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Time Machine: Falcons Hang Tough vs. Bills in 2005

Atlanta and Buffalo have only met 10 times in this series that began in 1973 and have evenly split locations with each team hosting five games.  The Falcons lead the series 6-4, including holding a current three-game winning streak with victories in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

The last time the Birds traveled to face the cross conference Bills on the road was Sept. 25, 2005 in Orchard Park, NY. This week's game marks the first time the Falcons as a franchise will play a regular season contest outside the United States as they embark on a trip to Toronto, Canada and the Rogers Centre.

Buffalo opened the game with a 36 yard field goal from K Rian Lindell to strike first. Atlanta TE Dwayne Blakely found an opportune moment to haul in his first career touchdown, catching a 9-yard scoring pass with 3:50 left in the first quarter to give the Birds an early lead.

The Bills would answer with the aid of a key Falcons penalty.

On 2nd and 10 from his own 47-yard line, Buffalo QB J.P. Losman threw deep intended for WR Eric Moulds down the left sideline and the pass fell incomplete. But Falcons CB Christian Morton was flagged for pass interference, handing the Bills a first down at the Atlanta 23. The Birds defense held though, forcing a 41-yard field goal from Lindell, and helping them hang on to a 7-6 advantage.

The Falcons continued to push the ball downfield on their next possession. WR Brian Finneran used every bit of his lanky 6-foot-5 frame, skying high for a long pass, and then somehow managing to get both feet down for an athletic 17-yard gain to the Bills 24-yard line. Four plays later, WR Michael Jenkins hit pay dirt for a score on a 15-yard touchdown reception.

Buffalo came right back with an 11-play, 80-yard drive of their own. Losman connected with WR Josh Reed for a 17-yard gain and RB Willis McGahee capped it with an 8-yard touchdown run.

Atlanta finished the scoring in the first half with a K Todd Peterson 27-yard field goal for a 17-13 lead at halftime.

The Bills opened the second half and totaled the only points in the third quarter with a 30-yard field goal from Lindell.

The Birds mounted a game-clinching drive to start the fourth quarter which would put the game out of reach. RB T.J.Duckett put an exclamation point on the march by exploding up the middle and diving for a 12-yard touchdown for the deciding points in a 24-16 victory.

The Falcons racked up 236 yards on the ground with runners Warrick Dunn (97 yards) and Duckett (75 yards) leading the way. Finneran posted a game-high 57 yards and a 14.3 average on the afternoon to spark the aerial attack.

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