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Henry Makes a Statement While Leading Bills' Win

October 20, 2003|From Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — With each carry Sunday, Travis Henry delivered a message to Willis McGahee: I'm still the starter.

Henry ran for a career-high 167 yards and scored two touchdowns, providing a spark for a sputtering offense in the Buffalo Bills' 24-7 victory over the Washington Redskins.

All at once, Henry made a case for himself and defused the criticism directed at Buffalo Coach Gregg Williams, who attracted much of the blame for his team's recent poor efforts.

And the Bills (4-3) were in need of help after having lost three of their previous four, including last weekend's 30-3 loss to the previously winless New York Jets.

Best of all, Henry's performance came after a week in which McGahee practiced for the first time with the Bills. The University of Miami star was Buffalo's first-round draft pick and has been heralded as the heir apparent to Henry.

Not so fast.

"I come out every week to play hard to help this football team. It's got nothing to do with Willis McGahee," Henry said.

"It's all about the Buffalo Bills."

Whatever the reason, this game was all about Henry.

It was Henry's first 100-yard rushing performance this season, establishing a Bills' ground attack that was limping, averaging a league-worst 57.5 yards per game.

Now the negative attention turns to the Redskins (3-4), who are suddenly reeling, having lost four of five.

"We have to regroup and find out who really wants to play," Redskin Coach Steve Spurrier said. "I don't know how much fight we had in our team out there."

Washington played without starting quarterback Patrick Ramsey for the final nine minutes. Spurrier said Ramsey bruised his right (throwing) hand when he was sacked by Aaron Schobel.

The game's outcome was determined at the start of third quarter, after the Redskins cut the Bills' lead to 10-7 on Ramsey's 25-yard touchdown pass play to Rod Gardner.

The Bills responded on their next drive, going 80 yards in six plays, capped by Drew Bledsoe's 10-yard pass play to Josh Reed.

Henry keyed the drive with runs of 21 and 13 yards.

The Redskins had no reply, managing only one first down the rest of the game.

Reed had a breakout game, finishing with a season-high eight catches for 109 yards, including the touchdown reception. It was a promising performance for Reed, who dropped several easy catches earlier this season and had so far failed to fill the void left by Peerless Price's off-season departure to the Atlanta Falcons.

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