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NFL PRESEASON Losman shows improvement in win



Published: Sat, August 20, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Buffalo is 2-0 for the first time in the preseason since 1966.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Quarterback J.P. Losman, who has replaced Drew Bledsoe as the Bills' starter, engineered scoring drives on each of his first three possessions to lead Buffalo to a 27-7 win over Green Bay on Saturday.

Playing the entire first half, Losman finished 7-of-14 for 59 yards, energized by a sellout crowd in his first home preseason game. He added 36 yards rushing, scoring on a 1-yard keeper set up by ReShard Lee's 69-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.

It was a much better performance after the 2004 first-round draft pick managed just one first down in his first four series in Buffalo's 17-10 win at Indianapolis last weekend.

"It was exciting to come out strong tonight, especially after the slow start last week," Losman said. "I wanted to start off strong, especially in front of the home fans."

Willis McGahee also scored on a 6-yard run, his touchdown set up by Drew Haddad's 37-yard punt return that gave the Bills the ball on Green Bay's 21.

Green Bay

The Packers played with more cohesion than in their sloppy 10-7 win against San Diego last week. But they had difficulty generating offense after Brett Favre needed only one series to show he's ready for the regular season.

Favre went 4-of-6 for 41 yards, capping a 75-yard, 13-play opening drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ahman Green.

"It was better than last week, so it's good to show some improvement," Favre said. "But we still have a long way to go."

In two games, Favre is 13-of-16 for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

Green finished with 22 yards rushing and two catches for 14 yards. Just as important, he held on to the ball after fumbling twice against San Diego.

Rookie first-round draft pick Aaron Rodgers was inconsistent taking over for Favre. He finished 4-of-9 for 21 yards and an interception, picked off by Jabari Greer on the first snap of the third quarter -- Rodgers' final play of the game.

Without Favre, the Packers managed a mere 108 yards of offense the rest of the game.

Good start

Down 7-0, the Bills responded with 27 consecutive points. They improved to 2-0, marking only the second time the team has opened a preseason with two straight wins -- and first since 1966.

Bills' kicker Rian Lindell made two field goals, including a 54-yarder, and rookie Lionel Gates padded the score with a 14-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Bills' special teams have made significant contributions in both preseason wins. Last week, backup defensive tackle Lauvale Sape blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.

Losman showed poise in the pocket, and little sign of the first-game jitters he experienced last weekend in his first NFL start.

Three plays before he scored, Losman smartly extended the drive by scrambling up the middle through a wide-open hole for a 7-yard gain to convert a third-and-5.




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