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Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

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  • Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

    Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted
    St. Louis coach worried Buffalo (3-6) starting to peak
    The Associated Press
    Nov. 20, 2004

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Mike Martz knows better than to take any team for granted — especially one from the AFC East.

    Having lost to the division’s best, New England, and its worst, Miami, already this season, the Rams coach is well aware the Bills won’t be pushovers, particularly outdoors at Orchard Park where the elements could play a factor this weekend.

    “It is a reminder,” Martz said, referring to how St. Louis unraveled in handing the Dolphins their one and only win this season. “But Buffalo is different (than Miami). I think Buffalo is a better football team. ... They’re on the rise.”

    In which direction the Rams (5-4) are going remains a question heading into Sunday’s non-conference game against the Bills (3-6). Even the oddsmakers are hedging, giving St. Louis only a slight edge. It’s an indication of how much better the Bills play at home, where they’ve won three straight, and how inconsistent St. Louis has been.

    The Rams might be the among the NFL’s most entertaining and befuddling teams. They’ve played strong in stretches, and last weekend bounced back from two losses to gain the NFC West lead by defeating division-rival Seattle for the second time this season.

    And yet the Rams have also fallen to some of the league’s doormats, including last month’s 31-14 loss at Miami.

    “There’s a lot of reasons for both,” Rams quarterback Marc Bulger said, referring to the disparity in performances. “There’s a team that makes plays when we have to and there’s one that doesn’t. We just need to be the one that makes plays.”

    The low point for Martz came when the Rams followed their loss to Miami with a 40-22 defeat to New England. It prompted a public outburst from the coach, who placed the blame squarely on his players.

    “It wasn’t so much of a challenge as it was a refocus to basics,” Martz said this week. “It was never, ‘I’m mad at you,’ or ‘You guys screwed this up.’ That’s not the way it works. ... We had to get back to basics last week, and I think it helped, and they appreciated it.”

    The Bills have attracted their share of criticism this season, but none of it coming from rookie head coach Mike Mularkey.

    That includes this week, when Mularkey maintained an even keel following a 29-6 loss at New England, a game in which the Bills generated just 125 yards of offense and their defense couldn’t get off the field.

    As a former player, Mularkey believes such a performance — and not what he has to say about it — should be motivation enough.

    “I think some guys, I would say a lot of them, have taken what took place personally,” Mularkey said. “You shouldn’t be in this business, coaching or playing, if that didn’t affect your character and want to bring out the good in it.”

    Defensive tackle Sam Adams sure didn’t need reminding.

    “We were garbage the last time we went out,” Adams said. “And we have a lot to prove to ourselves, our families, our community. If we want their support, we have to go out and earn that again.”

    Except for two losses to New England by a combined score of 60-23 this season, Buffalo has been competitive in its other seven games, with three losses decided by three points or less.

    Buffalo’s defense was the last this season to allow a 100-yard rushing performance when the Patriots’ Corey Dillon managed 151 last weekend. And the Bills seven times held opponents to 20 points or less, and six times allowed less than 300 yards.

    The Buffalo offense, when it’s not sputtering, has been at it’s most effective when running the ball. Willis McGahee has rushed for 100 yards in each of Buffalo’s three victories.

    The Bills are making no secret of how big a role McGahee is expected to have this weekend against a Rams defense ranked 29th overall and 29th against the run.

    A strong running attack would also benefit Buffalo by keeping the Rams’ sixth-ranked offense off the field.

    Buoyed by last weekend’s victory, Bulger said this is no time to look past the Bills.

    “I think it’s pretty much must win right now,” Bulger said. “Coach sent a message to us last week and I think we all understand it, and know the magnitude of each game from here on out.”

  • #2
    Re: Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

    Luckily he took them could have been REAL UGLY had he not.
    "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana


    • #3
      Re: Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

      Originally posted by Fargo Ram Fan
      Luckily he took them could have been REAL UGLY had he not.
      They were trying not to run up the score!!! The most inept offense I've seen this year with the most inept qb and they are taking a knee so as not to embarrass us! You've got to be kidding me! (Wait, I almost forgot about the dolphins as the most inept....did they score 40 on us?) :confused:


      • #4
        Re: Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

        Blindfolds and smokes will be handed out prior to next weeks Green Bay game. Favre and company may put up 50+.
        "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana


        • #5
          Re: Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

          I was at the Bills game. It was embarassing come the 3rd quarter. Bobby April will be sleeping very nicely tonight. Two punt returns cost us 14 points.


