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Weekly News Archives - Dec. 4th - Dec. 11thPrevious Week

Colts Wallop Bills 44-20

Peerless PriceBills Crushed By Colts: The Bills were officially eliminated from the playoff picture after being crushed by the Colts on Monday Night Football 44-20. The Colts scored two defensive touchdowns off of an interception and a fumble by Rob Johnson. He was forced out of the game for the second week in a row because of his inept play. The special teams "helped out" by having a punt blocked leading to another Colts touchdown. Bills QBs were sacked an NFL season high nine times. Complete Review.

Offense and Special Teams Woes Continue: The offense and special teams really helped break the backs of the defense. The young players on Ted Cottrell's side of the ball really came to play but when the Offense and Special teams bungled away 21 points in the second half there spirits were finally broken also. Gameday Grades.

Greer Back: It appears that there is more good news on the Bills injury front. Donovan Greer is expected to give it a go tonight against the Colts. He should play in at least obvious passing downs which will give the Bills a chance to use Darryl Porter as the deep safety in the dime package and keep some untested younger players off the field.

Dime Defense To Return: With Greer being back and the full time return of Phil Hansen expect the Bills to go back to the dime defense instead of the nickel defense. The injuries to Sam Cowart and Sam Rogers hurts the effectiveness of the nickel defense.

Ball Control Offense The Key: The best defense for the Bills tonight will be a good ball control offense to keep the ball out of the hands of the high powered Colts offense. Expect the Bills to try to establish a running game and go to it more often than they have all year. The return of Sammy Morris will be a big help in establishing that portion of the game plan. The other way to play ball control is the short passing game. That also can work if Rob Johnson can take advantage of the many zone blitzes he will see from the Colts.

Loser Out: Things broke the way we thought they would during the Sunday afternoon games. The Jets lost while the Ravens and Broncos won. The Steelers were officially eliminated from the playoff picture and the loser of tonight's game joins them on the sidelines. That makes this game the pinnacle of must win games. Of course, the loser of the game isn't in great shape either as they will need a complete collapse by the Jets to make the playoffs anyway.

Sunday December 10, 2000

Phillips Likely To Stay: In an interview with The Buffalo News Owner Ralph Wilson praised the work of Coach Phillips and it appears he will stay on as coach next year. On the heels of last week's debacle there has been a lot of talk on local talk shows in Buffalo that Phillips should be replaced at the end of the year. The fact is, the club has a pretty good record considering all the losses in the off season, the league's toughest schedule, and the rash of injuries.

Sunday Football: While Bills fans have an extra day to wait for their game, there are teams to root for to help keep the Bills slim playoff hopes alive. Bills fans are rooting for a Jets loss in Oakland, a Denver loss at home against Seattle, and a Ravens loss at home against the hapless Chargers. 2 of those 3 are highly improbable. Of course, it won't matter what happens if the Bills lose to the Colts tomorrow night.

Saturday December 9, 2000

Fina And Greer May Be Out: John Fina was unable to practice again on Friday and it appears like he won't play on Monday night. If he is out Marcus Spriggs will move to left tackle and the forgotten man, Robert Hicks will start at right tackle. Donovan Greer continues to be hampered by his high ankle sprain and hasn't practiced that much this week. He may also be out. The Bills will announce their early inactives today.

Friday December 8, 2000

Morris Set To Return: After getting in a good practice on Thursday, Sammy Morris said he is ready to go on Monday night. There is still pain in his ankle but it is bearable and he can run and cut on it. He should bring a boost to the offense especially in the red zone.

Thursday December 7, 2000

Coach's Comments: Head Coach Wade Phillips addressed the media today and talked about this week's game against Indy. He feels it will be a high scoring game and is concerned about the 54 points the defense has given up in the last five quarters. He feels this is still a big game since it is on Monday night.

