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Points after: Buccaneers 27, Bills 6

Bills Buccaneers Footbal#19

By Tim Graham

TAMPA, Fla. -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Raymond James Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills stink. They had five turnovers, allowed seven sacks, gave up way too many big plays on defense and committed costly penalties.

Rookie QB showdown: Both were ugly, but Mike Glennon was a little less homely. EJ Manuel was 18 of 33 for 184 yards and no TDs with four interceptions, two of which were off his receivers' hands. Glennon, a third-round pick, had two interceptions and only 90 yards but threw a pair of TD passes.

Player of the game: Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David was a monster. He had two interceptions, a sack and a team-high eight tackles.

Moment of the game: On the second offensive play, Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey ran up the middle and past linebacker Kiko Alonso for an 80-yard touchdown. That was all the scoring the Buccaneers would need. The game was 18 seconds old.

Preliminary injury report: Bills cornerback Ron Brooks got hurt while covering a punt late in the first quarter. Although he remained on the field for several minutes, he returned in the second quarter.

Coming up: The Bills will visit the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday at EverBank Field.

Points after: Falcons 34, Bills 31 OT

81172 McCoy Sports Bills  2

By Tim Graham

TORONTO -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' demoralizing loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Rogers Centre ...

What it means: The Bills, trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but allowed the Falcons to tie the game at 17 by halftime. The Bills led 31-24 in the fourth quarter, but let the Falcons tie it again and then fumbled away the victory in the closing seconds. With a Miami Dolphins victory over the New York Jets today, the Bills are in last place and two games out of second place in the AFC East.

Play of the game: Stevie Johnson caught a third-down pass for what would have put the Bills within Dan Carpenter's field-goal range, but he fumbled at the Falcons' 30-yard line with 10 seconds left in regulation time. Without that fumble, tight end Scott Chandler wouldn't have fumbled on the first overtime possession.

Bills player of the game: Toronto's crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford, showed up to the game in a Fred Jackson uniform, and Jackson lived up to the endorsement. Jackson scored a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown for only the second time in his career. The first time was in 2010 against the Detroit Lions. Jackson gained 78 yards from scrimmage.

Spiller strikes: C.J. Spiller made a pair of gargantuan runs. On the Bills' second play from scrimmage, he ran 77 yards to set up a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, he scampered 36 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Spiller finished with a season-high 149 rushing yards.

Falcons player of the game: Ankle and hamstring injuries have made Roddy White's season a colossal disappointment. His best game had been four receptions for 45 yards. Versus the Bills he caught 10 passes for 143 yards and midway through the third quarter accounted for 101 of Matt Ryan's 179 passing yards.

Turning point of the game: Kiko Alonso got off to a hot start with five takeaways in his first four pro games, but he didn't have another until today. With the Falcons seemingly seizing control of the game in the third quarter, Alonso recovered a botched snap. One play later, Jackson scored on a 21-yard catch-and run to tie the game at 24.

Sack attack: The Bills sacked Ryan six times, thrice on third down to force a punt. Jerry Hughes notched two sacks. Manny Lawson, Marcell Dareus, Mario Williams and Corbin Bryant had one apiece.

Preliminary injury report: Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore needed assistance on the field with about 9:30 left in the third quarter because of a cramp and came out of the game long enough for replacement Ron Brooks to get beat by Tony Gonzalez for a touchdown. Gilmore returned to action. ... Linebacker Arthur Moats left the game in the second half with an undisclosed injury.

Coming up: The Bills will travel three times in their final four games, including two straight in Florida. They will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Sunday and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 15.

Points after: Bills 37, Jets 14

6556026  McCoy Sports Bills

By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' decisive victory over the New York Jets in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills snapped a three-game losing streak and avenged an ugly Week Three loss to the Jets. The Bills still are in the AFC East basement at 4-7, but they have to feel good about how they played. Bills rookie EJ Manuel returns to "future franchise quarterback" material (for the time being, anyway) with a strong bounce-back performance.

Players of the game: Bills safety Jairus Byrd and defensive tackle Kyle Williams were studs. Byrd had a sack and two interceptions. He dropped Geno Smith on a third-and-3 play in the second quarter to forcing a punt and grabbed an interception for the second straight week to set up a field goal right before halftime. He picked off another in the third quarter. Williams had two sacks in the first half and forced a fumble to set up a touchdown.

Manuel transmission: Geno Smith won the rookie QB showdown in the first game, but Manuel was far superior today. Manuel was 20 of 28 for 245 yards and two TDs with no interceptions. Smith completed eight of his 23 yards for 103 yards and no TDs with three interceptions and a lost fumble. Matt Simms replaced Smith with 12:55 left in the game.

