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MONDAY BILLBOARD

Big Picture: - It was a game effort by the Bills, rallying from a 20-0 hole and pushing the top team in the AFC to over time. But it was still a loss, which is a bad way for them to begin the toughest por tion of their schedule. Play of the Game: - John Elway's 17- yard pass to Ed McCaffrey on third-and-10 from the Denver 42 to set up Jason Elam's winning field goal. It was McCaf frey's lone catch of the day, and one of only four completions Elway made to his wide receivers. Player of the Game: - Denver run ning back Terrell Davis ran 42 times for 207 yards -- the most carries and rushing yards ever against the Bills -- and a touchdown.

Hit of the Day: - It didn't count for anything, but the hardest contact of the day was when Denver's Steve Atwater blasted Andre Reed after the Bills' receiv er caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Alex Van Pelt to give Buffalo its first score with 12:10 left in the fourth quarter. Unsung Hero I: - Bills linebacker Da mien Covington was credited with a game- high 22 tackles, including 16 initial hits. Unsung Hero II: - After replacing Todd Collins at quarterback with four minutes left in the third quarter, Alex Van Pelt provided the Bills' offense with a bad ly needed spark. Quote of the Day: - "We stepped up and answered to adversity." -- Defensive end Neil Smith on the Broncos' ability to escape the Denver blizzard Saturday and then overcome a blown 20-0 lead. New Act: - When he was with Kansas City, Smith used to celebrate sacks by tossing up an imaginary ball and knocking it out of the park. Since joining the Bron cos, he has revised the routine. Now, fel low end Alfred Williams pitches it to Smith, who then hits it out. Rejections: - You'd think Shaquille O'Neal was playing for the Bills, consider ing how often Elway had passes knocked down at the line. The Broncos' quarter back was rejected three times -- twice by nose tackle Ted Washington, once by Phil Hansen. Game Balls: - Broncos coach Mike Shanahan generally doesn't announce game balls, and Sunday was no exception. So we'll do it for him: Davis, Elam and everyone who helped Bronco players get through the blizzard to make the team plane. Long Memories: - It was Cleveland Day at Rich Stadium, and while some fans from the other end of Lake Erie might have attended the game to support the Bills, others just wanted to express their feelings about the opposition. Remember those miraculous Elway-led comeback wins over the Browns in the AFC Champion ship Game? "Cleveland Still Hates Elway" read one sign in the scoreboard-side end zone. Coming Attractions: - The Bills' journey through murderers' row continues. The next two games, both at home, are against Miami (5-2) and New England (5-2). Both teams play tonight, but not against each other. Because the World Se ries went to seven games, Miami's home contest vs. Chicago was moved from Sun day to tonight, crowding the prime-time stage that the Patriots and Green Bay once had to themselves.

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