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Are Bills worst team in NFL?

Bills could be vying for #1 overall pick

It is now 11 years and counting. The last time the Bills made the playoffs was the 1999 season. Bills fans have to face the fact that this team is still a long ways from playing in the post season again. Even worse is the fact is that the upcoming season may be their worst since the mid-80s and they are in prime contention for the NFL's top draft choice next spring. The Bills immediate and long term future looks very bleak indeed.

Not only is the talent on the field among the weakest in the entire NFL, but Bills owner Ralph Wilson, at 92 years old, isn't getting any younger. He has not made any arrangements for the transfer of ownership after he dies, either to family in his will, or to someone committed to keeping the team in Buffalo. Wilson has insisted that he will be the only owner of the Bills while he's alive. Because of that and his not making any arrangements for the team to stay in Buffalo after he passes on, it is likely that the team's future will be decided in estate court, where the highest bidder will get the team. That very likely could spell the end of the Bills in Buffalo.

As for the immediate future and the Bills chances of making the playoffs, the Bills will most likely be last in the AFC East this autumn.



After a decade of futility, Bills promise more of the same  

The decade without even one appearance in the playoffs ended with the appointment of a new Bills GM. The shocking news wasn't that the Bills hired a new GM, but whom they picked. Once again, 91-year old owner Ralph Wilson tabbed someone from within the organization and it was once again a friendly face that he was comfortable with.

As shocking as it was that Wilson promoted lifetime scout Buddy Nix as the new Bills GM, it shouldn't surprise anyone. This is the same prehistoric owner that made Marv Levy his GM when Levy was 80. Nix is 10 years younger than when Levy was hired, but that is still getting someone at the end of his career. 



Bills offense stalls again against Texans

The Buffalo Bills only have one home win in their last 9 games. How pathetic is that from a team that 15 years ago was a terrible place for opposing teams to play in Buffalo. Now opponents find playing in Buffalo a great place to record a win. The Bills were up on the Houston Texans 10-9 after 3 quarters and then collapsed to lose 31-10.

"Terrible," reflected defensive end Chris Kelsay about the Bills only winning one home game in nine. "It's embarrassing. It's easy to understand why our fans are upset and demanding change and everything you hear about. You can't really argue with them."



Byrdís picks help Bills down Panthers

During the Buffalo Bills first glory years, in the mid 60s, there was a cornerback with the last name of Byrd. Butch Byrd was one of the greatest corners in their history. Now there's another Byrd roaming the secondary, and doing a great job picking off passes.

Jairus Byrd had two picks against the Carolina Panthers, both wich set up touchdowns. Byrd now has 4 picks in the past two games. The Bills beat the Panthers 20-9 to the delight of the many transplanted Bills fans in attendance in Carolina.



Lindellís 47 yard kick dismantles Jets in OT

Scott Norwood didn't get a second chance to redeem himself after his 47-yard field goal attempt went wide right in Super Bowl XXV. Rian Lindell had a 46-yard field goal attempt go just as wide right as Norwood's at the end of regulation that would have won the game. However, unlike Norwood, Lindell got a second chance, this time of equal distance to Norwood's infamous miss and he made it. The Bills won 16-13, to up their record to 2-4.



The "Toilet Bowl"

Browns beat Bills 6-3 in worst NFL game in recent memory

"Mistake on the Lake Bowl?" Toilet Bowl? Whatever you want to call it, it was raw sewage. In what some are calling the worst game in modern NFL history, the Bills and Browns tried to outdo each other in making mistakes. In the end, it was a huge mistake by Roscoe Parrish, a mishandling of a punt that gave the Browns the ball in the red zone with just over 2 minutes to go.

Try as they might, the Browns still tried to bungle their attempt to win the game, and couldn't get a touchdown. But they made a field goal and that was enough to beat the Bills 6-3.



Bills get fried in Miami heat

Ugh! That best describes the Bills performance against the Dolphins Sunday afternoon. Going up against the previously winless Dolphins, the Bills put on a worse performance than the one they had in Toronto last year against Miami. The Fish fried the Bills 38-10 and the season is quickly going down the tubes. Just how long head coach Dick Jauron can survive the wrath of owner Ralph Wilson remains to be seen.

