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A breezy good morning from Ralph Wilson Stadium

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills have a phenomenal opportunity to distance themselves from their dreadful two-game slump and enter their bye week as one of only two 4-3 teams in the AFC East. That's what a victory today over the Tennessee Titans in Ralph Wilson Stadium would do.

Here is a digest of items about the game ...

Bill Polian will be added to the Bills' Wall of Fame at halftime. Polian, the general manager who assembled the Super Bowl teams, will be the sixth non-player honored in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills legend Steve Tasker will introduce Polian in an on-field ceremony.

Pinto300Bills superfan Ken Johnson will attend his 300th consecutive game. Ken Johnson (aka Pinto Kenny, aka Pinto Ron) of Rochester hasn't missed a Bills game -- home or away -- since 1993. The ultimate tailgater and his 1980 Ford Pinto have been featured on the The Food Network for the concoctions he and his band of sous chefs serve up before the games. Their delicacies include chicken grilled on the hood of the Pinto, wings tossed in an army helmet, stir fry in a hubcap and pizzas baked in a file cabinet. Buffalo News reporter Milt Northrop wrote about Johnson's milestone in today's paper. (Photo: Courtesy Lori Chase)

Weather forecast says it will be mild, windy. The National Weather Service says conditions at kickoff will be sunny and about 58 degrees, but winds will gust upwards of 25 mph. It could be a dicey day for Bills rookie punter Shawn Powell and kicker Rian Lindell. Kickoff specialist John Potter is expected to be deactivated. Titans punter Brett Kern is from Grand Island.

The Bills trail the all-time series against the Oilers/Titans, 14-26. The Bills have lost four in a row and seven of the past eight meetings, including the heartbreaking Music City Miracle loss in the 1999 playoffs. It was the last time the Bills have been to the postseason.

Ryan Fitzpatrick stat to consider: According to ProFootballFocus.com, when throwing 20 or more yards downfield, he has completed five of only 18 attempts for 143 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions. That's a 57.6 passer rating.

Don't forget about "[BN] the Huddle" tonight. Check out BuffaloNews.com's live postgame show at 7:30 p.m. hosted by Lauren Mariacher and yours truly. The postgame recap will include reports from Ralph Wilson Stadium and analysis from One News Plaza staffers.

Buffalo News reporters Jay Skurski, John Vogl and I are in the press box along with columnist Bucky Gleason. Photographers James P. McCoy, Mark Mulville and Harry Scull Jr. will shoot the action from the sidelines.

Today's game will be televised by CBS and shown in Western New York on WIVB Channel 4. Marv Albert will call the plays, with 2002 league MVP Rich Gannon handling color commentary. Gannon shared his thoughts about Fitzpatrick's struggles for Skurski's article in Saturday's paper.

Milestone watch: With 11 games to play, Scott Chandler is one touchdown reception away from scoring the most touchdowns by a Bills tight end in a two-season span. He scored six in 2011 and has four already this year. Pete Metzelaars scored 10 in 1992-93.

Did you know? Matt Hasselbeck needs two touchdown passes to become only the fourth active quarterback with 200 TDs in his career, joining Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Bills all-time games versus Oilers/Titans: Joe Cribbs rushed for 166 yards in 1983. Elbert Dubenion had 183 receiving yards in 1964. In the same game, Jack Kemp threw for 378 yards.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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