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Vikings Too Much For Bills 31-27
Offense Solid, Defense Not: Flutie seemed to have the offense humming from midway through the first period until the end of the game. He wouldn't quit until the last hail mary fell short. While the offense was by far their most impressive of the year, the defense struggled against Minnesota. The secondary had many breakdowns and they were thoroughly outmatched by the Vikings receivers. Gameday Grades.
Gameday Injuries: The Bills again appeared to come out of a game healthy. Jamie Nails limped off in the fourth quarter and seemed to be the only banged up player.
Saturday October 21, 2000
Early Inactives: It's official, the Bills will be without Jay Riemersma, Corey Moore, and Shawn Price this week as they are among the early inactives. The fourth early inactive is Rob Johnson.
Friday October 20, 2000
Injury Update: It looks like the same three players we have been talking about all week are at least a week away from returning to action. Jay Riemersma, Corey Moore, and Shawn Price will most likely be inactive again this week. Riemersma is practicing but still experiencing pain in his knee and may miss another week or two. Moore and Price both feel they'll be back next week for the Jets game. Injury Page.
Size Does Matter: One of the big advantages the Vikings have is the size of their receivers against the size of the Bills cornerbacks. Antoine Winfield and Ken Irvin give up from 4-6 inches against Randy Moss and Chris Carter. They will have to have perfect technique to keep the big play away from these guys. They will have to time their jumps perfectly or else Moss will come down with at least one jump ball for a touchdown.
Coverage Team Troubles: The Bills coaches will go on and on to tell the media and fans how great the kick coverages have been since the Jets game. The bottom line is the way the kickoffs are coming down short, it would be impossible not to improve in coverage. If you look for the average starting field position after kickoff however, they are still getting the short end of the stick.
Thursday October 19, 2000
Riemersma Struggles: The three injured Bills that returned to practice yesterday did so with mixed results. Jay Riemersma wasn't thrilled with the way he practiced and it is beginning to look like he will not return against Minnesota. The news was better with Corey Moore and Shawn Price. Moore is about 85% and may play on Sunday. Price practiced pretty well.
Running Game: It has become apparent that Sammy Morris should be the featured back to everyone except the Bills coaches. Phillips seems tentative to put a rookie in that role. If he looks at the history of the league, late round rookies have traditionally performed well. Morris will get increased playing time this week and if he continues to perform well he will become the main guy before too long despite what Phillips says now.
Flutie Avoids Controversy: The new starting QB for the Bills said that he's "the backup and that is the way it is". Doug Flutie was doing his best to avoid a potential controversy when Rob Johnson is healthy. Flutie also went on to say that he is having a lot of fun now that he's playing again.
Wednesday October 18, 2000
Christie Awarded: For the second time this year, Steve Christie has been awarded the AFC special teams player of the week honor. He got it for the game tying and game winning field goal he kicked against San Diego. He previously got the award for the three field goals he hit in the opener against Tennessee.
Injured Bills Practice: Jay Riemersma, Corey Moore, and Shawn Price all practiced today and are listed as questionable on the official NFL injury report. If they get through practice today and tomorrow well, they may be upgraded to probable. Injury Report.
Tough Game Ahead: As we do on every Wednesday, this is the time to start looking ahead to this week's game. When we see the undefeated Vikings ahead of us, it may make Bills fans not want to look ahead. Doug Flutie gets his first start of the year, and gets the unenviable task of traveling to Minnesota. The Bills will need to play much better than they did this past week just to have a chance at the game. It will be interesting to see how Flutie does in his first extended action of the year. Complete Preview.
QB Club Celebrates Victory: The victory over San Diego was a struggle but the members of the Qb Club didn't seem to mind in their weekly meeting after home games. John Butler was there and had the company line on the issues. Complete Story.
Tuesday October 17, 2000
Flutie Looks For Magic: The situation looks a lot like 1998 with Doug Flutie taking over for an injured Rob Johnson. This time however we don't think he'll keep the job even if he plays well which will probably happen. The Bills have a tough three game stretch that Flutie will be starting. They will need his magic in order to pull out wins, but Johnson is the future of this club and needs to play when healthy. Complete Story.
Lineup Changes: The Bills made two changes in the lineup against San Diego, one was very successful, while the other was same old Bills. The successful move came in up front in the nickel defense. Marcellus Wiley moved back to left end in that defense, a position he played when Bruce Smith was here. Rookie Erik Flowers played right end in the nickel. The result: three sacks between the two players. Coach Phillips expects to stay with that move. The other move was inevitable, starting Marcus Spriggs over Robert Hicks. The offensive line played as poorly as they have the whole season, so it looks like neither is the answer at right tackle.
Injury News: Three of the injured Bills are expected to return to practice on Wednesday. Jay Riemersma, Corey Moore, and Shawn Price are expected to practice. If they practice well they all have a chance to play in Minnesota on Sunday. Injury Page.
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