Doug Flutie's methods were different. The results were the same for the Buffalo Bills and the Carolina Panthers.
One week after his
Flutie threw for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 9-of-12 passing in the first half, giving the Bills (4-3) a 10-point lead on the way to their fourth consecutive victory, Buffalo's best winning streak in two years. Three of those victories have come with the 36-year-old Flutie leading the way at quarterback while Rob Johnson rests his injured ribs.
Flutie wound up 18-of-22 for 282 yards and both scoring passes went to Eric Moulds, who had five receptions for 145 yards.
The Panthers (0-7) lost their ninth consecutive game and their sixth straight at Ericsson Stadium. Carolina won its first nine games ithe facility in 1996 but has lost nine of 11 since, hurting itself with turnovers, untimely penalties and poor execution.
It was more of the same Sunday night, when Carolina turned it over three times, including twice in the Bills' end zone. The Panthers also were called for 10 penalties, including two personal fouls, and were generally inept at containing the elusive Flutie.
Proof of that came in the form of Kevin Greene, who was trying to add to his NFL-leading total of 11 sacks and was seeking to tie the league record of 10 consecutive games with a sack. He never came close to adding to either of those totals, although he did have an interception in the second quarter.
True to form, however, the Panthers were unable to convert Flutie's lone miscue.
Five of Carolina's first six losses were by a touchdown or less, but Flutie helped make sure that the Panthers would not have a chance this time.
He did most of his damage on third downs, a continuing source of trouble for Carolina. The Panthers came in allowing opponents to convert 46.4 percent of their third downs, the third-worst figure in the NFL.
In the first half alone, Flutie completed all four of his third-down passes for 120 yards, four first downs and one touchdown. His performance helped the Bills to a 17-7 lead.
Buffalo was especially successful going against cornerback Doug Evans, who has struggled in recent weeks while playing with a bulky cast on his left forearm, the result of surgery for torn thumb ligaments.
Moulds' first score came when Flutie underthrew a ball into the end zone directly into the hands of Evans. He was unable to wrap it up, however, and bobbled it into the air, where Moulds snatched it away from him for a 20-yard touchdown.
The Bills' second touchdown came when Moulds got behind Evans and Flutie hit him with a 35-yard strike. Moulds outraced Evans and everyone else for an 85-yard touchdown, the longest play in the NFL careers of both Flutie and Moulds.
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