Bills Win Second Straight 27-17
Holcomb Is Number One: In his post game news conference Coach Mularkey confirmed that Kelly Holcomb will start against the Raiders. He has taken heat the last two weeks when he refused to name a starter. Now that Holcomb is 2-0, it would be laughable for him to keep up the charade. He thought the offensive line played well with the five starters back in there. He thought from start to finish they played very well. The fact that they were in makeable third downs most of the game. The coach talked about Terrence McGee's great kickoff return and the big kick by Rian Lindell. He said anything can happen when McGee touches the ball. The coach liked how Holcomb did not get flustered after his interceptions and came back and made plays. Mularkey wasn't happy with all the penalties since they are very hard to overcome. One of the interceptions was after a penalty. There is no question they need to get better at hurting themselves. On Angelo Crowell, he said he made big plays and is getting better each week. They need to work on stopping the big running plays and until they do, teams will continue to exploit it.
No New Injuries: The team came away relatively injury free from the win over the Jets. Coy Wire and Tim Euhus returned to action while Roscoe Parrish was inactive as we reported before kickoff. Mike Williams, Chris Kelsay, and Troy Vincent all went off for a play or two when they got banged up, but all three returned. Injury Page.
Bills Pass Test: It was an important test and the Bills passed it in their win over the Jets. There were some rough spots, but as a whole the team put on their best performance of the season and get passing grades all around. Gameday Grades.
Bills Win 27-17: The Bills pulled off their second straight division win at home as they beat the Jets 27-17 to move into a first place tie with New England in the division. Willis McGahee scored a touchdown on his way to a career high 143 yards rushing. Kelly Holcomb threw two touchdown passes but was also picked off twice. The Bills defense forced three takeaways including a game clinching interception by Terrence McGee. Rian Lindell hit two field goals including a 50 yarder just before the half. Game Review.
Parrish Inactive: The NFL debut of Roscoe Parrish will have to wait at least another week. Parrish was among the inactive players for the Bills against the Jets today. Active for the first time all year is TE Tim Euhus. Also inactive are: Liam Ezekiel, George Wilson, Jason Jefferson, Jim Leonhard, Justin Geisinger, and Lionel Gates. Shane Matthews is the emergency third string QB.
Weather May Be A Factor: It will be typical late fall weather in Western New York today. Of course it is only early fall. There will be some showers with a gametime temperature of around 50°. The wind will be a factor in the passing game as they will be out of the West Northwest at 25mph making it feel like the low 40's. Chance of rain will be 30%.
Saturday October 15, 2005
Parrish Play Possible: It looks like Roscoe Parrish will be looked at by the coaches before the game tomorrow to see if he could go. In his weekly spot on Sirius NFL Radio, Coach Mularkey didn't rule out the possibility of Parrish playing tomorrow against the Jets. He did more in practice this week then anticipated but he was limited. It is likely he will need one more week before returning but the possibility exists that he will be active for the first time in his career against the Jets. When he does return, he will need to wear the pad around his wrist that allows him to catch the ball but doesn't allow it to get bent back. Injury Report.
Friday October 14, 2005
Holcomb The Man: Even though Coach Mularkey wants to keep everyone in the dark, Kelly Holcomb will be the starting QB on Sunday. Nobody is saying for sure but he has taken all the first team snaps in practice this week. Tom Donahoe on NFL Network seemed to allude to that fact as well, saying that J.P. Losman will help the team at some point this year but Mularkey made the move to Holcomb for the best interest of the team at this time.
Thursday October 13, 2005
Villarrial Returns: Chris Villarrial returned to practice today and said he will play on Sunday. He would not divulge what was wrong with him only to say he had trouble breathing and is now on medication. The only change in the injury report was on the Jets side. Roscoe Parrish says it depends on how he feels and how many reps he gets if he plays or not. He tried practicing without a pad but it hurts, so he is wearing one. He did practice today for a second day in a row despite being a little bit sore and he was limited to certain reps. LB Eric Barton has been downgraded to out from questionable with an ankle problem. Injury Report
QB Issue No Big Deal: Herman Edwards told the media yesterday that the gamemanship being done by Mike Mularkey will have no effect on his team. Mularkey figures waiting to announcing his QB will give the team an advantage. Edwards says the offense is basically the same and it doesn't matter to him who starts for the Bills.
Wednesday October 12, 2005
Coach Still Won't Announce QB: Coach Mularkey discussed issues with the media during his normal Wednesday press conference. On Terrence McGee, the coach said he has come a long way since he got there at cornerback. He makes big plays as the support corner and there is still an upside to him as team's are trying to pick on him. The inconsistent play is why there is such a difference in play this season in the second half from the first half. He feels Vinny Testerverde proves that experience lets him get right in there and succeed. He was proud with the way the offensive line played against Miami but they need more continuity to be more consistent. On the QB situation, he again refused to announce it to get a competitive advantage on the Jets since both of them have such different styles. The coach again acknowledged that Kelly Holcomb played well on Sunday and he's very comfortable with him in there. He did a lot of good things against Miami and there are some things he could have done better to make them more efficient in the second half. He likes the dump down plays that he made when things were falling apart. The Jets try to do multiple things like Miami did last week, he calls their defense a night and day improvement from last year. The coach felt the front four on defense played relentless and Tim Anderson really held his own and he should continue to improve.
