Bills vs. Falcons: 11 games all-time.
Bills record: 4-7 (.364).
First game: On Dec. 2, 1973, the Bills visited Atlanta Stadium to square off against the Falcons. They won 17-6 despite Joe Ferguson going just 7-for-12 with 95 yards passing, zero touchdowns, one interception and a 49.0 passer rating. The defense, forcing three turnovers, and rush offense — O.J. Simpson rushed for 137 yards on 24 carries and Jim Braxton added 80 rush yards and two rushing touchdowns — carried the team to victory in their first ever matchup against the Falcons.
Longest Bills winning streak: 2 games, from Dec. 2, 1973, to Oct. 16, 1977, and Nov. 22, 1992, to Nov. 12, 1995.
Longest Bills losing streak: 4 games, from Dec. 23, 2001, to Dec. 1, 2013—streak is active.
Most points for: 41 points, in a 41-14 victory on Nov. 22, 1992.
Most points against: 34 points, in a 34-31 defeat on Dec. 1, 2013.
Biggest win: 27 points, in the 41-14 victory on Nov. 22, 1992.
Biggest loss: 28 points, in a 31-3 defeat on Dec. 27, 2009.
All-time Bills leaders against the Falcons
Passing leaders: Joe Ferguson leads with 49 completions and 640 passing yards. Kelly tops with 6 touchdown passes, a 63.01 completion percentage, and a 98.9 passer rating (requiring at least 25 attempts).
Rushing leaders: O.J. Simpson leads the way with 275 yards rushing — just 11 more than Thurman Thomas, who had four more attempts. Kenneth Davis had a team-best 9.05 yards-per-carry (requiring at least 20 attempts) and he, Jim Braxton, and Shaw Bryson — getting his first Buffalo News mention since Dec. 20, 2002 — each had a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Receiving leaders: Jerry Butler and Andre Reed each had nine receptions, Reed’s 170 receiving yards are tops, as is his 18.89 yards-per-catch (requiring at least five receptions). Bill Brooks is the only player with multiple touchdown catches against Atlanta, he had two.
Special teams leaders: Steve Christie was a perfect 5-for-5 in field goal attempts and 7-for-7 in extra point attempts. Christie’s 22 points also represent a team-high. The Bills have never returned a kick or a punt for a touchdown against the Falcons.
Defensive leaders: Aaron Schobel had 3.0 sacks and ten Bills had one interception against Atlanta, they are: Dwight Harrison, Tony Greene, Isiah Robertson, Steve Freeman, Mario Clark, Kurt Schulz, Henry Jones, Nate Clements, Chris Kelsay, and Brandon Spoon. Spoon is the only to return his interception for a touchdown.
Bills single-game standouts
Kenneth Davis: on Nov. 22, 1992, Davis rushed for 181 yards on 20 carries with two rushing touchdowns, he added four yards on a single reception. His 185 yards from scrimmage are the most ever by any Buffalo player against the Falcons. The Bills won 41-14.
Bill Brooks: on Nov. 12, 1995, Brooks reeled in seven passes for 101 yards receiving with two touchdown catches en route to a 23-17, Bills’ win. His seven catches represent the second most for a Buffalo receiver against Atlanta, only Jerry Butler, who had nine, on Nov. 2, 1980, had more. Butler had 122 receiving yards in that game, but no touchdowns, and so, the headline goes to Mr. Brooks.
Shawn Bryson: on Dec. 23, 2001, Bryson took 16 carries for 130 yards with three catches for 31 more, scoring a pair of touchdowns. Good for his second Buffalo News mention in the last 15 or so years…and his second in this column. It wasn’t enough for to win, though, as Buffalo took the loss in this one, 33-30.
C.J. Spiller: Spiller rushed for 149 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown on Dec. 1, 2013, but the Falcons prevailed 34-31.
Aaron Schobel: as mention earlier, Schobel had three sacks against the Falcons, what I did not mention is that they all came in one game, on Dec. 27, 2009. Let’s not talk about the score in this one and just say it occurred in the game mentioned in the “biggest loss” portion of this column.
O.J. Simpson: The Juice is the only Buffalo back with multiple 100-yard rushing games against Atlanta—137 yards rushing on Dec. 2, 1973, and 138 yards on Oct. 16, 1977.
Sunday’s game: unfortunately, I think the Bills losing streak will got from four to five in this one; having said that, I like them to cover getting 8.0 points. My record calling the Bills this season: calling the winning team (3-0), calling the spread (2-1).
On this date: in 1990, the Bills beat John Elway and the Broncos 29-28, despite just 197 yards total offense to the Broncos 410 yards. Jim Kelly was just 18-for-34 for 167 yards with no touchdowns and an interception, a 54.4 passer rating, and Thurman Thomas rushed for only 36 yards on 13 carries. They trailed 21-9 going into the fourth and Cornelius Bennett returned a block field goal 80 yards for a touchdown, then Leonard Smith picked Elway off and took it 39 yards to the house.
Did you know? John Elway was drafted in the 18th round — 463rd overall — by the Royals in 1979, but did not sign, then in the 2nd round — 52nd overall — by the Yankees in 1981. He played a year of Low-A Ball, batting .318/.432/.464 with four home runs and 13 stolen bases in 42 games played.