(The Sports Xchange) – The offenses stole the show on Monday night, but the Seattle Seahawks’ defense had the final say in the end.
Thanks to a sack by Cliff Avril on third down and an incompletion in the end zone on fourth, Seattle stymied the Buffalo Bills’ final drive with less than a minute to go to escape with a 31-25 win in front of a record crowd of 69,084 at CenturyLink Field.
The Bills converted a third-and-21 on their final drive with a completion up the sideline to Robert Woods, and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Seattle moved the ball all the way down to the 23-yard line. Buffalo had first-and-goal from the 10-yard line before the game-saving stop by Seattle.
Russell Wilson finished 20 of 26 through the air for 282 yards passing and two touchdowns and also tacked on a rushing score to lead the Seahawks (5-2-1).
The Bills (4-5) consistently mounted long drives against a Seahawks defense that entered the game ranked sixth in the NFL, finishing with 425 yards of offense. Too frequently, though, they didn’t turn into points.
On the Bills’ second drive, though, Mike Gillislee punched in a one-yard touchdown to finish off a 13-play, 82-yard trip down field. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor ran in the two-point conversion to make it 28-25 with 14:26 to play.
Seattle stretched its lead to 31-25 with a 49-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that capped an eight-play drive.
It took fewer than 90 seconds for Buffalo to make a game-altering play, when defensive end Jerry Hughes blocked a Seattle punt after the Seahawks went three-and-out on their first possession. On the next snap, Taylor ran it in from the 3-yard line to give the Bills a 7-0 lead.
Only 1:11 ticked off the clock before the Seahawks responded, tying the score with a three-yard scamper by Wilson.
After that torrid start, the Bills took their time on the next possession, eating up 10 minutes with a 17-play march capped by a 5-yard touchdown toss from Taylor to Justin Hunter.
The Seahawks tied the game at 14 on the first snap of the second quarter with a one-handed 17-yard reception by Jimmy Graham. The tight end made a similar play just before halftime, hauling in an 18-yard toss from Wilson going up the seam to make it a 28-17 game at the break.