‘But on the last nice day of the year in Buffalo, the wind brought hope and joy and momentary salvation for the Seattle Seahawks. It was a wind that gusted just hard enough to push Rian Lindell’s last field goal over the bar, yet howled strong enough to stop Bills kicker Jake Arians’ field-goal try just inches short of the goal post. Two kicks, six points, 14 mph from the southwest. It was the difference in the game.’
‘"Rob has had some pretty good games," said Buffalo offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard, who was the quarterback coach in Seattle last year. "When we haven’t played well on offense, a lot of times it’s been all of us." Perhaps, but Van Pelt led Buffalo to a season-best 316 yards, and he’s the only Bills quarterback to throw two touchdowns in a game this season.’
‘First, there was a 51-yard field goal by Rian Lindell that gave Seattle a 23-13 lead with 3:12 remaining in the game. It appeared that the 35-second play clock had run out on the Seahawks prior to the kick, sending Holmgren into a sideline tirade as the ball barely cleared the uprights. But after looking around and finding no flags, Holmgren breathed a sigh of relief.’
‘Tight end Christian Fauria appeared to catch a 12-yard pass on third-and-10 during the third quarter. But Fauria’s less-than-conventional methods – he kicked the ball with his left foot before snagging it out of the air – caused officials on the field to rule it an incomplete pass.’