Play of the game: After the Jets scored their first touchdown to make it 20-7 in the third quarter, Manuel responded with a 43-yard strike to Marquise Goodwin and put the Jets back in their place.

Milestone TD: Bills fullback Frank Summers, playing in his 13th NFL game since he got drafted in 2009, scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. It was the first TD of his career.

Preliminary injury report: Fred Jackson writhed on the ground 2:27 into the second half with an apparent left knee injury. He returned to the game on the next series. ... Defensive tackle Kyle Williams went to the locker room with 7:18 left in the third quarter but came back quickly after getting retaped.

Coming up: The Bills are on their bye week. They will return to action Dec. 1 against the Atlanta Falcons in Toronto.

Points after: Steelers 23, Bills 10

19968 McCoy Sports Bills #8


By Tim Graham

PITTSBURGH -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers here at Heinz Field ...

What it means: The Bills went into the week insisting they still were in the playoff hunt. We can stop humoring them. They are 3-7 and in last place in the AFC East.

No Manuel transmission: EJ Manuel returned after a four-game injury absence and looked raggedy. Buffalo's first-round draft pick was 22 of 39 for 155 yards and one touchdown with one interception. His completion percentage (and eventually the 2-yard TD toss to Chris Gragg with three seconds left) was aided by the Steelers' prevent defense late in the fourth quarter.

Player of the game: Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell didn't post a boffo stat line, but he was the most important player in the Steelers' impressive ball-control game plan. He ran 22 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Bills player of the game: Defensive end Jerry Hughes recorded a pair of sacks. Each came on third down to force a punt.

Symbolic play of the game: The Bills were down only a touchdown when the Steelers lined up for a field goal in the third quarter. Marcell Dareus jumped and was flagged for encroachment, giving the Steelers first and goal at the 6-yard line. Two plays later, Bell scored his touchdown.

Preliminary injury report: Bills receiver Stevie Johnson left the game in the fourth quarter with a groin injury. ... Receiver Chris Hogan was shaken up after making a catch late in the fourth quarter and went straight to the locker room. ... The Steelers had several injuries, including cornerback Shamarko Thomas, left guard Ramon Foster and linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

Coming up: The Bills will host the New York Jets next Sunday in Ralph Wilson Stadium and then go on their by week.

Points after: Chiefs 23, Bills 13

913071 McCoy Sports Bill#22

By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills used their third starting quarterback of the season, but they weren't overmatched by the undefeated Chiefs. Even so, the Bills couldn't prevail over two giveaways the Chiefs returned for touchdowns in the second half. The Bills outgained the Chiefs, 470-201, but were minus-3 in turnovers. The Bills are 3-6, last place in the AFC East.

Player of the game: Even in defeat C.J. Spiller was the best player on the field. A week apparently off did wonders for his sprained ankle. He ran 12 times for 116 yards and caught two passes for 39 yards.

Tuel time: Undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel made his first NFL start because Thad Lewis' injured ribs were too sore. Tuel was 18 of 39 for 229 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.

Play of the game: With the Bills about to grab the game by its throat at the Chiefs' 1-yard line, Tuel threw the ball directly to cornerback Sean Smith at the goal line. Smith breezed up the left sideline for a 100-yard touchdown to tie the game early in the third quarter.

Preliminary injury report: Buffalo's rookie receivers had strong games before leaving with injuries. Robert Woods stayed on the ground late in the third quarter with a leg injury. He went straight to the locker room and didn't return. When Woods left the game he was Buffalo's top receiver with four catches for 44 yards. ... Marquise Goodwin went to the locker room late in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. He finished with two catches for 64 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown.

Coming up: The Bills get back on the road next Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

Points after: Saints 35, Bills 17

Bills Saints Football.JPE#2

By Tim Graham

NEW ORLEANS -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome ...

What it means: The Bills are 3-5 with a to-be-expected result against one of the NFL's supreme teams and in one of the toughest stadiums to play. Thad Lewis turned in another gritty performance, withstanding several shots, but his production was pedestrian.

Player of the game: Drew Brees seemed to have a shaky first half, yet went into halftime with three touchdown passes, a 149.2 passer rating and an 11-point lead. He finished 26 of 34 for 332 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions.

Bills MVP: Fred Jackson was reliable again. Without backfield mate C.J. Spiller, Jackson carried the offense as far as he could. Jackson ran 15 times for 45 yards and a touchdown. He had all but 3 of those yards in the first quarter because the Bills were playing from behind. He added two catches for 8 yards.

Bills play of the game: Stevie Johnson capped a fine second-half drive with a leaping grab in the end zone. Johnson had four catches for 42 yards on the series. His touchdown was from 13 yards out.

