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Five straight wins = job security
Bills' starting QB spot appears Flutie's to lose, for now
Posted: Tuesday November 03, 1998 09:33 PM
ORCHARD PARK, New York (AP) -- Doug Flutie, who is atop the AFC passing ratings after leading the Bills to four consecutive wins, will start against the Jets Sunday -- and maybe beyond -- although nobody on the team appears ready to say so.
"Doug has played outstanding," Coach Wade Phillips said. "I don't know how anybody in the league can play better than he has played."
Phillips would not name Flutie as the starter but acknowledged for the first time Monday that it would be difficult to take him out of the lineup the way he is playing now, regardless of Rob Johnson's health.
Johnson declined to speak to reporters at Bills' stadium Monday. However, on his weekly radio show in Rochester Monday, he indicated -- although he did not specifically say it -- that Phillips told him Flutie had played well enough to earn the starting job, whether Johnson is ready or not.
"It's not my announcement to make," Johnson said on WHAM radio.
Flutie rose to the top of the AFC passer ratings this week with a rating of 102.7. The rating is second in the NFL to that of Minnesota's Randall Cunningham, at 114.3.
Phillips said Johnson's health is still a factor. He has participated in one full practice since being injured October 11.
"We don't know how well Rob is. But I'd say also that it would be hard for a guy to come back after not playing in four games," Phillips said.
"The flip side of that is it's obvious to me and everybody else that Doug has played outstanding," Phillips said. "He's only been sacked two times in the last four games. We've played quality people, and one of them [Miami] sacked us eight times the first time we played them. He's thrown eight touchdowns and two interceptions in the last four games. He's completing over 60 percent of his passes. He's the leading passer in the AFC."
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