Bills lament how they fumbled away chance to win

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 3, 2013 at 2:31 am •  Published: December 3, 2013
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A day later, Bills coach Doug Marrone was still coming to grips with how Buffalo fumbled away a chance at victory.

First, receiver Stevie Johnson lost the ball. Then, it was tight end Scott Chandler's turn in overtime.

The lost fumbles on the Bills' final two possessions helped the Atlanta Falcons escape with a 34-31 win in Buffalo's annual "home" game at Toronto.

"We've got to learn how to win close games. We've got to learn how to win games on the road. We've got to finish teams," Marrone said Monday. "It was tough this morning. It's tough to swallow."

Equally difficult to digest was how Buffalo (4-8) squandered a realistic shot of staying in the hunt for the AFC's sixth and final playoff berth. Rather than winning consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 2-3 of last season, the Bills have lost four of five and are likely to extend the NFL's longest active postseason drought to 14 seasons.

Three of Buffalo's last four games are on the road, beginning with a trip to Tampa Bay (3-9) on Sunday.

"It kills me that I wasn't part of the solution yesterday," Chandler said. "I want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. It hurts to let the fans, your coaches and your teammates down."

Chandler's fumble came on the second play from scrimmage in overtime, when safety William Moore caught the tight end from behind and punched the ball loose. The turnover led directly to Matt Bryant's 36-yard field goal.

Johnson's fumble was just as costly, denying the Bills a shot at winning the game in regulation.

This time it was cornerback Robert McClain who punched the ball loose after Johnson had picked up a first down at the Atlanta 30 with 20 seconds left.

"It's up there on the list as the most bizarre," Johnson said, referring to how the Bills have come up with various ways of losing games this season.

Five of Buffalo's eight losses have been by seven points or less, including a 27-24 overtime loss to Cincinnati on Oct. 13.



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