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REVENGE SCENARIOS DON'T ALWAYS PLAY OUT AS PLANNED

The revenge factor is nothing new.

Although Sunday's showdown between Rob Johnson and Doug Flutie may be the most highly anticipated grudge match in recent Buffalo Bills history, other guys have had their chances.

From a fantasy standpoint, the results have yielded a mixed bag.

Can we expect Flutie, who was released by the Bills then signed by the San Diego Chargers, to be a fantasy dynamo Sunday? Check out the 39-year-old's track record:

He was traded from the Chicago Bears to the New England Patriots on Oct. 13, 1987. A little more than a year later, he got a shot at the Bears and went just 6 of 18 for 165 yards, but four went for TDs.

After 2 1/2 years with the Patriots, Flutie spent the next eight seasons in the CFL.

After signing with the Bills, he got six opportunities against the Pats and won four times. Against New England, he went 99 of 178 (55.6 percent) for 1,308 yards with seven TDs and two interceptions, but was held under 200 yards in half those games. He also got another crack at the Bears while in Buffalo, going 16 for 26 for 171 yards and one pick last November. Two weeks ago, he returned to Foxboro, Mass., with the Chargers and went 20 of 32 for 270 yards and a TD.

In nine games against his former teams, Flutie has thrown 12 TDs, three interceptions and averaged 212.6 yards per contest. That's considerably better than his NFL career averages of 165.6 yards per game passing and 67 scoring passes in 67 career games.

Others, too, have taken their shots.

Before the AFL/NFL merger, both quarterback Daryle Lamonica and running back Cookie Gilchrist left. Lamonica, who primarily backed up Jack Kemp during Buffalo's AFL glory days, was dealt to the Oakland Raiders in 1967 and faced the Bills five times over the next three years -- when Oakland was on the rise and Buffalo on the decline.

Lamonica's sharpest daggers were cast on Oct. 19, 1969, when he threw six TD passes -- all in the first half of the Raiders' 50-21 romp. He went 21 of 36 for 313 yards that day. But in his first four games against the Bills, in 1967 and '68, Lamonica was 36 of 97 for 492 yards with four TDs and six interceptions.

Gilchrist was traded to the Denver Broncos for Billy Joe in 1965, then faced Buffalo twice that fall. Gilchrist rushed 33 times for 113 yards and no scores; Joe caught a touchdown pass in each game.

In 1985, the Bills traded QB Joe Ferguson to the Detroit Lions. He faced Buffalo in a preseason game that season and went 5 of 6 for 51 yards in limited action.

Running back Thurman Thomas, cut by the Bills after the '99 season, got one chance at revenge after signing with the Miami Dolphins. Last Oct. 8, he rushed seven times for 24 yards and caught three passes for 26 yards.

So history says don't count on a superhuman effort just because a player has a taste for revenge.

Week Six eye-popper

New England receiver David Patten came into the 38-17 win at Indianapolis scoreless but came away just the sixth player in history to throw, catch and run for a TD in the same game.

Several things make this an extraordinary feat.

First, Patten got extra playing time because teammate Terry Glenn sat with a bad hamstring.

Next, it took Patten just 23 minutes, 1 second to achieve his triple. He scored on a 29-yard run on the Pats' first offensive play, caught a 91-yard TD pass from Tom Brady that was the longest play from scrimmage in team history just 12 seconds into the second quarter, then threw a 60-yard score to Troy Brown at 8:01 of the period. For good measure he caught a 6-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.

Patten's yardage totals on the first three scoring plays totaled 180. None of the previous five who did it -- a list that includes Bears great Walter Payton, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Reeves and former Bills back Keith Lincoln (who did it with San Diego in '65) -- accumulated more than 170 yards on their scores. Payton was the last to do it, against Minnesota on Oct. 21, 1979.

"I'm not worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as him," Patten said of Sweetness. "For me, it was just one great game. I'm humbled by it. I'm not going to let it go to my head."

Week Seven matchups

The good: Dallas RB Emmitt Smith has rushed for 112 yards or more six times in the last five years against Arizona. . . . Buffalo WR Eric Moulds caught 11 passes for 170 yards against San Diego last year. . . . San Diego WR Jeff Graham has had big days against the Bills before -- nine catches for 113 yards and a TD last fall and seven grabs for 124 yards and a TD with the Jets in '96.

The bad: Pittsburgh RB Jerome Bettis has 104 carries for 397 yards and two TDs in seven career games against Tennessee. He's never bested 88 yards vs. the Titans. . . . Washington QB Tony Banks was 13 of 31 with two picks against the New York Giants in Week Four. . . . New Orleans RB Ricky Williams has never played against St. Louis. He's missed five games vs. the Rams with injuries.
e-mail: tborrelli@buffnews.com

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