          • #6
            Re: Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

            Originally posted by rebel13
            They were trying not to run up the score!!! The most inept offense I've seen this year with the most inept qb and they are taking a knee so as not to embarrass us! You've got to be kidding me! (Wait, I almost forgot about the dolphins as the most inept....did they score 40 on us?) :confused:
            people in the stands were mad when the Bills took a knee...Martz would have run it up?...the Bills/Rams don't play for 4 more years a lot of coaches would have run it up.


            • #7
              Re: Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

              Originally posted by DJRamFan
              I was at the Bills game. It was embarassing come the 3rd quarter.

              Man, there were just wheels flying everywhere off the Rams in that 3rd quarter. It was not a good scene for them. We were walking from the stadium and got next to about 8 Ram fans. I said "Man, wheels flying everywhere in the 3rd". A couple of them said that the Rams didn't come out for the 3rd.


              • #8
                Re: Martz not taking woeful Bills for granted

                At least I won the bet and RAMS FAN owes me some beer!


                Related Topics


                • DJRamFan
                  [Bills] Is there anything left to play for?
                  by DJRamFan
                  The Associated Press
                  Drew Bledsoe watches from the sidelines Sunday night after being replaced by J.P. Losman the final two series against New England. Is it time for the 12-year veteran to take an early retirement? The Bills aren't mathematically out of the playoffs, but the season is realistically shot.
                  [Day in Photos]

                  The five W's
                  WHO is starting to think about 2005? Bills fans should be because 2004 pretty much came to an end Sunday night in Foxboro. Mike Mularkey made reference to the Pittsburgh team he played on in 1989 that was 4-6 at one point in the season yet rallied to make the playoffs, so he's not going to give up. The rest of us can give up. This team is not making the playoffs.

                  WHAT do we make of J.P. Losman's debut? Not much. The kid was terrible, but let's be fair. The game was hopelessly lost and the Patriots — the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots — were in a feeding frenzy. Still, two turnovers on five plays was not what Bills fans wanted to see from their QB of the future.

                  WHERE was Drew Bledsoe looking when he threw that interception to Tedy Bruschi? He was trying to hit Lee Evans over the middle, but unless he has X-ray vision he couldn't have seen Evans because Bruschi was right in front of the rookie receiver. How many other 12th-year quarterbacks would have thrown that pass?

                  WHEN is Mark Campbell going to re-surface? The Bills' starting tight end has gone three straight games without a pass reception. He has just 10 catches for 135 yards this season.

                  WHY didn't the Bills try to make an early statement against the Pats? Last week on the opening series against the Jets, Mularkey went for a fourth-and-1 at the 12 and Willis McGahee scored a touchdown. Against New England the Bills had a fourth-and-5 at the Pats 35 on the opening possession. Too far for a field goal, too close for a punt. Why not go for the first down there? If they make it, maybe they go in and score and perhaps the game turns out different. Then again, maybe not.

                  — Sal Maiorana

                  Leo Roth and Sal Maiorana
                  Staff writers

                  (November 16, 2004) — Sal: It's ridiculous that we're asking this question in the middle of November about a team that clearly has talent, but when you're a team that can't win on the road, that's the plight the Bills face. Seven games to go, yet the season is basically shot. I don't think there's anything to play for except getting the team's young players ready for the future.

                  Leo: I agree, although with seven games to go, there's still plenty of time to sell more beer, hot dogs and merchandise. I hear there's a No. 11 jersey clear-out sale this week.

                  Sal: Didn't they already have one of those? Oh, my mistake, that was Rob Johnson's No. 11 jersey.

                  Leo: Seriously, the Bills' goal these final weeks...
                  -11-16-2004, 07:52 AM
                • DJRamFan
                  [Bills] Bledsoe is still starter . . . for now
                  by DJRamFan
                  Mularkey won't give up on veteran despite loss to Pats

                  By BUCKY GLEASON
                  NEWS SPORTS REPORTER

                  Buffalo Bills coach Mike Mularkey still hasn't given up on his team's chances of making the playoffs this season, which explains why he isn't quite ready to begin the J.P. Losman Era any time soon. Drew Bledsoe will be the starting quarterback Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Rams.
                  After that, we'll see.

