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    Falcons 34, Bills 31 (OT)

    Opportunistic Falcons prey on Buffalo

    Receiver Marquise Goodwin hangs his head after victory escaped the Bills yet again.
    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
    Receiver Marquise Goodwin hung his head after victory escaped the Bills yet again.

    TORONTO — Falcons safety William Moore looked into the crowd in Toronto and began wondering whether he was back home in Atlanta.

    The domed setting was certainly familiar. And so were the numerous Falcons jerseys that dotted the crowd at the Rogers Centre.

    ‘‘The crazy part is we had a lot of support here,’’ Moore said. ‘‘It didn’t feel like we were in Canada.’’


    First, the Bills gave away their wintry home-field advantage by hosting the warm-weather Falcons in Buffalo’s annual home game north of the border. Then the Bills gave the ball away on each of their final two possessions, helping the Falcons secure a 34-31 win on Matt Bryant’s 36-yard field goal three minutes into overtime.

    Mark Blinch/Canadian Press/AP
    Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was in attendance, wearing a replica jersey of the Bills’ Fred Jackson.
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    Moore set up the decisive score in a back-and-forth game by forcing a fumble on Buffalo’s second play in the extra period. He punched the ball out of the arms of Bills tight end Scott Chandler. The fumble was recovered by Robert Alford, who then lateraled it to Desmond Trufant, who returned it to Buffalo’s 47.

    It was nearly an exact duplicate of how the Bills’ final drive of regulation ended.

    Cornerback Robert McClain chased down receiver Stevie Johnson from behind and knocked the ball loose at the Falcons 30 with 20 seconds left.

    Steven Jackson scored twice, including a 1-yard plunge with 1:28 left for the Falcons (3-9). Atlanta snapped a five-game skid and won for the first time in six road games this season. Antone Smith also scored on a 38-yard run, while Tony Gonzalez scored on an 11-yard pass from Matt Ryan.


    ‘‘Our team needed that, so really needed that,’’ said Gonzalez. ‘‘It feels good. You should have seen the locker room in here after the game. All the guys were just happy, ecstatic.’’

    Roddy White caught 10 passes for 143 yards for the Falcons, nearly doubling his season yardage total.

    It was a familiar finish for the Bills (4-8), who are pretty much out of playoff contention for a 14th straight season, extending the NFL’s longest active streak. They will also finish their ninth straight season without a winning record.

    In squandering a 14-0 lead, they dropped to 1-5 in games in Toronto since the series was first established in 2008.

    ‘‘It’s tough, you know what I mean?’’ said Johnson. ‘‘We fought hard. We had the lead. It came down to execution. We executed, but they ended up making an intangible play to get the ball back.’’


    Chandler’s fumble was just as costly. EJ Manuel found him wide open on a crossing pattern at Buffalo’s 40 before the ball was knocked loose.

    ‘‘Really disappointing,’’ Chandler said. ‘‘You hate to let the fans down and you really hate to let your teammates down.’’

    The Bills got a long-awaited breakout performance by C.J. Spiller, who finished with a season-best 149 yards rushing and a touchdown. Fred Jackson scored twice, on a 4-yard run and a 21-yard pass from Manuel.

    Manuel finished 18 of 32 for 210 yards, and also scored on a 1-yard run.

    There was plenty of entertainment for a game between two losing teams.

    Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford showed up, causing a stir late in the first quarter. Ford, who has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, arrived with just over five minutes left wearing a No. 22 Fred Jackson jersey just as Buffalo’s running back scored.

    Ford was flanked by his two personal security guards and with police officers and stadium security nearby. As he settled into his VIP-section seat, Ford was spotted munching on — what else? — a Buffalo chicken wing.

    ‘‘I appreciate him showing his support for me, you know, wearing my jersey,’’ Jackson said. ‘‘With all the things going on, that still means a lot.’’