Bills Getting Healthier: The Bills appear to be a healthier team as they list only four players on the injury report, not counting Ron Edwards who was placed on the injured reserve list. Mike Williams is not on the report. Coy Wire and Tim Euhus have been upgraded to probable and both practiced today. Roscoe Parrish has been upgraded to questionable and he also practiced today. He did more than Coach Mularkey anticipated and they will see how he does as the week progresses to see if he can go on Sunday. He surprised a lot of people by catching passes in practice today. Chris Villarrial is also probable after falling ill last weekend but he did not practice today. Injury Report
Bills Add DT: The Bills raided the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles to replace Ron Edwards. They signed DT Jason Jefferson and placed Edwards on the injured reserve list. Jefferson was a sixth round pick in this year's draft from the University of Wisconsin. The team also made a move on the practice squad releasing Evan Oglesby and signing OL Marques Ogden. Front Office Page.
Depth Chart Changes: The Bills have made several subtle and a couple of not so subtle changes in the lineup the past couple of weeks. The biggest change of course, was at QB where Kelly Holcomb is now the starter (at least we think so). Other subtle changes was moving Jason Peters back to a tight end number and playing him in two tight end sets last week. Eric King has seemed to have moved ahead of Jabari Greer as the nickel back at least last week as well. Depth Chart.
Big Division Battle: The Bills and the Jets face off for a big battle between the two last place teams in the AFC East. The division is so tight now, that the winner will be right in thick of things. The Bills won't announce who will play QB, but the Jets will use their fourth QB of the season as Vinny Testerverde is at the controls. Game Preview.
Tuesday October 11, 2005
Holcomb Believes He Should Start: Kelly Holcomb told AP today that he doesn't know if he will start Sunday against the Jets but he believes he's earned that right. He said he'd be frustrated and disappointed if he doesn't get the nod but he's been around long enough to know that it may happen. He is going into the week thinking he is starting but he doesn't really know.
2nd Half Scoring Woes: If the Bills want to compete for a playoff spot, they need to finish games. They have no problem getting off to a fast start as they have scored on their opening possession four out of five games this year. Their problem is the second half, where they have scored a shopping nine points, three field goals. It's shocking that they haven't scored a touchdown in the second half all year. Coach Mularkey said the team may need to open up the offense a bit more in the second half to put teams away.
Monday October 10, 2005
No QB Announcement Yet: Despite giving the team the day off after the big win, Coach Mularkey did talk to the media. He said he will review the game film further before deciding on who is quarterback will be on Sunday for the game against the Jets. He will make a decision later in the week and announce it. The coach said that it is a competitive advantage to keep teams guessing at who will be the QB. He did admit that Kelly Holcomb played well, he did a lot of good things including a few good throws. He said a lot more than how he played on Sunday goes into figuring out who will start, including the Jets scheme. The coach said Jason Peters is still a backup tackle but they used him at tight end more this week because of the Dolphins' scheme. As we reported yesterday, Peters now has a TE number.
Villarrial Out Of Hospital: Chris Villarrial is feeling better but is out of the hospital despite not figuring out what was wrong with him. In his place, the coach thought Duke Preston played pretty well, as did Greg Jerman and Mike Gandy. Mike Williams is close to full strength and Gandy hurt his elbow but it isn't serious. Injury Page
Thomas Calls Honor Something Special: Thurman Thomas was really nervous about going up on the Wall of Fame but called it a great honor to go up with Marv Levy, Kent Hull, Jim Kelly, and the rest of the guys. He wanted the honor to happen in the Miami game to renew the rivalry that has lost some of its lust over the past few years. He wanted this game to be a special game and he wanted to show his support for the fans and the best rivalry in the NFL. He was able to feel the excitement in the air and it was like having a family come back together as it was great to have former teammates there to help him celebrate the honor. In attendance were Kelly, Hull, Darryl Talley, and Bruce Smith.
Mularkey Won't Commit To Holcomb: Always being the coy one, after the game Coach Mularkey would not commit to Kelly Holcomb. He said he'd have to look at the film before deciding on his quarterback for next week. He also said he knew it would be almost impossible to keep Holcomb's start a secret. He felt that Miami not knowing Holcomb was starting until Thursday gave the Bills an edge. It would be shocking if Holcomb doesn't start next week, the question is, will Mularkey tell us that?
Losman Upset, Embarrassed: J.P. Losman spoke to the media for the first time since losing his starting job after the win yesterday over the Dolphins. He called his benching a minor setback to create a spark and it worked. He called it great that the team won and they weren't going to wait around for a young quarterback since they are built to win now. He said there is so much involved in why they weren't winning. He said he is angry and embarrassed but he wants to turn the negatives into a positive. It isn't a straight road but he knows he has a long career in Buffalo and the team is behind him.
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