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Bills Win Easily Against Bears 20-3
Bills Beat Bears 20-3: In a game that was dominated by the Bills defense the talk will be about the offense. Rob Johnson played for one series in the second quarter and led the Bills to a go ahead field goal just before halftime. Doug Flutie played the rest of the way and scored on a one yard bootleg. The defense not only shutdown the undermanned Bears offense, they scored the clinching touchdown and forced four turnovers. Daryl Porter scored when he picked up Keith Newman's fumble and returned it 23 yards for his first career touchdown. Complete Review.
Defense Dominates: Despite all the whirlwind around the QB situation the defense deserves alot of recognition as they shutdown the Bears keeping them a safe distance from the end zone. They held the Bears to 234 yards in total offense. Although James Allen gained some good yardage on the ground the Bills held him under 100 yards. the passing game wasn't a threat as the Bills picked off three passes to go along with the fumble return for a score. Gameday Grades.
Flutie Playing For Job? This may be Doug Flutie's last chance to steal the starting job from Rob Johnson. If Flutie has a fantastic game against the Bears it will make Coach Phillips decision next week that much tougher. If Flutie struggles and if the unthinkable happens, a loss to the lowly Bears at home, then it will be a no brainer and Johnson will play next week. Let's just concentrate on the issue at hand. The Bills must avoid a letdown, play their game, and defeat the Bears. After that, let the chips fall where they may.
Gameday Weather: Today it will be cloudy in Orchard Park with possible peaks of sunshine. The temperature will be in the low to mid 40's. The winds will be out of the Northeast at about 10-15 mph.
Friday November 10, 2000
Moore out again: Corey Moore will miss his sixth straight game thanks to his high ankle sprain that refuses to heal. Moore is one of the four early inactives announced tonight by the Bills. The other three include the injured Phil Hansen and the perennial inactive DaShon Polk and Jon Carman. The Bills must announce three more inactives and their third quarterback just before kickoff on Sunday.
Sunday's Game A Sell Out: Verizon Wireless bought the remaining tickets for Sunday's game to lift the television blackout and have the game declared a sell out. The Bills have now sold out all six home games this year and 14 of their last 15 home games. Verizon will donate a portion of the tickets they purchased to the Special Olympics, Roswell Park Cancer Institue, and Children's Hospital of Buffalo. All NFL games have had their blackout lifted this week, only the second time that has happened in league history.
Johnson To Backup: As a follow up to what we reported last night on the QB situation. Coach Phillips confirmed that Rob Johnson is set to be elevated to the number two spot this week. This may set the stage for him to regain his starting job next week. It was announced after practice yesterday that Doug Flutie will start Sunday against Chicago.
Bills Given Extension: The league has granted the Bills a 24 hour extension to try to sell out the game and lift the blackout. The Bills need to get rid of about 2,000 seats by 1pm today to lift the blackout. In order to do it they may need help from certain sponsers and possibly the fox affiliate that would have the game if it is on TV.
Thursday November 9, 2000
Flutie Says He's Starting: In post practice interviews with reporters today, Doug Flutie confirmed he will start on Sunday against Chicago. Rob Johnson did take more snaps in practice today but isn't 100% leaving Flutie as the official starter this weekend. Flutie re-iterated that Johnson will start when he is 100%.
Flutie Most Likely To Start: It appears Rob Johnson took the high road after practice yesterday. While is injured shoulder is feeling better he feels he hasn't thrown the ball well yet and feels it makes sense to get Doug Flutie ready to start on Sunday. Coach Phillips hasn't decided yet who will start officially but he has said if Johnson isn't 100% he won't go. It definitely looks like Flutie will get his fourth straight start. Our hunch is that Johnson will regain the job when he is 100%, probably next week against Kansas City or the following week in Tampa Bay.
Wednesday November 8, 2000
Still No Word At QB: Coach Phillips said he wanted to see how Rob Johnson practices before deciding who will be his starting quarterback this week. He said he did tell Johnson to make sure he's 100% before pronouncing he's ready. The coach went on to say in his weekly press conference, that the team has a luxury here. They don't have to rush the injured QB back because Doug Flutie is a proven commodity and is better then Johnson at 80 or 90%. Injury Report.
