Bills Thunder

Bills 2003 Season Results

Bills TKO Pats -
Bledsoe finally gets retribution

Sam "Refrigerator" Adams rambles for a 31-yard touchown after intercepting a Tom Brady pass.
[AP Photo]

It was an audacious beginning to say the least. The Bills newly revamped defense came out with all guns firing as they combined with the potent offense to whitewash the New England Patriots 31-0. Having Lawyer Milloy playing on the Bills side instead of opposing him may have played a huge part in this game.

The NFL was rocked this week when the Patriots released the Pro Bowl safety and the Bills quickly signed him a couple days later. Milloy played most of the game against his former team and was a big obstacle to the Pats, both on the field and in their heads. When Pats coach Bill Belichick cut Milloy early last week, it sent shock waves through the Pats dressing room and throughout New England. The Patriots played like they were still in a state of shock for most of the first half as the Bills took a commanding 21-0 lead on New England. Milloy got instant revenge on Belichick and the Pats, getting a sack, 5 tackles and forcing an interception in the endzone.


Bills roar past Jaguars

Takeo Spikes practically rips the head off of Jaguars Marc Edwards in Bills 38-17 blowout of Jacksonville.
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]

It wasn't an opening day fluke. The Buffalo Bills continued their dominant ways by thrashing the Jacksonville Jaguars 38-17 on a hot and steamy day in northern Florida. With their second straight lopsided victory, the Bills remain on top of the AFC East with a 2-0 record.

The Bills came out of the chute for the second straight week in a row, scoring on their first two possessions. Drew Bledsoe once again was torrid on a field where the surface temperature reached 110 degrees. Bledsoe hit 19 completions out of 25 for 314 yards and two strikes. Once again, the Bills offensive line afforded Bledsoe plenty of time to pass and he wasn't sacked by the Jaguars.

“Drew had a great game,” lauded Moulds. “ I told you guys in training camp we have to be able to do both. I think last year we relied on the pass so much that it hurt us in the end and this year we want to come out and run the ball, run the ball, see what they give us. But if they take that away we pass the ball. We’re not going to sit back there and not let Drew Bledsoe use his talents.”

With the score 14-7 Bills, the play of the game came in the second quarter when Bledsoe hooked up with Bobby Shaw for a 54-yard touchdown. Shaw got wide open and Bledsoe threaded the needle. The Bills scored on a similar play in the third quarter when Eric Moulds broke free on a 36-yard touchdown strike. Moulds had a stellar game, catching 7 for 133 yards and the one touchdown.


Dolphins manhandle Bills

Ricky Williams tore the Bills defense for 153 yards on 42 carries in a Dolphin 17-7 win over the Bills. Here Bills linebacker London Fletcher is able to bring Williams down.

[AP Photo/Steve Mitchell]

You can put away your champagne bottles for awhile. The Buffalo Bills just don't appear to be the going to the Super Bowl just yet.

It took a Miami Dolphins manhandling to bring the Bills and their fans back down to earth. The Bills defense was wore down by the constant running of Dolphins super running back Ricky Williams. The Dolphins beat the Bills 17-7 to tie Buffalo and New England for first place in the AFC East. To make it even worse, the Bills put on their worst performance during a nationally televised prime time game on ESPN.

Williams constant slamming into the Bills line finally wore out the defense that was on the field most of the night. Williams carried the ball 42 times (a Dolphin record) for 153 yards. The Bills were able to contain him for most of the first half, but on the last Dolphin drive that ensured the Miami victory, Williams was able to pick up more real estate and scored the clinching touchdown.

Bills fans, who have been dazzled by the first two blowouts, thought that the Dolphins would also be fodder for the taking. It was a wakeup call for both the fans and the Bills players themselves. The offense seemed to be out of synch all night and once again the Bills could not get a running game established. The Dolphins were a brick wall the Bills just could not penetrate.


Eagles soar past wounded Buffalo

Bills tight end Dave Moore leaps for the endzone in a desperate attempt to score late in the game. The ball was knocked loose and he fell on it just an inch short of the goal line.
[AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli]

Could it be the first two Bills victories were just smoke and mirrors? Bills fans must be wondering what happened to that team that exploded out of the gates their first two games as the Bills suffered their second humiliating defeat, 23-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles. The offense that put up 69 points against its first two opponents, suddenly was shooting blanks as it went 8 straight quarters, or over two games without a touchdown.

