COMMENTARY | Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson had been waiting to redeem himself since Nov. 28, 2010, when he dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That opportunity finally came to fruition Sunday, when he found himself on the receiving end of a two-yard E.J. Manuel touchdown pass -- with just two seconds remaining -- to propel the Bills to a 24-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"I've been chasing that since Pittsburgh," said a smiling Johnson, donning a Bills fishing hat. "But I'm happy that it happened."
Manuel, who picked up his first victory as a pro, was pretty excited about the way things shaped up, too.
"I can't even tell you how I felt," Manuel said. "Honestly, I just don't know. I started crying there. I'm not usually an emotional guy. I want to enjoy those types of things."
Johnson's game-winning catch was the culmination of a nine-play, 80-yard drive -- spanning 1:36 -- for the Bills.
"It's just finishing the game," said Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. "They've got to go 80 yards and get a touchdown to win with zero timeouts. Defensively, we cannot let that happen. Somebody's got to make a play. We've got to keep those guys inbounds and can't just make mistakes -- and we did that."
Johnson, who caught a team-high eight passes for 111 yards, also appeared to have tweaked his wrist -- a situation that he doesn't seem too worried about.
"It'll be cool," Johnson said afterward, making a fist with his right hand, so as to look for signs of pain. "It'll be all right."
Although it seems unlikely, based on his comments, if Johnson were to miss any time, rookie Robert Woods would assume the No. 1 role. Woods was targeted six times against the Panthers, catching four passes for 68 yards and a two-point conversion.
All quotes in this story were obtained first-hand.
Charles Roberts covers the NFL's Buffalo Bills and the University at Buffalo football program. His work has appeared in several local and national print and online publications. Follow him on Twitter: @cHartleyRoberts.
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