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NEWS ARCHIVES - DECEMBER 20TH - DECEMBER 26TH, 2004 PREVIOUS WEEK

Bills Roll To Sixth Straight Win

AP Photo - Lee Evans No Huddle Package Expanded: Drew Bledsoe called it good team football in the 41-7 rout. He praised the special teams for having four tackles inside the 20 on the coverage teams along with good returns. Offensively it took them a quarter to get going but then they moved the ball pretty good while the defense had four takeaways for a complete team win. He called it fun offensively as they played great. He knew going into this game they would use the no huddle extensively to limit the 49ers blitz package. He said it is a weapon they can continue to use going forward since he's comfortable with it and enjoys running it and thinks you'll see more of it. He maintains that the team needs to continue to focus on what they need to do and not what other teams are doing. He admitted he saw the scores of the other games on the scoreboard. He feels the number one reason for the offensive success recently is the protection he has been getting from the offensive line.

Gameday Grades: Another blowout win, another total team effort. I know I've used that phrase a lot over the past two months but it was never more evident than in this 41-7 win. The offense got going in the 2nd quarter with a long scoring drive. The defense forced four more turnovers to shorten the field. Special teams shortened the field even more with by averaging 15.3 yards on punt returns and 32 yards on two kickoff returns. It will be very strong passing grades all around. Gameday Grades.

Bills Get Blow Out Win: The Bills put together another total team effort in their biggest win of a very big six game winning streak 41-7 over the 49ers. Willis McGahee ran for two touchdowns and went over 100 yards for the 7th time this year, all Bills wins. Drew Bledsoe was in total command throwing for a score and 172 yards before taking the rest of the game off in the third quarter. We will have our complete coverage in a little bit. Complete Story.

Bills Get Help: The Bills got a lot of help today in their improbable run for a playoff spot. The Ravens, Jaguars, and Jets all lost. The only things that did not go their way this weekend was a Denver win on Christmas night and indirectly the Colts come from behind win over the Chargers. If Indianapolis had lost the game they would have needed the game next week in Denver. Since they won, coupled with a Patriots win locks the Colts into the third seed. The Bills need to win next week and have a loss by either the Broncos at home against the Colts or a Jets loss in St. Louis. The Colts will most likely take it easy against Denver and rest players like the Steelers will likely do against the Bills. It's still an uphill climb but its amazing how close they are getting to a playoff spot after their terrible start. Who would have thunk it that they would have a chance the final week of the season?

McGahee Plays Fine: As we reported earlier, Willis McGahee did dress for today's game. and started. He split time more than he normally would but played without any ill effects from the knee injury going over 100 yards. Jason Peters and Travis Henry were inactive for the game. There were no new injuries to report immediately after the game. Injury Report.

McGahee To Play: Willis McGahee will dress for today's game against San Francisco. He worked out before the game and will give it a go. No word on how much he plans to play or if he'll even start. There is a chance they will use him more as a decoy. Jason Peters will not go, he is inactive.

Rainy Weather In Sunny California: It will be a rainy, windy day in San Francisco for today's game. There is an 80% chance of showers with a game time temperature of 53°. The wind will be a factor out of the south southeast at 19mph making it feel like the upper 40's.


Saturday December 25, 2004

Travel Christmas: It's one of the few downers of the job of a National Football League player. Working on Christmas. The Bills are actually making the long trek to the West Coast on Christmas Day leaving their families on this big day. The team has vowed to not let the holidays be a distraction but admit it is hard but that is part of the job.


Friday December 24, 2004

McGahee Returns To Practice: Willis McGahee practiced sparingly on Friday but is still questionable for Sunday's game. Coach Mularkey said he will be a gametime decision along with Jason Peters who did not practice on Friday but took part in individual drills. Travis Henry was downgraded to doubtful. Injury Report.

Excitement Surrounds Bills: The excitement around how the Bills have been playing has spread to even the most cynical fans. Tony Bogyo returns from his very busy schedule with his two new babies to write an article about how he is happy and thankful for how the Bills are playing. Will a Christmas miracle be on the horizon? Complete Story.

Levy's Book A Hit: Marv Levy has been making the rounds of Western New York signing copies of his new book "Where Else Would You Rather Be?" Hundreds of fans waited in line to meet the Hall of Fame coach yesterday in downtown Buffalo. In some book signings fans needed to be turned away because of the crowds. Nearly 37,000 copies have been sold with waiting lists in many bookstores in the Buffalo area. The first three printings have already soldout.


