- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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What it means: This was the final nail in the coffin to Buffalo’s playoff chances. The Bills expected 2012 to be a dream season after spending a lot of money in the offseason. The result has been a 4-7 record and Buffalo resorting to the spoiler role in December. A win over the Colts (7-4), who currently hold one AFC wild card, could have made a difference and kept Buffalo in the hunt. But the Bills couldn’t make enough plays.
What I liked: The Bills showed up to play on the road against a likely playoff team. Buffalo put forth a game effort and had several solid individual performances. New Bills starting tailback C.J. Spiller rushed for 107 yards, and receiver Steve Johnson (106 yards) had his first 100-yard game of the season. Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams appears to have turned the corner. He had three sacks and is developing into the force Buffalo expected when it signed him to a $100 million contract. This was the first three-sack game for Williams since Sept. 9, 2010.
What I didn’t like: The Bills were awful on third down on offense (4-of-13) and defense, allowing Indianapolis to convert 8-of-13 on third down. That was the difference in a close game. “Bad Fitz” was back in a big game. Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 17 of 33 passes for 180 yards, one late touchdown and an interception. Fitzpatrick needs to be consistent for Buffalo to win -- and that hasn’t been the case all season.