Bills Hold On To Win Against Jets
Bills Find A Way To Win: The Bills continue to show improvement in the running game as the offensive line opened up holes for a season high 192 yards rushing. The defense struggled at times but did keep the Jets out of the end zone all game and preserved the win in the end. Gameday Grades.
Injury Update: John Fina had to leave the game for a spell because he is suffering from the flu. Travares Tillman left with a knee injury while Chris Watson suffered a concussion in the final minute. Early in the game Ron Edwards suffered a pinch nerve and did not return. Injury Page.
Gameday Weather: It will be a bright sunny day in the swamps of New Jersey but it may be the coldest game of the year for the Bills. The gametime temperature should be about 35° with winds out of the west, northwest at 15mph. That will make the wind chill factor in the teens.
Bills Arrive: With the lake effect snow band moving south on Friday the Bills were able to leave Buffalo on Saturday as scheduled. They arrived at Newark International Airport on time.
Hicks Signs: Former Bill third round pick Robert Hicks is one of ten players signed by the Houston Texans. These were the first signings by the expansion team.
Saturday December 29, 2001
Bills Flee Buffalo: The Bills are hoping they can leave Buffalo as scheduled on their 2pm charter from prior aviation at the Buffalo/Niagara Airport. The snow has let up in the Buffalo area and it appears they will be able to leave as scheduled. All the players and coaches were able to sleep in their own beds the last two nights as they were able to leave practice and drive home. It remains to be seen how this tough weather week that has dumped nearly seven feet of snow in the Buffalo area will effect the team tomorrow. They will probably be very happy to land in New York and see only light snow flurries falling and no white stuff on the ground.
Friday December 28, 2001
Winfield Added To Report: The Bills have added Antoine Winfield to the injury report with a leg injury. He is listed as probable and expected to play. The Jets should decide today whether or not Aaron Glenn will return for this game. If he does play it will be in limited duty. Another big injury for the Jets is the injured groin of John Abraham, he has yet to practice this week and remains questionable. Updated Injury Report.
Snow Alters Schedule: The players were let out of practice an hour early yesterday because of the major snow storms in Western New York that has dumped 60 inches of snow in five days. Coach Williams slept on the couch in his office yesterday.
Bryson's Opportunity: Shawn Bryson is getting his second start of the season against the Jets. In all likelihood he will start the finale against Miami also since the Bills probably don't want to risk the injured knee of Travis Henry in a meaningless season finale. If Bryson plays as well as he did last week in the final two games he should definitely go into next year's training camp on an equal footing with Henry for the starting job. The Bills running success over the past few weeks has been a result of finally going to the pitch out instead of running it between the tackles. The sweep definitely favors Bryson's speed although Henry showed success running outside also. Why it took offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard three quarters of a season to realize this is the best way for this team to run the ball is a mystery.
Thursday December 27, 2001
Pro Bowl Shutout? The Bills may be shutout of the pro bowl this year. Fan balloting continues until Monday and counts for 1/3 of the final total. The players and coaches count for the other 2/3 and they casted their votes yesterday. Right now the closest Bill in fan balloting is Larry Centers but he is a distant second at the fullback position. He is the most deserving Bill and if he doesn't get voted in, he won't go since only one fullback makes the roster. Centers is 114,000 votes behind Tony Richardson of the Chiefs.
Penalty Woes: The Bills have committed the second most amount of penalties in the league one behind the Detroit Lions. The penalties that have bothered coach Williams most are the pre-snap calls like false start and off sides. 47 of the 109 penalties committed by the Bills have been of the pre-snap variety. 24 have been false start calls. Coach Williams says he continues to focus on correcting this flaw.
Wright Out: Kenyatta Wright has been listed as questionable for the past few weeks with a shoulder injury is listed as out on the official injury report this week. He joins eight other players on the report for the Bills four of them are out. The Jets have a very short report with just three names on it but they are all important starters for them. Injury Report.
Wednesday December 26, 2001
Henry Out Again: Travis Henry will be held out again this week with his knee sprain the coach said he will not play unless he is healed. Pat Williams will at least get on the practice field as the Coach is anxious to see how he has progressed with his fractured tibula. Jerry Ostroski is doubtful this week but they will monitor his progress as the week goes on. He has a knee bruise. Tyrone Robertson also has a bone bruise and a knee strain and will try to work in a limited capacity today.
Johnson's Return Doubtful: Rob Johnson has resumed light tossing and may see his throwing lengthened this week but he won't practice. According to Coach Williams it is doubtful that he will return for the finale against Miami but he won't rule him out yet. He made it through his throwing sessions last week ok. Injury Page.
Williams Comments: Coach Williams held his usual Wednesday media day press conference at the stadium today. He said he's looking forward to playing a division game and is anxious to see how the young players matchup against an opponent that they've played before. Coach Williams commmented on the penalties last week against Atlanta especially the off sides calls. The coach said they continue to emphasize the problem and the team has to get better at it. The team seems to have confidence in running the sweep play that has worked very well the past two weeks. He said how Shawn Bryson has the speed to make it work and the coach is encouraged by the fact that Bryson put some punishing hits on players at the end of plays, a trait usually associated with Travis Henry.
Van Pelt On Jets Game: In his media day press conference Alex Van Pelt talked about how the Jets keep it simple and try to out execute you. He doesn't feel he has an advantage since he played against them already this year. He hopes to establish the running game again as he praised the run blocking of the offensive line last Sunday against Atlanta. He hopes the team will improve on third downs this week since the Jets have struggled on defense in stopping third down plays. He said the club is improving since they are sticking with the things that are working offensively. He feels the team will be very competitive this week and will draw on the comeback they had against the Jets in their previous meeting this year.
Jets Preview: The Bills would like nothing more than to hurt the Jets chances at the division title by beating them Sunday at the Meadowlands. It will be a tough road for the Bills to go to win this game as the Jets desperately need the win to gain a chance at the AFC East title. Complete Preview.
Monday December 24, 2001
Another Way To Lose: The Bills found another way to lose a game as they came up short in an exciting effort against Atlanta. Thunder Report.
Ostroski Injures Knee: Jerry Ostroski and Tyrone Robertson each suffered knee injuries in the game and did not return. Ostroski has a bruise that swelled up and Robertson has a sprain. There is no Monday press conference today so the players' conditions will be updated on Wednesday. Injury Page.
Bills Lose Again: It seems the Bills always find different ways to lose. This week they showed heart and character in coming back to tie the game but lost it in the final seconds on a 52 yard field goal by Jay Feely. That concluded a 431 yard passing effort by a flu-ridden Chris Chandler and spoiled a great homecoming by Shawn Bryson. Complete Review.
Defense To Blame For Loss: Last week the offense struggled mightily against New England and the defense rose to the ocassion. This week the defense was toasted by Chris Chandler and the offense made a comeback bid that fell short. It appears the Bills won't put it all together this season. Gameday Grades.
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