                  Mularkey's reasoning Monday after the Bills' embarrassing 29-6 defeat to the New England was built more on mathematics than reality. The Bills are 3-6 with seven games remaining, including a five-game stretch that includes four road games. Ten teams in the AFC have a better record than Buffalo, and only Miami's is worse.

                  Technically, the Bills can make the playoffs. Realistically, their chances are slim at best.

                  "It's still too early to rule out where we're going from this point in the season," Mularkey said after meeting with his players. "There are seven games left. We're not out of it. Drew has proven in three (wins) of four (games) before this game that he was a big reason why. We'll start with Drew this week."

                  Problems that had plagued Bledsoe for two-plus seasons resumed Sunday against the Patriots in what could have been the worst game of his career. He completed just eight of 17 passes for 76 yards, had three interceptions and failed to lead the Bills' offense into the red zone, let alone the end zone. His 14.3 passer rating was the lowest for any game in his 12-year career.

                  "I think he just threw some poor balls," Mularkey said. "We had some guys open, and then we didn't and forced some things in there. Against that team, you can't afford to do that."

                  Losman came off the bench cold as the third quarterback and wasn't much better in two series against the Pats. The Bills' first-round pick in April was sacked and fumbled the ball away on his first NFL drive and threw an easy interception on his second. He didn't exactly inspire thoughts he was the next Ben Roethlisberger, the rookie quarterback who has led the Pittsburgh Steelers to seven straight wins.

                  But could Losman be a better option than Bledsoe?

                  Mularkey said he merely wanted to take a peek at Losman knowing Sunday's game was basically decided, not kick-start a quarterback controversy. Mularkey wouldn't even say whether Losman, who is still not fully recovered from a broken leg, would be promoted to backup and therefore get more snaps in practice.

                  "It was really just a matter of giving him some time," Mularkey said. "It was purely exposure. I don't think we put him in there to win the game. It would have been a tough comeback based on the number of scores we needed. It wasn't to start a controversial thing. It was to get a...
                  -11-16-2004, 07:57 AM
                • RamWraith
                  Martz relents on Bills' blocks
                  by RamWraith
                  By Bill Coats
                  Of the Post-Dispatch
                  Monday, Nov. 22 2004

                  After expressing indignation Sunday about what he considered cheap-shot cut
                  blocks by the Buffalo Bills, Rams coach Mike Martz backpedaled rapidly Monday.

                  "The one on Torry (Holt) ... I mean, it's legal, doesn't matter," Martz said.
                  "Torry wasn't immediately involved in the play, yet (cornerback Nate Clements),
                  for whatever reason, went after his knee. There's not much you can do about
                  that, I guess. It angered me, but ... it's legal.

                  "The other ones, you know, what are you going to do? That's just the way they
                  play the game. There's no more to be said, really."

                  But after the Rams' 37-17 loss Sunday at Buffalo, Martz had plenty to say about
                  the hits that sent Holt and cornerbacks Travis Fisher and DeJuan Groce to the
                  sideline. Martz angrily called the blocks intentional, adding, "They're trying
                  to blow somebody's knee out. There's no question about it."

                  Holt bounced up and was back at wideout quickly. But Fisher and Groce were done
                  for the day with what was announced as sprained left knees. Those injuries left
                  the Rams with a significant shortage of defensive backs.

                  On Monday, Bills coach Mike Mularkey declined to get into a verbal duel with
                  Martz. "Based on what I watched, I don't understand his comments, and I'll just
                  leave it at that," Mularkey told reporters in Buffalo. Asked if he was bothered
                  by Martz's comments, Mularkey said, "No. I didn't see what he felt. ... He's
                  got his opinions, and I don't understand them."

                  Martz also complained Sunday that the Rams' traveling party was unable to go
                  through security after the game "like we do at every stadium in the National
                  Football League. They force us to go to the airport. Now, there's no reason for
                  that. That's just this organization."

                  General manager Tom Donahue explained Monday that the Bills "cannot do the
                  security checks in our facility because our tunnel area is too small. But we
                  did give the option to do their security checks in the field house (adjacent to
                  the stadium), and they refused to do it. I'm just going to leave it at that."

                  Hits on Bulger anger Martz

                  While backing off his cut-block objections, Martz jumped on another subject of
                  concern: late hits by the Bills on Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.

