YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE NFL / 1996

Bills Waste Little Time With the Eagles, 24-17

Interconference: Smith's game-winning sack the difference as Buffalo hands Detmer his first loss as Philadelphia's starting quarterback.

November 11, 1996|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The Buffalo Bills' offense works well when it's in a hurry. Not so with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Bills' pass rush generated five sacks, keeping Ty Detmer off balance, and Buffalo's hurry-up offense continued to click as the Bills ended the Eagles' four-game winning streak with a 24-17 victory Sunday.

The Bills showed a variety of formations, but stuck with an up-tempo pace that kept the Eagles off-balance.

"We mixed it up," said Jim Kelly, who completed 11 of 22 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown. "We kept switching off from the K-gun, to a two tight-end set, then back to the K-gun."

In handing Detmer his first loss in five weeks as the Eagles' starting quarterback, Buffalo, 7-3 overall and 4-0 against the NFC East this season, started slowly, but had control for most of the game.

The Eagles had more yards (385-252), possession time (36:14 to 23:46), and first downs (25-18), but didn't do a good job on third down defense: Buffalo converted nine of 13 chances.

Philadelphia (7-3) had a chance to tie the game in the final minute, but Bruce Smith recorded his second sack of Detmer on fourth and goal at the three.

"It was a pretty basic move," said Smith, who beat Barrett Brooks' block to get the key sack. "The defensive backs bought a lot of time, and I was just able to get around the corner and get back there for the sack."

Detmer had career highs in completions (26) and attempts (44) and threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns.

On the fourth-down play, Detmer said the Eagles "tried to flood the zone, but I didn't feel comfortable pulling the trigger. I guess you'd call it a coverage sack. I tried to wait and hold the ball until someone shook loose, but we just didn't get it done."

For the fourth consecutive week, Philadelphia scored on its first drive, with Kevin Turner catching a 23-yard touchdown pass less than five minutes into the game.

After Buffalo tied the score on Gabe Northern's 18-yard blocked punt return, the Eagles took a 10-7 lead on Gary Anderson's 23-yard field goal.

"That was a huge play for us because we didn't get a chance to move the ball when we first had it," Buffalo Coach Marv Levy said of Northern's return. "From that point on, we certainly played a lot better on offense."

The Bills took a 17-10 lead on a five-yard touchdown run by Thurman Thomas, who rushed for 90 yards in 22 carries, and a 38-yard field goal by Steve Christie before halftime.

Buffalo stretched its lead to 24-10 on a five-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to Quinn Early, before Philadelphia rallied behind Detmer, who threw a 10-yard scoring pass to Irving Fryar, who had eight catches for 92 yards.

Los Angeles Times Articles