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Overtime Getting Routine for Bills

September 16, 2002|From Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Though overtime was much kinder to them this time, Drew Bledsoe and the Buffalo Bills would rather not take so long to win.

Peerless Price streaked untouched down the middle of the field for a 48-yard touchdown reception in overtime, and Bledsoe set career and franchise highs with 463 yards passing Sunday in a wild 45-39 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

"It'd be nice to win one in regulation," Bledsoe admitted.

The Bills, who lost, 37-31, to the New York Jets last week when Chad Morton returned the opening kickoff in overtime for a touchdown, played back-to-back overtime games for the second time in their history--first done in 1987. It was also the third time since 1995 a team opened a season with two overtime games. Indianapolis split in 1995, as did Tennessee in 1997.

Mike Hollis tied the score as time expired in regulation with a career-long 54-yard field goal that hit the crossbar and bounced over. That came after Moe Williams' three-yard touchdown run that put the Vikings up, 39-36, with 26 seconds left--the fourth lead change of the fourth quarter.

"It took everything we had," Bledsoe said, "but hopefully this is a step for us in the right direction."

Bledsoe, who became the third-quickest in NFL history to reach 30,000 yards passing earlier in the game, completed 35 of 49 passes and had three touchdown throws--two to Price.

"With Drew, if you're down 40-0, you believe you can win," Price said. "We never thought we were out of it. With Drew in the huddle, the thought of losing never crosses your mind."

Price, whose three-yard touchdown catch put Buffalo up, 36-32, with 4:19 left in regulation, also had a career day with 13 catches for 185 yards. Rookie Josh Reed had eight receptions for 110 yards.

Daunte Culpepper, whose three fumbles led to 13 Buffalo points, completed 25 of 45 passes for 281 yards with no interceptions.

"We're good at the start of the game, we're good at the middle of the game," Viking receiver Randy Moss said, "but in the home stretch, we can't seem to get it done."

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