Flutie Rallies Bills Past Jags


Doug Flutie did it again. This time with his legs, not his arm -- and on a broken play.

Flutie's 1-yard bootleg touchdown run came with 13 seconds left, giving Buffalo a 17-16 victory over previously unbeaten Jacksonville Sunday.

The 5-foot-10 Flutie, who made his first NFL start in more than nine years after spending the past eight in the CFL, is famous for his last-second desperation pass while at Boston College that defeated Miami in 1984.

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  • After struggling for most of the game, Flutie made the plays when it counted.

    "He's a big-time player who made big-time plays," said Bills defensive lineman Bruce Smith. "His heart's a lot bigger than his size."

    Trailing 16-10, the Bills (3-3) took possession with less than two minutes left. Flutie found Thurman Thomas for a pair of short passes before hitting Eric Moulds with a 38-yarder. It appeared Moulds scored for the second time in the game, but the ball was marked at the 1.

    "I thought I was in, but I don't know what the call was because I was over there celebrating," Moulds said. "Doug is like a field general out there. ... I look up to the guy because I watched him at Boston College when I was growing up."

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    On fourth-and-one, the play was supposed to be a pitch to Thurman Thomas. But Thomas was unable to har the play call due to the crowd noise and ran up the middle instead of to the left.

    Flutie isn't complaining.

    "I called one play and Thurman thought I called another," Flutie said. "I turned and he wasn't there, so I just took off. ... it was more fun because I took it in."

    Flutie ran untouched into the left side of the end zone and jumped into the crowd. Steve Christie's extra point made it 17-16.

    It was the third touchdown run of Flutie's NFL career, the last also a game-winner in 1988 -- a 13-yarder while with the Patriots to beat the Colts.

    "We shouldn't have let the play happen," said Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin, Flutie's quarterback coach at BC. "But it did and the result is to give credit where credit is due."

    It was the Bills' second victory over an undefeated team in three weeks. Buffalo defeated Steve Young and the 49ers three weeks ago.

    Flutie, starting in place of the injured Rob Johnson, finished 18-of-39 for 228 yards. Despite his heroics, Flutie will likely take his normal spot on the sidelines as a backup when Johnson is healthy.

    "Rob Johnson's the starter and I hope people don't try and start a quarterback controversy," said Bills general manager John Butler. "Why have a controversy? Why not just say that we're fortunate to have two quality players at the position?"

    The Jaguars (5-1) began the game with a 16-play, 10-minute drive that began from their 31. Rookie Tavian Banks carried the ball six times for 28 yards, making it 7-0 on a 1-yard scoring run.

    Flutie's 12-yard touchdown pass to Moulds tied the game early in the second quarter. The 10-play drive was highlighted by an 11-yard completion to Jay Riemersma in which Flutie somehow got in front to deliver a block.

    Jacksonville took a 10-7 lead on Mike Hollis' 35-yard field goal as the first half ended.

    Antowain Smith's fumble early in the third quarter set up a 23-yard field goal by Hollis for a 13-7 Jaguars lead.

    The Bills closed to 13-10 on Steve Christie's 24-yard field goal with 7:04 left in the third quarter, but Hollis connected on his third of the game -- a 27-yarder -- that made it 16-10.

    Banks, the Jaguars' third-string running back, suffered a sprained foot and did not play in the second half. Jacksonville, already without James Stewart and Fred Taylor, were forced to play free agent Chris Howard.

    Notes

  • Flutie was making his first NFL start since Oct. 15, 1989, when he played for the Patriots. The layoff is the longest in league history.
  • Flutie had four passes batted down.
  • Jacksonville's trade of Rob Johnson to Buffalo brought first- and fourth-round picks that delivered running backs Fred Taylor and Banks.
  • Bills veteran Bruce Smith hadn't managed a sack in two games against All-Pro tackle Tony Boselli. This time he had a pair of half-sacks, one on Boselli.
  • Jacksonville cornerback Dave Thomas also was a scratch.
  • Jacksonville had scored more tha 20 points in every game this season.
  • Bills safety Kurt Schulz was injured and didn't play.
  • Former Bills cornerback Robert James became 13th member of club's Wall of Fame.

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