Photo: Mark Konezny - USA TODAY Sports

Bills hold on for 30-27 win over the Buccaneers

Buffalo comes up with a late turnover, and get the game-winning field goal from Stephen Hauschka with 18-seconds to go

October 22, 2017 - 1:06 pm

After a close, back-and-forth battle throughout the day, the Buffalo Bills come away with a 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Era Field to improve to 4-2 on the season.

The Bills defense gives up the most points all season in any game, but they force three turnovers and give the Bills offense a chance to put up some points. This included a late forced fumble by cornerback Tre'Davious White to set up Stephen Hauschka for the game-winning field goal with 18-seconds to play.

This was just the second time in the series history that the Buccaneers have played a regular season game at New Era Field. The only other time came back on September 20, 2009 when the Bills grabbed the 33-20 win.

Heading into Sunday's game, the Bills got some healthy bodies back in the lineup with the return of wide receiver Jordan Matthews and cornerback E.J. Gaines.

Matthews left the Bills' Week 4 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons after suffering a thumb injury. He missed Buffalo's Week 5 game with the Cincinnati Bengals, but was able to practice throughout the week leading up this Sunday's game.

Gaines suffered a groin injury during the Falcons game, but was able to play through the injury and finish the contest. He was out for the matchup with the Bengals two weeks ago, but returns to help bolster the Buffalo secondary.

Here is the complete list of inactives for the Bills:

The Buccaneers got some good news heading into the game as quarterback Jameis Winston was expected to start, despite dealing with an AC Joint sprain in his throwing shoulder. 

The Buccaneers started the game by taking the opening drive as far as the Buffalo 23-yard line. After getting backed up by couple of penalties, Tampa settled for a 50-yard field goal from Pat Murray.

The Bills responded on their first drive with an eleven-play, 69-yard drive that resulted in a 25-yard field goal from Stephen Hauschka. Tyrod Taylor made a couple of nice plays on the drive; finding tight end Nick O'Leary for a 26-yard pick up, followed by a 26-yard scramble on 3rd down to get the ball to the Tampa 10-yard line.

Tampa Bay quickly turns around and drives the ball back down the field, looking for more points. The Buccaneers drove as far as the Buffalo 7-yard line, but settle for a 25-yard field goal from Murray before the end of the quarter. Bills safety Jordan Poyer made a nice play on 3rd down from the 7-yard line, breaking up a pass intended for Cameron Brate in the endzone.

Taylor and the Bills offense went back to work on their next drive, taking the ball down the field 78-yards for a scoring chance. From the 1-yard line, the Bills give the ball to LeSean McCoy, who finds the endzone for the first time this season. Hauschka's extra-point gave the Bills a 10-6 lead with 9:26 to play in the second quarter.

The Buccaneers got back into Buffalo territory a few minutes later, but that's when the Bills forced the first turnover of the day. Bills defensive end Ryan Davis beat the Tampa Bay tackle on the outside and had a clear path to Winston in the pocket. Davis hits Winston's throwing arm, forcing a fumble that was recovered by cornerback Leonard Johnson at the Buffalo 44-yard line.

Unfortunately, the Bills miss out on more points as Hauschka misses just his second field goal of the season from 41-yards out. The kick missed wide-right.

With 33-seconds left to play in the first half, the Bills force another turnover as Winston's pass over the middle was intercepted by linebacker Matt Milano. Milano returned the interception to the Buccaneers' 26-yard line with 23-seconds to play.

However, the Bills did not get any points off the turnover again as Matthews is kept in-bounds after a pass completion from Taylor, and time ran out before the Bills could spike the ball.

The Bills did get the ball to start the second half, and extended their lead to eleven. Tight end Logan Thomas finds open space as he heads to the endzone on his route, and Taylor connects with him for his first career touchdown in the NFL.

With Thomas' 22-yard touchdown reception, it was the first touchdown the Bills have scored this season from outside the redzone.

The Buccaneers respond with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Winston to rookie tight end O.J. Howard. On the drive, Johnson cost the Bills with a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty after a late hit just five plays earlier.

On that drive, Gaines suffered an undisclosed injury and left the game with the training staff. He did not return.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Bills add on to their lead as Hauschka converts on a 52-yard field goal attempt. With the field goal, Hauschka has tied a NFL record for the most consecutive field goals made from 50-plus yards out.

On the next drive, the Buccaneers tie the football game with an easy 33-yard touchdown pass from Winston to Howard for the second time on the day.

The Bills made their first mistake of the game on their next drive as McCoy is stripped of the football near mid-field by linebacker Lavonte David. David recovers the football to give the Buccaneers another chance to take the lead.

McCoy's fumble was the first fumble given up by the Bills this season.

Tampa Bay responds 10 plays later with Winston going to work again, finding wide receiver Mike Evans in the endzone for a 12-yard touchdown pass. With Murray's extra-point, the Buccaneers take their largest lead of the game with 3:14 to play in the game.

But back come the Bills as Taylor started the next drive with a big 44-yard completion to wide receiver, Deonte Thompson. The officials added an additional 15-yards to the play after Buccaneers cornerback Robert McClain was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Two plays later, McCoy punched his way into the endzone for the second time from 7-yards out. Hauschka's extra-point tied the football game with 2:28 to go.

On the first play of Tampa Bay's next drive, the Bills defense came up huge with the forced fumble of wide receiver Adam Humphries by White at the Buccaneers' 33-yard line. White recovered the fumble to give the Bills plenty of time to take the lead in field goal range.

Buffalo was able to kill 2:06 off the clock and get the football up to the Tampa Bay 12-yard line to set up Hauschka for the go-ahead 30-yard field goal. Hauschka's kick was perfect, to give the Bills the 30-27 lead with 14-seconds remaining.

