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Weekly News Archives - Sept 11th - Sept. 17thPrevious Week

Miscues, Big Plays Beat Bills 27-14

Rob JohnsonSpecial Teams Kill Bills: The Bills won every statistical category in the game except for the turnovers and those combined with horrid special teams play led the Jets to a 27-14 win over the Bills today. Two punt return fumbles and a kickoff return for a touchdown combined with a hail mary score before the half gave the Jets the lift that they needed to win the game. The Bills go in to the bye at 2-1. Complete Review

Other Units Struggle: It wasn't just the special teams that hurt the Bills in the loss. The defensive front seven struggled more than they have this season, and the running game continues to be down right awful. Position by Position grades.

Injuries: To add insult to injury, Jay Riemersma left the game after the first series with a knee injury. He was key on the opening touchdown drive catching three passes before going out with the injury. The other big injury was to Corey Moore, he was also carted off with a leg injury. John Holecek also left with a knee injury and Ken Irvin hurt his back. Updated Injury Notes.

Battle For First Place: Today's game is going to be a tough battle between two teams that have been somewhat surprising to the national media after two games. The Jets have come from behind to win their first two and the Bills haven't trailed yet this season. This will be the first road test for the Bills and they will need to overcome the crowd noise and injuries if they are going to win. It is imperative that they get the running game going to offset the crowd or they won't be able to win.

Gameday Weather: A perfect day for football in New Jersey. Sunny with some wind high around 70°.

Saturday September 16, 2000

Early Inactives: We told you about three of the four early inactives yesterday. Perrenial inactive offensive tackle Jon Carman joins Sam Rogers, Joe Panos and Shawn Price on the inactive list. As usual, the Bills will have to name three more inactives just before gametime and confirm that Doug Flutie will be the emergency QB. Bills Daily will be at the game, if you will be there and want to say hello e-mail us.

Friday September 15, 2000

Panos and Rogers Out: This will be a good game to look at two of the prize rookies from this year's draft. Corey Moore will start at weak outside linebacker as the Bills have placed Sam Rogers on the inactive list. Erik Flowers should see increased playing time as backup defensive end Shawn Price is also deactivated because of injury. The sprained foot suffered in practice by Joe Panos will keep him out of action this week also. Jamie Nails will start again at right guard but there is talk that little used Victor Allotey may split some time with him.

Morris Elevated: Sammy Morris is now the lone fullback on the depth chart as the experiment of playing Sheldon Jackson there is apparently over. Coach Phillips said that Jackson will no longer practice at the position and will play tight end and H-back exclusively. This move may indicate a move to a single back set more often as Bills Daily speculated yesterday.

Panos Downgraded: The sprained foot that Joe Panos suffered in practice yesterday has downgraded him to questionable on the official injury report. Panos was expected to start on Sunday, now it looks like Jamie Nails will start and be backed up by Victor Allotey if Panos can't go. In other injury news, it is looking less likely that Sam Rogers will play.

Thursday September 14, 2000

Panos Sprains Foot: Who knew the early bye might be a good thing? It looks like the bye will come at the right time as the Bills are quickly becoming banged up. Joe Panos sprained his foot in practice today and their is a chance he won't dress against the Jets.

Johnson Has Tendinitis: Coach Phillips has confirmed that Rob Johnson has tendinitis in his throwing elbow. It is not considered serious and he won't be added to the injury report. He will play on Sunday but he was noticeably in pain during practice today.

Rogers And Cowart On The Field: In other practice news, Sam Rogers and Sam Cowart were back on the field today although Rogers was very limited. Cowart seems to be recovering from Flu-like symptoms.

Defensive Substitutions: With Sam Rogers and Shawn Price possibily on the shelf this week the Bills need to make some changes to their defensive lineup. Price's responsibilities will be handled by 1st round pick Erik Flowers. He will see extra time in the usual defensive line rotation. If Rogers can't go or is slowed by his shoulder injury then he would be replaced by 3rd round pick Corey Moore. The Bills have several options, they may slide Marcellus Wiley inside in the 3-4 and use Moore on the end of the line as a pass rusher in the pseudo 4-3. In obvious running situations the club may decide to use Jay Foreman at the will linebacker position. This isn't his natural position so there is a chance they will substitute Fred Jones at times.

