Twice the Buffalo Bills were in position to kick a game-winning field goal against the Atlanta Falcons. Twice they fumbled the opportunity away. The pair of costly mistakes -- one at the end of regulation and the other on their first drive of the overtime period -- eventually cost them the game and likely a shot at the postseason.
Buffalo's late turnovers are the story of the game, and leave the Bills at 4-8 and now two games back in the AFC wild card race with four games to play. Their playoff hopes are now all but mathematically dashed. The gut-wrenching nature of the loss also takes the onus off of several strong performances and some glaring weak points, which we'll get into after we've spent our Sunday evenings running through our various and well-practiced coping mechanisms.
Here's to a month of meaningless football and another year of all-too-early NFL Draft discussion!
The Falcons' postseason dreams were buried weeks ago, but the one silver lining has been the inheritance of a top draft pick the unexpected death might leave them. There are, of course, a multitude of siblings left to squabble over the will, and Atlanta's first win in over a month didn't do them any favors in the pecking order.
Dave Choate at The Falcoholic says Atlanta is still "in the driver's seat for a top pick," and breaks down how that selection might be used.
If there's one upside to a hellish season, this is it. It's not like the win crippled the Falcons on the draft front.
The Falcons are likely to target help for the lines with their first couple of picks. They could use some beef up front on offense, but a game-changer like Jadeveon Clowney might prove to be too tempting to pass up. There's enough holes on this team that you can talk yourself into almost anyone.
The last time the Falcons had a top-five pick they struck gold with Matt Ryan and made the playoffs the next year. They can only hope for a similar resurrection in 2014.