For the second consecutive week, the Bills offense couldn't get untracked as Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe wasn't firing on all cylinders. Bledsoe had decent numbers, but they came late in the game as he completed 27 out of 43 for 296 yards. But his decision making now has to be questioned as he has come unraveled the last two games.

A perfect example of Bledsoe's lack of concentration came near the end of the game while the Bills still had enough time to get back into the game. With the clock running down and the Bills behind by 10 points, they had a 4th down and were going for it. Bledsoe had to roll right to avoid being sacked and there was a chance he could have scrambled for the first down. But Bledsoe forgot what down it was and threw it away out of bounds, thus ending any chance the Bills had. After he threw the ball out of harm's way, Bledsoe suddenly realized that it was fourth down. Even a rookie quarterback is not supposed to have that kind of brain cramp, let alone a quarterback with all the experience Bledsoe has. This was yet another example of the lamentable time Bledsoe is having rallying the troops when they need him the most.


Moulds and Henry spark comeback against Bengals

Travis Henry, playing with sore ribs, scores the winning touchdown from two yards out in overtime against the Bengals.
[AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli]

Nothing comes easy for the Buffalo Bills these days. It took a gallant effort by two of the Bills hurting offensive guns to snatch a victory out of the hands of the formerly hapless Cincinnati Bengals.

After their offense sputtered for 3 quarters Sunday against the Bengals, the Bills finally got rolling, coming from behind to force an overtime. Then, after the defense forced the Bengals 3 and out, the Bills drove the ball down the Bengals throats and Travis Henry scored the winning touchdown from two yards out, giving the Bills a 22-16 triumph.

Henry, who missed the previous game with torn rib cartilage, played a courageous game, gaining 85 yards on 25 carries and scored two huge touchdowns, including the game winner.

"I just wanted to come out and help the football team," Henry said after the game, nursing his sore ribs. "I was going to do anything in my power and get on the field and give the team a boost."

Eric Moulds also was playing hurt at the end of the game. He suffered a groin pull after turning in a 28-yard reception that set up Henry's winning score.

"It (the groin) had been bothering me a little the whole game," admitted Moulds, but he stayed on the field to help win the game after his overtime catch.


Bills crash and burn to the Jets

Drew Bledsoe has a horrendous day as he fumbles after being sacked by Jets defensive tackle Jason Ferguson. Bledsoe was sacked 7 times in this 30-3 loss.
[AP Photo/Bill Kostroun]

Twice the Buffalo Bills faced a team who were winless coming off a bye week. Twice the Bills had their heads handed to them. This time it was the New York Jets who won their first game of the season as they embarrassed the Bills 30-3.

The Bills actually had the lead early as Rian Lindell kicked a 44-yard field goal after the Bills had their most impressive drive of the game. After that, the wheels came off.

The Bills were driving again the next time they had the ball, but went for it on 4th and 1 from the New York 34, and Travis Henry was stopped cold in his tracks and the Jets took over. From there, the Jets drove down to the Bills one on 8 plays and then Vinny Testaverde completed a lob pass to tight end Anthony Becht and the game was basically over.


Henry and Reed jump start Bills offense

Travis Henry scores one of his two rushing touchdowns against the Redskins as he plows through despite being tackled by the Redskins' Jermaine Haley.
[AP Photo/John Hickey]

Sooner or later players break out of their slumps like gangbusters. Two of the most beleaguered Bills finally got out of their doldrums Sunday and helped spark the Bills to a 24-7 triumph over the Washington Redskins. Travis Henry and Josh Reed finally got the monkeys off their backs and had their best games as Bills in a dazzling display of offensive prowess. Henry, who hadn't gained more than 86 yards a game and had a 2.9 yards per carry average, burst out with a career NFL game, rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. Being hampered with bruised ribs, Henry was back to his old self of last season when he ran for over 1,400 yards.

Reed has been the focus of media and fans this season when he has had a hard time catching the ball. With Eric Moulds out for his second straight game recovering from a groin injury, Reed and Bobby Shaw have been the focus of Drew Bledsoe's aerial game. Shaw has stepped up consistently, but Reed has been a huge disappointment this year. With Peerless Price gone to Atlanta, Reed was looked upon to step up and be even better than he was in his rookie year. But the sophomore jinx seemed to hit Reed hard and the constant criticism by the press and fans made things even worse.


