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Bills Still Kings of Comeback

September 22, 1997|From Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills made another comeback for the record books.

They overcame a 26-0 deficit, then stopped a two-point conversion and a pair of desperation passes in the final seconds Sunday to defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 37-35, in the third-biggest comeback in NFL history.

Buffalo's victory was reminiscent its victory over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 AFC playoffs. The Bills trailed, 35-3, before winning, 41-38, in overtime on their way to their third Super Bowl.

"This was a tremendous win for our team and for our egos," said rookie Antowain Smith, who scored three touchdowns in the comeback. "Coming back from 26 points down was a little scary. We can't spot teams 26 points and expect to come back like we did."

Smith rushed for 129 yards and his third touchdown, a 54-yard run, made the score 37-29 and appeared to seal the victory with 1:14 left.

But Indianapolis (0-4) moved 80 yards and made the score 37-35 when backup quarterback Paul Justin, playing for an injured Jim Harbaugh, connected with Marvin Harrison on a two-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left.

However, Kurt Schulz stepped in front of Justin's pass for Harrison on the two-point conversion. It appeared Schulz held Harrison on the play, but no penalty was called.

Indianapolis then recovered the onside kick with 9 seconds left, just enough time for two long passes. The first fell short of the end zone and the second was intercepted by Ken Irvin.

Buffalo (2-2) overcame five turnovers, two muffed punts and Cary Blanchard's five field goals.

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