In Week 16, the Buffalo Bills earned a crucial win against the New England Patriots and re-entered the driver’s seat in the AFC East. This week, the Bills will be looking to take the next step towards clinching the division when the 7-8 Atlanta Falcons come to town.
Buffalo Bills’ All-Time Record vs Atlanta Falcons
The Buffalo Bills are 5-7 all-time against the Falcons. The Bills won their last meeting in 2017, but Atlanta had won the previous four meetings. The margin between these two teams is just two points.
The Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons last met in Week 4 of the 2017 season. The Falcons were off to a 3-0 start in their quest to avenge their infamous Super Bowl LVI collapse, and the Bills were 2-1 and were underdogs entering the contest.
In the third quarter, the Falcons were marching down the field and looking to extend their 10-7 halftime lead, but Jerry Hughes sacked Matt Ryan, forcing a fumble that was picked up by Tre’Davious White and returned 52 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.
The teams were tied at 17 entering the back half of the fourth quarter, and two Stephen Hauschka field goals in the final five minutes sealed the win.
Last Week’s Result
In Week 16, the Falcons narrowly escaped the Detroit Lions in a 20-16 nailbiter to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Falcons led 20-16 late in the fourth quarter and were getting ready to close out the win before disaster struck with a Russell Gage fumble that was recovered by former Bills safety Dean Marlowe on Atlanta’s 37-yard line.
The Lions reached Atlanta’s nine-yard line and had first and goal with 39 seconds left. Quarterback Tim Boyle, who had been surprisingly mistake-free all game, made a mistake at the worst time, throwing an interception to Foyesade Oloukun to seal the game.
Matt Ryan had a decent day, completing 18 of 24 passes for 215 and a touchdown. They did not run the ball well, carrying the ball 18 times for just 47 yards.
The Buffalo Bills got a mulligan for their Week 13 loss and did not waste the opportunity. The Bills now have a 97% chance to make the playoffs according to the New York Times and can clinch a playoff berth for the fourth time in five seasons in Week 17.
The Bills have to beat the Falcons, and then need some help with one of the following three teams losing: Ravens, Chargers, or Raiders. The Falcons have a 2% chance to make the playoffs, and a loss to the Bills would all but knock them out.
The breakout star this season for the Falcons, Cordarrelle Patterson, could be a problem for the 17th ranked Buffalo run defense that has struggled mightily at times this season.
Given that Buffalo has the number one pass defense in the NFL, Atlanta’s season may ride on the legs of Cordarrelle Patterson. This Week 17 matchup is an important one for both teams.