Bills Upset Falcons 23-17

Hauschka, Hyde And Breaks Keys To Win

Neil McManus
October 01, 2017 - 4:26 pm
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Atlanta, GA (WBEN) The Buffalo Bills relied on another solid defensive performance, a few breaks and the foot of kicker, Steven Hauschka to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 23-17 Sunday.

Buffalo entered the game having not allowed a passing touchdown and many expected the defense to get their toughest test today against a Falcons’ offense led by quarterback Matt Ryan and boasted one of the league’s best receivers, Julio Jones. The Bills did get a break as Jones left the game in the first half due to a hip injury and never returned. The Falcons also lost receiver, Mohammad Sanu who missed the entire second half.

Buffalo did not have eye-popping numbers offensively as Tyrod Taylor passed for 182 yards and LeSean McCoy rushed for 76 yards, but the team got breaks that usually do not go the Bills’ way. Rookie Tre'davious White recovered a Matt Ryan fumble and returned it 52 yards for a score. It appeared that Ryan’s arm was in a passing motion when he was hit by Jerry Hughes but following the review the play stood.

Newly acquired kicker, Steven Hauschka again played a key role by kicking two 50-plus yard field goals as he did in last week’s win over Denver. Another off-season free agent, Micah Hyde also proved his worth by pulling in two interceptions on the day.

As for the national anthem protest controversy that has been surrounding the league, about six members of the Bills took a knee during the ceremony.

The Bills are now 3-1 and are atop the AFC East thanks to a loss by the New England Patriots. The team will host the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday out at New Era Field.

INJURIES

Bills: S Colt Anderson left in the first quarter with an arm injury and was ruled out. Buffalo also lost LB Ramon Humber (thumb), WR Jordan Matthews (thumb), and CB E.J. Gaines (groin).

Falcons: Jones left the game in the second quarter with a hip flexor injury and was ruled out for the game. Quinn said Jones wanted to return but could not have played with his usual explosiveness. Jones was limited during practice this week with a lower back injury. Sanu (hamstring) and DT Jack Crawford (biceps) also were ruled out.

STAT LEADERS

LeSean McCoy had 20 carries for 76 yards and three catches for 32 yards. ... Taylor completed 12 of 20 passes for 182 yards and one touchdown. ... Atlanta's Tevin Coleman had nine carries for 79 yards and four catches for 65 yards. ... Ryan completed 24 of 42 passes for 242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. ... Tight end Austin Hooper led Atlanta's thin receiving corps with five catches for 50 yards.

KNEELING

McCoy was in the middle of a group of six Buffalo players who knelt during the national anthem. The group also included defensive end Jerel Worthy, wide receiver Kaelin Clay, cornerback Shareece Wright, running back Taiwan Jones and defensive tackle Cedric Thornton. Cornerback Leonard Johnson stood beside those kneeling.

Falcons players stood for the anthem.

PROTECT THE BALL

The Bills set a team record for most consecutive quarters without a turnover (15). The previous team record was 12, set in 2015.

UP NEXT

Bills: Play at Cincinnati next Sunday.

Falcons: After their bye week, host Miami on Oct. 15.

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