The Buffalo Bills (3-1) earned a huge 23-17 road win over the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon inside the brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
While Buffalo’s league-leading scoring defense (13.5 points per game) stymied Matt Ryan and the potent Falcons offense, they had an assist from an unexpected place: the crowd.
During an appearance on Atlanta's 680 The Fan Monday morning, Ryan admitted that while he wasn’t affected by the sheer number of Bills fans in attendance, he conceded that the "Bills Mafia is real" based on how many fans were at the game, and how vocal they were. Bills fans have a well-deserved reputation for traveling in numbers to road games, and Sunday’s win over the Falcons was no exception.
Longtime Bills center Eric Wood was among those who felt the impact of Bills Mafia in Atlanta. During an interview with local radio station WGR 550, Wood said he noticed the Falcons were forced to go to a silent count because of how loud Bills fans were in their building:
“Shout out to all the Bills fans that showed up. They were loud!” Wood said.
Instead of having a clear home field advantage, the noise made by Bills Mafia affected the Falcons ability to call plays in their own building. Think about that for a second. Ryan was forced to use hand signals in face of the strong presence Bills fans had in Atlanta. THAT is impressive!
Before the game, many media outlets and fans took to social media to demonstrate just how well Bills Mafia traveled for the game.
Video: Bills fans in Atlanta. Spoiler: There were a lot of them. pic.twitter.com/e47j3WOKr0— Sal Capaccio (@SalSports) October 2, 2017
Buffalo handed the Falcons their first loss of the year thanks to an opportunistic defense that picked off Ryan, the NFL reigning MVP, twice. Buffalo’s stingy defense also scored a touchdown when Jerry Hughes forced a fumble that rookie Tre’Davious White scooped up for a fumble-six.