Defense, second half explosion bests Browns

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Final Score: **Buffalo 26 – Cleveland 10

Location: Orchard Park, NY – Ralph Wilson Stadium

W-L records: Buffalo (7-5); Cleveland (7-5)

In a Nutshell:

In a game that was sitting there waiting to be taken early in the second half, the Bills struck in a matter of seconds in the third quarter en route to a 26-10 victory over Cleveland to provide Buffalo with a valuable conference win and improve the Bills' position in the AFC playoff race.

Trailing 3-0 after a lackluster first half where the Bills posted a season-low 91 net yards of offense and did not have a third down conversion, Buffalo staged an eight-play 84-yard scoring drive capped by a three-yard touchdown pass by Kyle Orton to Chris Hogan with 8:08 left in the third quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, Jerry Hughes forced Terrance West to fumble near the far sideline, scooped up the loose ball and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown to blow the game open just four seconds later (14-3).

Buffalo's defense was stifling for the second straight week. From the time Cleveland missed a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter the Browns offense had seven possessions. Buffalo allowed eight total net yards on those drives combined, with a pair of interceptions, a forced fumble and Hughes fumble return.

It also led to 10 points for Buffalo as the Bills scored 20 straight points before the Browns answered with their first touchdown drive of the day when Johnny Manziel came on in relief of Browns starting QB Brian Hoyer in the fourth quarter.

The Bills offense was able to run more than five minutes off the clock on the ensuing possession before Carpenter put his third and fourth straight field goal attempts up and through for what proved to be a 16-point win.

The victory lifted Buffalo to 7-5 on the season and giving them the head-to-head tiebreaker edge on Cleveland should the two teams be in a tie for a Wild Card spot at season's end.

Photos of the Week 13 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

How it went down:
--The Browns got on the board first staging a lengthy 15-play 91-yard drive, but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal from Billy Cundiff with just under five minutes left in the opening quarter (3-0).

--Buffalo did not get on the board until the third quarter when following a difficult 34-yard catch by Robert Woods at the Cleveland three-yard line, Kyle Orton found Chris Hogan on a quick out for a three-yard touchdown reception (7-3) for the Bills' first lead of the game.

--On the very next play from scrimmage Jerry Hughes forced a fumble on a Terrance West carry, recovered the fumble and ran 18-yards to the end zone for a touchdown to put the Bills up 14-3 midway through the third quarter.

--Dan Carpenter put a 49-yard field goal through the uprights to cap a six-play 17-yard drive early in the fourth quarter to push Buffalo's lead to 14 points (17-3).

--Buffalo's lead improved to 20-3 following the second interception of the game by Da'Norris Searcy at the Cleveland 41 that he returned to the Browns' 20-yard line. Carpenter hit a 34-yard field goal with 12 minutes remaining.

--Cleveland inserted Johnny Manziel into the game at quarterback and his promptly staged an eight-play 80-yard scoring drive in just over three minutes. The rookie QB finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run to make it a 10-point game (20-10).

--Carpenter put a pair of field goal through late in the fourth quarter to make it a 26-10 final.

Quotes from the locker room

"We just kind of keep on battling and certainly, we're a tight group. The defense has played great to keep us in some of these games and we're right there where we need to be with four games to go. Everything now is just improving and doing whatever it takes to win the next four."
--QB Kyle Orton

"I think in the second half, for sure. We played a lot better. That was one thing we talked about when we came in here after the first half and said, 'Yeah they only have three points but don't confuse yourself, we haven't played that well,' but I think in the second half, we really did a good job."
--DT Kyle Williams

"We're playing some pretty good football, we definitely didn't play great today. Still got room to grow.  We still got a long way to go. Still a long season. We have to look at this film tomorrow and really address the mistakes that we made. We left a couple of plays out there, we made some good plays. We still have to learn from our mistakes and just keep on moving."
--DE Jerry Hughes

Stat lines

--Kyle Orton was 17-31 passing for 190 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for a passer rating of 57.2.

--Buffalo's defense posted a pair of sacks to move their season total to 48.

--Fred Jackson, Boobie Dixon and Bryce Brown combined to average 3.7 per carry.

--MarQueis Gray made his first two receptions as a Bill gaining 71 yards, including a key 3rd-and-1 play midway through the fourth quarter for 41 yards.

--With 14 points in the game, Dan Carpenter now has 104 points on the season and is the first Bills kicker with back-to-back 100-point seasons since Rian Lindell in 2008-09.

Subplots:

--After Brian Hoyer threw his second interception of the day the Browns inserted rookie QB Johnny Manziel into the game with 11 minutes left in the game.

--The Bills scored two touchdowns in a span of four seconds on the game clock, among the fastest back-to-back scores in team history.

--The Bills had a season-low 91 total net yards on offense in the first half and were 0-for-6 on third down.  

--Dan Carpenter had his 53-yard field goal attempt at end of the half blocked by Joe Haden, to leave Buffalo scoreless in the first half.

--Browns K Billy Cundiff missed a 37-yard field goal attempt wide right in the second quarter that would've given Cleveland a 6-0 lead.

Inactives:
WR Mike Williams, S Baccari Rambo, FB Frank Summers, LB Randell Johnson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, TE Chris Gragg, DE Jarius Wynn.

Up Next:
The Bills will travel to Denver this Sunday to take on the Broncos (Dec. 7) for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Photos of the Week 13 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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