Safety Mark Kelso got the points, but defensive end Bruce Smith got his share of the credit for a 78-yard interception-return touchdown in the third quarter that helped the Buffalo Bills post the best record in the National Football League with a 28-0 victory over the Green Bay Packers Sunday.
Smith, who helped the Bills (8-1) sack Packer quarterback Don Majkowski 6 times, was all over Majkowski when he threw the interception to Kelso.
“Bruce came over and said he’d take half of it (the credit),” Kelso said. “My best friend is the defensive line.”
Smith was helped by second-year linebackers Cornelius Bennett, who had 2 1/2 sacks and forced a fumble, and Shane Conlan, who had a sack and also forced a fumble.
The Bills held Green Bay (2-7) to 131 total yards and recorded their first shutout since a 27-0 victory over Miami last November.
“That’s all we were talking about in the second half, a no-hitter,” Conlan said. “We kept saying, ‘They’re not going to score on us.’ ”
The Bills’ offense scored in the first half on a 1-yard pass from Jim Kelly to Butch Rolle and a 2-yard run by Robb Riddick. The defense matched those scores in the second half, on Kelso’s interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by defensive end Leon Seals that sealed the victory.
“We just got a pretty thorough whipping by an awfully good defensive team,” Packer Coach Lindy Infante said. “Their defense totally outplayed our offense. They beat us by at least the margin on the scoreboard.”
The Packers, who had the NFL’s best giveaway-takeaway ratio, also lost the ball on 3 fumbles.
Bennett, Conlan, Smith and Jeff Wright also had sacks for the Bills, and Scott Radecic shared a sack with Bennett.
Buffalo rookie Thurman Thomas ran for for 116 yards in 23 carries.