Bills Comeback To Beat Panthers
Player Comments: Brandon Spoon said the win was a monkey off their backs, he feels the comeback made it that much better. On his score, he praised the play Nate Clements made to give him a shot at the pick. He said there was good blocking on the return and his move at the end was him just trying to get out of the way of the tackler. Alex Van Pelt said the guys are happy for the win especially the young guys. On his touchdown before the half, it was designed to go to Eric Moulds but he was doubled, and the line and Peerless Price made the play so they could score. Van Pelt is showing his leadership abilities as he addressed the team after the game and said they need to use this game as a clean slate and shoot for a 6-10 season. He praised the fans for being loud despite it being the smallest crowd at Ralph Wilson Stadium in four years.
Bills Comeback To Win: The Bills showed they have the heart and character that former coach Marv Levy must be proud of as they celebrated his induction in the Hall of Fame today. The Bills came back from 24-6 down late in the first half to defeat the Carolina Panthers 25-24 to give the Bills their second win of the season and first at home in more than a year. a 44 yard interception return for a score by Brandon Spoon in the third quarter and a Travis Henry touchdown completed the comeback. Complete Review.
Interesting Grades: The Bills were able to squeeze out a victory but they didn't play too well in many areas. There were 9 penalties, one turnover, but when they needed to make the plays, they did and that will bring up their grades. Gameday Grades.
Injury Update: There were only two injuries of note in this game. Pat Williams left in the first half with an injury to the lower part of his left leg. It is not known how serious it is at this time. Travares Tillman left with a rib injury.Updated Injury Page.
Gameday Weather: The cold weather makes an appearance for the first time this year in Orchard Park. Today will be a mix of sun and clouds with the high temperature during the game of 40°. Winds will be out of the West at around 10mph.
Saturday December 8, 2001
Larsen To Start: It appears that Leif Larsen will start for the injured Shawn Price. In the Bills linemen rotation Tyrone Robertson will also see more playing time. Larsen gets the start because he is better against the run than Robertson. This game may also see rookie third round pick Ron Edwards active for the first time this year. Updated Injury Report.
Irvin Drops: According to the Buffalo News it looks like Ken Irvin has dropped even further down the depth chart for the Bills. He was on the sidelines in practice on Thursday and Friday watching Chris Watson, Pierson Prioleau, and Lance Brown take his reps.
Friday December 7, 2001
Injury Updates: Besides Shawn Price being added to the injury report, Jeremy McDaniel has been added as questionable with a strained groin. He injured it making a catch on Wednesday. The only other questionable player that did not practice was Kenyatta Wright. All others practiced and should be available. On the Panthers side, it looks like they will get Mushin Muhammed back for this game but Wesley Walls may miss the game with a sprained ankle. Injury Page.
Price's Season Over: Shawn Price will have surgery today or tomorrow to repair an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He will miss the rest of the season. He has gutted it out all year with the bum knee. Coach Williams said there is no immediate plans to put price on injured reserve. Leif Larsen, Ron Edwards, and Tyrone Robertson are expected to pick up the slack.
Thursday December 6, 2001
Injured Players Practice: Both starting safeties are banged up for the Bills but both practiced yesterday and are expected to play on Sunday. Raion Hill and Travares Tillman are listed as questionable on the injury report. Shawn Bryson and Kenyatta Wright are also questionable and have not practiced this week. John Fina and Jay Riemersma are expected to return to practice today. Injury Page.
Wednesday December 5, 2001
Injury Report: The Bills have the four players listed as questionable that we previously reported and two players with concussions that are listed as probable. The Panthers aren't as lucky as three players are out, one doubtful, two questionable, and six probable. Injury Report.
Bills Lose Dreisbach; Sign One: Scott Dreisbach is no longer on the Bills practice squad. He was signed by the Detroit Lions to their active roster. He will be their number three quarterback. The Bills have filled the spot on the practice squad with RB Curtis Alexander. He was with the Bills in training camp and performed very well. David Dinkins now becomes the practice squad quarterback.