Wilson obviously had firing on his mind when he forced Jauron to let go of offensive coordinator Turk Schonert right before the regular season. It was to be taken as a last warning, a final chance to get things right this season. If the Bills keep playing like they did on Sunday and continue to lose, Jauron won't make it to Thanksgiving.



Bills offense blanked in loss to Saints

The Bills defense did their job for 3 quarters. The special teams produced the Bills only TD. It was the offense that didn't produce in the Bills 27-7 loss to the Saints. Trent Edwards went back to preseason form as he was mostly checking off and throwing short patterns. The Bills D held the powerful Saints offense to just 10 points in 3/4 of the game. It was the job of the offense to produce and do their part, but they failed miserably.

"They're a no-huddle team, and we made a big emphasis this week on the defensive line," said New Orleans head coach Sean Payton.. "And I felt like we had an edge in that area. We challenged them [the players on the Saints defensive line] and I was really pleased as the game went on, how we controlled the line of scrimmage."



Bills offense comes to life against Bucs

TO finally got his TD and the Bills finally got their first win. It wasn't easy, but should have been. The Bills raced to a 17-0 lead, but allowed the Tampa Bay Bucs to get back into the race. Finally, with the help of TO's 43-yard touchdown reception, the Bills beat the Bucs 33-20 before a sellout crowd of over 70,000.

Terrell Owens had a chance earlier as Bills QB Trent Edwards threw deep to him, but it slipped out of his hands. Until the touchdown grab, Owens only had two catches to the day. The third one made up for his miss and he celebrated, pumping his fists and showing off his muscles to the crowd chanting "TO, TO, TO!"



Another heart-wrenching MNF loss

Get your popcorn ready??? The Bills fans may have had plenty of popcorn on hand, but by game's end, they were definitely choking on the kernels, much like the team choking on the field. 

The Bills had their first victory against the Pats in 12 games right in their grasp. With 2 minutes to go, the Bills were leading by 6 and receiving the kickoff after the Pats had just scored.

Leodis McKelvin took the kickoff 2 yards deep in the endzone and instead of going the safe route and taking the touchback, he decided to run it out. Critical mistake! That mistake cost the Bills the game as he fumbled the ball and the Pats recovered. Give that kind of opportunity to the Patriots and Tom Brady and they are going to leap on it. That they did as the Pats came from behind with two late touchdowns to beat the Bills 25-24. It was yet another heartbreaking ending for the Bills.



Bills commence Buffalo Farewell Tour 

Like some great players have their "farewell tour," the Buffalo Bills are about to start that long road, saying goodbye to their fans who supported them since 1960. The handwriting is on the wall for all to see.

It all started when Ralph Wilson announced that the Bills were going to play 8 games in Toronto in the next five years. He is obviously getting his foot in the lucrative Toronto market where the Bills can charge over $200 per seat and make $9.75 million a game as opposed to the $3 million grossed at Orchard Park.

With this said, the biggest sign on the bathroom wall is one that tells of Ralph reaching the ripe old age of 90 come this October. Not too many men live that old, let alone older. Ralph is fighting the odds and his living is the only thing that is keeping the Bills in Buffalo.


The Thurmanator

"Think about it, 300 carries a season. Yes, a great ball carrier on first downs, but superior on third-and-long yardage situations as well. Show me another back that did the dirty work like picking up the blitz from ugly 250-pound linebackers any better. You can't. I just tell you, you can't."

Thurman Thomas was one of the best all-purpose backs ever in the NFL.
The speaker was Marv Levy, the newly enshrined NFL Hall of Fame coach. The running back he was talking about is a legend in Buffalo sports history and it would be a travesty if he didn't join Levy in Canton.

There may have been flashier running backs in the Buffalo Bills storied history. Surely there was one who had the best season ever for the team. But there was no runner who was better all-round than Thurman Thomas.

The great ESPN commentator, Chris Behrman, called him the "Thurmanator" and would always add colorful nouns and verbiage to describe the explosive running style of Thomas. Behrman was one of the first people to call the Bills resilient, and Thomas, along with Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, was the most resilient of the crew.

