ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)—What’s a little pain for Travis Henry when you can run on adrenaline?
“I’m all right,” the Buffalo Bills running back said. “Now, tomorrow I might be sore. My adrenaline’s still flowing, but right now I feel all right. … Today, I was just in a zone.”
Showing no affects from a broken bone in his right leg and torn rib cartilage, Henry ran for a career-high 169 yards and a touchdown, lifting the Bills to a 17-6 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
It was the latest in a string of good performances for the third-year running back, who is showing he’s second to no one on a team that has injured first-round pick Willis McGahee on the sideline.
Henry stressed that McGahee is not his motivation.
Building on last year’s breakout performance and keeping his team’s slim playoff hopes alive are what drive him.
“It’s sad to see us not where we want to be but that’s what keeps me going,” Henry said. “Because I know we’ve got what it takes on this team.”
By winning their second straight, the Bills (6-7) remain on the fringes of the playoff hunt.
The Jets (5-8) had their chances all but dimmed. And that’s somewhat of a surprise for a team that had won three of its last four, including last Monday’s heady 24-17 upset victory against Tennessee.
“Every area they outplayed us,” Jets running back Curtis Martin said. “There’s no excuse. We got our butts kicked. It doesn’t get worse than this.”
Besides Henry, the Bills’ defense played a big hand in containing the Chad Pennington-led offense.
Tackle Sam Adams recorded two sacks and made seven tackles. Buffalo limited the Jets to two field goals—the first time in Pennington’s 18 career starts that New York has failed to score a touchdown.
Pennington finished 15-of-29 for 155 yards and an interception. Doug Brien accounted for the Jets’ scoring with field goals of 17 and 40 yards. Brien also was short from 50 yards.
The game was determined at the start of the second half with Bills up 7-3 and Henry leading the way.
Starting on their own 15, Henry carried the ball eight times for 52 yards to cap an 11-play drive with a 4-yard scamper.
The Jets had no response.
With 4:10 remaining, Pennington threw an incomplete pass intended for Anthony Becht on fourth-and-1 at the New York 33. Then, following a fumble by Henry (his only miscue), Bills rookie cornerback Terrence McGee intercepted a pass from Pennington with 2:20 remaining.
Henry’s performance came at a time in which the Bills’ passing attack has been severely limited.
Leading receiver Eric Moulds is unable to go deep, nursing a partially torn groin. The offensive line was missing two starters—left tackle Jonas Jennings and right guard Mike Puccillo—both out with toe injuries.
And then there’s quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who has had dizzy spells the last two weeks. The dizziness, which subsided Wednesday, was the result of a severe blow to the head—the second in consecutive weeks—forcing him out of last week’s 24-7 win over the New York Giants.
Bledsoe finished 9-of-15 for 72 yards, the fewest in a complete game during his 11-year career.
It didn’t matter to Bledsoe, who gladly gave way to Henry.
“Today was one of those games where I really felt like I was fortunate just to have a great seat just to watch him work,” Bledsoe said.
Henry also achieved several personal accomplishments.
With 1,159 yards rushing on the season, Henry became the fourth Bills player to record at least two 1,000-yard seasons. And his rushing touchdown was the 10th of the season, joining Cookie Gilchrist as the only Buffalo player rush for 10 or more in back-to-back years.
Henry also enjoyed the 13th 100-yard rushing game of his career, and fifth this season.
Not bad for someone who played his ninth game since tearing rib cartilage in a game against Miami, and third game since sustaining a hairline fracture above his right ankle against Houston.
“He’s a beast. That’s the only thing I’m saying,” Bills center Trey Teaguesaid, referring to Henry. “He’s a bad man.”
With 84 yards rushing, Jets RB Martin has 11,314 for his career, passing O.J. Simpson for 12th place in NFL history. … Bledsoe’s touchdown pass was the 199th of his career, tying him with Phil Simms for 25th in NFL history. … Jets WR/KR Jonathan Carter is out indefinitely with a sprainedleft knee.