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Atlanta at Buffalo

Vick helps Atlanta pocket victory in Buffalo

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Everyone knows what Michael Vick can do with his legs. Now the Atlanta Falcons dynamic quarterback is showing he can win games with his arm, too.

Hindered by a hamstring injury, Vick concentrated on developing a pocket-passer mentality, leading the Falcons to a 24-16 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

"I learned a lot this week," Vick said. "This is a big game for me, and I think it's going to help me in the long run."

Vick had his share of big runs, finishing with 64 yards on nine carries, including a 27-yarder that left three defenders diving for air. But he also showed patience, poise and resilience in taking a couple of big hits from a blitzing defense to spread the ball to six receivers.

Vick finished 15-of-27 for 167 yards passing -- his most in seven starts -- two touchdowns and an interception.

Coach Jim Mora saw it coming, saying Vick had indicated earlier this week he intended on passing more after being hurt at the end of a 21-18 loss at Seattle last weekend.

"Now I don't know if I saw a different kind of quarterback, because when it got right down to it, he still was able to make plays running," Mora said. "But he did make some key plays with his arm. ... You get glimpses of these great things that he's capable of and you're going to see it on a consistent basis."

Warrick Dunn, with 97 yards rushing, and T.J. Duckett, with 75 yards rushing and a touchdown, picked up the slack, while the Falcons banged up defense held the Bills in check, limiting them to 208 yards.

Dwayne Blakley had a 9-yard touchdown reception and Michael Jenkins a 15-yarder helping Atlanta (2-1) snap a four-game road losing streak dating back to last season.

The Bills (1-2) have lost two straight, can't get their offense going and their defense might have sustained a big blow when linebacker Takeo Spikes hurt his right Achilles' tendon in the second quarter and did not return.

Coach Mike Mularkey wouldn't speculate on the severity of Spikes' injury, saying he'll know more after more tests.

What's also disturbing is how ineffective quarterback J.P. Losman was and how Buffalo's defense uncharacteristically gave up 236 yards rushing -- the most since allowing 270 yards against Miami, Dec. 1, 2002.

"We missed a ton of tackles," safety Troy Vincent said. "I don't think we're pressing. But we didn't give the offense enough opportunities."

Not that the offense did much with the opportunities it had.

The Bills settled for two field goals and a touchdown in three trips inside Atlanta's 20.

And they squandered another scoring opportunity in the final four minutes after Atlanta's DeAngelo Hall fumbled on a punt return near midfield. Buffalo, however, gave the ball back when Losman slipped and fell, failing to convert a fourth-and-inches at the Falcons 29.

"It's frustrating," Losman said. "I will never be happy or satisfied until I play to a level where I want to play at. ... We need to get the job done."

The first-year starter finished 10-for-23 for 75 yards with an interception and lost a fumble. And this time the Bills didn't have Willis McGahee to blame.

Criticized for failing to be decisive in last weekend's 19-3 loss at Tampa Bay, McGahee had a career-high 140 yards rushing and scored Buffalo's lone touchdown, an 8-yarder up the middle.

Receiver Eric Moulds was unhappy the Bills didn't attempt to pass more against a defensive secondary that was down to three cornerbacks.

"I don't want to second-guess what they wanted to do, but at some point, we have to be able to take shots down the field," Moulds said, referring to the game plan.

Vick was the difference with the game on the line.

Ahead 17-16 late in the third quarter, Vick marched Atlanta on a nine-play, 65-yard drive, capped by Duckett's 12-yard run. He converted a third-and-11 with a 17-yard pass over the middle to Brian Finneran. Six plays later, facing third-and-10 at the Bills 39, Vick scampered for 27 yards to set up Duckett's touchdown.

"He's just out there proving people wrong," Jenkins said, referring to those who call Vick one-dimensional. "Making great throws, making plays with his feet as well, he had a complete game."

Notes

  • In three games, Buffalo has managed two touchdowns and settled for nine field goals.
  • Vick improved to 25-13-1 as a starter.
  • The Bills have three first downs passing in the last two games.
  • Falcons CB Hall hurt his shoulder in the first quarter, but returned for the second half.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Michael Vick holds his ground in the pocket and passes for 167 yards, his most in seven starts.
 
Michael Vick holds his ground in the pocket and passes for 167 yards, his most in seven starts. (AP)
 

 

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Sun. Sept. 25Final
Atlanta
(2-1)
7100724
Buffalo
(1-2)
3103016
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 36 Yd, 9:32. Drive: 13 plays, 50 yards in 5:28.
TDDwayne Blakley, 9 Yd pass from Michael Vick (Todd Peterson kick is good), 3:44. Drive: 10 plays, 84 yards in 5:48.
2ND QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 41 Yd, 14:45. Drive: 9 plays, 57 yards in 3:59.
TDMichael Jenkins, 15 Yd pass from Michael Vick (Todd Peterson kick is good), 10:07. Drive: 10 plays, 74 yards in 4:38.
TDWillis McGahee, 8 Yd run (Rian Lindell kick is good), 3:55. Drive: 11 plays, 80 yards in 6:12.
FGTodd Peterson 27 Yd, 0:00. Drive: 9 plays, 82 yards in 1:08.
3RD QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 30 Yd, 10:10. Drive: 7 plays, 23 yards in 4:09.
4TH QUARTER
TDT.J. Duckett, 12 Yd run (Todd Peterson kick is good), 12:07. Drive: 9 plays, 65 yards in 5:14.
Players of the Game

W. McGahee
Rush 27
Yds 140
Avg 5.2
TD 1
New York

M. Vick
Att 27
Comp 15
Yds 167
TD 2
 
Atlanta
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
M. Vick15/2716721
RushingATTYDSTDLG
W. Dunn1597059
T. Duckett1275125
M. Vick964027
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
B. Finneran457017
M. Jenkins448121
A. Crumpler335021
D. Blakley21119
J. Griffith111011
W. Dunn1505
Buffalo
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Losman10/237501
RushingATTYDSTDLG
W. McGahee27140121
J. Losman520019
S. Williams21106
J. Smith1101
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Reed224017
E. Moulds31808
S. Aiken112012
D. Shelton1808
L. Evans2706
J. Smith1606
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
KC 10 Final
DEN 30
NYG 23 Final
SD 45
NE 23 Final
PIT 20
ARI 12 Final
SEA 37
DAL 34 Final
SF 31
TEN 27 Final
STL 31
OAK 20 Final
PHI 23
JAC 26 Final
NYJ 20
NO 16 Final
MIN 33
CAR 24 Final
MIA 27
CLE 6 Final
IND 13
TB 17 Final
GB 16
CIN 24 Final
CHI 7