ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- It's safe to say New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde will be feeling all of his 41 years this morning.
He won't be the only one after the beating the Buffalo Bills laid on their intrastate visitors yesterday.
While the defence made Vinny's life miserable, Buffalo running back Willis McGahee inflicted a different type of pain in the Bills' 27-17 win.
With the sellout crowd of 72,045 at Ralph Wilson Stadium urging him on, McGahee pounded out a career-high 143 yards on 29 carries.
And don't look now, a team left for dead just two weeks ago has a .500 record and now shares first place with the New England Patriots in the mediocre AFC East.
"(McGahee) came out like a beast," Bills guard Chris Villarrial said. "He can make you miss or he can make you pay for tackling him and he was doing both today."
Earlier in the season, McGahee had been criticized by coach Mike Mularkey for running too tentatively. There was none of that yesterday as he plowed into a Jets defence, forcing holes while piling up yards.
"It seems like everybody has got a little more pep in their step right now," McGahee said. "Unfortunately, we had a couple of losses at the beginning of the season but the division is up for grabs now."
On defence, the Bills came right after Testaverde, determined to knock him back to the retirement couch he was resting on only a couple of weeks ago.
The Testaverde feel-good story hit pause as the Bills sacked him five times, intercepted him twice and limited the passing attack to just 12 completions from 26 attempts.
"I guess the honeymoon is over," said Testaverde, who also fumbled two snaps from centre. "I certainly didn't come back to lose. The guys are relying on me and I have to step up and deliver."
The Bills offence, meanwhile, is settling into a successful if not spectacular routine under quarterback Kelly Holcomb. No longer burdened with J.P. Losman's learning on the job, the Bills moved to 2-0 under the journeyman backup who balanced a pair of interceptions with touchdown passes to Eric Moulds and Jonathan Smith.
Holcomb, who completed 18 of 26 attempts for 172 yards, clearly has the confidence of his teammates. And back-to-back wins was enough to prompt Mularkey to cut the malarkey and admit Holcomb will remain the team's starting QB.
"We opened up the offence a little bit," Moulds said. "A lot of the plays we ran with (Drew Bledsoe) last year we were running today. Kelly feels comfortable with this offence."
Feeding off their fired-up home crowd, the Bills once again got off to a quick start, sprinting to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
When McGahee scored on a one-yard run in the third to open up a 24-10 lead, the Bills not only had their first second-half touchdown of the season, but a little breathing room.
It may be that the Bills will only go as far as McGahee takes them, which is fine with the former Miami University star.
"My body's good, I keep getting up so I can't complain," said McGahee, who is on pace to rush for 1,600 yards this season. "If that's what it takes to win, that's what we're going to do."