Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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September 29, 2013

New-look Bills face tough test against Ravens

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — ORCHARD PARK — If the new-look Buffalo Bills intend to shed their losing reputation, Mario Williams figures beating the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens would be a good place to start.

“Having this coaching staff and all the new faces, that’s our mentality,” the defensive end said, with the Ravens hitting town today. “In order for us to make that valid. We have to go out and win.”

It might be easier said than done for the Bills (1-2), who haven’t enjoyed a winning season since 2004, and have gone 13 seasons without a playoff berth.

Four weeks in, they’re showing tell-tale signs of inconsistency following a tumultuous offseason in which they went through a top-to-bottom overhaul, including the hiring of new coach Doug Marrone. At least they’ve been competitive. All of Buffalo’s first three games were decided in the fourth quarter, including two in the final 5 seconds.

The Ravens (2-1) went through their share of changes this offseason, particularly on a defense that lost veteran standouts Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. And yet, they have numerous key pieces in place on both sides of the ball to once again contend.

Bouncing back from a season-opening 49-27 loss at Denver, the Ravens have not allowed a touchdown over the past eight quarters. And their Joe Flacco-led offense has so far managed to overcome injuries to running back Ray Rice (hip) and receiver Jacoby Jones (knee).

That didn’t prevent Lewis from publicly questioning the Ravens’ leadership after Jones was hurt in an altercation while celebrating offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie’s birthday this week.

“We’ve got a lot of leaders on this team,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “We’ve got the Buffalo Bills. We can’t be worrying about a comment that was made.”

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