Jeff Russo

Jeff joined Channel 7 in 2003 as a sports anchor/reporter and was promoted to Sports Director in December 2007. A native of Rochester, Jeff was excited to get back to Western New York after serving as Sports Director and anchor for the ABC affiliate in Kearney, Nebraska, where he was honored with the Associated Press award for “Top Sportscast” in the state. He was also the recipient of six Nebraska Associated Press Awards in his time there.

After graduating from SUNY Fredonia in 1997, Jeff got his start in broadcasting in Jamestown, NY as a sportscaster and reporter for Time Warner Cable Channel 8 from 1998-2001.

In addition to being Channel 7’s Sports Director, he is also a contributor to the “Bills All Access” program and can be seen on the Jumbotron at Ralph Wilson Stadium hosting the halftime highlight show during Buffalo Bills Home games.

Jeff is recently married and he and his wife currently make their home in Buffalo. When he’s not working, Jeff likes to play basketball, jog and of course, relax at home.

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Chicago (WKBW) How about that for a gutsy way to start the season? The Buffalo Bills packed up and left Soldier Field on Sunday with one of the biggest road victories in recent memory, the teams first ever in the Windy City. Too many times we've witnessed the Bills fail to handle adversity, especially on the road, but on Sunday they refused to go away in the 23-20 overtime victory. It was an effort to build on, a solid way to try and set the tone after a preseason to forget.

-Sunday turned out to be a successful debut for Jim Schwartz and his defense. The Bills forced three turnovers which lead to 13 points in the victory. Multiple threat running back Matt Forte had 169 total yards of offense but the Bills were able to hold him to 82 yards rushing. I thought Corey Graham was a standout on the backend of things. Graham finished with an interception and three passes defended. His biggest plays came on the Bears final drive of regulation. Graham broke up a Jay Cutler pass intended for Brandon Marshall in the endzone. He then made a play on Santonio Holmes on 3rd and 1 which forced the Bears to kick a field goal to tie the game at 20

-The Bills were far from perfect but I think there was a lot to like against the Bears. I think that's a good way to describe the opener for QB EJ Manuel. Manuel finished 16-of-22 for 173 yards passing and a TD. He also added a score on 2 yard keeper.
Manuel's stats didn't jump off the page but overall I liked the way he managed the game. His one big mistake proved costly on the third quarter interception but he kept plugging away and was able to make some important throws at key times. Manuel found Robert Woods (who made an awesome catch) for 25 yards on the FG drive that gave the Bills the 20-17 lead. His best throw of the day game in overtime when he hit Mike Williams for 20 yards on the game winning drive in overtime.
Doug Marrone put it best saying that Manuel "played winning football" against the Bears. I think if Manuel can continue to play the way he did Sunday and limit the mistake he'll give the Bills a chance.

-I loved the way Robert Woods played on Sunday. He played with an edge and wasn't afraid to go up and make the tough catch. Woods finished as the Bills leading receiver with 4 grabs for 78 yards.

-Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett deserves plenty of credit. He had his unit ready to play for the opener. Hackett took criticism for the lack of production by the offense in the pre-season but Sunday I thought he called a pretty good game. Hackett unveiled several things we didn't see in the exhibition games. There were many occasions that CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson were on the field at the same time. Hackett also mixed in a three back set on a couple plays putting Frank Summers in backfield as well.

-Special Teams played a big role in the win. Dan Carpenter had three field goals in the victory including the game winner and a 50 yard kick in the second quarter, Punter Colton Schmidt had a solid game. He punt 4 of 5 punts inside the 10 and had a net average of 43.2 yards a kick.
Orchard Park (WKBW) Give the Bills some credit for a gutsy effort. They could have folded things up down two touchdowns in the fourth. Thad Lewis could have played like a practice squad quarterback instead of rallying his team. Give the Bills some credit for fighting until the end. They are still 2-and-4.

There were once again flashes in the 27-24 overtime loss to the Bengals. Once again missed opportunities, and plenty of frustration following another close loss.

"We've lost a lot of close games and that hurts", said Bills center Eric Wood. "It stings that we're so close and we could be on the other end of some of these games. You wish you could go back and change something but you can't. All you can do is change the next time it comes, and hopefully next time we will", Wood continued.

