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Bills Thunder

Bills 2005 Season Results


Losman, Bills D slam Texans

JP Losman takes off in the Bills 22-7 win over Houston.
[Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images]

JP Losman proved a lot of critics wrong when he came out throwing strong in the Bills 22-7 win over the Texans. The Tulane product, shook off nerves and predictions that he would fall flat on his face and came up with a great opening day performance. Losman came out of the gates like a whirlwind, completing the majority of his first half passes and ended the game by completing 17-of-28 for 170 yards and one touchdown.Willis McGahee, who also had a brilliant performance, 117 yards on 22 carries, was in JP's corner all the way.

"He came out and proved you wrong," proclaimed McGahee. "And I told you he was going to do it."

Losman, who has had quite a stress-filled week getting ready for the game and also thinking about his old college Tulane, which has cancelled the season because of the New Orleans disaster, was upbeat from the start.

"To come out here on the first day and it worked, it was awesome," admitted Losman. "This was amazing man. Fans were going crazy and I got pumped up. It couldn't have been any better than I designed."

Most experts felt the Bills would come out and run McGahee left, right and up the middle. Instead, it was Losman who was throwing on practically every down.

"It just felt like that was our best chance to get things rolling, getting me comfortable, getting me in a little rhythm," described Losman about the game plan. "I think it worked."

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Losman, Bills come back to reality

JP Losman steps out of bounds behind the endzone line as Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Shelton Quarles closes in on him. Tampa was awarded a safety and that started the downhill swoon for the Bills.
[AP Photo/Robert Azmitia]

The Bills wore their throwback uniforms Sunday in Tampa Bay. That was the only thing that look good as the Bills put up a pitiful performance in losing to the Bucs 19-3. While the throwbacks were worn for the second straight week, they didn't give Buffalo any advantage in this game.

JP Losman had as dreadful a game as most Bills fans first feared when the Bills decided to go with him as their starter this season. He couldn't get the Bills offense rolling at all in the first half as they only had one first down and he had only 39 yards after 3 quarters. It got so bleak that Bills coach Mike Mularkey put in reserve Kelly Holcomb in the 4th quarter, only to see the Bills go 3 and out. Losman came in the next series and actually got the Bills down into the red zone very late in the game, only to be shutdown on a 4th down try.

"They had a good scheme," related Losman after the game. "They knew where we would be and they watched my eyes the whole game."

The Bills looked more like the UB Bulls than the team that whipped Houston the week before. It wasn't just Losman as the entire offense seemed to be operating on just one gear and the defense wore out as the game progressed.

The game was a scoreless tie until the Bills were pinned deep into their own end with a long Buccaneer punt. On third down, Losman backed up into the endzone to pass and planted his foot behind the back endzone line when he tried to avoid a sack by linebacker Shelton Quarles and safety Jermaine Phillips. Losman threw the ball away, but the ref signaled a safety.

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Falcons swoop down on Bills 24-16

The Falcons get on the board quickly when Dwayne Blakley leaps high over Nate Clements for a 9-yard TD.
[Getty Images]

The Bills inability to score touchdowns while in the redzone continued Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons as they lost 24-16. This was a game where rookie quarterback J.P. Losman could have taken the bull by the horns and showed why the Bills made him their starter this season, but once again he dropped the ball.

Four times the Bills got into the redzone, but had to settle for field goals on three of those occasions. The only touchdown was made when Willis McGahee galloped 8 yards to reach paydirt.

Losman completed only 10 of 23 yards for a mere 75 yards. He also suffered his first interception of the season and was sacked 4 times. Also, when the Bills were trying to tie the game up on a last minute drive, Losman came up a couple inches short on a 4th and inches try.

JP Losman's inability to get the Bills into the endzone is becoming quite alarming. While the Bills had a similar problem the past two years under Drew Bledsoe, the kid has to get the team past the goal line and just hasn't gotten the job done in 3 games. So far the team has 9 field goals and two touchdowns, one of which was a rushing TD by McGahee.

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Saints march all over Bills

The New Orleans Saints played their first "home game" since the devastating hurricane Katrina ripped apart the Super Dome and the city. Their home away from home was San Antonio and they treated their misplaced fans when they defeated the Buffalo Bills 19-7.

The Buffalo Bills started off this one with a lot of promise, but then it turned sour. JP Losman and Willis McGahee looked impressive in driving the Bills down the field for an 10-play, 75 yard touchdown on their opening possession. After that, it was down the tubes for the Bills.

"It kind of gives you the sense we should have been doing that more and more," said Bills coach Mike Mularkey. "After the first drive we really couldn't put anything together."

The Bills couldn't stop Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks in the air or when he ran. Brooks scrambled 7 times for 33 yards and scored on a 9-yard run.

