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PRO FOOTBALL : Dickerson Is Buffaloed in 27-3 Loss : Running Back Held to Career-Low 19 Yards in 11 Carries

December 14, 1987| From Times Wire Services

INDIANAPOLIS — The Buffalo Bills found the best way to shut down the Indianapolis Colts is to shut down Eric Dickerson.

The Bills held the All-Pro running back to a career-low 19 yards in 11 carries, forced 6 Indianapolis turnovers and beat the Colts, 27-3, Sunday to move into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East with the Colts and Miami Dolphins at 7-6.

"They got good penetration," Dickerson said of the Bills' defenders. "They had a good defensive scheme and we just couldn't get anything going offensively. The holes just weren't there."

Said Buffalo defensive end Bruce Smith: "Dickerson is a cutback runner. If you cut that off, you take away half of his game."

The Colts did not make a first down on 10 third-down plays and lost the ball four times on interceptions and twice on fumbles.

"We were very soundly beaten," Coach Ron Meyer said. "Their offensive line dominated us and their defensive line dominated us. I'm not sure if the resurrection of Johnny Unitas would have helped today."

The Colts had a season-low 9 first downs, and their 130 yards in total offense was less than half their previous season low.

"We played magnificently against a team which has been very good offensively recently," Buffalo Coach Marv Levy said. "Our secondary did maybe the best job of the year."

Jim Kelly threw touchdown passes of 12 yards to Ronnie Harmon in the first quarter and 8 yards to Trumaine Johnson in the fourth quarter.

Kelly, who completed 18 of 34 passes for 167 yards, extended his streak to 18 games with at least one touchdown pass, the longest active string in the NFL.

Mark Kelso intercepted two Baltimore passes, while Smith and rookie linebackers Shane Conlan and Cornelius Bennett pressured Colts quarterbacks Jack Trudeau and Sean Salisbury the whole game. Trudeau suffered a bruised right hip in the third quarter and was replaced by Salisbury.

Salisbury, former USC quarterback, threw interceptions on the Colts' next two possessions after Johnson's touchdown.

Indianapolis started its next drive at its 10, and Salisbury retreated into the end zone before his fumble and the recovery by Smith gave Buffalo its final touchdown with 1:11 to go.

Buffalo also had four turnovers, all on fumbles, including one by Jamie Mueller which set up the only Indianapolis score, a 30-yard field goal by Dean Biasucci midway through the second quarter.

Scott Norwood had two field goals for the Bills, also in the second quarter.

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