The Buffalo-San Diego football feud more than lived up to the buildup in an unpredictably exciting game Sunday in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium.
Quarterback Doug Flutie scrambled 13 yards for the winning touchdown with 70 seconds left to play in the Chargers' 27-24 victory over quarterback Rob Johnson and the Bills. The outcome, however, did little to end the Flutie-Johnson controversy. If anything, it may get hotter.
Johnson's team lost, but he earned new respect with a gritty performance as he played Flutie to a statistical standoff. Shaking off a foot injury and the effects of some vicious tackles, Johnson led Buffalo from a 10-point deficit to a 24-20 lead with 1:30 to play. Poor special teams play, a foolish penalty, Flutie and a blocked field goal ruined his big day.
After Johnson's 61-yard pass to Peerless Price and Travis Henry's 3-yard run, it seemed Buffalo was in the driver's seat. All the Bills had to do now was hold off Flutie and the Chargers for 90 seconds. They couldn't do it.
Ronney Jenkins' 72-yard kickoff return and a penalty against the Bills put the ball at the Buffalo 13. On the next play, Flutie escaped a sack and ran for the winning score.
Even then, the outcome wasn't assured until San Diego's Ed Ellis, a former University at Buffalo tackle, blocked Jake Arians' 44-yard field goal try with 15 seconds left that would have forced overtime.