Bills upset the Falcons 23-17

The Buffalo defense forces three turnovers of the Falcons to improve to 3-1 in 2017

October 01, 2017 - 12:47 pm

After an impressive win last week over the Denver Broncos at New Era Field, the Buffalo Bills come away with an even bigger win on Sunday against the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Bills defense comes up with three turnovers of Matt Ryan and the Falcons' offense, and limits Atlanta to just 17 points in a 23-17 win on the road.

The Falcons came into Sunday's affair as just one of two teams in the National Football League who were undefeated. The only other team to go without a loss to this point was the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Bills defense got one big weapon back on the field on Sunday with the return of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus from an ankle injury. However, pass rusher Shaq Lawson was a later addition to the injury report this week with a groin injury and did not play. Ryan Davis got the start in place of Lawson.

On the offensive side of the ball, left tackle Cordy Glenn remained out of the lineup with a foot / ankle injury. He missed last week's game with the same injury to the opposite foot that he injured during training camp and into the preseason.

Here was the complete list of inactives for the Bills:

After an uneventful and scoreless first quarter, the Falcons finally get the first points on the board with a 28-yard field goal from kicker Matt Bryant.

The Falcons were dealt with a bit of bad news as top receiver Julio Jones left the game with a hip injury. He was originally listed as questionable to return, but ended up sitting out the rest of the game.

The Bills come back on their next offensive drive and take their first lead of the game with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor to Jordan Matthews. For Matthews, it is his first touchdown as a member of the Bills.

Buffalo's drive was highlighted by a 44-yard pass from Taylor to Charles Clay, as Taylor escaped pressure and found Clay on the fly at the Falcons' 9-yard line.

With time running out in the first half, the Falcons go back on top with a one-yard touchdown run by Devonta Freeman. The Bills defense surrendered a nine-play, 78-yard drive right before halftime to trail by three heading into the locker room.

To start the half, the Falcons were dealt more bad news as wide receiver Mohamed Sanu was listed as out for the game with a hamstring injury.

After the Bills went three-and-out on the opening drive, the Falcons looked to add to their first half lead.

On the sixth play of the drive, Matt Ryan attempted a pass over the middle but was hit as he threw by Jerry Hughes. The ball remained alive as the play was ruled a fumble, and Tre'Davious White recovered the ball and ran it back for a 52-yard touchdown. Officials gave the fumble another look, but the call on the field stood, and Buffalo re-took the lead.

It did not take the Bills long to force the Falcons into their second turnover on the day as Ryan attempted a long pass to Taylor Gabriel. Ryan under-threw Gabriel and into the arms of safety Micah Hyde, who grabbed his second interception of the season.

The Bills take the ensuing drive into the fourth quarter, killing off more than eleven minutes on the clock. Buffalo gets as far as the one-yard line with about 12 minutes left on the clock, but take a delay-of-game penalty on 4th and goal to set up a 24-yard field goal from Stephen Hauschka. Hauschka's field goal attempt is good to put the Bills up by a touchdown.

Buffalo's streak of games without a touchdown pass allowed comes to an end at the 7:00 mark of the fourth quarter when Ryan finds Justin Hardy for a three-yard touchdown pass. The Falcons tied the game at 17-17 after Bryant is successful on his extra-point attempt.

On the very next offensive drive, Taylor and Clay hook up again for a big 34-yard pass play on the first play of the drive to get into Atlanta territory. Three plays later, the Bills set up Hauschka to come on for a 55-yard field goal to get the Bills back in the lead. From the middle of the field, Hauschka's attempt was good to put the Bills up 20-17 with 4:44 to go in the game.

The Falcons got a great 61-yard kick return from Andre Roberts to set them up at the Buffalo 42-yard line. After a seven-yard loss from Devonta Freeman on first down, Ryan and the Falcons faced a 3rd and 17 with a little under three-and-a-half minutes left to go. Ryan went to the air again looking to find Nick Williams over the middle, but the pass is tipped and picked off by Hyde for the second time on the day. Hyde gets up and runs back the interception to the Atlanta 35-yard line for a 37-yard return.

The Bills lose a couple of yards on their drive, but Hauschka comes up with a 55-yard field goal to get Buffalo up 23-17 with 3:06 left to play.

Atlanta went to work with time running out on the clock, getting the ball down the field and moving the chains. The Falcons get inside the Buffalo redzone with about a minute to play, but only get as far as the 10-yard line. On a 4th and 1, Ryan tries a pass towards the sideline for Gabriel but misses badly and gives the Bills the ball with no timeouts remaining.