Williams Comments: In his media day press conference Coach Williams stressed that the team has to be able to run the football and they will work on that the last part of the season. He felt that the team was totally out played physically on Sunday against San Francisco. He feels the battle this week will be touch especially because the Panthers are very well coached and have excellent special teams. He called it a pride game and said that the missed opportunities have become magnified by the fact that the ball hasn't been bouncing their way like against the 49ers.
Injury Update: Shawn Bryson, Raion Hill, Travares Tillman and Kenyatta Wright are all listed as questionable with various injuries. Bryson has a high ankle sprain, Hill a knee bruise, Tillman has sore ribs and Wright has a bruised shoulder. John Fina and Jay Riemersma are recovering well from their concussions and should play Sunday. None of the injured will practice today but Fina and Riemersma should return to the field tomorrow. Injury Report.
Van Pelt Wants Redemption: Alex Van Pelt said the Bills are a prideful team and he is looking forward to getting out and redeeming himself from his four interception effort last week. He feels the whole team is looking forward to this week and he said it is a big game despite the two teams records. He feels whoever shows up at the game will be excited to watch the game despite how small the crowd will be. Van Pelt said that this week is the best chance the team has to get better despite thinking that the Panthers are a solid football team.
Tickets Remain: There are 30,000 tickets remaining for Sunday's game against Carolina and nearly the same amount for next Sunday's game against New England. This Sunday the Bills are honoring Marv Levy and he will receive his Hall of Fame ring. Next Sunday the Bills are placing the name of Fred Smerlas on the wall of fame.
Panthers Preview: The Bills and Panthers come into Ralph Wilson Stadium with a combined record of 2-21 this week. This game is being dubbed "The Draft Bowl" as the teams battle for better positioning in April's college draft. The loser will get a leg up on a higher draft choice. Complete Preview.
Tuesday December 4, 2001
Things Get Worse: Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for the Bills, they did with their worst showing in 15 years on prime time television to boot.Thunder Report.
Monday December 3, 2001
Players Off: Thanks to the late game on the West Coast the team has an extra day off this week. The players are off today and their usual Tuesday day off and will return to work on Wednesday. The usual Monday press conference by Coach Williams has been cancelled this week.
The Biggest Problems: You would think it would be hard to find the two biggest problems the Bills have this year but it is easy. Turnovers and third downs on both sides of the ball have been killing the Bills all year. The same two problems reared its ugly head on National TV last night. The Bills were a -5 in turnovers yesterday and are now -17 for the year. The defense is dead last in the league in forcing interceptions and recovering fumbles. They have recovered just five fumbles and picked off just five passes while throwing 15 picks and losing 12 fumbles. Third downs was pathetic against San Francisco and it has been most of the year. The Niners were 10-15 in converting third downs while the Bills were a pathetic 2-12. When you can't stay on the field on Offense or get off the field on Defense, you don't win. Bills opponenets have converted 43% of third downs while the Bills have converted just 35%.
Bills Lose Big: The 49ers totally dominated the Bills in every aspect of the footballl game last night as the Bills were shutout for the first time since 1993, 35-0. The final score could have been much worse as the defense stiffed a few times early before collapsing late. The offense was on the field for only 20 minutes in this game as the Bills managed a paltry 29 yards on the ground and Alex Van Pelt threw four interceptions in the loss. Complete Review.
Offense Woes Return: When you get shutout for the first time in 8 years and the defense gives up 230 yards on the ground you get the feeling that most units will get a failing grade. That is the case this week as the offense couldn't move the ball when it wasn't garbage time and the defense let the 49ers run wild on the ground and through the air when it still mattered. Gameday Grades.
Fina Hurt: The Bills were excited that they were getting the starting offensive line they envisioned in training camp together for the first time all year. That lasted three plays as John Fina suffered a concussion and did not return. Jay Riemersma also suffered a concussion and Raion Hill left the game with a knee contusion. Travares Tillman suffered bruised ribs while Shawn Bryson was inactive with his ankle injury. Updated Injury Notes.
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