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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: A win gets away

     September 12, 2004 -- There's always hope when a new coach arrives for a professional sports franchise, especially in his first game. In Mike Mularkey's case, that hope for Bills' fans extended for virtually that entire opener.

     But those good feelings expired when the game did. The Bills somehow let one get away, losing to the Jaguars, 13-10, before 72,389 in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

     Painful? The Bills had several missed opportunities to put the game away. Then Jacksonville converted three fourth-down plays in an 80-yard march to the winning score.

     The Jags put the game away on a 7-yard touchdown pass from byron Leftwich to Ernest Wilford right at the gun.

     "I remember my high school coach telling me that once you've got them down, if you're a great team, you have to kill the mosquito with an ax," said Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes.

     The Bills rebounded to have a winning record in 2004, going 9-7. But the team went 5-11 in 2005, and Mularkey resigned after the season.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.