Deuce McAllister romped for 130 yards and ate up a lot of the clock in the last 4 minutes of the game by running for 3 consecutive first downs, setting up a field goal.

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Holcomb guides Bills to win over Dolphins

The Buffalo Bills piled up a 17-0 lead on the Dolphins on their first 3 possessions and then held on for their football lives as the Dolphins came back strong in the second half. The Bills beat the Dolphins 20-14, but it certainly wasn't easy.

It took a fumble recovery by Troy Vincent with under 1 minute remaining after the Dolphins were driving deep into the Bills territory. Ronnie Brown had the ball punched out of his grasp as he was being hauled down by Nate Clements. Had the Dolphins not fumbled, they were in prime position to take the lead with only a few seconds remaining.

The Bills went with Kelly Holcomb at quarterback, after J.P. Losman had started the first four games. Holcomb hit 20-of-26 for 169 yards passing and a touchdown. Holcomb did what was necessary to get the job done and secure the Bills a victory.

"It's good to get a win anytime in the NFL," acknowledged Holcomb. "We had our backs up against the wall. It's the fifth game of the season, you don't want to say it's a must-win, but that's what it felt like, a must-win situation for us and I think the guys responded well."

The Dolphins did everything they could to give the Bills the game. They committed 18 penalties (a team record), and coughed up the ball 5 times (two fumble recoveries and three picks). Still, the Dolphins were in the game until the end when a fumble ruined their chances of taking the lead.

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McGahee Grounds Jets

The Buffalo Bills went with Kelly Holcomb for the second straight week, and got positive results for the second straight time. The Bills took a 14-0 lead and never lost it, eventually beating the New York Jets 27-17. Willis McGahee was the workhorse, romping for 143 yards and scored a touchdown.

With the Pats losing to the Broncos, the Bills suddenly find themselves in a tie with the Super Bowl champions.

Sunday, Holcomb was efficient enough to give the Bills a balanced attack, completing18 of 26 passes for 172 yards with two touchdowns. He also was intercepted twice, but bounced back both times. Having Willis McGahee rumble for 143 yards helped Holcomb balance his attack and get some of the pressure off when he did throw.

Holcomb could have been starting for Cleveland all along. The Browns made him the offer, but he decided to come to Buffalo and even be the backup here. He knew that JP Losman would have his struggles....no rookie quarterback lights up the scoreboard his first year like Ben Roethlisberger did.

Holcomb played his cards right, kept his cool and patience and now has been officially announced as the starter against the Oakland Raiders next week. It is well deserved as he directed the Bills to two home victories against the Dolphins and the Jets.

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Bills crash and burn in Oakland

Just when Bills fans were starting to get a little hope for the season, the team goes out and plays a real stinker of a game, and the dreams come crashing down to reality.

If there ever were a road game the Bills should have won, the contest in Oakland against the Raiders would be it. The Raiders were 1-4 coming into the game and had a hobbled Randy Moss, their controversial but sensational receiver. The Bills, tied for first place at 3-3, knew that this was their opportunity to prove once and for all that they were a legit playoff contender. Well, all bets are off now after that embarrassing 38-17 loss to Oakland.

To say the wheels came off the Bills wagon is a huge understatement. The porous Bills defense allowed the Raiders to rip off 416 yards, 122 of which came on the ground by Raiders running back LaMont Jordan. Jordan also scored three of the Raiders touchdowns. The Bills defense just couldn't stop him. This story is getting very old fast: The Bills defense seems to regenerate stale running games of opposing teams. Case in point is the previous week when the Bills gave a booster shot to Curtis Martin, who ripped off 148 yards on 18 carries for a whopping 8.2 yards per carry average.

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Lights out in New England

Sunday night in New England, the Bills did serve up a strong effort, but it went for naught as they couldn't capitalize on complete domination of the clock in the first half and only got a field goal. While they did get a touchdown on a 55-yard pass from Kelly Holcomb to Eric Moulds, it just wasn't enough. The Bills held a 16-7 lead at one point in the third quarter, but anyone with some football sense knew the Bills were going to find a way to lose this one and they did.

The New England Patriots took advantage of mistakes and staged a comeback that put them alone on top in the AFC East by beating the Bills 21-16.

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Bills crash and burn in Oakland

Just when Bills fans were starting to get a little hope for the season, the team goes out and plays a real stinker of a game, and the dreams come crashing down to reality.

If there ever were a road game the Bills should have won, the contest in Oakland against the Raiders would be it. The Raiders were 1-4 coming into the game and had a hobbled Randy Moss, their controversial but sensational receiver. The Bills, tied for first place at 3-3, knew that this was their opportunity to prove once and for all that they were a legit playoff contender. Well, all bets are off now after that embarrassing 38-17 loss to Oakland.

