Byrd’s picks help Bills top Arizona 19-16 in OT
Posted at: 10/14/2012 7:35 PM
By BOB BAUM
(AP) GLENDALE, Ariz. - A record kick tied it for Arizona, a tipped one kept Buffalo in the game, and Rian Lindell’s chip shot field goal from 25 yards gave the Bills an improbable victory.
The three kicks took place in the final frantic moments of a typically wacky NFL game in the desert Sunday and sent Buffalo on its way home with a 19-16 win after two weeks of embarrassing defeats.
Jarius Byrd’s second interception of the game set up Lindell’s game-winner 3:50 into overtime, which ended Arizona’s home winning streak at eight games, one shy of the club record.
Byrd, limited in practice last week with a chest injury, picked off a pass from John Skelton, who had replaced the injured Kevin Kolb, and returned it 29 yards to the Arizona 6.
Arizona’s Jay Feely made a franchise-record 61-yard field goal with 1:09 left in regulation to tie it 16-all. But his 38-yard attempt to win it as the fourth quarter ended was tipped by Buffalo’s Alex Carrington and careened off the left upright.
"You go from on top of the world to feeling about as low as you can feel," Feely said.
Buffalo coach Chan Gailey endured extreme emotions, too, just the other way around.
"You don’t think there is any way a guy is going to make a 61-yarder," Gailey said, "and then you think for sure he is going to make the short one and he doesn’t."
The Cardinals (4-2) lost their second in a row after a 4-0 start. The Bills (3-3) won after allowing 1,201 yards and 97 points in their previous two games.
The Cardinals went into overtime for the sixth time in their last nine home games and had won all of them until Sunday.
It looked like another stunning Arizona comeback when Feely, whose previous long was 55, nailed the 61-yarder, the third 60-yard plus kick in the league this season _ an NFL record.
The big kick came moments after Kolb, whose scrambles had been the biggest plays for Arizona’s as-usual sputtering offense, was hit for his fifth sack and left with a rib and chest injury.
Enter Skelton, active for the first time since he sprained his left ankle in the season opener, an injury that cleared the way for Kolb to reclaim the starting job.
Skelton’s fourth-down pass to Larry Fitzgerald got Arizona close enough to try the record kick, which cleared the crossbar with room to spare.
"He told me he could make it," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That’s why we kicked it there on fourth-and-10. I thought our best option was for him to kick it with the way he was feeling."
The Bills then punted, and in an attempt to keep the ball away from Patrick Peterson, Shawn Powell’s 30-yard kick went out of bounds at the Cardinals 47. Skelton’s 28-yard pass to Fitzgerald set up the 38-yard try. But Feely, who earlier made two from 49, was thwarted by Carrington’s tip.
"It was scary," Carrington said. "I thought it was still going to go in because the ball still kept on going but then hit the post. My heart dropped for a second."
The Bills took the overtime kickoff, advancing to the Arizona 35 with the help of a pass interference penalty against Sam Acho. But Buffalo chose to punt. The ball nearly was downed at the 1, but was ruled a touchback, setting up the ball at the 20.
From there, Skelton’s pass into traffic was intercepted by Byrd. Two plays later, Lindell had just his third field goal of the season _ and the Bills had gained some redemption following to miserable weeks.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who grew up in nearby Gilbert as a Cardinals fan, completed 18 of 32 for 153 yards, but the Bills did most of their damage on the ground. C.J. Spiller carried 12 times for 88 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown run. Fred Jackson gained 53 yards in 16 attempts, with a 1-yard scoring run.
Kolb was 14 of 26 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He scrambled five times for 66 yards. Arizona’s sputtering ground game, without Ryan Williams after he was knocked out for the season with a shoulder injury, got a surprising day from William Powell, who gained 70 yards on 13 carries.
Fitzgerald caught six passes for 93 yards, including a 9-yarder for a touchdown. In the process, he topped 10,000 yards receiving for his career even though he’s 10 months shy of his 30th birthday.
Skelton, who beat out Kolb for the starting job in the preseason, was 2 of 10 for 45 yards.
The Bills stayed in Arizona to practice last week after the 45-3 loss in San Francisco.
"We were away from the distractions and it was just us here in Arizona," Byrd said. "It was a chance for us to soul search, get corrected what we needed to get corrected without the distractions of being at home. It was great for us mentally."
NOTES: Mario Williams had two sacks for the Bills after getting 1 1/2 the first five games. He has 55 1/2 for his career ... Buffalo safety Da’Norris Searcy left with an ankle injury early in the third quarter. ... Cardinals S Kerry Rhodes was carried off the field with a back injury with 5:41 to play in regulation. ... Arizona’s Rashad Johnson gained 24 yards and a first down on a fake punt in the first half but the Cardinals couldn’t score. ... Kolb has been sacked 22 times in the last three games.
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(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)