After so many near-misses, Jim Kelly showed he can hit the bull’s-eye.
The Bills were 4-12 last season with Kelly at quarterback, losing 8 games by a touchdown or less. Buffalo extended that pattern this year with a 31-28 opening-day loss to the New York Jets.
Things were different Sunday.
Kelly rallied the Bills for 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Ronnie Harmon with 57 seconds left, to give Buffalo a 34-30 victory over the Houston Oilers.
“In my heart and soul I wanted to show all of my teammates, fans and press that Jim Kelly is a winner,” Kelly said. “In the end, we showed that we had a little more heart and soul than they did.”
Kelly, who completed 26 of 43 passes for 293 yards and 3 touchdowns, said he had to chose between Harmon and wide receiver Andre Reed on the scoring play.
“In the end, I knew that there was nobody that could go one-on-one with Ronnie,” Kelly said.
Robb Riddick scored on a two-yard run with 3:31 to play to draw Buffalo within 30-27. The Oilers (1-1) had gone ahead, 30-20, with 4:58 left on Tony Zendejas’ 30-yard field goal.
Kelly led the Bills 54 yards in 8 plays in 1:26 to the winning score.
Ron Pitts intercepted a Warren Moon pass with 19 seconds left to end Houston’s final chance.
Mike Rozier, who rushed for 93 yards in Houston’s victory over the Rams last week, gained 150 yards in 21 carries to become the first Oiler running back to rush for that many yards since Earl Campbell gained 186 in October 1981 against the Seattle Seahawks.