To say the wheels came off the Bills wagon is a huge understatement. The porous Bills defense allowed the Raiders to rip off 416 yards, 122 of which came on the ground by Raiders running back LaMont Jordan. Jordan also scored three of the Raiders touchdowns. The Bills defense just couldn't stop him. This story is getting very old fast: The Bills defense seems to regenerate stale running games of opposing teams. Case in point is the previous week when the Bills gave a booster shot to Curtis Martin, who ripped off 148 yards on 18 carries for a whopping 8.2 yards per carry average.

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Steam-rolled in San Diego

Drew Brees had all day to slice up the Bills secondary in San Diego 48-10 blowout.
[AP Photo/Denis Poroy]

J.P. Losman said it was like getting punched in the face. Most of his teammates probably felt they were run over by a train.

This was a good old fashioned butt-whupping! The San Diego Chargers spanked the Buffalo Bills big time Sunday in 84 degree weather just north of the border. The Bills defense couldn't stop Drew Brees as the Chargers abashed the Bills 48-10.

The Chargers took a 35-10 halftime lead and never looked back. The Bills were struck down by a hot Brees blowing in their faces the first half as he completed his first nine passes. In the first half alone, he threw for 265 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Brees was a pitching machine, finishing the game completing 28 of 33 for 339 yards and 4 strikes. The Bills D came up short time and again. The main worry before the game was whether they could stop LaDainian Tomlinson, the powerful back who some consider the top back in the league. The Bills actually did shut Tomlinson down somewhat, limited him to just 67 yards on 19 carries. But maybe they over played Tomlinson as it gave Brees the opportunity to slice the Bills secondary apart.

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Bills effort just not enough against Panthers

The Buffalo Bills are still deluding themselves that they are in the playoff race. After falling to 4-7 when the Carolina Panthers defeated them 13-9, the Bills are two games behind the 6-5 New England Patriots, who also lost on Sunday.

Sure, the Bills made a game of it, but in the end, it was the defense that couldn't stop Jake Delhomme and his Carolina Panthers when it counted the most. With the Bills up 3 field goals to 2, the Panthers drove down the field 68 yards on 14 plays that ate up 7:48 off the clock. Delhomme swung a 3-yard pass to Michael Gaines for a touchdown to clinch it for the Panthers.

Bottom line in this game and the entire season for that matter is that the Bills are still shooting themselves in the foot time and again. There were several glorious opportunities where they could have really advanced their cause, but instead dropped the ball. The coaching staff is still getting too cutesy in its play calling and the defense couldn't halt the long Panthers drive in the end.

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Bills meltdown in Miami

The Miami Dolphins staged its second biggest comeback in team history, overcoming a 23-3 deficit to beat the Buffalo Bills with only 6 seconds on the clock 24-23. The Bills Nation is still in a state of shock and the aftershocks of this colossal meltdown may be felt for a long time.

After roaring to a quick 21-0 lead over the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills offense went conservative and never scored again. J.P. Losman hurled two long bombs ( 46 and 56 yards) to receiver Lee Evans to quickly take a 14-0 lead. Losman hit Evans for a 4-yard strike and then the Bills offense went to sleep.

Losman had a chance to seal the game away in the third quarter when he led the Bills down to the 3 yard line. Instead of trying to ram it in, the Bills coaches had Losman go to the air. His first pass was picked off and the Dolphins never looked back as they stole the momentum completely away from the Bills.

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The two geniuses that were chased out of Buffalo

Polian and Muckler are on top of the sports world

Where would the two Buffalo teams be right now? If the Sabres hadn't fired John Muckler and Bills owner hadn't canned Bill Polian, just how would the Buffalo teams have fared the past decade?

Right now, the two former Buffalo General Managers have built their two respective teams into juggernauts. Muckler has the cream of the crop in his Ottawa Senators. To be fair, Muckler took over a team that was already a good one, but added the right ingredients and now the Senators are practically unstoppable. The same can be said, and even more, about Bill Polian's Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are 12-0 and are fast approaching the dream season only accomplished by the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

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Pats put the deep freeze on Bills

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady loves the snow. Once again, Brady is a master in the snowy elements as he leads the Pats to a 35-7 victory in Buffalo.
[AP Photo/David Duprey]

The Buffalo Bills got froze out of their own stadium by the rejuvenated New England Patriots. The Pats froze the Bills offense, stuffing both the running game and passing game of J.P. Losman in their 35-7 thumping of the Bills.

Willis McGahee was shutdown and only gained 3 yards on 8 carries. In total, Buffalo had their worst game ever running, picking up a measly 14 yards on 12 carries. Losman was the best Bills runner with 7 yards on 1 scramble. McGahee was met in the backfield as fast as he was handed the ball.

