“Holy cow! We won a game!” Wood yelled, his voice echoing in the tunnel at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Ten weeks in, the Bills have their first victory. And the have the league record for futility on the road.
Fred Jackson ran for a season-best 133 yards and scored twice in leading the Bills (1-8) to a 14-12 win over the Lions on Sunday. Detroit (2-7) lost its 25th straight road game, breaking the record it set from 2001 to 2003. The Lions have not won outside Detroit since a 16-7 victory at Chicago on Oct. 28, 2007.
In a game billed as a Futility Bowl, something had to give in a contest that was not at all pretty. It was played under rain-soaked conditions, befitting the sloppy — and sometimes laughable — performances of two perennial losers.
The most comical play came late in the second quarter, when Buffalo linebacker Arthur Moats tipped Shaun Hill’s pass into the air. Three Bills players converged on the ball, only to crash into each other and drop it.
The Lions were equally inept. They were penalized 11 times for 60 yards and had difficulty getting their offense going until the fourth quarter. Detroit’s chances to pull off a comeback ended after Hill hit Calvin Johnson for a 20-yard touchdown pass to cut the Bills lead to 14-12 with 14 seconds left. Hill could not find an open receiver on the 2-point conversion, eventually overthrowing tight end Brandon Pettigrew in the back of the end zone.
Bills safety George Wilson recovered the ensuing onside kick and immediately ran to the sideline to hug Coach Chan Gailey, who earned his first win since taking over in January.
Wild Finish in Jacksonville
Mike Thomas hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from David Garrard that Houston cornerback Glover Quin batted into his hands on the final play in regulation, giving the Jaguars a 31-24 win over the visiting . The play is called Rebound, and Thomas always serves as “the scoop guy.” The Jaguars never actually run it during practice; Garrard always fakes the deep throw and teammates act out the results. But it rarely ends the way it did Sunday, with the 5-foot-8 Thomas catching a deflection at the half-yard line and then stepping across the goal line.
“We definitely lucked out on that one,” running back Maurice Jones-Drew said.
The Jaguars (5-4) went into a frenzy and drew a celebration penalty that could not be enforced because they never kicked off. The Texans (4-5) trudged off the field in disbelief. It was their third straight loss, dropping them from the top of the A.F.C. South to the bottom.
¶The overcame ’s season-low 185 yards by scoring 17 points off five Cincinnati turnovers and stopping the visiting twice in the final 2 minutes 40 seconds to preserve their 23-17 victory. The Colts (6-3) regained sole possession of first place in the A.F.C. South when Tennessee lost at Miami, but their injury problems may have finally caught up to the offense against the Bengals (2-7). Playing again without the All-Pro tight end Dallas Clark, running back Joseph Addai, the short-yardage specialist Mike Hart and receivers Anthony Gonzalez and Austin Collie, the Colts’ only offensive touchdown came on a 3-yard run by the undrafted rookie Javarris James. With Manning off his game, Indianapolis relied on its defense. Cornerback Kelvin Hayden scored on a 31-yard interception return, the backup linebacker Tyjuan Hagler nearly scored on another interception, and Antonio Johnson’s fumble recovery set up for a short field goal late in the first quarter.
Anything-goes play-calling helped the compensate for the loss of quarterbacks and Chad Henne in a 29-17 victory over the , Miami’s first win at home in four tries. Pennington sustained a right shoulder injury that could be career-ending, and Henne was on crutches after the game because of a left knee injury. Miami’s Wildcat offense proved a capable substitute, netting 41 yards in five straight snaps to buy time until the fourth quarter when Tyler Thigpen — the emergency third-stringer — led an 85-yard touchdown drive for the game’s final points. “They beat us with basically no quarterbacks,” Titans defensive tackle Jovan Hayes said. had only one catch in his first game with the Titans (5-4), and takeaways by Miami (5-4) led to two touchdowns.
¶Barely in postseason contention when the day began, and the (3-6) could be just about out of it after their 27-13 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field. Jay Cutler passed for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns as Chicago (6-3) held Adrian Peterson to 51 yards rushing and tied for the N.F.C. North lead. Favre passed for 170 yards a week after posting a career-best 446 in a comeback win against Arizona. Asked if he would keep playing this season if Minnesota was mathematically eliminated, Favre said, “Let’s not worry about that.”
Pour It On
Kyle Orton threw a career-high four touchdown passes and Knowshon Moreno had his first 100-yard rushing performance as the Broncos routed the visiting , 49-29. Ending a four-game losing streak, the Broncos (3-6) kept alive their thin hopes of getting back into the playoff race by handing the Chiefs (5-4) their second straight loss. The Broncos jumped out to a 35-0 lead behind three touchdown passes from Orton, a 1-yard run by and a 75-yard fumble return for a touchdown by linebacker Jason Hunter. Tebow also threw his first pass, a 3-yard score to fullback Spencer Larsen.
¶Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and the rookie LeGarrette Blount ran for a score to lead the Buccaneers, the league’s youngest team, to a 31-16 victory over the struggling . Freeman threw scoring passes to Kellen Winslow and Arrelious Benn, one of seven rookies in the starting lineup as the Buccaneers (6-3) rebounded from a 6-point loss to Atlanta that knocked them out of first place in the N.F.C. South. Visiting Carolina fell to 1-8.
In Other Games
Matt Hasselbeck, back after a one-game absence, passed for 333 yards, and Mike Williams had the biggest game of his rejuvenated career in the ’ dominant 36-18 victory over the Cardinals. Williams, who spent the past two seasons out of the league after flopping in Detroit, caught 11 passes for 145 yards, both career highs, for the Seahawks (5-4). Host Arizona (3-6) lost its fourth in a row.
¶Joe Nedney kicked a 29-yard field goal with 9:38 left in overtime after Troy Smith passed for 356 yards while leading the 49ers’ late rally in a 23-20 victory over the visiting . Smith, who earned his second straight victory as the starter for the 49ers (3-6), threw a go-ahead 16-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with 2:10 left in regulation. After Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson led the Rams (4-5) back for Josh Brown’s 33-yard field goal as regulation ended, St. Louis failed to get a first down after winning the overtime coin toss.