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Points after: Bills 23, Ravens 20

702704 RAVENS AT BILLS MU#8

By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' bounce-back victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills are 2-2 and unbeaten outside the AFC East after upsetting the defending Super Bowl champs.

Player of the game: Starting at cornerback for the first time since last season, erstwhile safety Aaron Williams had his first two-interception game and broke up a couple more long passes. Williams left the game with an apparent shoulder injury in the second quarter but returned, then departed for good in the fourth quarter with a lower-back injury.

Play of the game: With 57 seconds to play and the Bills hanging on by their fingernails, middle linebacker Kiko Alonso got his fingers around a ball batted by safety Da'Norris Searcy. Alonso secured an interception at the Bills' 41-yard line to cement the victory.

Jackson reaches milestone: With running back C.J. Spiller hampered by another injury, Fred Jackson was his usual, reliable self. Jackson rushed 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. He surpassed Joe Cribbs for third place on the Bills' all-time list behind Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson.

Stat line of the game: Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco was 25 of 50 for 347 yards and two touchdowns but a career-worst five interceptions.

Alonso all over: Alonso became the first rookie linebacker in Bills history to snag an interception in three straight games. He's only the third Bills rookie linebacker with three in a season, joining Stew Barber in 1961 and Mike Stratton in 1962.

Stevie nearly snuffed: Bills receiver Stevie Johnson entered today's game with a 51-game reception streak, fourth-longest in club history. Johnson had one catch for minus-1 yard. But he also made a colossal play by recovering an EJ Manuel fumble deep in Buffalo territory right before the two-minute warning.

Preliminary injury report: Aaron Williams fell hard on his right shoulder while breaking up a long pass early in the second quarter. He went to the locker room early before halftime, played much of the second half but left the game again in the fourth quarter with a lower-back injury. ... Wide receiver and special-teamer Marcus Easley was sidelined in the second quarter with an apparent left ankle or foot injury but returned later in the quarter. ... A knee injury sent right guard Kraig Urbik to the locker room with 5:27 left in the first half. Urbik returned in the third quarter. ... Spiller limped off with a left ankle injury on the first possession of the second half, but came back late in the third quarter. ... Jackson removed himself from the game at the goal line with about two minutes left in the third quarter but returned to action.

Coming up: The Bills have the dreaded short week ahead. They will play the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night in FirstEnergy Stadium.

Mario Williams: Thin secondary makes D-line feel 'a lot of stress'

Mario Williams - McCoy
Bills defensive end Mario Williams said the thin defensive backfield adds a lot of stress. (File photo by James P. McCoy/Buffalo News)

By Tim Graham

The Baltimore Ravens have shown a substandard offense through three games.

The Ravens enter Sunday's game versus the Buffalo Bills ranked 30th in total offense, 25th in rushing offense and 20th in passing offense.

Then again, the New York Jets looked pedestrian before thrashing the Bills' defense Sunday.

Buffalo's secondary was vulnerable at the Meadowlands. When cornerback Leodis McKelvin left the game with a hamstring injury on the first series, the added strain impacted the entire defense.

Continue reading "Mario Williams: Thin secondary makes D-line feel 'a lot of stress'" »

Drawing the pistol: Trent Dilfer says it's bigger than a fad

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Trent Dilfer was unequivocal when asked if the pistol offense and read-option runs were here to stay.

"Without a doubt," Dilfer said about the offense that's helped propel the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII.

Dilfer, an ESPN analyst and the quarterback when the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl 12 years ago, sees a significant tactical advantage for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tonight.

Continue reading "Drawing the pistol: Trent Dilfer says it's bigger than a fad" »

Steve Tasker: Super Bowl XLVII destined for sudden death

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Steve Tasker will be a sideline reporter for Sunday's telecast of Super Bowl XLVII and is protecting his objectivity. He refuses to pick a winner.

But the popular Buffalo Bills alum did make one prediction about what will transpire between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens.

"I predict overtime," Tasker told me today in the Super Bowl XLVII media center. "The head coaches may as well be twins. The teams are built with the same philosophy. They look alike when you watch them practice.

Continue reading "Steve Tasker: Super Bowl XLVII destined for sudden death" »

QB revolution: Trent Dilfer pegs Jameis Winston future No. 1 pick

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Trent Dilfer already has his No. 1 overall draft choice slotted for 2015 or so.

"I know what's coming," Dilfer said Thursday in the Super Bowl XLVII media center. "I know the kid at Florida State, Jameis Winston, will be an absolute rock star.

"He'll be the first pick of the draft if the first pick goes to a team that wants to run the pistol, zone-read, have a passer. He's that kind of kid."

Dilfer, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback 12 years ago and ESPN analyst, also instructs high school and college players. He has seen a glimpse into the future, and he's convinced the pistol formation and read-option are here to stay and will change the game.

Continue reading "QB revolution: Trent Dilfer pegs Jameis Winston future No. 1 pick" »

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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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