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Buffalo at Houston

Bills follow Bledsoe to another comeback victory

SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- Three overtime games this season toughened the Buffalo Bills for just the kind of comeback they engineered against the Houston Texans.

Drew Bledsoe, the NFL's leading passer, threw two touchdown passes in the final 10:39 and Travis Henry rushed for 159 yards and touchdowns of 1 and 23 yards, leading the Bills to a 31-24 victory Sunday.

Buffalo's Peerless Price struts into the end zone with the winning touchdown. 
Buffalo's Peerless Price struts into the end zone with the winning touchdown.(AP) 
"We just have tremendous confidence in each other and it all starts with Drew," wide receiver Peerless Price said. "He led us back from 17-3, and with him we knew we can win.

"We just have to keep believing even when we're down. As a team we have to step up and be prepared."

Houston (1-4) dueled with offensively potent Buffalo (3-3) into the fourth quarter, taking a 24-17 lead on a halfback pass from James Allen to Billy Miller.

Bledsoe and the Bills didn't flinch.

He hit Eric Moulds, the NFL's leading receiver, with a 23-yard touchdown pass on a drive aided by two 15-yard penalties against Texans linebacker Jay Foreman.

The most costly was a taunting call on third down following an incomplete pass at Buffalo's 34 that gave the Bills a first down.

"I still can't believe that I did it," Foreman said. "It was a selfish play. I feel real bad. The last two weeks we've had 56 guys working hard, and then a stupid, bonehead play on my part helps them score, and that's the touchdown that ties it."

Bledsoe broke the tie with 3:55 remaining on a 26-yard strike to Price, who caught the ball, did a backstep and ran past safety Matt Stevens.

"We always have the confidence that if there's time on the clock, we can come back," Bledsoe said. "We've got two of the best receivers in the league, and we know that we can put points on the board."

Bledsoe completed 19-of-33 passes for 254 yards, his lowest output of the season. Price led the Bills with eight catches for 121 yards. Moulds didn't catch a pass until the third quarter and finished with four for 56 yards. He caught at least eight in each of Buffalo's first five games this season.

The Texans' drive ended when a fourth-down pass from David Carr to Jermaine Lewis in the end zone was batted away by Antoine Winfield with 35 seconds left.

"We knew that we'd have to be aggressive because they'd played three games in overtime," Houston coach Dom Capers said. "We talked all week about we might have to win on the last play of the game. The most frustrating thing is we had a couple of penalties that really hurt."

Carr directed the Texans to a 17-10 halftime lead, but Bledsoe brought the Bills back in the third quarter. A 23-yard run by Henry, who broke three tackles en route to the end zone, tied it 17-17.

Henry's fumble and a personal foul against Price gave Houston the ball at the Buffalo 8 before Allen's TD pass to Miller. It was the Texans' first pass thrown by anyone other than Carr this season and Allen's first career attempt.

The Texans were more than equal to Buffalo's offense in the first half. Carr completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jabar Gaffney and ran 17 yards for another score, the first TD rushing for Houston this season.

Kris Brown's 26-yard field goal helped the Texans lead 17-10 at the half.

After a slow start, Bledsoe got the Bills going in the second quarter. Mike Hollis kicked a 33-yard field goal, and a 35-yard pass to Price set up Henry's 1-yard run.

Carr and Corey Bradford attacked the Bills from the opening drive with an 81-yard pass play to the Buffalo 9. Bradford got a step on safety Pierson Prioleau, who caught Bradford from behind.

The catch was the longest in Bradford's career and the third-longest by an expansion team. Kris Brown then kicked a 26-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

Carr completed 12-of-23 passes for 218 yards and was sacked five times for 26 yards in losses. He has been sacked 31 times.

Notes

  • It was homecoming for many of the Bills, including coach Gregg Williams, who got his first pro football job as quality control coach in 1990 under coach Jack Pardee with the Oilers. Bills offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride also is a former Oilers offensive coordinator.
  • The Texans were penalized 11 times for 75 yards, giving them 54 for the season for 378 yards. The Bills had 13 penalties for 128 yards.
  • Carr didn't throw an interception for the first time this season.


AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2002, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
 
 
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QTR,
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Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGKris Brown 26 Yd, 10:26. Drive: 5 plays, 82 yards in 2:19.
FGMike Hollis 33 Yd, 5:00. Drive: 13 plays, 71 yards in 5:26.
2ND QUARTER
TDJabar Gaffney, 26 Yd pass from David Carr (Kris Brown kick is good), 10:31. Drive: 9 plays, 70 yards in 4:34.
TDDavid Carr, 17 Yd run (Kris Brown kick is good), 5:04. Drive: 7 plays, 78 yards in 4:04.
TDTravis Henry, 1 Yd run (Mike Hollis kick is good), 0:54. Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 4:10.
3RD QUARTER
TDTravis Henry, 23 Yd run (Mike Hollis kick is good), 6:32. Drive: 11 plays, 80 yards in 5:10.
4TH QUARTER
TDBilly Miller, 5 Yd pass from James Allen (Kris Brown kick is good), 14:10. Drive: 2 plays, 8 yards in 0:24.
TDEric Moulds, 23 Yd pass from Drew Bledsoe (Mike Hollis kick is good), 10:39. Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards in 3:31.
TDPeerless Price, 26 Yd pass from Drew Bledsoe (Mike Hollis kick is good), 3:55. Drive: 9 plays, 68 yards in 4:30.
Buffalo
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Bledsoe19/3325420
RushingATTYDSTDLG
T. Henry28159223
L. Centers216013
D. Bledsoe3-200
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
P. Price8121135
E. Moulds456123
J. Reed128028
J. Riemersma324012
L. Centers114014
T. Henry21108
Houston
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Carr12/2321810
J. Allen1/1510
RushingATTYDSTDLG
J. Wells1270020
D. Carr850117
J. Allen82108
J. Baxter1000
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
C. Bradford5126081
J. Gaffney348126
J. Lewis133033
B. Miller317110
J. Allen1-10-1
Complete Player Stats