Scalped alive!

Travis Henry is hauled down by Chiefs defensive linemen Eric Hicks [98] and tackle Eric Downing [93] during the Chiefs 38-5 blowout of the Bills.
[Photo by Dave Kaup/Getty Images]

Can it get any worse than this? The Buffalo Bills were scalped alive 38-5 in Kansas City in front of a prime time audience and lived to tell about it. Not that anyone participating in one of the worst defeats in Bills history would want to tell anyone about it. It was the most disconcerting performances in recent memory.

"That's a damn shame," Sam Adams fumed. "That was embarrassing. If you don't execute, and you don't play your proper technique, you can get blown out like we did. We got blown out. Offensively, defensively and special teams, we got our butts whipped. I mean, it's plain and simple."

One of the most disturbing things about the loss to the Chiefs was that it could have been much different if the Bills had capitalized on great drive starts in the first half. Buffalo's average drive started at their 44 yard line. But they could only get a field goal from their drives into Chiefs territory.

The Bills actually had the lead early in the contest. Pierson Prioleau blocked a Jason Baker punt near the Chiefs endzone and if it hadn't trickled out of the endzone, the Bills would have had their only touchdown of the night. Instead, the Bills got the safety out of it and the Chiefs were forced to punt. The Bills could not muster anything resembling an offense when they got the ball in great field position as they couldn't all night long.


Bills can't draw on Drew for offense

Bills QB Drew Bledsoe fumbles the ball when being sandwhiched by Cowboys blitzers La'Roi Glover [97] and Eric Ogbogu [90]. Bledsoe fumbled twice during the game and most inopportune times and had yet another bad game on the road.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]

Drew Bledsoe can thank his lucky stars. Not the stars on the Dallas helmets but the fact that he didn't have to go into the dressing room after that horrendous performance and face Bill Parcells, his former coach. If it had been ten years earlier, Bledsoe would have received the wrath of Parcells and may have ended up on the bench for a few games.

Bledsoe, however, only had to go back into the visitors dressing room and pretend nothing happened. The Bills beleaguered quarterback had yet another unsightly performance and was one of the big reasons why the Bills lost to the Dallas Cowboys 10-6. The Buffalo defense showed up and had a solid game, shutting down most of the Cowboys' offensive elements. If it weren't a Bledsoe fumble that resulted in a Cowboys touchdown, the Bills would have kept the Cowboys out of the endzone.

The Bills have now gone 17 quarters without scoring an offensive touchdown. That is 4 games and a quarter. A veteran quarterback of Bledsoe's stature has to take charge and lead the team out of the wilderness. He hasn't even come close to that this year. The only game in which he has thrown a touchdown on the road was in Jacksonville against their suspect defense.

"Offensively we have not produced," said Bledsoe. "Am I the trigger? Yeah, I'm the trigger and I've never hidden from that and never will. If we don't produce I feel like it's definitely my fault. But we have to as a team, and I have to as a player, find a way to make that play to produce points."


Shattered Expectations

Travis Henry, who ran for 149 yards, breaks a tackle and gets away from Marlon McCree on a 65 yard run. Henry broke a fibula in his right leg shortly after the run.
[AP Photo]

Everything was bright and shiny for Bills fans at the start of September. The expectations were extremely high for the Bills. They had stolen Lawyer Milloy to add to the beefed up defense that included the new additions of Takeo Spikes and Jeff Posey. Then when the season began, the Bills blew out the Patriots, 30-0 and the next week blasted the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bills fans were not only thinking playoffs, but they even started to have visions of a fifth run to the Super Bowl.

After a terrible 12-10 loss to the Houston Texans Sunday, all those expectations have been shattered. The fans, even though things have been looking mighty bleak the past three weeks, held onto hope that maybe the Bills could right their ship and start a winning streak again. Those hopes struck a mine and sank before the fifth straight sellout of the season.