Thursday December 23, 2004

Peters Added: Jason Peters has been added to the injury report as questionable after injuring his hamstring. He is listed as questionable. Willis McGahee did not practice again on Thursday and remains questionable for Sunday's game. <

Bills Should Go To The Air: Drew Bledsoe knows they will have to make plays with the passing game this week because of the injury situation at running back. The nature of the offense will change a little bit if Willis McGahee doesn't play. Shaud Williams will have to pick up his game like others have when players have gone down with injuries. Bledsoe knows that they will have to play at their very best because of the great parity in the league, that was evident when Miami beat New England. He feels the defense has played well all year and the special teams are the best in the NFL, they are playing good team football and the blueprint Coach Mularkey set is really working. The team can't let the holidays be a distraction and it is a challenge to not let that happen. They have been through too much to take their eye off the ball for even a minute. Bledsoe said he's concerned by the two big tackles that the 49ers have in the middle and watch what they do scheme wise, they have blitzed a little more in recent weeks and they need to be sharp in their execution to combat that. Bledsoe feels the turnaround has happened because of the mental toughness of the team and it starts with Coach Mularkey. He also thinks that they have avoided the little mistakes that they had early in the air. Bledsoe said he feels as good physically at this point in the season as he has in years. He called the offensive line a dominant group at this point and they have been playing great.

McGahee To Play? Willis McGahee did not talk to the local media yesterday but during a conference call with the San Francisco media he said that he's pretty sure he will play. He went on to say he knows he just has to contribute. He is listed as questionable on the injury report. Injury Report.

Wednesday December 22, 2004

Williams, Burns Work With 1st Team: Joe Burns and Shaud Williams both worked with the first unit today and one will be named the starter for this week at a later time. Dante Brown comes from Mularkey's old system in Pittsburgh and knows enough of what the team is doing which makes it easier for him to come in as insurance. He may also get some playing time on Sunday if McGahee can't go.

Mularkey Credits Team For Pro Bowl Nods: Mike Mularkey feels it is a credit to the team that three players made the Pro Bowl and three were picked as alternates. He feels Brian Moorman certainly deserved to make the pro bowl since he's been the most consistent punter he's been around. He also felt London Fletcher and Daimon Shelton deserved to make the team.

Bills First Option: Jonas Jennings feels they are building something special in Buffalo and he wouldn't mind being a part of it. He said Buffalo will be his first option in free agency this year but he will test the market to see his worth but that doesn't mean he won't come back to Buffalo.

Playoff Run Makes Bid More Satisfying: Takeo Spikes feels making the Pro Bowl is more gratifying because of the playoff run that is what it is all about. He has been blessed with great athletic ability but he wouldn't have made the squad without the great talent around him on the defense. He feels London Fletcher was the most deserving player to make the team. He feels just playing football is priceless and he's focused no the playoff goal not the Pro Bowl.

McGee Feels Good: Terrence McGee said he's excited about making the Pro Bowl and didn't expect to be that excited. It will feel real good when he sees his name on the back of the jersey. The special teams unit was more excited than him as they have been pushing all year for him to make it. He feels it's special because he will be out there with the best players in the league and that he beat out Dante Hall who returned one for a score last week.

Adams Focused On Playoffs Not Pro Bowl: Sam Adams says it is nice to be recognized by his peers in making the Pro Bowl but that is for after the season. The goal now is making the playoffs and winning a championship. He said it is the team play that allowed him to get the award because everyone on the defense makes plays. He acknowledged he wouldn't make the Pro Bowl without Pat Williams working along side him.

Moorman Not Disappointed: One Bills player that deserved to make the Pro Bowl but didn't is Brian Moorman. He's not even listed as an alternate this year like he was last year. He feels the tough winds hurt his chances and making the Pro Bowl is a career goal but he's not disappointed. It's more important that the team thinks he's worthy of the Pro Bowl and they do.

Henry Rules Himself Out: Travis Henry ruled himself out for this week's game despite being listed as questionable on the injury report. He told reporters that he did tear ligaments in his right ankle and is still rehabbing it. He has trouble pushing off on the ankle. He feels he won't return unless the team makes the playoffs.

Injury Report Short: The Bills have just three players on the injury report. Jon Dorenbos is out and has been placed on IR. Willis McGahee and Travis Henry are listed as questionable. Injury Report.

Dorenbos On IR: The Bills have placed long snapper Jon Dorenbos on injured reserve ending his season. Bradford Banta will take his place for the rest of the year. He did a fine job on all his snaps against Cincinnati. His place on the roster will be taken by RB Dante Brown. He practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday. Front Office Page.