I thought heading in the Bills were going to need a complete game from the defense to have a shot. They didn't get it. It turned out to be a tale of two halves for Mike Pettine's crew. The first half was one to forget.

The Bengals offense had everything going through the first two quarters. Cincinnati racked up 284 yards of offense in the first half and did so with big plays. The Bengals hit on five plays that went for 20 yards or more in the first half. They also scored points on each of their first three drives. The Bills trailed 17-10 at the break.

"We definitely put ourselves in a hole", said Mario Williams. "But then even at he end of the game we still had a chance to win, so I wouldn't say it's discouraging especially with the way we came back", Williams continued.

The Bills defense did battle back in the second half. While far from perfect the "D" made the stops it needed to, especially in the fourth quarter. Down 24-10 the Bills forced the Bengals into a three-and-out to start the fourth. The Buffalo offense scored on the following drive to cut the Cincinnati lead to 24-17.

Then with 3:28 to play Arthur Moats and Kyle WIlliams stopped Giovanni Bernard on third-and-1 for no gain to force a Bengals punt.
Thad Lewis hit Marquise Goodwin on the following Bills drive to tie the score at 24.

The Bills offense also struggled with consistency in the first half. The early turning point came in the second quarter when the Bills had four shots at a score from the Bengals two yard line. The Bills ran Fred Jackson on first, second and third down for a total of 1 yard. Then on fourth and goal from the one Thad Lewis was sacked at the Cincinnati two for a loss of one.

I had no problem with the decision to go for it on fourth down but the gamble didn't pay off. After the turnover on downs the Bengals marched 98 yards on 9 plays in 5:07 for the teams first touchdown. Andy Dalton capped off the drive with a shovel pass from Andy Dalton to Bernard that went for 20 yards.

Other thoughts -

-Thad Lewis at the very least met expectations on Sunday. Lewis finished 19-of-32 for 216 yards and a pair of passing touchdowns. He also rushed for three yard touchdown. Not bad for a guy who was running the scout offense a little over a week ago. He danced in the pocket at times, and was sacked on five occasions but I think overall he executed the offense.

Lewis showed tremendous touch on his first pass of the game a 47 yard strike to T.J. Graham. His touchdown passes in the fourth quarter were both well thrown balls. The first to Scott Chandler went for 22 yards. Then his 40 yard completion to Marquise Goodwin was right on the money. The throw to Goodwin capped off a 7 play, 86 yard drive

-Rookie LB Kiko Alonso finished with 22 tackles. The team said after the game that was the most by a Bills player since LB Damien Covington had 22 on 10/26/1997 against Denver.

-Punter Brian Moorman looked right back at home in his first game back with the Bills. Moorman averaged 48.8 yards on five punts. He also pinned the Bengals inside their own 1 on a coffin corner kick for the ages. Moorman punted from the Cincinnati 48 and the ball bounced out of bounds at the half yard mark. Moorman received a loud ovation from the Buffalo faithful on the play. The spot was reviewed and once it was confirmed by officials Moorman pumped his fists in a familiar outpouring of emotion on the home sideline.
Orchard Park (WKBW) The Buffalo Bills spent Monday licking their wounds following Sunday's 27-20 loss to the New York Jets. C.J. Spiller was among a group of Bills players to suffer injuries in the loss but the running back believes he'll be ok. "I'm alittle sore but it's nothing that will keep me out this week", said Spiller on Monday morning.

Spiller says he suffered the injury when his twisted his knee in a pile. Spiller believes the injury happened with 5:50 to go in the second quarter on a play that went for -1 yards. Spiller didn't have a carry the rest of the half. He had one carry in the third quarter before shutting it down. "I felt like I couldn't get no power, that explosiveness off my leg".

Spiller says he will now work with trainers the next few days. "I've got to make sure it's ready to go. I have a lot of faith in the trainers. We will look at it day to day. As of right now we'll see how it feels doing some treatment that I need to do to make sure I'm ready. I think I should be good to go", said Spiller.

