The statistics keep going up and up for Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed.
Another big day in Sunday's win over Detroit has pushed the Bills' veteran receiver into a tie for third place in the NFL in yards per game this season.
Reed has 28 catches for 480 yards. That's an average of 96 per game, bettered only by Oakland's Tim Brown and Detroit's Herman Moore. Minnesota's Jake Reed also is averaging 96 yards per game in catches.
The Bills' Reed is off to the third fastest start of his 13-year career, which is saying something given the fact he has made seven Pro Bowls. Only in 1989 and '92 did Reed have more receiving yards through the first five games.
Reed had 95 receiving yards and scored his third TD of the season Sunday. It was a 43-yard bomb from Todd Collins, and it was his third catch of more than 40 yards this year.
"Those are the opportunities you need and when you get them you've got to make the big plays," Reed said. "That's what it's about in this league."
The Lions were in a zone defense on the play, and the cornerback released Reed to deep safety Harry Colon on the play. Reed used his speed to get a step behind Colon and used his superb body control to keep the defender on his back as he made the catch.
"The old adage is you try to get yourself between the ball and the guy," Reed said. "I was trying to fend him off as much as possible without interfering. Todd threw a perfect ball, and it looked like the guy might have got a hand on it before I caught it."
Reed is six catches shy of becoming only the fourth receiver to catch 800 career passes. He's 25 behind No. 3 Steve Largent on the all-time list.
The Bills rank ninth in the NFL in yards gained and 12th in points scored. However, other statistics show the Bills' attack does not yet belong in the top half of the league. The offense stands 13th rushing and 13th in passing yards. It also stands 20th in first downs, 28th in third-down conversions, 26th in sacks allowed per pass play and 26th in percentage of passes intercepted.
The defense stands seventh in yards allowed, 17th against the run and ninth against the pass. With 19 sacks, the Bills are sixth in quarterback takedowns per pass attempt and are ahead of their pace of last year, when they had 48.
Antowain Smith leads AFC rookies in yards from scrimmage with 428. Tampa Bay rookie Warrick Dunn has 582 scrimmage yards.
Steve Christie passed Scott Norwood Sunday as the place-kicker with the most field goals in Bills history. Christie has 134 in 5 1/2 seasons. Norwood had 133 in seven seasons. . . . The Bills had just 10 first downs against the Lions. That was the fewest in a Bills victory in more than a decade, since a 17-10 decision over St. Louis on Sept. 21, 1986. . . . The 100-yard rushing game by Barry Sanders gave the Detroit back 58 for his career, tying him with Jim Brown for third all-time. With 12,292 rushing yards, Sanders is just 20 shy of Brown, who stands No. 4 all-time.
The Bills re-signed wide receiver Mitchell Galloway to their developmental squad. Galloway started the season there before playing as a kick returner against the Colts on Sept. 21. He was released last week.
The Bills came out in a no-huddle offense on their first drive against the Lions. They used it the first four plays, then used it again briefly on a fourth-quarter drive. The Bills got a field goal on the opening drive. Look for the no-huddle to be a rare change of pace in the Bills' game plan, not a regular feature.
"We just felt we had sputtered at the outset of games and we wanted to try to get off to a better start," coach Marv Levy said.