Thomas epitomized the heart and soul of the Buffalo Bills during their glory years in the early 90s. His heart bled the red, white and blue colors of the Bills throughout his smashing career in Buffalo. O. J. Simpson set all the marks for running backs in Buffalo. He ran for 2,003 yards back in 1973. However, Thomas chipped away at Simpson's total career yardage in Buffalo and finally surpassed it. He also had one other component that Simpson didn't even come close to and that was his total commitment to the team.



Quarterbacks don't come any tougher

The Buffalo Bills have had some outstanding quarterbacks in their storied history. Jack Kemp led the Bills to three straight AFL East championships and two straight AFL championships in the mid-60s. Daryle Lamonica, his backup, often came in relief and outplayed Kemp in those championship years. Lamonica, know as the "Mad Bomber" was famous for his long-ball home run touchdown passes and was traded to the Oakland Raiders where he won a couple Super Bowls. Then there was Joe Ferguson, who played 13 years for the Bills and set some franchise passing records in the process. There have been other quarterbacks who have had their day in the sun for the Bills, but none of them nor the greats mentioned above can compare to Jim Kelly.

Jim Kelly stands tall in the pocket as he gets set to send a bullet into enemy territory.
[Photo by Robert L. Smith]
On Saturday February 2, 2002, Kelly became the very first member of the heralded '83 Quarterbacks Club to be elected to Pro Football's Hall of Fame. He beat out such icons as John Elway and Dan Marino. Marv Levy, who preceded Kelly into the Hall the previous year, will do the introductory speech for Kelly during the August induction in Canton, Ohio.

Kelly has to be rated as the best quarterback in the Bills history. His 11-year career with the Buffalo Bills includes 4 straight trips to the Super Bowl and he helped lead the Bills to the best record of any NFL team in the 1990s. No quarterback will ever come along who'll be tougher than Kelly. People would always describe him as a quarterback "with a linebacker's mentality." He would block for his runners without a moment's hesitation and when he ran, he'd put every ounce into making that extra yard. If Kelly threw an interception, he'd take off in that direction and try to make the tackle. In fact, a couple of times he'd make that opposing player who picked off one of his passes pay dearly, as Kelly delivered some punishing tackles.




Is Andre Reed destined for the Hall of Fame?

Handing over the torch. Andre Reed is embraced by Eric Molds after a Reed score. Reed handed over the torch of the Bills Ace receiver to Molds.
[AP photo]

Andre Reed always had that chip on his shoulder. It was always Reed vs the rest of the world.

He played at a small college and was always fighting to prove himself in the NFL. Reed had to battle through injuries, and even had to prove to the Buffalo Bills players and their fans that we was as seriously injured one year as he claimed.

Reed's attitude throughout his career got him a reputation as a hot head and a complainer. However, his receiving records speak volumes and he will go down as the greatest Bills receiver in history. Now the big debate is whether he is worthy of going into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in Canton. Even though he had the numbers, many experts say that Reed is not Hall of Fame material. Once again, Reed will have to prove his case if the wants to get enshrined in the Hall and take his place alongside the other Buffalo Bills already there.

Reed was the essential link in the Jim Kelly aerial game. It was Reed who was always the go-to guy when Kelly had to get a first down or the all-important touchdown. The Kelly-to-Reed combination was one of the greatest quarterback-to-receiver combos in NFL history.


"Golden Wheels" - The Elbert Dubenion Story

Elbert Dubenion came to Buffalo for a tryout and turned into one of the greatest receivers in the old AFL.
[Bills photo]

The Buffalo Bills have been graced with superstars aplenty during their history. From Cookie Gilchrist to O.J. Simpson to Jim Kelly to Bruce Smith, the Bills had many stars that dominated not only the headlines but opposing teams who had to defend against them.

The very first star the Bills ever had was not even drafted by Buffalo. A man who became to be known as "Golden Wheels" signed as a free agent. The year was 1960 and an unknown rookie out of the little known Blufton College in Ohio, came into the Bills first training camp with the desire to make a professional football team in the newly formed American Football League. It was a nobody from a nowhere college trying to make it with an upstart league. This turned out to be a recipe for stardom for both the player, the team and the infant league.

