As we trudged up the seemingly neverending Reliant Stadium ramps to our seats high in the upper deck, a Texans fan wearing a David Carr jersey and using a team-logo flag for a cape spotted our Bills gear and emphatically informed us, “I’d rather have one David Carr than TEN J.P. Losmans!!”
Pity we didn’t see him on the way out afterward. I would have asked if he still felt the same way after witnessing Losman’s greatest game in a Bills uniform, which began with twin first-quarter 83-yard touchdown passes to Lee Evans – whose 265 total receiving yards would break Jerry Butler’s 27-year-old single-game team record – and ended when he found a toe-tapping Peerless Price in the back of the end zone with just nine seconds remaining to secure a stunning comeback victory.
Losman finished the game 26-of-38 for a career-best 340 yards, becoming the first Buffalo quarterback to surpass the 300-yard benchmark more than once in a season since Drew Bledsoe’s 2002 Pro Bowl campaign. (And if you needed any more proof of how mediocre the offense has been lately, this was the last 300-yard outing put up by any Bills quarterback – 45 games ago.)
As you all know, J.P. didn’t turn out to be “The Next Jim Kelly” after all ... but on that afternoon in Houston, we believed.
J.P. Losman was efficient, not spectacular, in winning his first career start, but this game surely belonged to the Bills defense. They made David Carr’s life miserable, sacking the Texans quarterback five times and harassing him into a horrid 9-for-21, 70-yard, three-interception performance. Buffalo’s veteran safeties accounted for all three picks (two by Troy Vincent), and Lawyer Milloy and London Fletcher also added a fumble recovery as the Bills allowed just 120 yards in total offense, the tenth-lowest total in franchise history.
With the Texans offense going nowhere, the Bills were content to ride four Rian Lindell field goals to a second-quarter 12-0 lead. Houston finally managed to put a drive together, with Carr diving at the pylon for a one-yard touchdown to put his team on the scoreboard, but Losman responded with his first career touchdown pass – a one-yarder to reserve offensive tackle Jason Peters, lined up at tight end on the play – to restore Buffalo’s double-digit lead before halftime. Lindell added another three points following Milloy’s fumble recovery midway through the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
Losman completed 17 of 28 passes for 170 yards and the touchdown to Peters, while Willis McGahee led the Bills’ ground attack with 117 yards on 22 carries. Facing double coverage for most of the afternoon, the Texans’ star wideout, Andre Johnson, managed just three catches for 18 yards.