Preliminary injury report: The Bills deactivated Spiller to help him overcome his nagging left ankle injury and linebacker Manny Lawson. ... Johnson hobbled off the field in the second quarter with an apparent left groin injury. He returned later on the same drive, but came out again in the third quarter and was limited for the rest of the game. ... Running back Tashard Choice had a left leg injury checked out in the fourth quarter and was cleared to play. ... Receiver Marquise Goodwin hurt his left elbow in the fourth quarter and was carted to the locker room.

Coming up: The Bills return home next Sunday to play the Kansas City Chiefs in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Points after: Bills 23, Dolphins 21

723519 McCoy Sports Bill#67


By Tim Graham

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' victory over the Miami Dolphins in Sun Life Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills are 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the AFC East. They avoided a three-game losing streak and won their first division road game in nine tries.

Welcome back: Dan Carpenter, cut by the Dolphins this year, kicked a 31-yard field goal with 33 seconds to play. He made a 39-yarder in the second quarter and a 20-yarder in the fourth quarter. His Dolphins replacement, Caleb Stugis, missed a 51-yard attempt in the second quarter.

Bills MVP: Mario Williams was quiet for much of the afternoon but notched a pair of crucial sacks in the fourth quarter. The Bills hadn't sacked Ryan Tannehill until there were seven minutes left. Williams beat right tackle Tyson Clabo for a pancake. Williams then caused the fumble that Kyle Williams recovered with 2:48 to play.

Play of the game: Mario Williams' strip was pivotal to setting up the winning field goal. Special mention to cornerback Nickell Robey, who returned Tannehill's first pass attempt 19 yards for a touchdown 93 seconds into the game. 

Player of the game: A free agent this past offseason, Brandon Gibson wanted to play alongside his buddy, Stevie Johnson, with the Bills. The Bills never called. Maybe they regretted not acting as they watched Gibson catch five passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns. 

Dolphins play of the game: Gibson's first touchdown was highlight-reel quality. With time running out in the first half and Miami on Buffalo's 13-yard line, Tannehill dumped it to Gibson at the 10. Gibson found some pace to the left and, from about the 3-yard line, made a tumbling leap over defensive backs Da'Norris Searcy and Aaron Williams for the touchdown with 21 seconds left.

Preliminary injury report: Robey injured his left shoulder while covering a punt in the second quarter. He returned to the game. ... Linebacker Manny Lawson left with a hamstring injury in the third quarter.

Coming up: The Bills visit the New Orleans Saints next Sunday in the Superdome.

Points after: Browns 37, Bills 24

By Tim Graham

CLEVELAND -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to the Cleveland Browns in FirstEnergy Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills are 2-3 and have a few extra days to think about this one. The Bills jumped to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and led 24-17 midway into the third quarter but couldn't hold on. Bills quarterback EJ Manuel was knocked out of the game with a right knee injury, while top receiver Stevie Johnson was sidelined with a back injury.

Player of the game: Browns receiver Josh Gordon caught four passes for 86 yards. His 37-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter tied the game at 24 and provided a significant momentum shift.

Bills player of the game: Running back Fred Jackson ran 17 times for 53 yards and two touchdowns and caught four passes for 40 yards.

Play of the game: Late in the second quarter, Cleveland punt returner Travis Benjamin fielded a punt near the left sideline, sliced across to the opposite sideline, spun out of couple tackles and ran 79 yards for a scintillating touchdown to give Cleveland a 17-10 lead.

Stat line of the game: Fourteen days after being signed off the street, Browns running back Willis McGahee ran 26 times for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Tuel time: In reief of an injured Manuel, undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel made his NFL debut. He completed eight of his 20 passes for 80 yards and an interception.

Preliminary injury report: Johnson came off the field with 3:32 left in the first quarter and writhed in pain on the bench with a lower-back injury. Johnson returned for one play late in the second quarter before heading back to the locker room. ... Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel injured his right knee after scrambling for a first down with 8:16 left in the third quarter. Browns defensive back Tashaun Gipson hit Manuel in the legs to knock him out of bounds. ... An apparent head/neck injury sent Bills receiver T.J. Graham off the field with 11:31 left in the game. He returned late in the fourth quarter.

Coming up: The Bills have three extra days to get rested and ready for the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 13 in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Points after: Bills 23, Ravens 20

702704 RAVENS AT BILLS MU#8

By Tim Graham

Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' bounce-back victory over the Baltimore Ravens in Ralph Wilson Stadium ...

What it means: The Bills are 2-2 and unbeaten outside the AFC East after upsetting the defending Super Bowl champs.

Player of the game: Starting at cornerback for the first time since last season, erstwhile safety Aaron Williams had his first two-interception game and broke up a couple more long passes. Williams left the game with an apparent shoulder injury in the second quarter but returned, then departed for good in the fourth quarter with a lower-back injury.