The Bills should have easily manhandled the Texans, who are in just their second season since becoming an expansion team. Not only did the Texans have several key players out on defense, but near the start of the game, Houston lost their starting quarterback when he was sacked in the endzone by Posey. David Carr was hit on the blind side by Posey and fumbled the ball. It was knocked out of the grasp of Sam Adams and out of the endzone, who was attempting to recover it for a touchdown. Meanwhile, Carr bruised his shoulder on the sack and didn't play the rest of the game.


Loss to the Colts a bitter pill to swallow

Drew Bledsoe finally cracks the goal line for the Bills after 3 straight games Buffalo were held out of the endzone. He plunges from a yard out to get the Bills first score against the Colts.
[AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli]

Now it is four straight losses. The Buffalo Bills lost another one at home, this time to the Indianapolis Colts 17-14 on an otherwise beautiful day in Western New York. The Bills finally did score a touchdown, their first in 13 quarters. In fact, they made the endzone twice, but it wasn't enough as the Colts took over the game halfway through the 4th quarter on two long drives to comeback from a 14-3 deficit.

This was a game where the defense played one of its best games of the year, shutting down the high octane Colts to just 3 points for over 3 quarters. But in the end, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James were too much for the defense to hold in check as they showed the Bills what a good offense can do.

The Bills offense, while finally being able to crack the goose egg that has been haunting it for weeks, reverted back to old habits which were costly in the end. Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe continued his woeful ways, managing to pass for only 137 yards hitting 15 of 28 passes. He was sacked twice and late in the game, through an interception that wiped out the last chance the Bills had to come back.


Both units come together as Bills throttle Giants

Bills' Dave Moore breaks the shutout streak of 18 quarters without a touchdown on the road as he hauls in a 24 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe. The Giants' Brandon Short can't break up the play as the Bills won 24-7.
[AP Photo/Julie Jacobson]

With post season hopes unattainable, the Buffalo Bills came out and played their best game since October in handing the New York Giants an embarrassing 24-7 loss at home in Giants Stadium. The fans booed the Giants off the field at the end of halftime and the few remaining fans at game's end were even more unmerciful.

The Bills, on the other hand, had a balanced offensive attack and the defense once again played superior ball. Drew Bledsoe, who was suffering from symptoms of a mild concussion during the week, had his best game since the beginning of September. Bledsoe threw for 252 yards finally hit the endzone by tossing two touchdowns. Bledsoe completed 19 of 22 and looked much more comfortable in the pocket, even though he was sacked 3 times.

Last week, Bledsoe scored the first Bills touchdown in 4 weeks by running up the middle on a quarterback draw for one yard, but the Bills still hadn't had any receiving touchdowns. Bledsoe ended that drought quickly when he hit tight end Dave Moore for a 24-yard strike. That ended the 18 quarters of being shutout on the road.

"I remember the ball being in the air, and the next thing I remember was sitting on our bench," Moore reflected. "I don't even remember making the catch."

Then he hooked up with receiver Bobby Shaw for 22 yards for the second TD. In all, the Bills scored 17 points in the second quarter to take control of the game.

The first drive covered 73 yards on 6 plays. Bledsoe hooked up with Shaw for 16 yards, Eric Moulds for 11 and 22 yards before finding Moore in the endzone.


Henry gives New York Jet-lag

Travis Henry has a career day against the Jets, running for 169 yards and one TD. Here Henry trys to outrun the Jets Aaron Beasley.
[Rick Stewart/Getty Images photo]

This was the way the Bills offense was supposed to play all year.

Travis Henry did some serious damage to the New York Jets in the Bills 17-6 victory Sunday. Henry was the work horse as he galloped for 169 yards and literally knocked the Jets out of the skies.

"Today I was in the zone," Henry said after the game. "Every time I got the ball in my hands, I was just thinking north and south and trying to take control of the game. It is December, that is when you are supposed to run the ball, and we did a good job today."

The key question being asked around Western New York now is why wasn't this the game plan all season? The Bills were supposed to have a more run-orientated offense this year, but until the last two weeks, that just wasn't the case as the Bills went more with Drew Bledsoe's arm rather than the power running of Henry.

Maybe if the Bills hadn't abandoned the run most of the year, they'd be in the thick of things this season. As it is, they are a long shot in making the playoffs.


