Bills Draw Cheers in Canada; Beat Redskins 23-0

Ryan Fitzpatrick quickly made his expensive new contract pay off, and the Buffalo Bills finally gave their adopted — and sometimes indifferent — fans north of the border something big to cheer about.

Fitzpatrick hit tight end Scott Chandler for two touchdowns, and the Bills once porous defense had nine sacks and two interceptions to batter the already injury-riddled Washington Redskins 23-0 on Sunday.

It marked Buffalo’s first win in four trips to Toronto, since the cross-border series was established in 2008. They handed Redskins coach Mike Shanahan his first shutout loss in 24 seasons as an NFL coach or offensive coordinator, according to STATS LLC.

And surprise, surprise, the Bills were the ones drawing much of the applause days after safety George Wilson questioned Toronto fans’ passion and loyalty toward Buffalo.

“That was one of the things coming in, give them something to cheer about. And I thought we did that today,” said Fitzpatrick, who signed a six-year, $59 million contract two days earlier. “I think there was more excitement out there than there has been in years past.”

Fitzpatrick did his part in helping the Bills (5-2) open a season with four consecutive “home” wins for the first time since 1995.

And the defense proved dominating, coming out of its bye week off in limiting the Redskins to 178 yards and 10 first downs.

“It was a great overall performance,” said defensive end Spencer Johnson, who had a sack and blocked Graham Gano’s 49-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter. “To shut anybody out in the NFL, that’s a big feat, a big accomplishment and a big step in the right direction.”

The Redskins (3-4) have lost three straight and look nothing like the team that entered its bye week at 3-1.

“It’s pretty humbling to take that,” Shanahan said. “That’s as bad as I’ve ever been involved with from the offensive side.”

Washington continues to unravel as a result of such a growing list of injuries that would put a dent into Canada’s universal health care system.

Without running back Tim Hightower (knee), receiver Santana Moss (hand) and tight end Chris Cooley (knee), the John Beck-led attack managed 61 yards of offense and three first downs on six first-half possessions.

It didn’t get much better in the second half.

Their second drive of the half ended when Beck was sacked for a seventh time attempting to convert a fourth-and-4. The next time out, Beck was intercepted by Wilson.

“I kind of don’t have any answers right now,” Beck said, making his second straight start since replacing Rex Grossman. “I’m trying to figure that out myself. This is the one you want to see the tape, because it will be very telling.”

Beck went 20 of 33 for 208 yards.

With the Bills up 13-0 at the half, Fitzpatrick opened the third quarter with a seven-play, 80-yard drive, which he capped by hitting Chandler on a 15-yard fade in the left corner of the end zone.

Running back Fred Jackson had 120 yards rushing, and 74 receiving. With 1,074 yards from scrimmage, he became only the fourth Bills player to surpass 1,000 yards seven games into a season, and first since Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas in 1991.

The nine sacks is the second best total in team history, and two short of the record.

And they came with Buffalo minus two key starters, defensive tackle Kyle Williams (foot) and linebacker Shawne Merriman (Achilles tendon)

“I don’t think anybody expected that,” coach Chan Gailey said. “I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t expect that.”

Rookie first-round pick Marcell Dareus’ 2½ sacks led the way for a defense that entered the game with just four all season.

“I think this is the first complete game our team has played, and it’s only the beginning,” Dareus said. “The sky’s the limit.”

Fitzpatrick went 21 of 27 for 262 yards, and shook off a pair of turnovers and a big hit from linebacker London Fletcher.

Late in the first half, Fletcher caught Fitzpatrick high on the chest and bowled him over just as the quarterback completed a short pass to Jackson, who turned it into a 46-yard gain. Fitzpatrick was slow in getting up and then dropped to one knee.

After being attended to briefly by the training staff, Fitzpatrick stayed in the game to help set up Rian Lindell’s 44-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 13-0 as time ran out.

“I think the whole team had a collective gasp when they saw him down there trying to suck air,” Jackson said. “It was good for him to get back in there.”

Notes: There were notable pockets of Redskins fans throughout the Rogers Centre as part of an announced crowd of 51,579. Fans were late-arriving, as there were numerous empty seats throughout the 54,000-seat stadium. … The Bills did blame a false start on the cheering fans for doing the wave on a third-and-1 at the Redskins 16 in the fourth quarter. … Shanahan was the Broncos receivers coach in a 27-0 loss to the Bears on Sept. 9, 1984, the only other time he’s been blanked, according to STATS.

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Bills Storm Back to Beat Bengals

Angry at the officials for giving host Cincinnati another play to kick a field goal. Angry at themselves for getting in such a big hole in front of such a small crowd.

Angry enough to pull off their best comeback in 13 years.

