Share this article

print logo


Running back Willis McGahee found out in New England that rushing for 100 yards every week is not as easy as he made it look in the Buffalo Bills' three wins.

But McGahee, who was held to just 37 yards on 14 carries against the Patriots, could have a big bounce-back game Sunday against a porous St. Louis Rams run defense.

The Rams are 29th in the NFL against the run, giving up 140.1 yards per game. They are allowing a whopping 4.9 yards per rush, worst in the league.

"It's a big concern," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "This is something that we need to shore up. There's no question this is a big issue for us."

The Bills' inability to establish a ground attack has been their downfall in most of their six losses. When the running game isn't working, defenses can gang up on the passing attack. That's what happened Sunday as the Patriots made life miserable for quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

"You've got to get the running game going to open up the passing game to take some of the pressure off Drew and (wide receiver) Eric (Moulds)," McGahee said. "I believe once we get the running game going again we'll be successful."

Martz knows his defense will have its hands full against McGahee.

"He's as good a player as we've played," Martz said. "And really not just Willis, but Travis Henry. Both of these guys are outstanding backs. But Willis has mended and is ready to go. He's a very formidable back."

Moulds said he's talked to Philadelphia Eagles receiver Terrell Owens since the controversial "Monday Night Football" intro in which actress Nicollette Sheridan dropped her towel and appeared to be naked as she jumped into Owens' arms.

"I think T.O. wants to do some acting when he's done playing, so he looked at it as an opportunity to get his face out there and show some of his acting skills," said Moulds, who has been close friends with Owens for years. "From that standpoint, it's good for him."

Moulds said he doesn't think the skit is as big an issue as some people are making it out to be, but he does think it was a little over the top.

"The fact that they made it look like she had no clothes on is what people objected to more than anything," Moulds said.

Wide receiver Josh Reed and cornerback Troy Vincent did not practice again Thursday. Reed is listed as doubtful. Vincent, who said his injured knee was feeling better, is expected to miss his seventh consecutive game.

Defensive tackle Sam Adams returned to practice after he was given a day of rest Wednesday. Strong safety Coy Wire got through another practice without any setbacks to his torn abdominal muscle. He's questionable for Sunday.

The Rams added defensive end Anthony Hargrove (neck) to the injury report as questionable.

Running back Marshall Faulk returned to practice after missing Wednesday with flu-like symptoms. Starting outside linebacker Tommy Polley (hamstring) did not practice for a second straight day but is listed as probable.

Free safety Rashad Baker will be the second undrafted rookie free agent to start a game for the Bills this season. Jabari Greer, Baker's teammate at the University of Tennessee, started as the third cornerback against Baltimore.

Left tackle Jonas Jennings will have a familiar face staring at him Sunday.

Rams defensive end Bryce Fisher was the Bills' seventh-round draft pick in 1999. He joined Buffalo in 2001 after completing a two-year commitment in the Air Force and recorded 33 tackles and three sacks in 13 games (two starts).

The Bills released Fisher prior to the 2002 season. He was picked up by the Rams and has emerged as a starter. His 3.5 sacks is second on the team.

Jennings is looking forward to keeping Fisher off Bledsoe's back.

"It's always fun facing guys you know and know you," said Jennings, who was a rookie during Fisher's only year on the Bills' active roster. "It will be a nice battle, but it's one I don't plan on losing."

Sunday's game is a sellout and will be televised locally. The Bills have sold out 13 of the last 14 home games. Tickets remain for the Bills' final two home games against the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 12 and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 2.

There are no comments - be the first to comment