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Bills fumble away game against Falcons

With the playoffs very much in play, the Bills had to have Sunday's game against Atlanta in Toronto.

But they fumbled their playoff chances away.

Matt Bryant hit a 36-yad field goal three minutes into overtime, lifting the Atlanta Falcons to a 34-31 come from behind win, and dropping the Buffalo Bills to 4-8 on the season.

The Bills had two chances to win late in the game, but Stevie Johnson fumbled deep in Atlanta territory near the end of regulation. After receiving the kickoff in overtime, Scott Chandler fumbled near midfield. Atlanta recovered both fumbles, and turned the Chandler turnover into the game-winning field goal.

The Bills had plenty of chances to put the game away. Touchdown runs by E.J. Manuel and Fred Jackson put the Bills up 14-0 in the first quarter. But the Falcons came back to take a 24-17 lead on a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez in the third.

But the Bills answered. Kiko Alonso recovered a fumble deep in Falcons territory. Manuel then found Fred Jackson on a screen pass for the game-tying touchdown.

The Bills would take the lead in the fourth quarter. C.J. Spiller, who had what was easily his best game of the season, exploded for a 36 yard touchdown run to give the Bills a 31-24 lead in the fourth.

But Matt Ryan led the Falcons on a long, penalty ridden drive, capped off by Steven Jackson's second touchdown run of the game, a one-yarder with 1:28 left on the clock.

The Bills got the ball back, but the miscues by Johnson and Chandler helped Atlanta secure the victory.

Manuel continues to progress nicely for the Bills, finishing the game 18-32 for 210 yards. He threw for a touchdown, ran for another, and did not turn the ball over. Spiller ran for a season high 149 yards on 15 carries.

The Bills travel to Tampa Bay to take on the 3-9 Buccaneers Sunday, December 8th.

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Washington Times