Bills Collapse And Lose In OT 34-31
Two costly fumbles give the Bills a gut wrenching loss.
by Steve Saslow
Week 13
Falcons  34
Bills  31 OT
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
The Bills had many chances to put this game away but fell to the Falcons 34-31 when Matt Bryant hit the game winning field goal in overtime. The Bills held a touchdown lead when an interference penalty in the end zone on Nickell Robey on a 3rd and 16 play setup the Falcons for the tying score. The Bills got in position to win it but Stevie Johnson fumbled the ball away after making a third down catch that would have setup a potential winning field goal in regulation. In overtime the Bills got the ball first but Scott Chandler fumbled the ball away after making a downfield catch and the Falcons drove down for the winning kick. The Bills opened up a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on touchdown runs by EJ Manuel and Fred Jackson. The Falcons opened up a 24-17 lead in the third quarter but a fumble recovery by Kiko Alonso led to Jackson's second touchdown of the day to tie it on a 21 yard catch and run. C.J. Spiller gave the Bills the lead on a 36 yard touchdown run as he had a season high 149 yards on 15 carries.

The Turning Point:
The Robey Penalty: The fumbles by Johnson and Chandler would have never happened if Robey wasn't called for pass interference in the end zone when the Bills were about to put the game away.

Stat I Did Like:
Sacks: They had six sacks in the loss.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Third Down Defense: The Falcons converted 10 of 18 third downs.

Quick Slants:
- Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was in attendance wearing a Fred Jackson jersey.
- Spiller had the longest run of his career. The 77 yard run was also the longest non TD run in team history.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
LT Cordy Glenn vs. DE Osi Umenyiora: Winner: Glenn. Manuel had plenty of time to throw.
WR Stevie Johnson vs. CB Desmond Trufant: Winner: Trufant. Johnson's fumble was huge but he didn't have a big day before it.
S Aaron Williams vs. TE Tony Gonzalez: Winner: Williams. Although Gonzalez had a touchdown, Williams played him well when he was on him.
DB Stephon Gilmore vs. WR Roddy White: Winner: White. He had his best game of the year.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Fast Start: Success! They went up by two touchdowns early but Atlanta came back.
2. Make It Feel Like Home: Failure! Don't think they can ever make that place feel like home.
3. Get Running Game Back On Track: Success! Unfortunately it didn't lead to a victory.

My Take:
This is as crushing a loss as you can imagine. They had several chances to put the game away and several chances to win it once they blew the lead not once but twice. The bottom line is this team is just not ready to be a consistent winning team. They are still a losing team and a losing franchise and just can't get over that huge hump that is the size of Mt. Everest. There just doesn't seem to be a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

What's Ahead:
The Bills will play teams from the Sunshine State the next three weeks starting with back to back games in Florida. Next week they head to Tampa Bay to take on the surging Buccaneers who had won three in a row before losing to Carolina. It was a nice bounce back from eight straight losses to start the season.

  • C.J. Spiller - Had two long runs on his way to a season high 149 yards rushing.
  • Jerry Hughes - Had two more sacks.

  • Goats
  • Stevie Johnson - Not very active and made a costly fumble that cost them the winning field goal attempt.
  • Scott Chandler - His fumble killed a chance at getting the lead in overtime.
  • Stephon Gilmore - Having a bad sophomore slump.

  • Player Of The Week
  • C.J. Spiller - Had his best game of the year.

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