With two touchdowns in the third quarter, the Falcons appear to have put this one away.
They lead 24-3 entering the fourth. That will likely set up next week as a chance to finish the season with three straight victories and a winning season — which would give the franchise its first back-to-back winning seasons in its history.
But now back to the third quarter.
It was a bizarre period with both punter Michael Koenen (head) and place kicker Matt Bryant (hamstring) hurt and unable to perform at times. Koenen also serves as the holder on field goals and his absence appeared to be the reason why the Falcons elected to go for it on fourth-and-12 from Buffalo’s 29 instead of attempting a 47-yard field goal — in retrospect, Bryant’s injury probably also had something to do with that. The Falcons converted with a 14-yard pass to Roddy White, who has five catches for 112 yards and a touchdown today. Three plays later, Ryan hit Marty Booker for a 12-yard touchdown pass, Booker’s first scoring reception of the season.
On Buffalo’s ensuing possession, Chauncey Davis forced a fumble by the Bills’ Fred Jackson at the Bills’ 12 and rookie defensive end Lawrence Sidbury returned it 11 yards for a touchdown, making the score 24-0. It was Sidbury’s first career touchdown.
Bryant came on for the extra point, but the 260-pound Biermann took his second straight kickoff.
Later, Buffalo made a field goal to break the shut out, but they have only 168 yards offense through three quarters. They have only scored 24 points or more in a game three times this season and only once in the last 12 games.
Thus far, it hasn’t always been pretty, but for the most part it’s been a thoroughly dominating performance by the Falcons.