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Buffalo Bills 14, Atlanta Falcons 15: Second-half open thread

The Bills are losing the battle of big plays in this game

The Buffalo Bills head into halftime with a 15-14 deficit against the Atlanta Falcons. A handful of self-inflicted wounds have prevented the Bills from building a three-score lead, instead giving the Falcons enough juice to leap in front just before the second half.

Atlanta’s knack for turnovers has kept them from falling too far behind in this game. After punting on their opening drive, the Falcons knocked the ball out of Marquez Stevenson’s hands on the return, and forced the Bills into a safety. Near the end of the second quarter, the Bills were driving toward their third touchdown of the day, but Josh Allen tried an aggressive pass that ended up tipped and intercepted in the end zone. Aided by a 61-yard catch-and-run by Kyle Pitts, the Falcons were able to close the gap before halftime. And Allen overthrew his receiver on the next drive, right into another interception. The Falcons used that great field position to set up another field goal and take the lead.

When given opportunities on offense, the Bills have looked alright. The wind and snow have made it a bit difficult for Allen to connect with his receivers, and his passing stats look awful on the box score. But they’ve had success in the running game, and Allen’s comfortable navigating any pressure in the pocket. They scored two touchdowns on their first three possessions, and the third drive made it to the goal line before it ended with the interception. The fourth drive lasted only two plays before Allen threw another interception. A game that started with a lot of confidence turned around in a hurry with a couple of Falcons splash plays.

Defensively, the Bills also looked alright for most of the first half. They’ve kept heavy pressure on Matt Ryan. But they’ve been soft against the running game, and Kyle Pitts single-handedly put the Falcons into position for three points by breaking free from Bills defenders.

Pitts seemed to injure his hamstring right before halftime. If he’s out, the Falcons would’ve lost their best mismatch against Buffalo’s defense.

The Bills will receive the opening kickoff of the second half. They need to settle down, score some points, and re-establish their control of the game if they want their tenth win of the season. For the rest of the afternoon, this is your home base for football talk. Go Bills!