Injury Update: John Fina is not practicing and there is a growing concern that he may not be ready for the game on Monday night. On the positive side Donovan Greer, Fred Jones and Sammy Morris are practicing in various degrees and hopefully they will all be ready to play. Injury Notes.

Thomas Has Surgery: Former Bill Thurman Thomas had reconstructive surgery on his injured knee yesterday. He is expected to see how the first few weeks of rehab goes before deciding on his future.

Wednesday December 6, 2000

Hansen Not On Report: When the injury report was released today a couple of names were surprisingly not on the injury report. Phil Hansen and Joe Panos are not on it at all, so they are both expected to play. Besides the players that are out, the Bills have four players listed as questionable and one listed as probable. Injury Report.

Bills And Colts In Same Boat: The Bills will start practicing for Monday night's game against the Colts tomorrow. Both teams are an eerily similar situations. They are both 7-6 and their playoff hopes are both hanging by less than a thread. The injured Bills defense will have even a tougher test this week against the high powered Colts offense. Complete Preview.

Extra Day Off: Coach Phillips "rewarded" his team with an extra day off this week as the team has today to lick their wounds along with yesterday's normal day off. The reason for this is because the Bills don't play until Monday night this week. We will still have our normal Wednesday game preview later today on our gameday homepage.

Tuesday December 5, 2000

Wiley Hot: One of the few bright spots lately has been the play of Marcellus Wiley. Coach Phillips used a few minutes of yesterday's press conference to talk about the development of the soon to be free agent. Wiley has 5 1/2 sacks over the last three game and became the first Bill since 1996 to have three straight multiple sack games. Of course the last person to do this was his predecessor Bruce Smith. The coach feels it took to the midpoint of the season for Wiley to be fully recovered from the back surgery he had in training camp. Since then he has been a force as a pass rusher and has done very well against the run. He now leads the team with 9 1/2 sacks this season.

Phillips Tells The Truth: One thing we touched on in yesterday's press conference notes is that the Coach knows the Bills post season chances are very remote. He relayed his feeling on this to the players and it hit them hard. They now know they will be home for Christmas barring a miracle. The question now is, does the coach get the players fired up to finish the season on a high note and build for the future or do they have three straight "run for the bus" games. It will be interesting to see.

Monday December 4, 2000

Phillips Press Conference Comments: The coach opened his Monday press conference saying that he was dissapointed but thought guys gave a lot of effort but some of it was misguided. He thought a problem was a lot of the better players were trying to make plays for other people and it caused a domino effect. Wade always sees the silver lining, and he praised the offensive line's play in the running game and mentioned Shawn Bryson as the obvious bright spot. He thinks there is a lot of character and leadership on the team and that they will bounce back. He thinks attitude will have a lot to do with the upcoming Colts game since they are in the same situation as the Bills are in. The coach feels they will try to get to 10 wins even though they know it most likely won't be enough this year to get into the playoffs. He hinted that having the toughest schedule in the league worked against them. On the injuries, he said there is no excuses but it did present a problem having so many starters out of the game. The coach thought the young replacements played better as the game went along and they will learn from their mistakes.

Injury Update: Phil Hansen played eight plays and should be available full time next week. The coach also feels that Sammy Morris and Donovan Greer should be real close to being ready on Monday night. The latest injuries include John Fina, he had an MRI on his latest knee injury today. Ted Washington broke two fingers and Fred Jones tweaked his ankle. Injury Page.

Playoff Hopes Fade: The only way that it is possible for the Bills to make the playoffs now is to win their last three and have either New York, Denver, or Baltimore lose their last three. If they finished tied with one of these teams they would most likely lose the tiebreaker.

Bills Open In 4-3: Despite vehemently denying it all week, the Bills opened the game in a 4-3 defense using "the package" in the middle of the defense. Miami promptly ran all over that defense right down the field to their first score. The Bills then put Jay Foreman into the game and went back to their basic 3-4 which didn't fare any better. One thing was proven, never trust what the coaching staff tells the media.

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