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Bills' offensive performance might be worst in four decades

By Tim Graham

TAMPA, Fla. -- In a week when NFL touchdowns were easier to order than a Super Pack at Mighty Taco, the Buffalo Bills turned in one of the worst offensive performances in their history.

Da'Rick Rogers, an undrafted rookie receiver the Bills cut in the preseason, scored twice as many points as they did Sunday.

Rogers had a pair of touchdowns for the Indianapolis Colts, while the Bills were pulverized, 27-6, by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium.

The particulars were foul. The Bills had five giveaways, allowed seven sacks and committed a dozen penalties.

A search of Pro-Football-Reference.com found the Bills became only the 13th team in NFL history to give up at least seven sacks, throw at least four interceptions and not score an offensive touchdown.

Pro-Football-Reference.com's database shows the last time the Bills met that thoroughly impotent criteria was 1971.

The Bills gave up nine sacks unofficially (sacks became an NFL stat in 1982) in a 43-0 loss to the Baltimore Colts at the Rockpile. Dennis Shaw threw three interceptions, and James Harris threw one. O.J. Simpson ran seven times for minus-10 yards.

Also Sunday, rookie quarterback EJ Manuel had the 15th game in Bills history with at least four interceptions and no touchdown passes. The last time was Drew Bledsoe against the Baltimore Ravens in 2004.

Joe Ferguson did it three times, including a six-interception (1974 against the Houston Oilers) and a five-interception (1982 versus the Miami Dolphins) game without a TD toss.

More info from Pro-Football-Reference: Buffalo had its 15th game in which it lost by at least 21 points, failed to score an offensive touchdown and committed five turnovers. But it has happened three times in the past four seasons.

Sixteen former Bills among 2014 Hall of Fame nominees

By Tim Graham

The Pro Football Hall of Fame today revealed the list of nominees for 2014 inductions.

The Buffalo Bills don't have any representatives who are first-year eligible, but 16 holdovers have been affiliated with the team.

Quarterback

  • Drew Bledsoe
  • Doug Flutie

Running back

  • Larry Centers

Wide receiver

  • Andre Reed

Offensive line

  • Kent Hull

Defensive line

  • Fred Smerlas
  • Ted Washington

Linebacker

  • Cornelius Bennett
  • Darryl Talley

Defensive back

  • Troy Vincent

Special teams

  • Steve Tasker

Coaches/Contributors

  • Tom Flores
  • Chuck Knox
  • Lou Saban
  • Marty Schottenheimer
  • Bill Polian

Neither Flores nor Schottenheimer was Bills head coach, but each played for them in the 1960s. Flores was the Bills' quarterbacks coach in 1971.

The full list of nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in late November and to 15 finalists in early January.

The 2014 class will be voted upon by the Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors, of which Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan is a member, the day before the Super Bowl.

Joe Ferguson as Mark Sanchez, Don Beebe on overrated Bills list

By Tim Graham

NFL.com has been naming the most underrated and overrated players for each team. The Buffalo Bills' all-time lists were posted today, and they look solid to me.

Feel free to add your thoughts or list some omissions in the comments section below.

Here are the winners and losers, with a snippet from author Patrick Crawley's review:

Overrated

Drew Bledsoe: "Bledsoe was expected to be Jim Kelly 2.0. Instead, he was just another Joe in a decade-long line of disappointing Bills quarterbacks."

Don Beebe: "He's a memorable player and an inspirational one. He's just not quite as impressive as the mythic persona that's been built around him."

Peerless Price: "Price has one great season (94 catches, 1,252 yards receiving, nine touchdowns) causing the speed-starved Atlanta Falcons to cough up a first-round pick to pair him with Michael Vick."

Joe Ferguson: "He was Mark Sanchez before Mark Sanchez."

Shane Conlan: "The most damning piece of evidence against Conlan? The Bills didn't skip a beat without him. After he left in 1992, they actually improved their league defensive ranking."

Underrated

Fred Smerlas: "Smerlas was point man on the so-called 'Bermuda Triangle' defense that paved the way for Buffalo's success in the early 90s."

Butch Byrd: "He had 40 [interceptions] in seven seasons. Even if you totaled the seven best seasons of Hall of Famers Deion Sanders (36) and Rod Woodson (38) they can't match that."

Howard Ballard: "He went on to start 80 straight games at right tackle for a Bills offensive line that set high marks for success, peaking with back-to-back 2,000 yards from scrimmage seasons for Thurman Thomas in 1991 and 1992."

Kenneth Davis: "The consummate 'deliver when it counts' guy, Davis scored seven postseason touchdowns in his six seasons with the Bills."

Aaron Schobel: "He had four seasons with 10-plus sacks, including back-to-back double-digit sack seasons in 2005 and 2006 -- the only Bills player other than Bruce Smith to do so."

Kevin Kolb dismisses idea he's a QB who gets sacked too much

By Tim Graham

Sometimes, quarterbacks get slapped with a label that can doom them.

He gets sacked too much.

Buffalo Bills fans are familiar with Drew Bledsoe and Rob Johnson. Daunte Culpepper and David Carr are two of the more prominent recent examples.

Kevin Kolb insisted he shouldn't be known as one of those guys.

Continue reading "Kevin Kolb dismisses idea he's a QB who gets sacked too much" »

Kevin Kolb plans on 'doing really special things' with Buffalo Bills

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills this afternoon finally introduced quarterback Kevin Kolb as their newest player.

There was no Drew Bledsoe-style parade or a theme song performed by Tom Sartori at the news conference, but Kolb did convey a substantial amount of positive energy at One Bills Drive.

"I'm here," Kolb said, "to win a Super Bowl. Period."

Continue reading "Kevin Kolb plans on 'doing really special things' with Buffalo Bills" »

Bills quarterbacks don't find greener pastures elsewhere

By Tim Graham

Not that Buffalo Bills fans were worried to begin with, but there shouldn't be any regret about Ryan Fitzpatrick leaving town.

Of all the former Bills who have come back to haunt them, quarterbacks haven't been a concern.

That could be viewed two ways. Either the Bills have been adept at moving on from an ineffective player, or they haven't been able how to identify a quarterback to begin with.

Continue reading "Bills quarterbacks don't find greener pastures elsewhere" »

Buffalo's next QB will be the 11th starter since Jim Kelly retired

By Tim Graham

Amid all the mystery about what the Buffalo Bills' offense will look like under new head coach Doug Marrone, one thing is certain.

On opening day, the Bills will use their 11th starting quarterback since Jim Kelly retired after the 1996 season.

The Bills today released incumbent Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started the previous three seasons. Whether it be Tarvaris Jackson, a free agent or a rookie, the next quarterback will be someone who hasn't taken a snap for the Bills.

Continue reading "Buffalo's next QB will be the 11th starter since Jim Kelly retired" »

Remember when Joe Ferguson, Steve Grogan were top 50 all-time?

By Tim Graham

There are so many clichéd ways to illustrate how long it has been since X happened.

The price of gas. Who the president was. The No. 1 television show.

For the record: about $1.13, Bill Clinton and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" the last time the Buffalo Bills went to the playoffs.

But those examples are yawners compared to this one.

Continue reading "Remember when Joe Ferguson, Steve Grogan were top 50 all-time?" »

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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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