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Indianapolis at Buffalo

Bills frolic in snow, hand coasting Colts second straight loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Peyton Manning had a tough time appreciating Mother Nature's picturesque snow-globe backdrop from the bench after he helped ensure a couple of milestones.

The Buffalo Bills got a 30-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts to close a tumultuous season in an otherwise meaningless regular-season finale for both teams Sunday.

"I loved it," Bills coach Perry Fewell said. "It was a Buffalo day."

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All that was missing were snow-angels in the end zone, though Terrell Owens did his part by doing jumping jacks on the sideline after scoring on a 41-yard touchdown pass.

"Yeah, that's the thing. You've got to get caught up in the moment," Owens said, about his spontaneous celebration. "But once all that stuff settles down, it's back to freezing."

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdown passes despite near whiteout conditions in the first half as the Bills (6-10) head into an uncertain offseason after missing the playoffs for a 10th straight year. Fred Jackson had a career-best 212 yards rushing, the seventh-highest rushing total in team history, to reach 1,000 yards for the first time. Jackson also scored on an 11-yard catch.

Ever the competitor, Manning failed to see the fun for the flakes.

Overlooking the wintry scene, and that he only played three series, the quarterback lamented how the Colts ended their season with two straight duds following last week's 29-15 loss to the New York Jets.

"It's not much fun to stand on the sideline as you see the score going the other way," said Manning, who was 14 for 18 for 95 yards and an interception before giving way to rookie backup Curtis Painter.

At least Manning and the Colts (14-2) can look forward to playing a meaningful game when they open the playoffs in two weeks as the AFC's top seed.

"The regular season is over," Manning said. "We're not thinking about it or talking about it."

Manning did take care of some unfinished business. Manning completed seven passes to Dallas Clark, allowing him to become the NFL's second tight end to have a 100-catch season, joining Tony Gonzalez. Reggie Wayne had five catches to reach 100 for the second time in his career.

Manning also finished with an even 4,500 yards passing, 57 short of matching his 2004 career-high.

The Colts squandered a chance to become the sixth NFL team to win 15 games in one season. Indianapolis also had a franchise-best 11-game road win streak snapped.

Coach Jim Caldwell said he kept Manning and the offensive starters in a little longer than expected, wanting to give them a chance to be sharp after the first drive ended with an interception.

As for what he took out of the game, Caldwell smiled and said he doesn't intend to even review the game film.

There wouldn't be much to see, considering about 6 inches of snow fell during the game.

After trading touchdowns in the first quarter, the Bills went ahead for good when Fitzpatrick hit Lee Evans for a 21-yard score. Evans caught the ball at the 1, then slid backward into the end zone, leaving a 2-yard skid mark in the snow.

Owens scored on the next series, two plays after Painter fumbled.

Owens finished with four catches for 65 yards, giving him 14,951 for his career, to move ahead of Tim Brown for third place on the NFL list.

The Bills offense generated 403 yards -- the most since putting up 438 in a 33-20 win over Tampa Bay in Week 2. Their defense got two interceptions from rookie Cary Harris, and limited the Colts backups to 65 yards and four first downs over their final nine possessions.

The fans, some of them shirtless, who were brave enough to attend got into the wintry spirit by cheering a stadium employee as he shoveled away snow to expose an outline of the end zone.

The Bills got into the act before the game began, some players using their feet to spell out the word "Bills."

"It was a great atmosphere," Evans said. "It's great to win, but it's always better in conditions like that."

The Bills already started their offseason overhaul after promoting national scout Buddy Nix to general manager Thursday. Fewell, a candidate for the job, went 3-4 after Dick Jauron was fired in November.

Fewell said he's scheduled to be interviewed for the job this week.

ESPN reported that the Bills met with former Steelers coach Bill Cowher. Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon declined comment on the report during the game.

Notes

  • Bills PK Ryan Lindell hit three field goals, including a 36-yarder, giving him 1,005 career points, and 735 in seven seasons with Buffalo.
  • Donald Brown scored on a 1-yard plunge for the Colts.
  • The Bills won their season finale for the first time since a 27-9 win over Cincinnati to close the 2002 season.
  • The Bills also ended a six-game losing streak against Indianapolis.
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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Sun. Jan. 3Final
70007
Buffalo
(6-10)
7176030
ColtsBills
Pass: P. Manning (14-18, 95) R. Fitzpatrick (16-25, 155)
Rush: M. Hart (10-28) F. Jackson (33-212)
Rec: D. Clark (7-52) T. Owens (4-65)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDFred Jackson, 11 Yd pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell kick is good), 9:25. Drive: 6 plays, 41 yards in 2:58.
TDMike Hart, 1 Yd run (Matt Stover kick is good), 3:52. Drive: 12 plays, 72 yards in 5:33.
2ND QUARTER
TDLee Evans, 21 Yd pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell kick is good), 5:02. Drive: 5 plays, 51 yards in 2:46.
TDTerrell Owens, 41 Yd pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick (Rian Lindell kick is good), 2:28. Drive: 2 plays, 50 yards in 0:48.
FGRian Lindell 31 Yd, 0:14. Drive: 10 plays, 34 yards in 2:04.
3RD QUARTER
FGRian Lindell 33 Yd, 7:32. Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards in 4:35.
FGRian Lindell 36 Yd, 0:14. Drive: 10 plays, 62 yards in 5:20.
4TH QUARTER
None
Players of the Game
Buffalo

F. Jackson
Rush 33
Yds 212
Avg 6.4
TD 0
Houston

R. Fitzpatrick
Att 25
Comp 16
Yds 155
TD 3
 
Indianapolis
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
P. Manning14/189501
C. Painter4/173901
RushingATTYDSTDLG
M. Hart1028115
C. Painter21010
D. Brown4-402
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Clark752017
J. Tamme121021
R. Wayne521010
M. Hart21609
A. Collie115015
H. Baskett1707
C. Cloherty1202
Buffalo
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
R. Fitzpatrick16/2515530
RushingATTYDSTDLG
F. Jackson33212026
C. McIntyre432025
R. Fitzpatrick1707
M. Lynch1000
B. Brohm3-30-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
T. Owens465141
L. Evans449121
F. Jackson215111
J. Stupar21308
J. Klopfenstein111011
M. Lynch1202
S. Nelson1101
R. Parrish1-10-1
Complete Player Stats
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