ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The wind and Willis McGahee are providing the Buffalo Bills a formidable 1-2 punch.
Negating the effects of 25-plus m.p.h. winds blowing off Lake Erie, McGahee led Buffalo's ball-control offense with a career-high 132 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Bills' 22-17 win over the New York Jets yesterday.
McGahee continued to downplay his string of strong performances. The starter in all three victories for Buffalo (3-5), he's had 100 or more yards each time. "We're all getting comfortable right now," said McGahee, who supplanted Travis Henry as the starter two weeks ago. "We know what it takes to win. And we know what we have to do."
Buffalo won its third game in four outings, and third straight at home heading into next weekend's matchup at New England. And the weather has played a factor in all three victories.
"We're supposed to be a bad-weather team," receiver Eric Moulds said. "Teams don't want to come in here and play in this situation. We know that, and we have to use it to our advantage." The Bills beat the Jets (6-2), a team coming off a 41-14 win over Miami last Monday and attempting to match its best start in franchise history.
The Jets' problems might be worse than the game's outcome. Quarterback Chad Pennington bruised his right shoulder and did not return after he was sacked for a 13-yard loss midway through the fourth quarter.
Pennington said he was initially hurt in the first quarter, when he scrambled up the middle for a 12-yard gain before he fumbled. He finished 7 of 15 for 141 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown to Justin McCareins.
Pennington will have further tests today, but plans on playing next week against Baltimore. Quincy Carter took over and completed a 51-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss, cutting the Bills' lead to 22-17 with 4:06 remaining.
The Bills responded with an eight-play, 37-yard drive to run out the clock.