Elbert Dubenion was practically a walk on and he made his mark with the Buffalo Bills and the league. Dubenion was 5'-11" and weighed 187 pounds. He also possessed tremendous speed and great hands. Back then, Dubenion was penciled in as a flanker back, today's equivalent to a wide receiver. His great speed was what made him stand out from most other receivers in the AFL that initial year of 1960. He instantly was tagged with the label of "Golden Wheels." His tremendous acceleration was like a fine-tuned race car burning rubber at the start of a race. Defensive backs were in awe over his sudden burst of speed.


Kelly's HOF Induction - A day Canton will never forget

It was a day that Jim Kelly dreamed of since childhood. In fact, getting into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio probably was beyond the wildest of young Kelly's dreams when he was roaming the streets of East Brady, PA.

Jim Kelly with his bronze bust after his very emotional Hall of Fame enshrinement.
[AP Photo/Ron Schwane]

On a sunny and a hot August afternoon in Canton's Fawcett Stadium, ESPN's Chris Behrman made the opening introduction for the 5 inductees who were to be ushered into Pro Football's shrine. When Kelly's name was announced before the record HOF crowd of 17,700, the Buffalo contingent of over 15,000 started chanting "Kelly, Kelly, Kelly."

Trying to scream over the chants of the Bills fans, Behrman said, "I think you know who this is. 35,000 yards and 237 touchdown passes. The author of the K-Gun, 4 straight Super Bowls. From the Buffalo Bills.....Jim Kelly!"

Kelly was overwhelmed with emotion as he came up after being ushered and embraced the famed ESPN personality who had been to several of Kelly's Bills post-game celebrations at his Orchard Park home. Behrman was a huge Kelly supporter ever since he was drafted originally by the Bills in 1983. He would become a sports version of a campaign manager for the Bills and Kelly through their 4 straight trips to the Super Bowl.


The Professor goes to Canton - The Marv Levy Story

Marv Levy was a dramatic coach on the sidelines for Buffalo

Once every decade of so, there arises a man who can sway millions with his great vernacular. Winston Churchill was one who could command the audience with his voice and delivery of well prepared speeches. Through the ages there have been great men who have been able to redirect the thinking of nations and have a major influence on world politics. In the mid 1980s, there arose a man more suited for the political battle field than the gridiron where he directed his troops onto many victories.

Marv Levy, who graduated from Harvard, took his education and used it to shape the careers of many pro football athletes. He would take his great command of the English language and use it to motivate his players to put forth their all to ensure victory. While he could have easily gone into the political arena, he chose instead the football arena.

Ten years to the date of the Bills first Super Bowl appearance, former Bills coach Levy was elected to go into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. On the anniversary of the Bills heart wrenching defeat to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV, Levy was voted into the Hall on his very first try.



Saban is surrounded by his players and his son as they await the end of an important game in 1964.
[Photo by Robert L. Smith]
They called him the Gypsy Coach. He was never one to hang his hat and overstay his welcome. Lou Saban would ride in on a white horse, save a football program and be gone in a flash. That was his nature. Saban has been a head coach of so many teams that even he probably cannot recall all of them in one sitting.

Lou Saban, the only coach in the history of the Buffalo Bills to win a league championship, will never see his name placed on the Bills Wall of Fame. Marv Levy's name was put up while he was still coaching. Levy took the Bills to four straight Super Bowls, but lost every one. Saban took the Bills to two straight AFL championships but never will find his name honored amongst the top Bills players and coaches on the wall.




Date Opponent Time
Sept. 7 SEATTLE 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Jacksonville 1:00  p.m.
Sept. 21 OAKLAND 1:00 p.m.
Sept. 28 at St. Louis 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 5 at Arizona 4:15 p.m.
Oct. 12 BYE BYE
Oct. 19 SAN DIEGO 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Miami  1:00 p.m.
Nov. 2 NEW YORK JETS 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 9 at  New Englandi 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 17 CLEVELAND 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 23 at Kansas City 1:00 p.m.
Nov. 30 SAN FRANCISCO 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 7 MIAMI (Toronto) 4:05 p.m..
Dec. 14 at New York Jets  1:00 p.m.
Dec. 21 at Denver 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 28 NEW ENGLAND 1:00 p.m.

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Click Bison for full size view and credits to: Artist: Koree Gilbert - Title: "FAN-demonium"

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