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Workmanlike Effort Leads to Win
Running game and offensive line returns with Flutie magic.
by Steve Saslow
Sept. 21, 1999
The Bills combined a solid running game with a little Flutie magic and a big time performance by the offensive line to muster enough offense to beat the depleted Jets 17-3 at the refurbished Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday night.
This game wasn't even as close as the score indicated as the Bills seemed to move the ball at will during the game but had they continue to have trouble captalizing on scoring opportunities. They domintated the first half but two missed field goals by Steve Christie left the game scoreless late in the second quarter. The defense had little trouble with the Rick Mirer led Jets offense. They shutdown Curtis Martin most of the game except for a 17 yard run in the second quarter to the Bills 9 that help set up the play of the game. The Jets were able to move to the Bills one and on fourth down there was no doubt that the Big Tuna would go for it. The surprise came that he ran the ball with little used Jerald Sowell and he ran it right at Ted Washington. Parcells brought in Kevin Mawae at center as a free agent two years ago because of Washington, so he figured he'd get his money's worth on this play. Washington barrelled over Mawae opening it up for Sam Cowart and John Holecek to make the stop for no gain.
That play fired up the crowd and the offense. Flutie then directed the team on their first 99 yard touchdown drive in eight years to close out the half. The key plays in that drive was a 24 yard run by Flutie which was the longest of his NFL career, he would match that run in the second half. That play set up the play known as "the Block". On a third and 2, Antowain Smith took a handoff and was caught behind the line, he broke a tackle and reversed direction, there Flutie took out Mo Lewis leaving Smith untouched in to the end zone. He supposedly stepped out of bounds at the one but the play wasn't reviewed. The offensive line made another statement by opening up a huge hole for him to walk through for the score. So instead of it being 7-0 Jets it was 7-0 Bills at the half. This 14 point turnaround was too much for the Jets to come back from.
The Bills defense turned up the heat in the second half giving the Jets Offense nothing, and when Flutie had his second 24 yard run of the game the Bills had an insurmountable (on this day anyway) 14-0 lead. The Jets did have one good drive as the defense was lulled into sleep before waking up in time to hold them to a field goal. Flutie moved the ball at will in the second half getting a field goal one series after Smith fumbled inside the Jets 30.
TBD Gameday Review - My position by positon breakdown and grades.
NFL Gamebook - Most complete game statistics available including play by play from NFL.com.
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