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Flutie Leads Bills Past Colts


The Buffalo Bills feared resurgent Indianapolis was primed for another upset Sunday. That fear was erased in the Bills' 24-point second quarter against the Colts.

Antowain Smith rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and Doug Flutie completed 20 of 28 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns in the Bills' 34-11 victory.

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  • "We took control early and won decisively," said Flutie, who has kept the Bills in the thick of the AFC East race after an 0-3 start. "It was the first time we put someone away. It was an all-around effort and it felt good."

    "Every game I'm looking to have a big game," said Smith, who rushed for a career-high 130 yards and scored two touchdowns in a comeback win over the Colts earlier in the season. "Some games don't turn out that way, but this was a statement that we're going to continue running the ball."

    When the teams met in Buffalo last year, the Bills came back from a 26-0 deficit to win 37-35, marking the second-greatest comeback in the regular season in NFL history.

    There was no such suspense this time as the Bills took a 24-3 halftime lead after trailing 3-0 going into the second quarter.

    Andre Reed caught six passes for 108 yards and a 67-yard touchdown for Buffalo (7-4), which remained in second place in the AFC East. A New England win over Miami on Monday would give the Bills a share of first.

    The Colts (2-9), fresh off an upset of he New York Jets last week, grabbed the 3-0 lead on a 27-yard field goal by Mike Vanderjagt. The Colts drove 42 yards on nine plays, including a 17-yard run by Marshall Faulk and a 25-yard flip pass from Peyton Manning to Faulk.

    "It was just bad football by the Indianapolis Colts against a good football team," said Colts coach Jim Mora, whose team fell to 2-9.

    Penalties and Kevin Williams' fumble killed the Bills' next drive, but Ken Irvin picked off a pass from Manning and ran it to the Colts 1.

    Smith, who rushed for a career-high 130 yards and scored two touchdowns last time against the Colts, went nowhere on two running plays before Flutie tossed a pass to blocking fullback Sam Gash for the score early in the second quarter.

    The Bills drove 69 yards on 11 plays for their second touchdown and a 14-3 lead, Smith diving in after a 4-yard run. Buffalo used three different backs on the drive, with Smith rushing for 43 yards on four carries, including the TD.

    The 67-yard pass from Flutie to Reed made it 21-3. Reed caught the ball at the Buffalo 42, crossed over the middle and reached the end zone with a straight-arm on cornerback Tyrone Poole.

    Bills safety Kurt Schulz then intercepted Manning's pass meant for Torrance Small. Flutie rolled right and lofted a 19-yard pass to Quinn Early, setting up Steve Christie's 35-yard field goal with one second left in the half.

    Doug Flutie
    Doug Flutie completed 20-of 28-passes for 230 yards and 2 TDs on Sunday. (AP)

    Buffalo drove 54 yards on 14 plays for Christie's second field goal and a 27-3 lead. The Bills' defense held the Colts on four plays from the Buffalo 2, and the Bills added a 5-yard TD run by Smith following a fumbled punt.

    Faulk, on a pace to rush and catch passes for 1,000 yards, picked up 85 yards on 18 carries and caught eight passes for 102 yards.

    "It's starting to be hard to look at it and try to draw anything positive out of it," Faulk said. "Personal accomplishments, that's what they are. This is a team game."

    Manning completed 14 of 29 passes for 164 yards and two interceptions. He had a 30-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Harrison with 4:13 to play, but the bulk of Manning's passing yardage came long after the game was decided.

    Bills quarterback Rob Johnson made his first appearance since he was injured and replaced by Flutie early in the Bills' 31-24 win over the Colts on Oct. 11 at the RCA Dome. Johnson came in with about 7 minutes left and threw two incompleions.

    "I was glad to get Rob in," Bills coach Wade Phillips said. "I'd like to play him more, but we're on such a roll right now."

    Buffalo has won seven of its last eight games against the Colts and 17 of its last 18 at home against them.

    Notes

  • Manning, who entered the game with an NFL-leading 20 interceptions, tossed a pair of picks.
  • Reed became the second player in Bills history to play in 200 games and registered his 36th 100-yard receiving game, most in Bills history.
  • John Fina returned after missing two games with an abdominal injury to play in his 100th career game.
  • Vanderjagt and Flutie were teammates for two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL.
  • Smith has scored four of his five TDs this season against the Colts.
  • Flutie has won all 10 of his regular season home starts in the NFL.
  • The 33-point margin was the Bills' largest of the season.

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