Play of the game: With 57 seconds to play and the Bills hanging on by their fingernails, middle linebacker Kiko Alonso got his fingers around a ball batted by safety Da'Norris Searcy. Alonso secured an interception at the Bills' 41-yard line to cement the victory.

Jackson reaches milestone: With running back C.J. Spiller hampered by another injury, Fred Jackson was his usual, reliable self. Jackson rushed 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. He surpassed Joe Cribbs for third place on the Bills' all-time list behind Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson.

Stat line of the game: Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco was 25 of 50 for 347 yards and two touchdowns but a career-worst five interceptions.

Alonso all over: Alonso became the first rookie linebacker in Bills history to snag an interception in three straight games. He's only the third Bills rookie linebacker with three in a season, joining Stew Barber in 1961 and Mike Stratton in 1962.

Stevie nearly snuffed: Bills receiver Stevie Johnson entered today's game with a 51-game reception streak, fourth-longest in club history. Johnson had one catch for minus-1 yard. But he also made a colossal play by recovering an EJ Manuel fumble deep in Buffalo territory right before the two-minute warning.

Preliminary injury report: Aaron Williams fell hard on his right shoulder while breaking up a long pass early in the second quarter. He went to the locker room early before halftime, played much of the second half but left the game again in the fourth quarter with a lower-back injury. ... Wide receiver and special-teamer Marcus Easley was sidelined in the second quarter with an apparent left ankle or foot injury but returned later in the quarter. ... A knee injury sent right guard Kraig Urbik to the locker room with 5:27 left in the first half. Urbik returned in the third quarter. ... Spiller limped off with a left ankle injury on the first possession of the second half, but came back late in the third quarter. ... Jackson removed himself from the game at the goal line with about two minutes left in the third quarter but returned to action.

Coming up: The Bills have the dreaded short week ahead. They will play the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night in FirstEnergy Stadium.

Points after: Jets 27, Bills 20

916379 McCoy Sports Bill#21

By Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Quick highlights from the Buffalo Bills' loss to New York Jets at the Meadowlands ...

What it means: The Bills had an opportunity to make a statement about their status in the AFC East with a lackluster performance against a beatable team that committed an absurd number of penalties. The Bills are 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the division.

Play of the game: Geno Smith placed a perfectly thrown pass into Santonio Holmes' hands down the right sideline for a 69-yard touchdown with 9:23 to play. Bills cornerback Justin Rogers, in over his head the entire game, was in coverage.

Sequence of the game: With an eight-point lead and the Bills starting out on their 20-yard line early in the fourth quarter, the Jets couldn't challenge an EJ Manuel fumble that had been ruled down by contact and committed penalties on four straight plays (one wiped out a Fred Jackson lost fumble) before Manuel connected with tight end Scott Chandler for a 33-yard touchdown. Stevie Johnson caught a two-point conversion pass to tie the score.

Jets player of the game: Smith was 16 of 29 for 331 yards and two long touchdowns with two interceptions. He also ran for an 8-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Bills player of the game: Dan Carpenter made field goals from 37, 23, 43 and 26 yards without a miss.

Rookie QB showdown: In the first installment of what both teams hope to be a long rivalry, Smith was better. Manuel was 18 of 38 for 231 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions. Manuel ran for 40 yards but was sacked seven times, thrice in the third quarter alone.

Stat line of the game: Bills running back C.J. Spiller left the game with a knee injury in the third quarter after 10 carries for 9 yards and one reception for 1 yard.

Run of the game: Seemingly stopped on a third-and-1 play at the end of the first quarter, Jackson spun away from the pile and ran past a few Jets defenders who assumed the play was over. Jackson was tackled 59 yards later.

Penalty report: The Jets had an astounding 20 penalties for 168 yards. The Bills were sharp early, but flags eventually cost them here and there. They were penalized seven times for 87 yards. On the final drive of the first half, the Bills committed two penalties to help the Jets get close enough for a field goal.

Preliminary injury report: In addition to Spiller's knee injury, Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin left the game on the opening drive with a hamstring injury. Aaron Williams moved from safety to corner, and Jim Leonhard handled punt return duties. ... Right guard Kraig Urbik left in the second quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by Sam Young. ... Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus limped back to the locker room with a right ankle injury in the third quarter and didn't return. ... Defensive end Alex Carrington was carted off the field with an apparent left leg injury with 70 seconds to play.

Coming up: The Bills return home to play the Baltimore Ravens at 1 p.m. Sunday. It'll be a short week after that, with a Thursday night road game against the Cleveland Browns.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | [email protected]


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | [email protected]


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | [email protected]

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