Bills Lose Shootout To Raiders
Bills Lose Game In 4th Quarter: The Bills faced a tough opponent today as they took on the undefeated Oakland Raiders. The Bills kept the game close until late in the game, but could not overcome a number of big plays. Oakland scored 21 unanswered points to end the game as the Bills fell to 2-3 on the season. Drew Bledsoe threw his first interecption in 177 attempts, leading to a Raider touchdown. He was intercepted twice more in the game, including a poor throw that cornerback Phillip Buchanan returned for an 81-yard score. Defensively the Bills gave up two big touchdowns to Running Back Charlie Garner and had trouble making tackles on first contact. The Bills gave up 495 yards of total offense to the high-powered Raider attack. Offensively, Bledsoe threw for 417 yards and three scores and Travis Henry had 58 yards on 15 carries, but the turnovers killed two drives in the red zone. Complete Story.
Saturday October 5, 2002
Henry Works on Fumble Problem: Travis Henry has been working on reducing his chances of fumbling. The Bills top running back has fumbled four times in four games. Henry is learning to tuck the ball away once he gets wrapped up by a tackler rather than trying to fight for more yards. Coach Williams has told Henry that he needs to hold the ball differently, with his elbow closer to his ribs and use his index finger on the point of the ball. Henry is also trying to be more careful about switching the ball between between sides when he runs.
Lincoln Kennedy Cleared to Play: Raiders RT Lincoln Kennedy, suffering the after-effects of a concussion, has been cleared to play against the Bills on Sunday. The team had Kennedy evaluated by a specialist after he missed practice most of this week. Kennedy is still isted as questionable and Raiders coach Bill Callahan has said a decision about Kennedy's playing status won't likely be made until Sunday morning.
Gameday Weather: It is supposed to be another beautiful day in Western New York for football tomorrow. The high temperature is expected to be in the mid 60's with a mix of sun and clouds, little wind, and no rain. It will be a beautiful day to see another legendary Bill put up on the wall of fame as Kent Hull goes up. Many ex-Bills should be there for the ceremony.
Friday October 4, 2002
Maguire To Be Inducted: Former Bill punting great Paul Maguire will be inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall Of Fame on October 16th. He will join 10 others in the class of 2002. He is the only Bill to be inducted this year, 17 other former Bills are already members.
Janikowski Arrested: More trouble for Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski. He was arrested this week for driving under the influence of alcohol. It will not effect his status this week however as he is flying in with the team and will play against the Bills on Sunday.
Raider Injury Update: The Raiders have added a player to their injury report and downgraded one to doubtful. DT Rod Coleman was downgraded from questionable with a bad knee. He is a key backup behind starters John Parella and Sam Adams. OLB Eric Barton was added as probable with a sore knee. RT Lincoln Kennedy is questionable with a concussion and will see a specialist today to determine if he can play. The Bills injury report remains unchanged with just Travis Henry and Jay Riemersma listed as probable. Injury Report.
Thursday October 3, 2002
Sunday's Game Soldout: The Bills announced this afternoon that Sunday's game is now officially a sellout lifting the television blackout. All three home games so far this year have been soldout in time to watch on local TV.
Bledsoe Honored: Drew Bledsoe has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month. This is the second time he has won the honor and he is the first Bill to win it since Jim Kelly did it in 1992. Bledsoe leads the league with 1,345 passing yards and is second in QB rating. He has also thrown two overtime touchdown passes.
Ticket Sales Soaring: The blackout for Sunday's game will be lifted for the third time in three home games as just a couple of hundred tickets remained yesterday. Single seats are left for the New England and Miami games virtually guaranteeing sellouts in those game. The Lions game on Oct. 27th has seen a brisk increase in ticket sales and just 3,500 seats remain. Sales are also good for the December game against San Diego. The lone game that will have a problem selling out appears to be the Cincinnati game the last day of the year. If the Bills are in the playoff hunt, tickets may move for that game as well.
Price Working Out: Shawn Price continues to workout at the Bills facility as he tries to get his knees back into game playing shape. He was released by the team at the end of training camp because he physically was not up to the task of playing. He feels he will be ready soon if the team finds a need for a defensive linemen.
Wednesday October 2, 2002
Light Injury Report Again: The only two players listed on the injury report for the Bills as expected are Travis Henry and Jay Riemersma. Both are listed as probable with a knee and ankle injury but should be ready for Sunday. The Raiders have six players listed, most notably Charles Woodson is out with a shoulder injury. Injury Report.
