Share this article

print logo


The Big Picture: Buffalo rode the arm of Jim Kelly to a 24-0 first-quarter lead, then hung on for a 30-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Rich Stadium Sunday. The win boosted the Bills' record to 10-2 and, coupled with Miami's loss at Washington, lifted them back into sole possession of first place in the AFC's Eastern Division.
Play of the Game: Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham displayed his enormous athletic talent by eluding the pass rush in his own end zone and heaving a 95-yard touchdown pass to Fred Barnett in the final minute of the first half. Cunningham was nearly sacked for a safety on the play, but somehow avoided Bruce Smith's lunge by ducking his head at the last instant. "Out of the corner of my ear," he joked, "I saw a '7' and part of an '8,' ", referring to Smith's uniform number.
Hit of the Day: Two plays before the 95-yarder, Cornelius Bennett nearly turned Heath Sherman into a Heath Bar Crunch, leveling the Eagles running back the instant he caught a pass in the right flat.
Quote of the Day: Philadelphia's Keith Byars provided the obligatory post-game sour grapes: "Buffalo's a good ballclub," he said, "but if we played them 10 times, they would only win one. If we played them nine more times, we'd win nine in a row, and they know that as well as we do." Anything you say, Keith.
Game Balls: Who's paying for these things, anyway? Darryl Talley and Bruce Smith, who had two sacks apiece, got defensive game balls. So did Nate Odomes, who did an efficient job on the corner. Howard Ballard (terrific job on Reggie White), Thurman Thomas, James Lofton and Jim Kelly got ball on offense, and Steve Tasker got one for special teams.
Best Sign: "An Eagle Ain't Nothing But a Big Chicken Wing." One of those rare signs that got better every time you read it.
Zebra Report: The officials made a couple of dubious calls against the Bills. Smith knocked the ball out of Cunningham's hand early in the game on a sack, but Cunningham was ruled down. Late in the game, Leon Seals was whistled for roughing the passer, though he barely hit Cunningham hard enough to knock him down.
Unsung Hero: Linebacker Ray Bentley, who intercepted Cunningham late in the third quarter to set up a Scott Norwood field goal that made it 30-23. Bentley also had six tackles and batted down a pass.
One Relieved Guy: No one was happier to see the Bills hold on than Don Beebe, who dropped a potential TD bomb that would have made the score 31-6 in the second quarter. The play seemed to revive the Eagles, who raised the level of their play immediately after. "I told him 'Don't worry, you owe me one,' " Kelly said.
Century Mark I: Kelly's 63-yard touchdown pass to Lofton on the game's second play was the 100th TD toss of his NFL career. By the way, for the third time this season, the offensive line didn't permit Kelly to be sacked.
Century Mark II: Cunningham also threw his 100th career TD pass Sunday. It came on the 95-yarder to Barnett -- which was also the second-longest TD pass thrown against the Bills. The longest was a 96-yard bomb from Ken O'Brien of the Jets to Wesley Walker here in 1985.
Surely You Remember: The last time the Bills scored as many as 24 points in the first quarter was on Sept. 13, 1964, when they scored 31 against Kansas City.
Attendance Update: The Bills distributed 79,654 tickets, just short of a sellout (80,290). There were 334 no-shows, leaving an in-stadium crowd of 79,320.
Coming Attractions: Buffalo travels to Indianapolis next Sunday to meet the Colts in the Hoosier Dome.

There are no comments - be the first to comment