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BILLS WASTE HENRY'S PRODUCTIVE DAY

Buffalo Bills running back Travis Henry had a great game against the Kansas Chiefs on Sunday. But he didn't stick around to talk about it. He bolted from the locker room with the same authority he displayed running through the Chiefs' defense.

Perhaps Henry chose to let his 164 yards (126 rushing) from scrimmage speak for him. In any case, his performance is worthy of praise, which is what he got from his teammates.

"When we give him the opportunities, he steps up," said Pro Bowl left guard Ruben Brown. "That's the thing about him. He wants those shots and the offensive line wants him to have those shots. That speaks highly of him and the type of player and competitor he is. He did a great job today and all season."

Opportunities haven't always come as consistently as Henry would like. Although he has four 100-yard games and needs 126 yards more to reach 1,000, there have been games in which he was underused.

The Bills made him the focal point of the offense Sunday and he delivered, averaging a robust 5.3 yards on 24 carries. He also had 38 yards on four pass receptions.

He actually outshined Chiefs All-Pro running back Priest Holmes (127 total yards), who was held in check until the final four minutes of the game.

Henry seems to have his best games against the league's best. He ran for 149 yards against Curtis Martin of the New York Jets and outgained Ricky Williams of the Miami Dolphins, 132 to 97.

"We knew it was going to be that kind of game," said center Trey Teague. "We wanted to run the ball. We wanted to keep the ball and keep (the Chiefs) off the field because we know what kind of offense they've got."

Henry is a powerful runner who is very difficult to bring down because of his strong legs and balance. He also has the great vision to find the tiniest bit of daylight through the line of scrimmage.

For all his success, Henry always has been quick to give credit to his offensive line. He benefited from some huge holes created by the big guys up front.

Henry said earlier this season that he feels obligated to his linemen to give his best effort when they block for him the way they did Sunday.

The feeling is mutual, Teague said.

"It's a team game, and what makes football special is you've got someone relying on you," Teague said. "If you don't have the other guys' backs, you're going to leave them hanging out there to dry. Being able to rely on somebody and somebody relying on you is what makes this game great. And when you see the way Travis is running, it just motivates you even more.

"Everybody did a pretty good job in the running game. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough."

Maybe it would have been if the Bills' didn't continue to misfire in the red zone. They failed to score touchdowns on three of the four drives inside the Chiefs' 20-yard line and are 2 for 9 in the red zone the last two games.

Perhaps a key reason for that is the lack of touches Henry gets. Of Buffalo's 15 red zone snaps Sunday, Henry ran the ball just three times and caught a screen pass that gained only a yard. On one possession, the Bills had three straight incompletions at the Chiefs' 5.

"It's always frustrating when you don't score," Teague said. "We had our chances to make plays and put the game away early."

Generally when a running back rushes for 100 yards, it's a gauge of that team's success. That hasn't been the case for the Bills this year. They are just 2-2 when Henry reaches the century mark.

Maybe that's why Henry left the locker room in a foul mood. He has to be frustrated that another solid performance was wasted.

"It's tough," Brown said. "We did some good things today, especially running the ball. We just have to figure out a way to do enough to win."

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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