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Bengals' Blake One Tough Tiger : AFC: Despite sprained ankle, quarterback rallies Cincinnati to a 34-31 victory over Houston.

November 14, 1994|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Jeff Blake bounded out of the X-ray room to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a dramatic 34-31 victory over the Houston Oilers on Sunday.

Limping severely on a sprained ankle, Blake led the Bengals on two scoring drives in the final three minutes, the second leading to Doug Pelfrey's 40-yard game-winning field goal as time ran out.

A 33-yard pass to Carl Pickens set up Pelfrey's kick.

The Oilers (1-9) thought they'd seen the last of the third-string quarterback making his third NFL start when he was carted off for X-rays on his left ankle in the fourth quarter. The Oilers went on to take a 31-24 lead while doctors checked Blake for torn ligaments.

But Blake, again riding a cart, came back in the nick of time, carefully stepped off the cart and rescued the Bengals (2-8).

Blake, a former New York Jet who was the 166th pick in the 1992 draft, passed for 387 yards in a 20-17 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks last week after almost upsetting the Dallas Cowboys in his first start.

"I wasn't coming out," Blake said. "They were going to have to drag me off. My ankle was sprained and every time I got hit I aggravated it. But I was able to come to the sideline, cool down and go back out and play."

The Oilers (1-9) were on the verge of breaking their losing streak, now at six games, when Billy Joe Tolliver threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Webster Slaughter for a 31-24 lead with 5:51 left.

Then Pickens made a one-handed catch and dragged two tacklers into the end zone for a game-tying 21-yard touchdown reception with 2:34 left.

Blake finished 23 of 33 for 354 yards and four touchdowns.

Turning It Around

A comparison of statistics at quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals by early-season starter David Klingler and his replacement Jeff Blake:

JEFF BLAKE

Opp Result Att Com Yds TD Int Houston W, 34-31 33 23 354 4 0 Seattle W, 20-17 43 31 387 0 1 Dallas L, 23-20 32 14 247 2 0 Totals 2-1 108 68 988 6 1

DAVID KLINGLER

Opp Result Att Com Yds TD Int Cleveland L, 37-13 34 18 200 1 0 Pittsburgh L, 14-10 29 16 143 0 0 Miami L, 23-7 30 16 188 1 3 Houston L, 20-13 30 10 115 0 3 New Eng. L, 31-28 29 21 266 2 0 San Diego L, 27-10 34 21 180 1 1 Cleveland L, 28-20 43 27 224 1 2 Totals 0-7 229 129 1,316 6 9

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