The Buccaneers had one last effort as time expired to make some magic happen, but the defense comes up with the stop to end the game.

One note of concern for the Bills on the last play was for Poyer, who came off the field banged-up with an undisclosed injury.

Check out how the game unfolded below:


First Quarter:

  • 3-0 Buccaneers (9:49) - Pat Murray's 50-yard field goal attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 11 plays, 43 yards, 5:16
  • 3-3 TIE (5:49) - Stephen Hauschka's 25-yard field goal try is good.
    • Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yards, 3:59
  • 6-3 Buccaneers (0:25) - Murray is successful on a field goal try from 25-yards out.
    • Drive info: 11 plays, 68 yards, 5:23

Second Quarter:

  • 10-6 Bills (9:26) - LeSean McCoy rushes for a 1-yard touchdown. Hauschka's extra-point attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 12 plays, 78 yards, 5:56
  • 10-6 Bills (6:36) - Bills defensive end Ryan Davis beats the Tampa Bay tackle and forces a strip sack of Jameis Winston. Leonard Johnson recovers the fumble at the Buffalo 44-yard line.
  • 10-6 Bills (4:12) - Hauschka misses a field goal attempt from 41-yards out.
  • 10-6 Bills (0:33) - Bills linebacker Matt Milano picks off Winston and returns it 15-yards to the Tampa Bay 26-yard line.

Third Quarter:

  • 17-6 Bills (11:43) - Tyrod Taylor connects with tight end Logan Thomas for a 22-yard touchdown pass. Hauschka's extra-point is good.
    • Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yards, 5:56
  • 17-13 Bills (7:17) - Winston connects with tight end O.J. Howard for a 7-yard touchdown pass. Murray's extra-point is good.
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 75 yards, 4:25

Fourth Quarter:

  • 20-13 Bills (13:36) - Hauschka is successful on a 52-yard field goal.
    • Drive info: 10 plays, 46 yards, 4:26
  • 20-20 TIE (10:16) - Winston finds Howard for a 33-yard touchdown reception. Murray's extra-point is good.
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 75 yards, 3:23
  • 20-20 TIE (9:39) - LeSean McCoy fumbles at the Tampa Bay 48-yard line be linebacker Lavonte David. David recovers the fumble at the Buccaneers' 46-yard line. 
  • 27-20 Buccaneers (3:20) - Winston hits receiver Mike Evans in the endzone for the go-ahead 12-yard touchdown. Murray's extra-point attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 10 plays, 54 yards, 6:16
  • 27-27 TIE (2:32) - McCoy rushes up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown. Hauschka's extra-point ties the football game.
    • 3 plays, 75 yards, 0:46
  • 27-27 TIE (2:28) - Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries is stripped of the ball by Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White at the Tampa Bay 33-yard line. White recovers the fumble.
  • 30-27 Bills (0:18) - Hauschka gives the Bills the lead again with a 30-yard field goal.
    • Drive info: 7 plays, 21 yards, 2:06




Buffalo Bills:

Tyrod Taylor: 20 of 33, 268 yards, 1 TD

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Jameis Winston: 32 of 44, 384 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 1 fumble


Buffalo Bills:

LeSean McCoy: 23 carries, 91 yards, 2 TDs, 1 fumble

Tyrod Taylor: 6 carries, 53 yards

Mike Tolbert: 3 carries, 29 yards

Deonte Thompson: 1 carry, 0 yards 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Doug Martin: 20 carries, 49 yards

Bernard Reedy: 1 carry, 10 yards

Charles Sims: 2 carries, 8 yards

Jacquizz Rodgers: 1 carry, 2 yards

Jameis Winston: 1 carry, 0 yards


Buffalo Bills:

Deonte Thompson: 4 receptions, 107 yards

Nick O'Leary: 2 receptions, 58 yards

LeSean McCoy: 5 receptions, 31 yards

Logan Thomas: 1 reception, 22 yards, 1 TD

Zay Jones: 2 receptions, 17 yards

Andre Holmes: 2 receptions, 11 yards

Taiwan Jones: 1 reception, 11 yards

Jordan Matthews: 2 receptions, 10 yards

Mike Tolbert: 1 reception, 1 yard


Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

O.J. Howard: 6 receptions, 98 yards, 2 TDs

Mike Evans: 7 receptions, 88 yards, 1 TD

DeSean Jackson: 5 receptions, 73 yards

Cameron Brate: 6 receptions, 60 yards

Doug Martin: 2 receptions, 31 yards

Adam Humphries: 2 receptions, 13 yards, 1 fumble

Jacquizz Rodgers: 1 reception, 9 yards

Charles Sims: 2 receptions, 7 yards

Chris Godwin: 1 reception, 5 yards



Buffalo Bills:

Preston Brown: 11 tackles

Lorenzo Alexander: 9 tackles

Ryan Davis: 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Matt Milano: 1 INT

Tre'Davious White: 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

Leonard Johnson: 8 tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 fumble recovery

Micah Hyde: 2 passes defended

Jordan Poyer: 1 pass defended

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Lavonte David: 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

Robert Ayers: 1 sack

Vernon Hargreaves III: 2 passes defended

Robert McClain: 1 pass defended


Total Yards:

Bills: 434
Buccaneers: 447

Passing Yards:

Bills: 261
Buccaneers: 378

Rushing Yards:

Bills: 173
Buccaneers: 69

First Downs:

Bills: 23
Buccaneers: 27


Bills: 4 for 35 yards
Buccaneers: 5 for 55 yards

Time of Possession:

Bills: 26:50
Buccaneers: 33:10

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