Even magicians run out of tricks. Doug Flutie ran out of luck and receivers, too.
With Eric Moulds sidelined for the final drive with a pulled hamstring, Flutie watched one pass slip through a receiver's fingers and another get picked off by Eric Turner in the end zone with no time left in Oakland's 20-14 win today over the Buffalo Bills.
"We got a few and had a few slip through our hands," said Flutie, who completed 19 of 41 passes for 210 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Tyrone Wheatley racked up 97 of his team's 195 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns, and Michael Husted kicked two field goals as Oakland (3-3) snapped Buffalo's four-game winning streak and halted its own losing skid at two.
The Bills (4-2) matched their lowest scoring output since a season-opening 31-14 loss to Indianapolis. The Raiders avenged a 44-21 loss to Buffalo last season.
"I've been up here eight or nine times and except for one other time, we've never been in the game," Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown said.
Flutie connected with rookie wide receiver Peerless Price on a 30-yard pass and hit Andre Reed for 14 more to the Oakland 29 with 15 seconds to go.
Two incompletions later, including a pass that went off Price's fingertips in the end zone, Turner picked off Flutie.
"I wouldn't call it demoralizing, but we didn't play well," Buffalo linebacker Gabe Northern said.
Rich Gannon completed 15 of 22 passes for 155 yards with no interceptions, but the Oakland running game produced the winning points; Wheatley scored on an 11-yard dash for a 20-7 lead with 10 minutes 17 seconds left in the third quarter.
Flutie followed Wheatley's touchdown with a five-play scoring drive, throwing 29 yards to Kevin Williams to the Oakland 12 and finding Moulds in the end zone on the next play to cut the lead to 20-14 with 13:29 to play.
The Raiders ate up 6:34 but Husted missed a 32-yard field goal attempt, giving the dangerous Flutie one more chance to tie with 59 seconds to play.
"You keep the wonder kid off the field, and you're going to be all right," Wheatley said. "You don't want them to have the ball and [Flutie] to have time to throw."