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NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME <br> FOR BILLS, 'FRIGHT NIGHT' GETS HELD OVER ANOTHER WEEK

The long offensive nightmare keeps going and going for the Buffalo Bills, like a Halloween horror movie with unending sequels.

Most of the plot in Sunday's 20-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was all too familiar: Drew Bledsoe threw disastrous interceptions -- four of them; the Bills' offensive line was overmatched against a more athletic defensive front; and the Bills' defense was valiant in defeat.

This week's blood-curdling plot twist was this: The Bills teased themselves and their fans by getting in position to score four times. But on all four trips inside the Ravens' 20, they failed to reach the end zone.

What can you say when your opponent manages 17 total yards and one first down in the final 30 minutes and still wins going away?

"That was embarrassing out there," Bills receiver Eric Moulds said.

The Bills are an embarrassing 1-5 for only the second time in the last 18 years, matching the 1-5 start in 1986. The loss was their eighth in their last nine games and their 13th in their last 15 road games. Over that road stretch, Bledsoe has 13 touchdown passes, 22 interceptions and has been sacked 53 times.

Asked if he was worried his time was short as a Bills starter, Bledsoe said, "Listen, I'm doing everything I can to help this football team. Today, I'm sure the stat line looks awful. You get three tipped balls for interceptions, it doesn't look very good. Listen, I'm fighting. I'm doing everything I can, and I expect us to get it turned around."

The goriest details included a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown by Ravens 37-year-old future Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and two red-zone interceptions by Bledsoe.

Sanders' pickoff gave Baltimore a 10-3 lead 13:35 into the game. On a third-and-9 situation from the Ravens' 45, the Bills faked a pitch to Moulds, who was lined up in the backfield, and Bledsoe threw a swing pass for Willis McGahee. But the Ravens had it smelled out. Safety Chad Williams burst toward the play and deflected the pass, which went into the arms of the charging Sanders.

"We're trying to do whatever we can against a very fast-pursuing defense to give them some misdirection and create some plays for ourselves," Bledsoe said. "I give them credit. They did a good job of figuring those plays out."

Despite managing just four first downs and 14 rushing yards in the first half, the Bills still were in the game, down by 17-3.

They drove down to the Ravens' 5 midway through the third quarter, but a second-and-goal pass for Moulds over the middle was way underthrown by Bledsoe, and the Bills had to settle for a field goal to make it 17-6.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Bills marched to the Ravens' 19. On a third-and-8 play, Bledsoe had plenty of time in the pocket but forced a pass down the seam for Lee Evans. Safety Will Demps and Sanders were waiting on the pass, and Sanders made the easy pickoff in the end zone.

"That was a poor decision," Bledsoe said. "We didn't have anybody open on the play. I should have thrown it out the back of the end zone."

On their next drive, the Bills had a first-and-goal from the Ravens' 4 after a 20-yard Bledsoe pass to tight end Mark Campbell. But on third-and-goal from the 5, a Bledsoe pass over the middle for Evans was deflected by linebacker Ray Lewis and picked off by Williams, who returned it 93 yards to the Bills' 6.

"It was an unbelievably poor call," Bledsoe said. "Ray Lewis just grabbed a hold of Lee Evans, grabbed him right around the waist, basically tackled him. When I saw him grab him, I said, 'OK, I'll throw this ball at Lee and we'll get the call and it'll be first-and-goal at the 1.' "

Bledsoe could not get comfortable in the pocket against a Ravens defense that ranks sixth this year and led the NFL in sacks last season.

Evans did not catch a pass.

"We had a couple plays called for Lee, particularly going downfield, and just didn't have time to get the ball to him," Bledsoe said.

The Bills averaged 1.8 yards a carry in the first half and had four third-and-9s or longer.

"When that happens you recognize it and you try to get the ball out of your hands more quickly," Bledsoe said. "The thing that does is it forces me to guess sometimes and go with my best educated guess as to who's going to be open on the play based on the presnap look, rather than sit back there and scan and if one guy's not open go to Nos. 2, 3 and 4. That is what it is. That's the situation. Try to get it out of your hands quickly and hope somebody makes a play."

Left tackle Marcus Price gutted it out on a sore knee in place of Jonas Jennings, who sat out with a sprained ankle. Ross Tucker started for Trey Teague again at center.

Right tackle Mike Williams continued his struggles in pass protection. He was called for a false start on second-and-goal from the Ravens' 4 on the first drive of the game. (The Bills settled for a field goal.) Then, with the Bills gaining momentum in the third quarter, Williams was beaten to the outside by Terrell Suggs on a first-down pass attempt at the Bills' 44. Suggs sacked Bledsoe and forced a fumble that the Ravens recovered.

The Bills' defense held the Ravens to 160 yards and 12 first downs. The Bills gathered 270 with 15 first downs.

How frustrating is it?

"I have to start using another language to describe it," said defensive tackle Sam Adams. "You can look out there and see what's happening. There's no finger pointing. We have to come closer together and figure it out and fix it. That's what we're going to do."

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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