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Greetings from sunny (for now) Candlestick Park

By Tim Graham

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Buffalo Bills haven't lost two games in a row this year and will need to put together an unexpected performance to avoid that today here in Candlestick Park.

The Bills will play the San Francisco 49ers at 4:25 p.m. (EDIT: I had them playing the San Francisco Giants in my original post. Maybe the Bills thought so, too.)

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

The Bills and 49ers have played only 10 times over the years. The most memorable was the No Punt Game in 1993. The Bills allowed 598 yards and somehow won.

Buffalo News colleague Mark Gaughan said, "That was one of the five greatest Bills regular-season games in their history. It was one of the greatest Bills games I've covered in 21 seasons and one of Jim Kelly's greatest games because he surgically went to the open man all day. That particular game it happened to be Pete Metzelaars." Metzelaars finished with four catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Kelly threw for 403 yards, and fellow future Hall of Famer Steve Young threw for 449 yards.

The Bills-49ers series in tied at 5-5. The Bills are 3-3 in Candlestick Park. This will be the last time the Bills play here. A new stadium is being built in Santa Clara, Calif.

Weather report: Conditions are gorgeous as of this posting. It's about 60 degrees, and there's nary a cloud in the sky. Winds are light. But the weather here is notoriously unpredictable. You never know.

Fast fact: San Francisco has gained 4 or more yards on 70 of its 122 plays (57.4 percent), ranking first in the NFL. It has had only four three-and-out series all season.

If you don't know by now, listen up: The Buffalo News has you covered. Bills beat reporters Mark Gaughan and I are at the game along with columnist Bucky Gleason and photographer James P. McCoy. News reporter Jay Skurski will oversee a live chat that launches at 3:30 p.m.

For a preview of the game's biggest matchups, check out Skurski's scouting reports from today's paper. Gleason wrote a column about the Bills' defensive struggles and how much this past week has stung after giving up 52 points to the New England Patriots.

Don't forget to check out BuffaloNews.com's weekly postgame show. "[BN] the Huddle" goes live at 7:30 tonight, hosted by Skurski and Lauren Mariacher. The one-hour recap will include reports from Candlestick Park and analysis from One News Plaza staffers.

Today's game will be televised by CBS and shown in Western New York on WIVB Channel 4. Kevin Harlan will call the plays, with Solomon Wilcots handling color commentary.

Milestone watch: Bills kicker Rian Lindell needs three points to become only the second Bill with 900. Steve Christie is the all-time leader with 1,011.

Did you know? Bills running back Fred Jackson needs three catches to move past Joe Cribbs for second-most among Bills running backs and 12 rushing yards to move past Travis Henry into fourth place.

Bills all-time games versus Niners: O.J. Simpson rushed for 138 yards against his hometown team in 1972. Andre Reed holds the receiving record with 144 yards in 1992. Jim Kelly threw for 403 yards in the No Punt Game.

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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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