Ryan Fitzpatrick matched his career high with four touchdown passes, and the Bills rallied for their second straight win, 49-31 over the bumbling on Sunday.

“We could’ve easily folded our tent,” said cornerback Drayton Florence, who returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown during the comeback. “It looked like they folded their tents.”

Buffalo (2-8) took advantage of Cincinnati’s depleted secondary for its biggest comeback since it overcame a 26-0 deficit and beat the , 37-35, on Sept. 21, 1997. The turning point came at the end of the first half, when the clock ran out but the officials ruled Cincinnati had called timeout with one second left.

The Bengals (2-8) used that restored second to kick a field goal for a 17-point cushion. But Fitzpatrick and Buffalo took advantage of a defense down to four healthy defensive backs by game’s end. Steve Johnson caught three of Fitzpatrick’s touchdown passes, including an 11-yarder that put Buffalo ahead, 35-31, early in the fourth quarter.

“We are terrible,” receiver said. “And I don’t blame the fans for booing us. I don’t blame people for not wanting to come and see the performance we’ve put up” in the last seven games.

Win in Overtime

Graham Gano kicked a 48-yard field goal in overtime as the Redskins kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a 19-16 victory over the , who self-destructed so thoroughly on their home field that the fans booed repeatedly and Vince Young left without speaking with reporters after being knocked out of the game with an injured thumb. Young was 12 of 16 for 165 yards but left after his hand slammed into a helmet while completing a pass. Coach Jeff Fisher said Young, who threw his jersey and his shoulder pads into the stands as he left the field, had a torn flexor tendon in his right thumb that may need season-ending surgery. Either way, Fisher said the rookie Rusty Smith was now Tennessee’s starter. Young wrote on three hours later that he was fine and “sorry to my teammates.” He then tweeted, “Just want to play.”

Wins for A.F.C. Leaders

After spotting the visiting a 3-0 lead, threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth as the rolled at home, 35-3. The Steelers (7-3) made Oakland (5-5) one-dimensional by limiting Darren McFadden to 14 yards on 10 carries. Richard Seymour, long one of the league’s top defensive players, displayed Oakland’s frustration by punching Roethlisberger in the face as Roethlisberger celebrated a touchdown pass late in the second quarter. Seymour was ejected.

¶Dwayne Bowe caught two touchdown passes to help the remain unbeaten at home with a 31-13 victory over the fading Cardinals. Bowe set a team record with at least one score in six straight games; he has 563 yards receiving and 10 touchdown catches during the span. Kansas City (6-4) took sole possession of first place in the A.F.C. West. The Cardinals (3-7) lost their fifth straight.

Win Again

The Cowboys beat the visiting , 35-19, after Jon Kitna put the game away by throwing two short touchdown passes to Miles Austin and surprising everyone with a 29-yard touchdown run, the longest of his 14-year career. The win was the second straight, and the first at home this season, for Dallas (3-7) since Jason Garrett replaced Wade Phillips as coach. The Lions (2-8) lost their 26th straight on the road.

¶Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes — three to Greg Jennings — as the beat the host , 31-3. threw his 17th interception and looked ready for retirement, with six seemingly meaningless games left for Minnesota (3-7) in the epilogue of his 20-year career. “This has got me at a loss for words,” he said. The Packers (7-3) kept pace in the N.F.C. North race with the Bears (7-3).

In Other Games

Maurice Jones-Drew followed a 75-yard reception with a 1-yard touchdown dive, and the host Jaguars overcame six turnovers to beat the banged-up , 24-20. Jones-Drew broke four tackles on a screen pass from David Garrard and weaved his way toward the end zone, with the rookie Joe Haden making a touchdown-saving tackle that ended up taking precious seconds off the clock. Jones-Drew scored two plays later, with 1 minute 16 seconds left.

¶Matt Ryan threw two scoring passes and directed an offense so dominant that three St. Louis defenders left with cramps in the Falcons’ 34-17 win over the host .

¶Marques Colston and Robert Meachem each caught two touchdown passes from in the ’ 34-19 win over the visiting . New Orleans (7-3) remained one game behind Atlanta in the N.F.C. South.

¶Baltimore’s defense returned consecutive interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth quarter and Joe Flacco threw for 301 yards as the visiting beat the , 37-13. The Ravens (7-3) finally rattled Carolina’s fill-in quarterback, Brian St. Pierre, to break it open. St. Pierre was given the starting job by Carolina (1-9) after Matt Moore (shoulder) and Jimmy Clausen (concussion) were hurt.

¶Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and the Buccaneers beat the stagnant , 21-0, for their first win at Candlestick Park since 1980. Tampa Bay is 7-3; San Francisco dropped to 3-7.

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