                  "He got absolutely blasted," Martz said. "I'm talking about the crown (of the
                  helmet) to the back, to the neck, to the front, to everywhere after throws.
                  Now, that is an issue for me."

                  But Martz conceded it isn't limited to the Bills. "This has been going...
                  -11-23-2004, 03:39 AM
                • Nick
                  Five Keys to the Game - Buffalo
                  by Nick
                  Five Keys to the Game - Buffalo
                  Friday, November 19, 2004

                  1. It is becoming almost cliché, but the same problem that has plagued the Rams defense all season is the same thing it needs to concentrate on Sunday. Running back Willis McGahee has come back from a knee injury with great success and is the kind of slashing runner that gives St. Louis trouble. The Rams have had trouble stopping the run all season and doing so against the Bills would go a long way toward a win. The key is for the linebackers to stay in their gaps, get off blocks and make sure tackles. That group has been much-maligned this season and, with the exception of Pisa Tinoisamoa, has been the most inconsistent unit on the team.

                  2. Like in most games, a lot of the outcome is decided up front. Buffalo’s offensive line is one of the league’s largest. Even center Trey Teague is 6-foot-5, 300 pounds. The Rams defensive line has gotten a boost from tackle Jimmy Kennedy, who is starting to come into his own after suffering a broken foot in training camp. The giant Bills’ line is big, but certainly not the most talented the Rams have faced. Expect Buffalo to keep tights ends and fullbacks around to try to pound the running game and chip away at defensive end Leonard Little. Little’s speed off the edge could mean a big day against tackle Mike Williams, who is battling an injury and inconsistency.

                  3. Buffalo’s defense is No. 5 in the NFL for a reason. The Bills have a pair of great leaders at linebacker (Takeo Spikes and London Fletcher), a massive defensive tackle duo (Sam Adams and Pat Williams) and a strong secondary that features Nate Clements and Lawyer Milloy. The Rams offense is equally good, but has struggled at times against some of the league’s better defenses (see Miami game). St. Louis will probably come out like coach Mike Martz wants it to, fast and furious. It will be the offense’s ability to get in a rhythm early against a hard-hitting, opportunistic defense that will determine a lot of which side comes out on top.

                  4. Bills quarterback Drew Bledsoe has struggled mightily this season, at times throwing the ball directly to the defender. The Rams defense has dropped some prime opportunities for interceptions and turnovers this season. If St. Louis gets some gift wrapped chances from Bledsoe, it must take advantage and finish the play.

                  5. The second half of the NFL season started last week and the Rams did it in style, with a big win against division-rival Seattle. Now, they play four of the next five on the road and it all starts with Buffalo. A win against the Bills gives St. Louis added confidence that it can win on the road and do it in a hostile, possibly cold environment. Buffalo, historically, has been one of the league’s best teams at home. Regardless of how the Bills have played this season, this game is no gimme. For the Rams’ part, they must keep the emotion and intensity at the level...
                  -11-20-2004, 02:04 PM
                • macrammer
                  Week 3 Rams @ Buffalo
                  by macrammer
                  The Rams on the heels of a convincing road victory against the Eagle, Our Rams travel once again the breadth of the country to wrangle with the very good Buffalo Bills. This is a very rare match-up. These two teams have net 12 times with the bills holding a 7-5 edge.

                  There are 11 teams at 2-0. Rams and Bills are both in that company. Since 2007, 55 % of teams that start off 2-0 make the playoffs. The Rams started 3-0 last year. Went 6-7 rest of year. Are we a top tier team? I think it is still too early to tell. But, I do think the Rams are seemingly better then last year.

                  The Bills and Rams are offensive minded. Rams are 5th in the league in total offense while the Bills are 3rd. Thus far, the Bills average 105 yds per game rushing while the Rams are a healthy 172 yds per game. Josh Allen looks to be the real deal for the Bills. He has yet to throw a pick and has 6 Td's He can also run the ball but has fumbled twice in two games.

                  The Rams are hurting at RB with Brown having broken pinky and Akers most likely out with rib injury.

                  Micah Kiser gets a shout out. Missed 7 tackles in Week 1. Weeks two, he has 16 and is named Defensive player of week. !!!

                  I think this is a close game.

                  Rams 24
                  Bills 21...
                  -09-23-2020, 02:27 PM