Bills Thunder

Bills 2004 Season Results

Bills miscues ruin opening day

Jimmy Smith of the Jaguars, hauls down a 45-yard pass to keep the Jacksonville drive alive late in the fourth quarter. Bills cornerback Nate Clements made the mistake of going for the pick instead of batting the ball away.
[AP Photo/Don Heupel]

By Rick Anderson

Itís a brand new season for the Buffalo Bills, but nothing seems to have changed from last year. The Bills offense is having difficulty in getting into the end zone, the defense cannot stop a team late in the game when the game is on the line, and the team is still making crucial mistakes that should have been corrected in the preseason.

The Bills were on top of the Jacksonville Jaguars for most of the game and it was a last minute, 80-yard drive that killed the Bills. On the very last play of the game, Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich hooked up with Ernest Wilford with no time left on the clock to give the Jaguars a shocking 13-10 victory over the Bills.

p>This was a game the Bills had no right to lose. The offense was given ample opportunity to run up the score, but they could only produce one touchdown and a field goal. While Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe didnít really commit too many errors, his one sack was costly as it came on a 3rd and 1 at the Jacksonville goal line, thus forcing a field goal. Bledsoe is being paid big money to produce results and the game plan was so conservative that even backup quarterback Shane Matthews would have produced similar results. Bledsoe passed 26 times, completed 17 for 153 yards and one TD.



By Rick Anderson

Things were supposed to change this season. However, it was more of the same old malarkey as the Buffalo Bills lost to the Oakland Raiders 13-10 Sunday in Oakland.

The Bills right now appear to be a worse team than the 2003 version. Last year the Bills went 6-10 and there was an all-out effort to get the team back to the playoffs this season. The Bills fired head coach Gregg Williams and replaced him with Mike Mularkey and a whole new offensive staff. Unfortunately, Bills GM Tom Donahoe didn't address the offensive line and quarterback problems and Buffalo is now 0-2 and things don't get any brighter after their bye week. They host Super Bowl champion New England October 3rd and unless if there is a complete turnaround by the offense, they will be 0-3 going into New York the next week.

Down 13-3 in the last minute of play, Bledsoe finally completed a long desperation 65-yard pass to rookie receiver Lee Evans, who hauled it down deep in the Raiders zone and set up a Bledsoe-to-Eric Moulds for the Bills only touchdown. An onside kick was recovered by the Raiders and that sealed the Bills fate for the second week in a row.

There wasnít too much good this day as mistakes wiped out most good plays. Penalties wiped out 2 long punt returns that would have given Buffalo the ball deep in Oakland territory. There was so many holding penalties and other infractions throughout the game that it is apparent the mandate issued by Mularkey to cut down on these penalties is being ignored.



Bumbling Bills botch another one

By Rick Anderson

Tom Brady zips off another completion against the Buffalo Bills in the Patriots 31-17 win in Buffalo. The Pats tied an NFL mark with their 18th straight victory.
[AP Photo/David Duprey]

Bumbling, stumbling, fumbling....those three words were made famous by Chris Behrman of ESPN's Prime Time NFL show. The Bills played up on all three of those infamous words Sunday with yet another loss, their 6th straight, 31-17 to the New England Patriots. The Bills bumbled away opportunity after opportunity with all their mental lapses which resulted in double digit penalties. Travis Henry stumbled when he had a big gaping hole in front of him on a 3rd and 2 on the Patriot 17 in the last three minutes of the game. He fell short of the mark and forced the Bills to go on 4th down with 3 yards to go. Thatís when Drew Bledsoe fumbled, sealing the Bills fate as the ball was picked up by Richard Seymour and returned 68 yards for the clinching touchdown.



Bills defense fails to halt Jets

By Rick Anderson

Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is something so small that it can't be detected. Maybe it's a lucky bounce, maybe it's the confidence of a quarterback. The Buffalo Bills seem to be on the verge of winning an actual football game. They've come close in all 4 losses. In their game against the Jets, the elements were there to pull a major upset of the New York Jets.

The problem was that the components were still unsynchronized and the end result was yet another loss, 16-14 to the Jets. Bills head coach Mike Mularkey is still looking for his first NFL victory.

The Bills now are at the very bottom of the barrel with a 0-4 record. The are actually one better than the Miami Dolphins, 0-5, who lost to the New England Patriots earlier Sunday. The Bills seem to be on the cusp of finally winning and maybe even becoming a respectable team again, but as for the moment, itís the little things that keep doing them in.

After it appeared as if the Bills were on the verge of winning, Chad Pennington took the Jets down the field 60 yards and ate up 5 minutes in the process to set up Doug Brienís 38-yard winning field goal. The Bills desperately tried to get down to field goal position, but a sack and not being able to get another long ball down the field allowed the Jets to remain tied with the Patriots with a 4-0 record. Meanwhile the Bills are tied with the Dolphins with 4 losses.



Bills fall flat to Steeler reserves

Season ends on sour note

Willis McGahee uses his secret weapon, the stiff arm, to gain some extra yardage against Pittsburgh Steelers' Ike Taylor in second half action.
[ AP Photo/David Duprey]

This game is what dreams are made up. The Buffalo Bills turned around their season after starting out 0-4 and put themselves in the position to clinch a playoff spot at home against the league leading Pittsburgh Steelers. After winning 6 straight games, the Bills fell flat on their faces in the most important game of the season.

The Bills had plenty of chances to take command of this game, but made too many mistakes and the Steelers, comprised of mostly second or third stringers, beat the Bills 29-24, thus eliminating them from the playoffs.

"It's rough," admitted Bills offensive left tackle Jonas Jennings. "Everything was set up for us and we had to come out and handle our business and we came up short."

The Bills had the momentum in the second half and drove down the field from the 6 inch line all the way to the 15 yard line when the wheels came off the wagon. Leading 17-16, on third down, the Bills made the first down on a Bledsoe pass when the Bills were flagged for offensive interference on Josh Reed. He was tagged for putting a pick on one of the Steeler defensive backs. That put the Bills back 5 yards and on the next play, the Bills came up a yard short of the first down and got a bad placement by the officials. Instead of going for it on 4th and 1, they had almost two yards to go and decided to go for a 28-yard field goal. Kicker Rian Lindell, who had not had any game winning field goals this year, blotched that gimmie field goal as he shanked it wide right. Lindell may have played his last game as a Bill as they need someone they can depend on, especially during a game as crucial as this.


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