With the threat of the running game eliminated, the Pats went to work against Losman's aerial attack. Losman completed only 10 of 27 for 181 yards and 1 TD. The touchdown went to Josh Reed and it was during mop up time.

The Pats, meanwhile, had their way as usual against the Bills. Since Tom Donahoe took over as Bills General Manager, the Pats have won 9 out of 10 games. Tom Brady was once again machine like in completing 29 out of 38 for 329 yards and two touchdowns. Brady also ran 3 yards for the Pats first touchdown. With the Patriots up 28-0, former Bills quarterback Doug Flutie came in to the delight of Bills fans. It turned out to be the highlight of the day for the fans who shelled out big bucks, sat in the cold and snow to witness the travesty on the field.

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Broncos stampede Buffalo

Broncos receiver Rod Smith makes a touchdown grab with Troy Vincent of the Bills all over him. The Broncos beat the Bills 28-17.
[Getty Images / Rick Stewart]

With the Buffalo Sabres rocking and rolling a few miles down the road at HSBC Arena, winning their 14th game in 16 tries before a packed house of 18,640, the Bills were blundering their way to yet another home loss. Last week the Pats handed the Bills their heads. Saturday night in front of a prime time ESPN audience, the Denver Broncos had their way with the Bills, beating the downtroddened Bills 28-17.

As has happened much of this season, the Bills came out and scored a touchdown on their first possession. Driving down the field 56 yards, Willis McGahee plowed into the endzone from one yard out to put Buffalo in the early lead. But like most other outings, this lead was very short-lived.

J.P. Losman sat out this game with various injuries suffered in the defeat the previous week, so Kelly Holcomb came in and did a respectable job. Holcomb hit 22 of 35 attempts for 202 yards and one touchdown.

Eric Moulds, suspended the week before because of a confrontation with his receivers coach, hauled in nine passes for 110 yards. This was certainly a statement game for Moulds. Moulds decided to let his performance do all the talking. And what a performance it was! Moulds was the top offensive weapon the Bills had in yet another inept performance by his teammates.

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Bills burst Bengals bubble!

This happens all the time in sports. A team playing at the top of its game loses to a team that has no right being on the same playing field with them. The Cincinnati Bengals, sporting an 11-3 record and having clinched their divisional crown, took the Bills a little too lightly. The Bills, meanwhile, enjoyed their role as a spoiler and beat the Bengals 37-27. It was a lot closer than the final score indicates until the last few seconds of the game.

With the Bills having kicked a field goal to take a 30-27 lead, the Bengals felt they could come back and at least tie it up. Then the inglorious moment for Bengals quarterback nailed the coffin shut for a possible second seed in the AFC playoffs. Carson Palmer's pass was picked off by Terrence McGee with just under a minute left and returned 46 yards for the insurance touchdown. This was the second highlight touchdown for McGee, who had earlier returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score.

McGee, who hadn't returned a touchdown all year, was even happier with his game-clinching interception return.

"I can't even explain how I feel," said and exuberant McGee about his 99-yard kickoff return. "All year, the only thing we've been missing is a touchdown."

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Jets end Bills miserable season

Big changes in store after sorry season

Straw that broke Bills backs. The Bills fall down on the job, like they did all season, during this 95-yard kickoff return by Jets returner Justin Miller. Miller scored the back-breaking TD at the end of the game, ending a horrific season for the Bills.
[AP Photo/Kathy Willens]

Finally! The long, disappointing and frustrating season is over. The final curtains closed on yet another non-playoff season for the Bills. This time it was the New York Jets that closed it out for them, beating Buffalo 30-26. The Bills had a chance to win, but 4 interceptions thrown by Kelly Holcomb didn't help matters. In fact, it was the Mark Brown interception-return for a touchdown that started the Bills on a downhill slide. Late in the game, after Bills kicker Rian Lindell had kicked a 36-yard field goal to give the Bills a 26-23 lead, Justin Miller returned Lindell's ensuing kickoff for 95 yards for the clinching touchdown.

The Bills were desperately trying to drive down the field in the later moments of the game, but yet another pick, this one by Ty Law (his 3rd of the game) finished it.

Not too much to say about this game except for the fact that it probably sealed the fate of both Bills GM Tom Donahoe and head coach Mike Mularkey. The Bills had their moments, but Holcomb 4 picks were the fuel that propelled the Jets to their 4th win of the season. Holcomb completed 23 of 37 for 184 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked twice and one has to wonder if Mularkey played Holcomb instead of J.P. Losman to try to save his job. Losman should have played the final two games to get more game experience. The playoff hopes were gone weeks ago, but Mularkey was determined to win the most games he could to remain as Bills head coach. That choice is now out of his hands.

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Copyright 2003 Bills Thunder & Rick Anderson, all rights reserved.

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