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Defense vows to rebound from bad day

Free safety Troy Vincent was very succinct in assessing what happened to the Buffalo Bills' defense Sunday.

"We got punched in the face and we lost the fight," he said.

A day after being pounded by Tampa Bay's rushing attack, the Bills defense is still licking its wounds.

The players are still stinging from their subpar performance, one in which they allowed the Buccaneers to run for 191 yards and nearly five yards per carry.

The biggest nemesis was rookie running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, who cruised through the Bills' defense for 128 yards on 24 carries.

"If you make mistakes any good back in this league, and Cadillac is one of them, will find them," linebacker Jeff Posey said. "Any time somebody was out of place, he found it and he was good enough to hit it."

While the Bills credited Williams and the Buccaneers' offensive line, they believe their play had a lot to do with Williams' big day.

"We're on the losing end, so we're always going to say what we didn't do," Vincent said. "Obviously when we watched tape, hey we all missed tackles. Myself included. We didn't get the job done. They executed.

"In their film session, they're saying, 'Great cutoff, great block, way to finish the play.' The bottom line was the Buffalo Bills lost yesterday in Tampa."

Vincent said the Bills are ready to put this loss behind them.

"Games like this happen," said linebacker Takeo Spikes. "It's just one game. It's out the door, it's fixed, it's corrected and we look forward to this week. It's just the 24-hour rule that we have. Enjoy the win for 24 hours. With a loss you do the same thing. And after that, you just let it fall where it may and get ready for next week."

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Middle linebacker London Fletcher expects to play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. The status of offensive tackle Mike Williams is not so certain.

Fletcher suffered an injured hamstring in the second quarter and didn't return. He wanted to come back, but was overruled by coach Mike Mularkey and the training staff.

"It was a situation where it wasn't the point where I did a tremendous amount of damage to it, but if I had gone back out there the likelihood would have been greater," Fletcher said.

Mularkey is hopeful Fletcher will be ready by Sunday. Fletcher has no doubts.

"I'm a fast healer," he said. "I'm going to listen to the medical staff and I'll do everything within my power. I'm planning on being out there. We'll see come Sunday."

Williams hurt his left ankle when it got caught under a pile of players in the third quarter. Mularkey said Williams will be re-evaluated Wednesday, but for now he's questionable.

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The Bills didn't violate NFL rules for deciding to wear their throwback jerseys at the last minute, according to a league spokesman.

The Bills discussed wearing the uniforms early last week, but didn't notify the NFL until Saturday.

The NFL spokesman said once the Buccaneers chose to wear their white uniforms, the Bills could wear their regular or alternate uniform.

The league allows teams to wear an alternate uniform twice a season, but the Bills may request to wear them again because they're so popular.

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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