Bills Fighting Through Emotional Hurdles

Bills have a big task to overcome emotional ups and downs. The team is learning to play hard while facing mounting hurdles of injuries, close losses, struggles with inexperience and more.

The Bills have had numerous emotional hurdles to leap so far this young NFL season, perhaps too many.

When play resumes following their bye at home against Baltimore on Sunday, many fans and media will be interested to see how and if they can rebound from last Monday's heart-breaking 25-24 loss to Dallas. The Bills gave up nine points in the final twenty seconds and lost despite collecting six takeaways and scoring three return touchdowns.

"(We're) trying to get past it, but it's hard," coach Dick Jauron said. "It's easier to leave wins behind. Losses just are hard to get rid of. You replay everything and ask yourself what you could have done differently and you tend to second-guess yourself a lot. So, yes it's hard to go on, but we don't have a lot of time. ... We've got an 11-game season. That's a long season. There are a lot of things that can happen in that season and a lot of things we have to make happen (yet)."

The Bills' hard-luck season began with a one-point loss to Denver, a game in which tight end Kevin Everett suffered a life-threatening and career-ending spinal cord injury.

That opened a floodgate of injuries that ballooned to 14 players out of action at one point. Players are getting healthy again, but nine -- including four starters -- are out for the season.

Many players, including cornerback Terrence McGee, are confident the Bills can learn, grow and move past the Dallas debacle. They point to how hard the team played despite being 10-point underdogs. That's a good sign for Jauron, whose game management has been less than stellar.

"There are a lot of guys in (that locker room) hurting, and it was a very exciting Monday night game," said McGee, who had a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. "All the big plays we made, and it seemed like we had it won, but that's football. It's not over until it's over. But I told Jabari (Greer) earlier, we left everything out on the field, so I think overall we did a good job, we were just one play short. So right now, we just have to relax, take the bye week, and come back ready to play."

After Baltimore, the Bills travel to the New York Jets then host the Cincinnati Bengals to signal the season's halfway mark. Five of their final eight games are on the road.

Notes:

--QB J.P. Losman appears fully recovered from a sprained ligament in his left knee suffered at New England on Sept. 23 and will be eligible to return to the starting lineup. Coach Dick Jauron won't make a decision until Wednesday, he said, at the earliest.

--RB Marshawn Lynch entered the bye weekend 16th in NFL rushing with 373 yards on 100 carries (3.73 average). Buffalo's game against Baltimore is his first head-to-head matchup with the player he replaced in Buffalo, Willis McGahee, who had gained 464 yards (4.5 average) through five games.

--WR Josh Reed enters the Baltimore game with 2,272 career receiving yards, just 32 shy of tying TE Jay Riemersma for 17th place in team history. Reed has caught a ball in 31 of his last 33 games.

--TE Michael Gaines, the former Carolina Panther who signed in Week 2, has gradually become a factor in the team's passing game. He has eight catches for 45 yards and has caught a pass in his last five NFL games overall.

--DE Chris Kelsay joined some elite company with his interception for a TD against Dallas. He and Ron McDole (who had six) are the only defensive linemen in Bills history with at least three career TDs. Eight others have two.

--KR Terrence McGee has tied a team record with seven career returns for touchdowns. Five have come on kickoffs, one on an interception and one via a fumble recovery. Ex-CB Nate Clements (five interceptions, two punt returns) set the mark.

 


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