Three To Hawaii: The Bills will be well represented at the Pro Bowl game on Feb. 13th in Honolulu. Three players made the team as Takeo Spikes, Sam Adams and Terrence McGee made the squad. Elected as alternates are Nate Clements, Aaron Schobel and Eric Moulds. Spikes makes his second consecutive trip to Hawaii he has two interception returns for touchdowns this year and four in all. He also has two sacks and 66 solo tackles. Adams makes his third trip to Hawaii but his first as a Bill. He has 31 tackles but has been dominant in the running game by clogging up the middle to allow the linebackers to make plays. McGee makes his first trip to Hawaii in his second year in the league as the AFC kick return specialist. He leads the conference with a 26.6 yard kickoff return average.

Bills Should Remain Focused: The Bills are on a roll and play the worst team in the league this week, should be easy right? Don't count on it, just look at what Miami did to New England on Monday night. The fact is that the Bills should remain focused on the task at hand because of the injury situation and that they have been very focused throughout the whole streak. It is unlikely they will look past the 49ers because there is proof that on any given day anyone can win. Complete Preview.


Tuesday December 21, 2004

Bills Reportedly Add RB: AP is reporting that the Bills have made a move to bolster their banged up running back corps. They have reportedly agreed to terms with Dante Brown. He is a two year veteran who was with the Steelers earlier this year and most recently on the Browns practice squad. He has one carry this year for two yards. There are a few minor details to be worked out. The Bills have declined comment and will have to make a roster move when the deal is complete, most likely putting an injured player on injured reserve. If this move is finalized it likely means that the team doesn't expect Willis McGahee or Travis Henry to be ready to play on Sunday against the 49ers.

Muddled RB Picture: With Willis McGahee day to day and Travis Henry just working himself back into shape it is probable that the Bills will be without both runners on Sunday in San Francisco. That leaves them with rookie Shaud Williams and Joe Burns to carry the rock. Williams will likely get the start but Burns has more experience that could prove helpful. Let us know what you think the Bills should do at the position on Sunday by taking the poll on the homepage.


Monday December 20, 2004

Mularkey Says McGahee's Day To Day: Coach Mularkey was vague when talking about the injury to Willis McGahee. He wouldn't confirm the report that there were two injuries to the knee or that it was a hyperextension. He said he's day to day and they will evaluate it as the week goes. Travis Henry is running now and will get more work this week and he will be evaluated throughout the week to see if he would be able to play Sunday if McGahee can't. He won't get into the team practices on Wednesday because he's not ready for that. He was expected to get the extra work before the injury to McGahee.

Mularkey Feels There Won't Be A Letdown: The coach said that the players were in the right place at the right time and that is how they got their takeaways. On the fake field goal after Rian Lindell had hit a 49 yard field goal that didn't count because of a timeout, Mularkey blamed himself saying it was a rookie error. He raved how Jason Peters just moves the pile on the punt return team. He feels someone will step up if Willis McGahee is out this week it may be on special teams, defense, or other areas of the offense. On special teams, Mularkey said he takes a lot of pride in it since he played it the first six years of his career. It is grunt work but it can be the difference in games. He gives Bobby April a lot of credit for how long the special teams have come since the preseason. He feels the team is very confident and doesn't believe that they will letdown next week in San Francisco. The staff will make sure that won't happen but he won't need to emphasize it since this team is very focused. He still won't take a look at the playoff picture since the business at hand is to beat San Francisco although he did admit he knows what teams have to loose but the concentration is on the 49ers.

McGahee's Knee Hyperextended: Willis McGahee had an MRI on his knee today. The results appear to be just a hyperextension of the knee which isn't serious but may cost him to miss this week's game against San Francisco. He should be able to play in the season finale against Pittsburgh. Injury Report.

McGahee Injury Leaves Team Thin: The injury to Willis McGahee's right knee could keep him out of the 49ers game. The knee is not the same one he had extensive surgery on two years ago nor is it as serious an injury. If McGahee can't go and Travis Henry remains out with a lower leg injury, the team is very thin at what they thought was there strongest position. Shaud Williams would likely get the start against San Francisco with some help from Joe Burns. Injury Report.

Everyone Contributes To Win: The Bills 33-17 win was another total team effort. All three units, offense, defense, and special teams scored touchdowns in the first half and that was enough to get a huge road win to keep the Bills playoff hopes alive. The defense was dominant at times but did give up big yards on the ground. The offense struggled but moved the ball late. Special teams were special once again. All is factored in to our position by position grades. Gameday Grades.



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