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With McGahee out, ÝAÞ Train goes into high gear

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Posted: Monday, November 6, 2006 12:00 am

ORCHARD PARK ã Notes from the BillsÞ 24-10 win over the Packers on Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium:

ã BillsÞ running back Willis McGahee went out for the game with a rib injury on BuffaloÞs first possession, his place taken by Anthony Thomas.

Thomas finished with 95 yards on 20 carries, 56 in the fourth quarter including a 14-yard touchdown. It was the two-time 1,000-yard rusherÞs most yards in a game since 2004 with Chicago.

After Thomas the happiest Bill for him was former BearsÞ teammate Chris Villarrial.

ßIt was like seeing the old ÝAÞ Train again,à he said. ßIt just made me feel real good to see a guy whoÞs been in and out and people doubted him and put him down … he came in here committed, lost weight and did a great job.

ßIt felt great to see him score a touchdown. When his number was called, he could have fallen down and fumbled … but he came in and picked it up.à

ã Green Bay quarterback Brett FavreÞs streak of three straight games (111 passes) without being intercepted ended in emphatic fashion when he was picked off by BillsÞ middle linebacker London Fletcher, who returned it 17 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. It was BuffaloÞs first interception return for a TD since Terrence McGee went 46 yards with a Carson Palmer pass on Christmas Eve in Cincinnati.

It was FletcherÞs ninth career interception, but his first score on a pickoff. In the season opener, he scored on a fumble return against New England.

ã BuffaloÞs second takeaway came when Favre fumbled the snap with BillsÞ defensive tackle Larry Triplett recovering. Later, center Scott WellsÞ premature snap glanced off FarveÞs facemask and was recovered by end Aaron Schobel.

Finally, rookie safety Ko Simpson picked off that ball tipped by Nate Clements in the end zone for the game clinching turnover. It was SimpsonÞs second career pick.

ã Schobel also sacked Favre twice, giving him a team-leading seven on the season. Schobel now has 53 1/2 career sacks, moving him past Cornelius Bennett (52 1/2) into third on the BillsÞ all-time list.

ã BillsÞ quarterback J.P. Losman was sacked five times. NFL leader Aaron Kampman, a defensive end, got one, giving him 9 1/2 on the season. Tackle Corey Williams, working against Villarrial for the most part, got three, giving him five on the season, and tackle Cullen Jenkins got his second.

ã The game marked the first time as a pro Losman won after being tied or trailing in the fourth quarter.

ã The BillsÞ 184 yards were the fewest allowed by Green Bay since the 10-0 win over the Bills at Lambeau Field in 2002.

ã Green Bay is 0-5 at Buffalo all-time, the same as it is at Denver. The Packers are 0-3 at Indianapolis and 0-1 at Nashville. Favre is 0-3 at Buffalo, but his worst winless cities are Dallas (0-8) and Philadelphia (0-6). HeÞs 0-2 at Indy and Kansas City and 0-1 at Baltimore, Denver, Nashville and Pittsburgh.

ã Unofficially, Fletcher had a game-high 14 tackles including 11 solos. Kampman topped Green Bay with nine (eight solos), the same number as Clements and linebacker Takeo Spikes for the Bills.

ã OleanÞs Christian Churakos won the age 8/9 boysÞ division of the BillsÞ Punt, Pass & Kick contest. His score will now be compared to those of the age 8/9 winners from the other 31 NFL teams. The top four scorers advance to the national finals to be held at an AFC Divisional Playoff Game in January. Also competing, but failing to advance, was West ValleyÞs Chelsye Wells in the girlsÞ age 14/15 division.

ã Inactive for the Bills were offensive linemen Tutan Reyes (shoulder) and Aaron Merz, cornerback Ashton Youboty, safety Matt Bowen, wide receiver Sam Aiken (hamstring), and defensive linemen Eric Powell and Jason Jefferson.

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