Who Will Start? If you can read between the lines of Coach Phillips' comments (and who can really do that!) we think that Doug Flutie will play this week against the Bears. This will give Rob Johnson another week to get healthy. The indecison on who will start will give the Bears something else to think about as they prepare for two different quarterbacks who are capable of beating them. Complete Preview.
Cowart and Christie Honored: For the third time this year and the seventh time in his career, Steve Christie has won the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. Christie got the award for his game tying and winning field goals against New England on Sunday. The news got even better for the Bills as Sam Cowart was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Cowart had 18 tackles and a sack to win the honor for the first time. It is also the first time that two Bills have been honored during the same week.
Bills Lose Ferguson: The Jets have signed Bills' practice squad player Nick Ferguson. The Bills chose not to add him to the active roster and have lost him to their AFC East rival. The Bills then went out and signed Kevin Drake to the practice squad. He was with the Bills in training camp. Practice Squad.
Bills Prepare For Bears: With many distractions the Bills need to focus on playing the 2-7 Bears this Sunday. The club could ill afford to look past the team that upset the Indianapolis Colts last weekend. There is no word yet on who will quarterback the team, and no definitive statement on the arrest of Jamie Nails. We will have a complete preview on our gameday homepage later this afternoon.
Tuesday November 7, 2000
QB Relationship Awful: The longer Coach Phillips remains undecided about the quarterback situation the worse the relationshipe between Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie becomes. Johnson remains convinced that Flutie made the comments in the SI article. Flutie continues to deny it as Johnson seethes. Johnson admits to being confused about his role and appears to be angry over the way it is being handled. The longer Phillips makes cotradicting statements like he did in yesterday's press conference, the more upset his two quarterbacks will be. Of course, one will be more upset than the other because he will be wearing a hat on the sidelines.
Cottrell Leaving? It is being reported that defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell is on the short list of candidates for the head coaching job at Rutgers University. He used to hold the coordinator's job at Rutgers and is very fond of the school. It is unlikely though that he would leave the Bills for a college head coaching job. He is a likely canidate for a pro head coaching job when they open up in the off season.
First Blackout? The Bills may be heading for their first blackout of the season although it looks like they will be close to selling out their sixth straight home game this season. The game Sunday against Chicago has about 4,500 tickets remaining. It may be tough to sell these seats by Thursday's 1:00pm deadline but if the weather is decent on Sunday look for all the tickets to go on gameday.
Nails Arrested: Jamie Nails was arrested for DWI on early Monday morning. His blood alcohol level was at 0.14. The New York state legal limit is 0.10. Nails was also accused of driving with a suspended license and failing to stop for Police. He also was accused of driving to the left of the center line according to AP.
Monday November 6, 2000
Latest On QB Situation: Phillips said he needs to see how Rob Johnson is in practice this week. He wasn't ready to go on Sunday and was the emergency QB. The situation is the same according to Phillips. Johnson isn't healthy so Doug Flutie is the QB. He did answer a reporter's question by saying that when "Rob is healthy he's going to play." He didn't define what "healthy" is. It does look like he is leaning toward giving Flutie another start this week. With two good quarterbacks, Phillips does have the luxury of giving Johnson in extra week to heal and hopefully let the controversy play itself out.
Phillips Comments: Phillips started his press conference saying there were no major injuries in the game. Sammy Morris should be ready to practice by Wednesday or Thursday and will play this weekend. He said the rain slowed down the offense until crunch time. The coach thought the defense played outstanding and he expects that from them. He called the goal line stand in the third quarter spectacular. One player he praised was Kenyatta Wright for his goal line and special teams play. Other defensive players mentioned as having an outstanding game were Marcellus Wiley, Ken Irvin, Sam Cowart, and Shawn Price. On Steve Christie, the coach said he's something special. On offense, Phillips feels Marcus Spriggs is playing very well. He also felt that the running game is coming along.
Johnson Close To Returning: Rob Johnson broke his silence with the Western New York media to talk about his injured shoulder. He says it is feeling better and he thinks he'll be ready to go on Sunday. It all depends on how much practice time the coaching staff gives him. The decision now becomes the focal point for the Bills brass do they stick with Doug Flutie or go back to Johnson? Stay tuned...
Injury Update: The only player to come out of the game with a possible lasting injury was running back Sammy Morris. He suffered a deep thigh bruise in the first quarter and played with it the rest of the half. It tightened up over halftime and he did not return. Injury Page.
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