Buffalo Bills defensive end Bruce Smith Tuesday was named American Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week by the National Football League.
Smith had two sacks for minus-15 yards, and was credited with six tackles in Sunday's 30-23 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. It was his sixth multiple-sack game of the season, and extended to four his streak of consecutive games with at least one tackle of the quarterback behind the line.
Smith has tied his own club record for sacks in a single-season at 15 -- which ties him with Kansas City's Derrick Thomas for tops in the NFL -- and has 72 1/2 since joining the Bills in 1985.
Thanks to his sterling performance against the Eagles and the so-so showing of New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms against San Francisco Monday night, Jim Kelly is the No. 1-rated quarterback in the NFL, according to statistics released by the league Tuesday.
Kelly has a quarterback rating of 98.0. Houston's Warren Moon is second at 96.0, followed by Simms at 95.3.
Kelly's 19-of-32, 334-yard, 3-touchdown, 1-interception outing Sunday was largely due to his ability to consistently beat the Eagles' blitz for big passes.
"A big factor in that game -- and it can't be highlighted enough -- was the way Jim unloaded on some blitzes exactly when he should, very quickly," coach Marv Levy said. "Even though they were short, Jim put some balls in there, where he didn't have time to really be balanced and step in, that were exactly where they had to be."
And, according to Levy, most of Kelly's success resulted from great self-preparation.
"Jim really studied last week," the coach said. "Two nights in a row, I happened to see him on the elevator (at Rich Stadium) with large stacks of film under both arms. He really studied those blitzes by the Eagles, and they were very complex blitzes.
"By the end of the week, I finally heard him telling Ted (Marchibroda, the Bills' offensive coordinator), 'If you just look at it enough, it begins to fall in place for you.' "
Running back Thurman Thomas is No. 1 in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage at 1,332. He is second in the AFC in rushing at 1,007 yards, although the leader, San Diego's Marion Butts (1,154), has played in one more game because the Chargers have yet to receive their bye.
After catching 13 passes in the last two games, Andre Reed has joined Houston's Drew Hill in third place in the AFC with 56 receptions. Another Oiler, Ernest Givins, leads the conference with 59, followed by Seattle's John L. Williams.
With 90 points, Bills place kicker Scott Norwood ranks second in the NFL in scoring.
Generating an average of 325.2 yards per game, the Bills rank ninth in the league in total offense. They are 12th in total defense, yielding 296.6 yards per game.
The Bills are second in the AFC in take-away/give-away ratio at plus-14. Kansas City leads at plus-22.