EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., SEPT. 24 -- Thurman Thomas ripped through New York's porous defense for a career-high 214 yards rushing tonight as the Buffalo Bills beat the Jets, 30-7, at Giants Stadium.

Thomas's performance was well short of the NFL single-game record of 275 by Walter Payton in 1977 and the Buffalo club record of 273 by O.J. Simpson in 1976. But tonight, Thomas was every bit as dangerous as those all-time greats, averaging almost 12 yards a carry in the top NFL rushing performance this season.

The Bills (2-1) were convincing in moving back into first place in the AFC East, where they stood for 33 weeks before a 30-7 loss at Miami last week.

The victory was Buffalo's sixth straight over New York (1-2). In their last three meetings, the Bills have outscored the Jets by a combined 111-10.

After watching tapes of the Jets, the Bills came into the game thinking they could create large holes for Thomas. Buffalo often ran out of passing formations, used dives and counter-traps. The result was that among his 18 carries, Thomas had gains of 60, 39, 24, 15, 15 and 13 yards.

Thomas said his big night was not even difficult.

"I never thought that in the NFL I'd be 20 yards downfield without ever being touched and just me and a safety," Thomas said. "It was all the offensive line. It was a weird feeling."