Bills play another sour note in Nashville

Robert Holcombe plunges in for a touchdown with Bills tackle Pat Williams hanging on against the Buffalo Bills a Tennessee 28-26 victory over the Bills.
[Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images]

Any hopes the Buffalo Bills had of making the playoffs were destroyed at the hands of a backup quarterback Sunday in Nashville. The Bills, making their first return to the Music City since that Music City Miracle or "Home run throwback" wildcard playoff game in 1999, didn't extract any revenge as they lost to the Titans 28-26. It was a game that came right down to the final few seconds before it was decided. And yes, it was another controversial play that went the Titans way.

All season it has been the Bills offense that hasn't shown up, while the defense has played spectacular. This time it was the Bills defense that didn't pull its weight. The defense came into the game as the second best D in the NFL. When it was announced that Steve McNair was being replaced by their second string quarterback Billy Volek, the Bills thought they would have an easy time shutting down the Titans offense. At game's end, Volek not only came out victorious by had his way with the Bills defense.


Most bitter rivalry in pro football

It may not be for the conference championship or eve have any real playoff implications, but nothing can take away from the importance of Sunday's game between these two blood arch-rivals.

One of the fiercest rivalries of all of professional sports is the one between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Ever since the Dolphins first got an expansion team in the old AFL, the two teams have had a hatred towards each other that is unmatched in the pros except for the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.

The fans in Buffalo will always say that there is no other team in sports that they despise more. The reason for the abhorrence is from way back in 1970 when Don Shula took over as head coach for the Dolphins. His team ran an unheard of winning streak against the Bills throughout the entire decade.


Bills fall on their faces against Dolphins

The Dolphins Dolphins' Jason Taylor (99) and Jay Williams (91) combine on taking down Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe during first half action of the Dolphins 20-3 win.
[AP Photo/Don Heupel]

One more game left in the season and Buffalo Bills fans are saying "Thank God."

Any hope of redemption for the miserable performance the Bills had in the first meeting against the Miami Dolphins was quickly extinguished on the Dolphins first possession of the game. Jay Fiedler lobbed a throw into the far right corner of the endzone where Chris Chambers came under it and hauled it in. For the record that was the winning touchdown as the Bills couldn't muster more than 3 points against the Dolphins. The Dolphins went on to win 20-3 in yet another humiliating loss at home.

The biggest disappointment was once again Drew Bledsoe, who instead of getting better, seems to be getting worse every week. Bledsoe had to take most of the heat for the loss as he was sacked six times and made two costly fumbles. Outside of that, he threw an interception that was returned for a Dolphin touchdown. He managed to get over 100 yards passing, but just barely, getting 114 yards by completing half of his 24 passes.


Patriots return the gift - payback in full

As has been too prevalent all season, Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe fumbled the ball when getting sacked. Here, Patriots Tedy Bruschi (left) and Ty Warren get in Bledsoe's face, forcing a fumble.
[AP Photo/Jim Rogash]

The 2003 season began with the Buffalo Bills presenting the New England Patriots a gift. The gift was a 31-0 blowout of the Patriots which shocked the football world . The Bills gave the Pats the present fully wrapped with colorful paper and a bow on top. It also had a card with a message: This is payment for the past few years the Pats dominated the Bills. It was a bitter pill for the Patriots to swallow and the worst blemish on an otherwise splendid season.

Like what millions of Americans did the day after Christmas, the Patriots returned their gift back to where they got it. The present was returned completely intact, right down to the original wrapping.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick must have conjured up the Gods of Vengeance to extract revenge on the Bills, completely duplicating the embarrassment the Bills gave them in the season's opener. The Patriots did onto the Bills what the Bills did onto them as they blasted Buffalo with the exact 31-0 score to end the regular season.

Not only was the score a complete reversal, but so was the final play of the game.


Gregg Williams ousted as Bills coach

The Gregg Williams era ends after three years of frustration. Two days after the Bills finished with a 6-10 record, the Bills announced that his contract was not going to be renewed for next season.

Williams came to Buffalo after what Bills GM Tom Donahoe said was an outstanding job interview. Williams finished with a dismal record of 17-31 and Donahoe was forced to concede his mistake of hiring Williams.

It was not a good day for Donahoe. Getting rid of Williams was like having his teeth pulled. Donahoe, a proud man, showed his reluctance in ridding the team of the head coach he had hand picked for the job three years ago.


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