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Bills Beat Cardinals, 17-10, and It's No Sweat for Kelly

September 22, 1986| From Times Wire Services

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — To see Jim Kelly after the game, you would have thought he had a record-setting passing day.

Kelly barely broke a sweat but did break into a big smile after the Buffalo Bills knocked off the St. Louis Cardinals, 17-10, Sunday for his first victory as an NFL quarterback.

"I feel great," Kelly said. "It's back to that old feeling of winning again."

Kelly, a record-setting passer at the University of Miami and in the United States Football League, completed 6 of 10 passes for 105 yards.

"How many passes did I throw?" asked Kelly, who couldn't believe the answer. "You're kidding? I think that might be my all-time low."

The Bills (1-2) went to the ground to win for the first time in their last eight regular-season games dating to last Nov. 10, with Greg Bell rushing for 79 yards and a 6-yard touchdown, and Ricky Moore scoring from 2 yards out. Scott Norwood added a 35-yard field goal.

The Cardinals (0-3) rallied behind Neil Lomax, who completed 27 of 47 passes for 263 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to running back Vai Sikahema with 58 seconds to play.

The Cardinals had a chance to tie when they recovered an onside kick at their own 49 following Sikahema's touchdown. But after a 12-yard completion, four straight passes by Lomax fell incomplete.

"I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage both offensively and defensively," Cardinal Coach Gene Stallings said. "I thought Lomax played very well. In fact he had a super game.

"We just didn't take advantage of turnovers and fumbles. And when we did make a play, it was called back."

The Cardinals had more total yardage, 381 to 176, and more time of possession, 37:14 to 22:46, than the Bills, but also added 52 yards in penalties to the league-leading 172 yards they had entering the game.

It could have been closer, but Lee was short on a 49-yard field goal attempt and missed to the right on a 30-yard try.

"We played decent, but we didn't play as well as we could," said Fred Smerlas, Buffalo nose tackle. "But after being 2-14 for the last two years, we'll take 'em any way we can."

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