Negating the effects of 25-plus mph winds blowing off Lake Erie,
McGahee led Buffalo's ball-control offense with a career-high 132
yards rushing and a touchdown in the Bills 22-17 win over the New
York Jets on Sunday.
"He can run," left tackle Jonas Jennings said. "He's got
vision. Our job is to get him past the first level. And he and the
receivers do the rest."
McGahee continued to downplay his string of strong performances,
the starter in all three victories for Buffalo (3-5), in which he's
had 100 or more yards each time.
"We're all getting comfortable right now," said McGahee, who
supplanted Travis Henry as the starter two weeks ago. "We know
what it takes to win. And we know what we have to do."
McGahee's 37 carries tied him for second most in a game in
franchise history, and most since Thurman Thomas had 37 on Nov. 8,
1992 against Pittsburgh; O.J. Simpson, with 39, holds the record.
That's impressive for Buffalo's 2003 first-round draft pick who
missed his entire rookie season recovering from reconstructive knee
Buffalo won its third game in four outings, and third straight
at home. And the weather has played a factor in all three, in which
winds of 25 mph or stronger swirled around Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"We're supposed to be a bad-weather team," receiver Eric
Moulds said. "Teams don't want to come in here and play in this
situation. We know that, and we have to use it to our advantage."
The Bills beat the Jets (6-2), a team coming off a 41-14 win
over Miami last Monday, and attempting to match its best start in
The Jets' problems might be worse than the game's outcome.
Quarterback Chad Pennington bruised his right shoulder and did not
return after he was sacked for a 13-yard loss midway through the
Pennington said he was initially hurt in the first quarter, when
he scrambled up the middle for a 12-yard gain before he fumbled. He
finished 7-of-15 for 141 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown to
Pennington approached coach Herman Edwards to pull him after his
last two drives ended with an interception and a sack.
"There's a fine line, stay in there and suck it up, but maybe
hurt the team," Pennington said. "It just felt like I was hurting
the team more than I was helping the team."
Pennington will have further tests Monday, but plans on playing
next week against Baltimore.
The Bills responded with an eight-play, 37-yard drive to run out
the clock. They might have caught a break in extending that final
drive when officials ruled Lee Evans kept both feet inbounds on a
27-yard reception up the right sideline on third-and-8 with 2:31
remaining. But the Jets were unable to challenge after having used
their three timeouts.
Edwards shrugged his shoulders when asked about the call, adding
that he would've challenged the play.
"I think the whole team is frustrated," Edwards said. "We
knew we were going to have to play well to win the game. And we
didn't do that."
With the game tied at 10 at the half, the Bills took the lead
for good when Drew Bledsoe capped a 13-play, 77-yard drive with a
4-yard pass to Evans to start the third quarter.
The Jets had little response.
Except for Moss' touchdown, New York combined for 16 yards
offense on its five other second-half possessions. Moss led the
Jets with a season-high 157 yards receiving.
New York's Curtis Martin, who entered the game the NFL's
third-leading rusher this season, was limited to a season-low 67
yards. As if that wasn't bad enough, Martin was tackled by Pat
Williams in the end zone for a safety.
Bledsoe was efficient, finishing 18-of-30 for 184 yards.
Bills right tackle Mike Williams sustained a neck injury in
the third quarter and had to be driven off the field in an
ambulance. Tests taken in the Bills training room were negative,
and Williams was walking around while wearing a neck brace
following the game. ... Jets PK Doug Brien hit a 41-yard field
goal, but was wide left on a 36-yard attempt. Bills PK Rian Lindell
hit from 20 and 30 yards. ... McGahee's touchdown came on a 12-yard
scamper 10 minutes into the game, converting on fourth-and-1.