|ESPN.com: AFC East||[Print without images]|
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The buzz that has been building around the Buffalo Bills turned into full-blown rapture.
With the Miami Dolphins obliterating the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., the Bills seized the moment with a dramatic 24-23 comeback victory over the Oakland Raiders to assume sole possession of first place in the AFC East.
The Raiders, with head coach Lane Kiffin seemingly on his way to the gallows, held a nine-point lead with 6:23 left in the game, when Johnnie Lee Higgins streaked through the Bills secondary on an 84-yard catch-and-run. The play came on a third-and-10 situation and looked like a back breaker.
But the Bills were relentless. Bills QB Trent Edwards hit WR Roscoe Parrish for a 14-yard touchdown with 4:03 remaining. The defense forced a three-and-out, and Rian Lindell kicked a 38-yard field goal at the gun.
RB Marshawn Lynch overcame a slow to start, scored two touchdowns and had some clutch runs late.
Buffalo escaped in so many ways. Its offensive line had a particularly bad day. Edwards constantly had defenders in his face. He was sacked three times, fumbled once and threw his first interception of the season. Fullback Darian Barnes and wide receiver Lee Evans also lost fumbles.
Field position was a problem. The Bills started on their own 13- and 11-yard lines in the first quarter. Their starting points in the second half were their own 22, 1, 12, 4 and 32.