Cameras not focused only on T.O. in Bills win
One moment it appeared as if Terrell Owens would be a non-factor in his second game with the Buffalo Bills. The next, fans were celebrating by spilling popcorn all over Ralph Wilson Stadium.
With the Bills offense needing a spark, Owens provided it by scoring on a 43-yard touchdown catch five minutes into the fourth quarter, helping cap a 33-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
With the help of an opportunistic defensive effort led by safety Donte Whitner, the Bills put aside the lingering frustrations that followed last week's season-opening 25-24 loss to New England in which Buffalo squandered an 11-point lead in the final 2:06. Running back Fred Jackson, filling in for suspended starter Marshawn Lynch, added a career-best 163 yards rushing on 28 carries.
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Owens didn't stick around after the game to talk about it. He's apparently unhappy with how he was questioned by some members of the media when he refused to talk following the loss to the Patriots.
T.O.'s teammates were certainly excited after seeing Owens' deep-threat presence finally pay off - the touchdown coming after he'd been limited to two catches for 9 yards and after the Bills had nearly blown a 17-0 lead of their own against Tampa Bay.
"I was excited and he was excited," quarterback Trent Edwards said. "I don't really recall what was said, but I'm honestly hoping that that continues to happen. I think that's why we have him."
Edwards showed faith in Owens by hitting him in stride at the goal line, a step ahead of cornerback Aqib Talib.
For Edwards, it was a sign that he is beginning to shed the label of "Captain Checkdown" he earned this preseason. Showing he wasn't afraid to go deep, Edwards also hit Lee Evans on a 32-yard touchdown to open the scoring and finished 21 of 31 for 230 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
"It comes down to opportunities. I think Trent wasn't afraid to take any chances," Evans said. "You always have to have that threat of the deep play. I think we put it on the table today that we would."
The win ended Buffalo's five-game home losing streak, and came in Owens' first game at home since signing a one-year deal with the team in March.