Bills-Falcons final score: Buffalo fumbles away playoff hopes, lose 34-31 in OT

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Spor

Playoffs? Not this year. The Bills fumbled their opportunity away - literally, and twice for good measure - falling 34-31 to the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto.

Twice, the Buffalo Bills had opportunities to kick a game-winning field goal against the Atlanta Falcons. Instead, they fumbled twice - Steve Johnson at the end of regulation, and Scott Chandler on the very next drive to start overtime - to gift the "road" team a 34-31 overtime win in Toronto.

The Bills led the Falcons 31-24 late in the fourth quarter, but a pass interference penalty on Nickell Robey gave the Falcons a first and goal at the one-yard line, and Steven Jackson recorded his second rushing touchdown of the game to tie it up. EJ Manuel marched the Bills into field goal territory in the final minute of regulation, but Johnson's fumble - which would have set up a routine field goal try - sent the game to overtime.

Then Chandler struck, fumbling away another Manuel strike down the middle of the field. Atlanta recovered and returned it to midfield, and a few plays later Matt Bryant connected on a 36-yard, game-winning field goal.

Buffalo's late turnovers are the story of the game, and leave the Bills at 4-8 and now two games back in the AFC wild card race with four games to play. Their playoff hopes are now all but mathematically dashed. The gut-wrenching nature of the loss also takes the onus off of several strong performances and some glaring weak points, which we'll get into after we've spent our Sunday evenings running through our various and well-practiced coping mechanisms.

Here's to a month of meaningless football and another year of all-too-early NFL Draft discussion!

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