Newman To Pass Rush More: Coach Williams said today the team will try to get Keith Newman more snaps as a pass rushing end on obvious passing downs. He will rotate with Chidi Ahanotu and at times Ahanotu will move inside. Newman remains at linebacker on first and second down situations.
Williams Says Club Needs Best Game: In Coach Williams press conference he followed up on what Drew Bledsoe said about Kevin Gilbride. Calling him a hands on coach that is a calming influence on the offense and he has done a good job. He feels the Gilbride/Bledsoe combo has helped each other despite great success elsewhere in their careers. The coach feels the team needs to get off to another quick start which will allow the running game to succeed. The coach said the team needs their best game of the season this week since the Raiders are good in all three phases of the game and are opportunistic on defense. The coach is concerned that the Raiders have the best punt return team in the league and the team needs to play well in coverage.
Bledsoe Wants To Limit Mistakes: Drew Bledsoe addressed the media in his usual Wednesday press conference, he said the team is focused on continuing to improve. They have the confidence that they can play with anybody in the league but can't afford to make some of the mistakes they have made this year against the Raiders. He feels he can elevate his game by making better reads on third downs. Bledsoe says the team is successful because they have smart football players and a great teacher in Kevin Gilbride, calling him the best teacher he has been around. Once again, Bledsoe praised his offensive line saying he expects them to become a dominant group as the year progresses and because of them they will still try to run despite the success the Raiders defense has had stopping the ground game. If that fails, Bledsoe thinks they will throw the ball effectively. He also credited his receivers for getting off the ball fast on blitzes so they can get the ball downfield quickly.
Roster Moves Made: With the suspension of Tyrone Robertson the Bills have added LB Dominique Stevenson to the active roster. He was a seventh round pick in this year's draft and had been on the practice squad. His spot on that squad has been taken by DT Omari Jordan. He is a graduate of the University of Buffalo and was in the Ravens camp this summer.
Robertson Suspension Known: WNSA is reporting that the suspension of Tyrone Robertson is for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The league has said he's suspended for an undisclosed reason. Front Office.
Bills Payroll Ranks 19th: The Bills have a payroll for this year just over $58 Million. That ranks them 19th in the league in figures released by the league today. The Jets have the highest payroll about $30 Million more than the Bills.
Germany Off Of List: Reggie Germany is now off of the reserved-suspended list as he has fulfilled his suspension for an undisclosed violation. He remains on the team's reserved-injured list and is out for the year.
Robertson Suspended: The league has suspended Tyrone Robertson for four games for violation of an undisclosed league policy. He has been placed on the league's reserved-suspended list and the Bills and the league had no comment last night. Robertson has been inactive for all four games this year.
High Scoring Affair Probable: The Bills face another tough challenge when they battle the Raiders on Sunday. It promises to be another high scoring affair matching the two best passing attacks in the league at this point. The Bills will need to play a complete game to pull this one out. We have our preview on our gameday homepage. Complete Preview.
Tuesday October 1, 2002
Injury Update: Despite many players going down during Sunday's game only two injuries are of note. Jay Riemersma and Travis Henry are hobbled with ankle and knee injuries respectively. Coach Williams said yesterday he expects both players to practice on Wednesday. Injury Page.
Bledsoe Can Do Better: Despite an amazing start that has seen Drew Bledsoe break the club record for most passing yards in the first four games of the season he feels he can do better. Coach Williams said that is what's special about him, he told the Coach after reviewing game films yesterday there is room for improvement in his performance. Bledsoe leads the league in passing yards and is second in QB rating and as gone 149 straight pass attempts without an interception.
Watson Playing Within System: The Bills came to the defense of Chris Watson yesterday saying the plays he gave up in front of him against the Bears were the type of plays the Bills were willing to give up in the gameplan. The Bills also defended Watson from some incredible comments by Jim Miller. The Bears QB accused Watson of faking injury so he didn't have to face off against Marty Booker. Watson left the game twice after aggravating his hip flexor injury that landed him on the injury report late last week. Watson said he doesn't wimp out and that isn't the case. Coach Williams agreed, saying Watson is a tough competitor and did some excellent stuff covering kicks. He made the Big tackle on the kickoff in overtime.
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