Spiller finished Sunday's game with 10 carries for 9 yards rushing against the Jets.
Orchard Park (WKBW) Raise your hand if you picked the Bills this week. You're lying. Not coming off that performance against the New York Jets. Not against the defending Super Bowl Champs. No way. On paper little favored the home team heading into Sunday. The young Bills didn't care and deserve a ton of credit.

"I'm proud of this team", said Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone after the 23-20 win over Baltimore on Sunday. "Here we are after the first quarter (of the season) and we are 2-and-2. Marrone continued.

A depleted Bills defense played a huge role on Sunday. The unit entered the game against the Ravens with three starters missing from the defensive secondary. Leodis McKelvin, Stephon Gilmore and Jairus Byrd all missed the game against the Baltimore due to injury. Safety Aaron Williams was forced to start at cornerback but still the Bills made Joe Flacco's visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium a miserable experience.

The reigning Super Bowl MVP was picked off five times, sacked on four occasions and harassed throughout the day. The 5 interceptions were the 6th most in Bills club history. Flacco finished with 347 yards passing but the Bills were not gonna just sit back and him them pick them apart.

Aaron Williams finished with one of his finest games. He had two picks, four passes defended and finished with 2 tackles. And what can you say about rookie Kiko Alonso? With his two interceptions on Sunday Alonso became the first Bills rookie LB to have a 3-game interception streak. "I just go out and play" said Alonso post game. "I'm just trying to get better every single day and that's all I care about"

The Bills held the Ravens to only 24 yards rushing on 9 attempts and improved greatly on third down. The Bills limited Baltimore to conversions on only 3 of 16 third down opportunities. The Ravens abandoned the run game in the second half and at one point threw on 30 straight plays.

Offensively I was very impressed that the Bills were able to get the ground game going. Finding consistency in the running game was a constant theme throughout the week, but this was the Ravens. Baltimore entered the week boasting the leagues 4th ranked defense against the run giving up just over 74 yards a game. The Ravens hadn't given up a rushing TD all year. Still the Bills rolled up 203 yards on the them on Sunday. Both C.J. Spiller (77 yards) and Fred Jackson (87 yards and a touchdown) ran hard. Both were dinged up in the victory. Spiller left with an ankle injury. Jackson reportedly suffered a sprained MCL. We should learn more about their status for the Cleveland game on Monday.

Coming off a tough performance against the Jets I believe EJ Manuel did bounce back in some ways against the Ravens. His throw to Robert Woods on the 43 yard touchdown may have been the nicest completion of his young career. Manuel's stats won't jump off the page at you. He finished 10-of-22 for 167 yards and a touchdown. He was picked off twice and also lost a fumble. Still Manuel seemed more poised to me for the most part then he did against the Jets.

He seemed more comfortable in the pocket with the rush coming at him. The throw to Chandler on the sideline that was eventually ruled incomplete was as good as it gets. The throw to Woods that was ruled incomplete for what would have been a second touchdown was nice. Still he left several plays out there. He missed Stevie Johnson in the endzone in the first half. His second interception in the fourth quarter was on an under thrown ball to Woods."There are always things you can do better, but none the less we won the game today and that's the biggest thing. We want to be excited about that and look forward to Cleveland now", said Manuel postgame

In terms of Special Teams Dan Carpenter was 3-for-3 on FGs. He's 10-for-11 on the season. Also have to give credit to Marcus Easley who continues to excel in special teams. He finished with four tackles against the Ravens.

It's amazing how quickly things can change in the playoffs. A peak one day, is followed by a valley the next.

The Sabres and fans were flying high following last Thursday's game one win... Now what?? Three straight losses and a 3-1 series deficit have caused obvious reason for concern. The lid protecting the always attractive panic button is without question starting to raise, and it's now up to the Sabres "core group" to slam it back down.

The Bruins have come as advertised, a physical bunch that cherishes a tight defensive style... but what about the Sabres?? We knew goals would be at a premium.. but when Craig Rivet, Tyler Myers, Matt Ellis, and Mike Grier have four of the Sabres eight goals in this series.. that's not going to get it done.

Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly and Derek Roy have combined for just a few points. Is this enough from the guys the Sabres rely on for production? Obviously the absence of Jochen Hecht, and more recently Thomas Vanek hasn't helped things offensively, but the aforementioned trio has to step up.

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