The Bills then killed out the clock with a couple of kneel-downs to win and improve to 3-1 on the 2017 season.

Up next for the Bills is a trip to Southwest Ohio and a matchup with the 1-3 Cincinnati Bengals from Paul Brown Stadium. Kickoff next week is at 1 p.m. with coverage on WGR beginning at 7 a.m. with Breakfast with the Bills - Fantasy Style.


First Quarter:

  • NONE

Second Quarter:

  • 3-0 Falcons (10:31) - Falcons kicker Matt Bryant's 28-yard field goal attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yards, 3:55
  • 7-3 Bills (6:51) - Tyrod Taylor finds receiver Jordan Matthews for a nine-yard touchdown pass. Stephen Hauschka's extra-point attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 8 plays, 77 yards, 3:40
  • 10-7 Falcons (0:18) - Falcons running back Devonta Freeman runs it into the endzone from one-yard out. Bryant's extra-point is good.
    • Drive info: 9 plays, 78 yards, 3:02

Third Quarter:

  • 14-10 Bills (11:04) - Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is stripped of the football by Jerry Hughes, Tre'Davious White picks up the football and runs it back 52-yards for the touchdown. Hauschka's extra-point is good.
    • 1 play, 52 yards, 0:14
  • 14-10 Bills (8:21) - Ryan under-throws wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and is intercepted by safety Micah Hyde at the Bills' 12-yard line.

Fourth Quarter:

  • 17-10 Bills (12:00) - Hauschka's field goal attempt is successful from 24-yards out.
    • Drive info: 19 plays, 82 yards, 11:20
  • 17-17 TIE (7:00) - Ryan's finds receiver Justin Hardy in the endzone for a three-yard touchdown. Bryant's extra-point is good.
    • Drive info: 10 plays, 75 yards, 5:00
  • 20-17 Bills (4:44) - Hauschka's 56-yard field goal attempt is good.
    • Drive info: 5 plays, 37 yards, 2:16
  • 20-17 Bills (3:27) - Ryan's pass for Williams is tipped and picked off by Micah Hyde at the Bills' 28-yard line. Hyde returns the interception 37-yards to the Falcons' 35-yard line.
  • 23-17 Bills (3:06) - Hauschka hits his second straight field goal from 50-plus yards; good from 55-yards out to put the Bills up by six.
    • Drive info: 4 plays, -2 yards, 0:21





Buffalo Bills:

Tyrod Taylor: 12 of 20, 182 yards, 1 TD

Atlanta Falcons:

Matt Ryan: 24 of 42, 242 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 fumble


Buffalo Bills:

LeSean McCoy: 20 carries, 76 yards

Mike Tolbert: 8 carries, 31 yards

Tyrod Taylor: 7 carries, 12 yards

Patrick DiMarco: 1 carry, -2 yards

Atlanta Falcons:

Tevin Coleman: 9 carries, 79 yards

Devonta Freeman: 18 carries, 58 yards, 1 TD

Matt Ryan: 1 carry, 8 yards

Mohamed Sanu: 1 carry, 4 yards


Buffalo Bills:

Charles Clay: 5 receptions, 112 yards

LeSean McCoy: 3 receptions, 32 yards

Zay Jones: 1 reception, 18 yards

Jordan Matthews: 2 receptions, 10 yards, 1 TD

Andre Holmes: 1 reception, 10 yards 


Atlanta Falcons:

Tevin Coleman: 4 receptions, 65 yards

Austin Hooper: 5 receptions, 50 yards

Julio Jones: 3 receptions, 30 yards

Nick Williams: 3 receptions, 30 yards

Levine Toilolo: 3 receptions, 21 yards

Devonta Freeman: 2 receptions, 20 yards

Justin Hardy: 2 receptions, 12 yards

Derrick Coleman: 1 reception, 11 yards

Mohamed Sanu: 1 reception, 3 yards



Buffalo Bills:

Preston Brown: 10 tackles

Micah Hyde: 7 tackles, 2 INTs

Lorenzo Alexander: 6 tackles, 3 QB hits

Tre'Davious White: 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 pass defended, 1 TD

Jerry Hughes: 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Atlanta Falcons:

Derrick Shelby: 1 sack

Deion Jones: 1 sack

Brooks Reed: 1 sack


Total Yards:

Bills: 281
Falcons: 391

Passing Yards:

Bills: 164
Falcons: 242

Rushing Yards:

Bills: 117
Falcons: 149

First Downs:

Bills: 15
Falcons: 25


Bills: 9 for 55 yards
Falcons: 4 for 45 yards

Time of Possession:

Bills: 28:45
Falcons: 31:15

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