Inside the Games

By Compiled From News Services | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 22, 1997 | Go to article overview

Inside the Games


Compiled From News Services, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


BILLS 37, COLTS 35

Hero: Buffalo had the second-biggest regular-season comeback victory in NFL history. Rookie Antowain Smith rushed for 129 yards and three TDs, including one of 54 yards that made it 37-29 and appeared to seal the victory with 1:14 left.

Turning Point: The Colts, who blew a 26-0 lead, moved 80 yards and made it 37-35. Backup quarterback Paul Justin, playing for a groggy Jim Harbaugh, hit Marvin Harrison with a 2-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left. Harbaugh left the game during that drive when he was hit late. But Kurt Schulz stepped in front of Justin's pass to Harrison on an unsuccessful 2-point conversion try. Schulz held Harrison on the play, but no penalty was called. The Colts then recovered an onside kick, but Justin threw an incompletion before being intercepted on the final play. Numbers Crunch: The Colts lost despite holding the ball almost 10 minutes more than the Bills. The Big Picture: The game was reminiscent of Buffalo's victory over Houston in the 1992 playoffs. The Bills trailed 35-3 before winning 41-38 in overtime. That was the greatest comeback in NFL history. Sunday's game ranks No. 3, behind a rally from a 28-point deficit by San Francisco over New Orleans in 1980. The football Cardinals are next on the list. They overcame a 28-3 deficit to beat Tampa Bay 31-28 in 1987 at Busch Stadium. Quote: "This was a tremendous win for our team and for our egos," Smith said. "Coming back from 26 points down was a little scary." PACKERS 38, VIKINGS 32 Hero: Brett Favre tied a career high with five touchdown passes as Green Bay held on to win. Turning Point: The Pack blew most of a 31-7 halftime lead. Brad Johnson led four successive scoring drives to close the gap, at one point hitting 13 passes in a row. But he misfired three straight times from midfield after the 2-minute warning to kill hopes of a monumental comeback. On fourth and 10 from the Vikings' 46, Reggie White blew past right tackle Korey Stringer and hit Johnson's arm just as he released, and the ball fluttered. Numbers Crunch: Antonio Freeman caught seven passes for 122 yards. The Big Picture: Favre threw his 153rd touchdown pass, breaking the record of Green Bay Packers great Bart Starr as the team's career leader. Favre did it in just five-plus seasons and 83 games. It took Hall of Famer Starr 16 seasons and 191 games to throw 152 touchdown passes. Favre hit Freeman with a 28-yard pass in the second quarter to break Starr's record, set from 1956 to 1971. Favre added three more TD passes. Quote: "We throw the ball a lot more than Bart did back then," Favre said. "I don't want to take anything away from him." SEAHAWKS 26, CHARGERS 22 Heroes: Steve Broussard, John Carney and Darryl Williams. Broussard leaped into the end zone from 1 yard out with 1:22 left to give the Seahawks a victory on a day when Carney kicked five field goals for the Chargers. Turning Point: Seattle marched 80 yards in 10 plays after Carney kicked a 41-yard field goal with 5:21 to go to put the Chargers ahead 22-20. Numbers Crunch: Seattle's Williams had a career-high three interceptions. The Big Picture: Seattle had only 2 yards rushing at halftime, but Broussard ran for 72 yards in the second half. Coach Dennis Erickson said he went with Broussard, an eight-year veteran whose primary job is returning kickoffs, because Chris Warren and Lamar Smith couldn't get untracked. (The following parargraph appeared in the THREE STAR Edition in place of the preceding paragraph.) The Big Picture: Seattle had its longest play of the season - a 53-yard TD pass from Warren Moon to Joey Galloway early in the final quarter. (End THREE STAR Text) Quote: "We were looking for a spark, someone a little quicker," Erickson said. RAVENS 36, OILERS 10 Heroes: Vinny Testaverde threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns, and Matt Stover booted four field goals to spark Baltimore. Turning Point: Tennessee lost the ball five times, which the Ravens converted into 19 points. …

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