One back or Two? With the well talked about problems with the running game, one remedy being bantered about is the dissolving of the two back system. It is well known that Antowain Smith runs better out of a single set backfield. If he is suppose to be the feature back it may be time to give him the formation that makes him more comfortable. So far this year he has run exclusively out of the two back set while Shawn Bryson has worked out of the single back set. Coach Phillips says the plays are the same regardless of the set, if that is the case he should pull the fullback and give Smith a chance to succeed. Expect to see some of that against the Jets.

Wednesday September 13, 2000

Cowart Misses Practice: The defense is already slowed by injuries and now its best player is less than 100%. Sam Cowart missed practice today with the flu. He joined injured teammates Sam Rogers and Shawn Price on the sidelines. Meanwhile the Jets are reporting no injuries.

Jets Game Will Be Good Gauge: The early season battle for first place in the AFC East will happen on Sunday at the Meadowlands. The first road game of the season for the Bills will be a good barometer on how good this team is. They will be a bit shorthanded on the defensive side of the ball due to injuries but their is enough talent to pick up the slack against a potent passing attack led by Vinny Testerverde. Complete Preview on our Gameday homepage.

Rookies To Play More? We should know more about the availability of Shawn Price for this week's game later today when the results of an MRI are seen. Sam Rogers troublesome shoulder is bothering him a bit more also. If these two players don't play or are curtailed some than two high rookie draft picks will see more action. Erik Flowers will play a few more plays if Price misses the game. Corey Moore is Rogers' backup and would play if Rogers needs some plays off.

Tuesday September 12, 2000

Bills Miss Thomas: When the big three were released in February most people thought the team would miss Bruce Smith the most. Two game into the season the defensive line is humming as four members got a sack against Green Bay and the running game is in shambles. The club obviously misses Thurman Thomas. In this late stage in his career he probably wouldn't help the running game too much, but his knack for picking up the blitz would come in real handy right now. Shawn Bryson is essentially a rookie and he hasn't picked up the blitz well at all. Combine that with Rob Johnson and the receivers struggling to read the blitzes has helped add to the pounding Johnson has taken. The return of Jonathan Linton to the lineup should help some but right now Thomas would help too.

Offensive Line Shuffle? The backs, receivers, and quarterback has to take some of the blame for the offensive woes but the offensive line continues to struggle also. One interesting lineup adjustment in the Packers game had Robert Hicks being replaced by Marcus Spriggs for a few series. Coach Phillips said it was just to get Spriggs some reps but Hicks wasn't so sure. It will be interesting to see if Spriggs cuts into Hicks playing time some more this week.

QB Club Honors 1965 Team: The Monday QB Club honored the 1965 AFL Championship team in their regular luncheon that takes place after every Bills home game. In a new feature, Bills Daily will take you inside these luncheons with feature columnist Wally Bissett. Complete Story.

Price Banged Up: GM John Butler told the Monday QB Club that Shawn Price suffered the only minor injury of the game against Green Bay. He suffered a hyperextended knee but should be ready for the Jets.

Monday September 11, 2000

Reed Signs With Washington: After losing WR Michael Westbrook for the season, the Redskins have signed Andre Reed to a one year contract.

State Of The Bills: After studying at the films Coach Phillips said there are areas they need to work on but he is pleased in many areas. He singled out the receiving corp especially Jay Riemersma as having coming out games. He also mentioned Sam Cowart and Steve Christie as having good seasons so far. One of the things that the Coach feels the club needs to do better is run the football.

Johnson #3: Coach Phillips said that as of right now Rob Johnson is the #3 rated passer in the league.

Bills Healthy: The icing on the cake of the 27-18 victory is the fact that the club came out of the game injury free. Nobody appears to be banged up as the walking wounded are slowly coming back. Jonathan Linton was eased back into the lineup by playing only on special teams. Expect him to see some time at running back next week. Joe Panos was active but did not play. Doug Flutie is expected to return to the number two quarterback spot next week.  Injury Page

3rd Down Efficiency: The Bills defense has been particularly strong on third downs. They have allowed first downs on only 15% of third down plays. The opponents are 4 for 26 in those situations. Against Green Bay the Bills offense went a solid 6 for 15 on third downs.

Favre Passes Kelly: Brett Favre's two touchdown passes gave him 238 for his career. He is now 12th on the all-time list as he moved pass Jim Kelly.

Fast Start: The Bills 2-0 and start is their best since 1996 and temporarily at least puts them atop the AFC East by themselves. A Jets win tonight against New England sets up a very early season showdown for first place next Sunday. It is obviously too early to be thinking about the division title, especially since they haven't played any division or road games yet. The bottom line is a 2-0 start is better than 1-1 or 0-2.

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