Monday Buffalo Chips

After starting out strong, the Bills are now marching steadily backwards...

The Bills will have an extra day to prepare for their next game as they will take on the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Based on what has happened to them the last three weeks, they will need all the time they can get to iron out the kinks that now range top to bottom.

Buffalo is not clicking in any phase right now and the 20-10 loss to New England on Sunday illuminated that.

The Bills have gone into serious regression on offense and managed a scant 168 yards against the Patriots. Defensively, this team has stopped creating turnovers, cannot put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and it can't get off the field in crucial spots.

All of these problems contributed to all three losses to AFC East foes Miami, New York and New England and now the Bills are reeling at 5-4 and are technically in last place in the division even though they have the same record as the Dolphins.

"The week after we beat the Chargers everybody was pretty high and talking about being 5-1, but that's the nature of the NFL and as fast as we can get out to a good start, that's how fast it can go away," said center Duke Preston.

The Bills are not getting down, though. Their next three games are against the Browns (3-6), at Kansas City (1-8) and home against the 49ers (2-6). All three are winnable and a Buffalo sweep would get the Bills to 8-4 and in position to salvage a playoff berth that has eluded the franchise for eight years.

In the final month, Buffalo has to play its three AFC East rivals again and only one game (against New England on Dec. 28) is truly at home. The Dec. 7 game against Miami will be played in Toronto, and though it is supposed to be a "home" game, the Bills will not have the outdoor weather advantage against their South Florida foe, and there is speculation that there may be almost as many Dolphins fans at the game at Rogers Centre as there will be Bills fans.

"It's a situation that we can fix, that we can get ourselves out of," said linebacker Paul Posluszny. "We feel like the games we lost, you realize we could have had the game if we make a play here or there. We definitely feel like we can get everything back on track."

Coach Dick Jauron said he believes his team is still confident and can regroup.

"They're not difficult to get to," he said. "They're not a group, certainly to this point, that point fingers at each other. They just tend to look at themselves, blame themselves. We all have to get better. And certainly that includes me too, to try to get them more ready to play and to help them with different things to get ready to play. Attitude-wise though, I do not see it as any issue at all with this group. They will suffer. They are suffering now, but they will be in on Wednesday and they will start working."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We thought we were on the verge of changing the culture within Buffalo, but we're not where we want to be and it's disappointing." -- LB Kawika Mitchell, on the Bills' three-game losing streak.

BY THE NUMBERS: 134 -- Field goals by Rian Lindell in a Buffalo uniform, moving him past Scott Norwood and into second place on the team's all-time list behind Steve Christie (234).

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Trent Edwards had another tough day as he completed just 13 of 23 passes for 120 yards with two interceptions and one TD.

--DE Ryan Denney had the best statistical game of his career as he was credited with 11 tackles and two passes batted down.

--WR James Hardy has only nine catches this season for 87 yards, but he caught his second TD pass of the year against the Patriots, a 14-yard reception.

--WR Lee Evans has not had much success against the Patriots and that continued as he caught only two balls for 22 yards.

--KR Leodis McKelvin finally broke a kickoff return as he went 85 yards in the fourth quarter to set up a meaningless Bills TD. It was the second-longest non-scoring kickoff return in team history.


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