Work in Sports
Off to the races
Flutie powers Bills' 34-17 stampede over Redskins
Posted: Sunday November 07, 1999 10:48 PM
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- On fourth-and-5, Doug Flutie put a jitterbug move on Dana Stubblefield. All Stubblefield could do was stand helpless with his hands on his hips as Flutie danced his way to an 8-yard gain to set up the go-ahead touchdown.
"No, I did not ever think of taking Doug out of the game," said Buffalo coach Wade Phillips, joking at the start of his postgame news conference.
Phillips spent the week fending off calls for Flutie to be benched in favor of Rob Johnson. Flutie answered the critics by rushing for 40 yards and completing 16 of 22 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
"Now, all of a sudden, the offense is great," said Flutie, who had thrown eight interceptions in his last three games. "Well, we're still doing the same thing we did last week, the same thing we did the week before."
Antowain Smith ran for two TDs as the Bills (6-3), who had been living off their defense most of the season, held the ball for 41 minutes and had their highest scoring output of the season.
"I won't say today was a rarity," defensive end Bruce Smith said. "But I'll say today was the best the offense has played in two years. They just did everything that was asked of them and then some more, controlling the ball and putting points on the board."
The Redskins (5-3) had Defense Secretary William Cohen perform the coin toss, and maybe he should have stayed on the field. The league's most porous defense allowed 413 yards by nearly every means possible: They left receivers open, wilted on up-the-middle runs and failed to contain Flutie.
"We just came out and played so lousy," defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson said.
Linebacker Shawn Barber said the Redskins didn't have their usual intensity following last week's 48-22 rout of Chicago.
"We were at the top of our division," Barber said. "We were looking at it as we don't have to scratch and crawl. I think that was the attitude some guys had. We're going to have to put our game face on and come in with the right mentality each week."
And, this time, the Redskins weren't bailed out by their offense, which had been averaging just under 35 points per game. Washington took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards in eight plays to score on Stephen Davis' 8-yard run, his league-leading 12th touchdown of the season.
But the Redskins didn't find the end zone again until the fourth quarter, after the Bills had taken a 21-point lead. Redskins quarterback Brad Johnson completed his first seven passes, but was 12-for-30 the rest of the way. He finished 19-for-37 for 232 yards, and the 17 points were a season low.
"Well, for one thing, we were on the bench most of the game," guard Tre Johnson said.
The Bills scored on all three of their first-half possessions, with Flutie's nimble feet keeping each drive alive.
Flutie took a shot in the leg from Tim Denton while diving to convert a third-and-6 on the first drive, setting up Steve Christie's 23-yard field goal. On the second drive, Flutie scrambled for 13 yards on third-and-4 at Washington's 49, the biggest gain on a 55-yard drive that was capped by a 6-yard TD pass to rookie Bobby Collins.
But the classic Flutie jig came on fourth-and-5 at the Redskins' 23 late in the second quarter. Flutie, scrambling around the right side, looked like a point guard as he put a move on Stubblefield.
"It's kind of like Michael Jordan dunking on two guys 7-feet tall," said Redskins cornerback Darrell Green. "They were high, they were tall, but he just went above them."
Five plays later, Smith's 1-yard run gave the Bills a 17-10 halftime lead.
"You're not thinking about highlight reel stuff," Flutie said. "You're just thinking about making a first down."
Flutie's fourth scramble came in the third quarter as he reversed his field in the backfield to gain 14 yards to the Redskins' 10. On the next play, he threw a touchdown pass to Eric Moulds, who had five catches for 61 yards in his first game after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury.
Flutie's perfect toss on the run found Moulds on the sideline on the next drive, which ended with a 14-yard TD run by Smith to make it 31-10.
"He made all the plays when he needed to," Washington coach Norv Turner said. "Whether it was scrambling, whether it was sitting in the pocket. We were unable to stop him."
Notes: Cohen's wife, Janet Langhart Cohen, accompanied her husband for the coin toss. ... Redskins LG Keith Sims sprained his right knee. ... Washington P Matt Turk, in his first game in three weeks after suffering finger and back injuries, was booed soundly as he shanked punts of 32 and 29 yards. ... Collins' TD catch was his first, coming on his second NFL reception. ... The Bills offense was also got a boost from the return of three-time Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown, who had missed the two previous games with a hamstring injury. ... Buffalo has won 10 straight regular season games vs. NFC East teams.