Final

Bills 17

(6-6, 3-3 away)

Redskins 16

(5-7, 3-3 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 2, 2007

FedEx Field, Landover, MD 

1 2 3 4 T
BUF 0 2 6 917
WSH 3 6 7 016

Top Performers

Passing: T. Edwards (BUF) - 257 YDS

Rushing: F. Jackson (BUF) - 16 CAR, 82 YDS

Receiving: C. Cooley (WSH) - 7 REC, 89 YDS

Lindell's field goal with four ticks left lifts Bills

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Fred Smoot cried several times when he looked over to the safety position and Sean Taylor wasn't there. Santana Moss held up his fingers to represent Taylor's No. 21 after catching a pass. Clinton Portis revealed a T-shirt honoring Taylor after scoring the game's only touchdown.

Drained before they ever took the field, the Washington Redskins somehow steeled their fragile emotions and played to honor their fallen teammate in front of 85,000 fans waving their No. 21 towels.

Their resolve was shattered, replaced by more tears and disbelief, when Rian Lindell kicked a 36-yard field goal with 4 seconds left to give the Buffalo Bills a 17-16 victory.

"It makes your heart drop all the way to your feet," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "We wanted to come out here and win one for Sean."

Five days after Taylor died from a gunshot wound in Florida, the Redskins defense did Taylor proud by not allowing a touchdown. Buffalo's points came on five field goals and a safety.

But, on this of all days, a major gaffe by Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs played a key role in leaving Washington's players disconsolate at the final whistle.

Lindell made a 51-yard attempt that didn't count because Gibbs called timeout just as the ball was snapped. Gibbs then called another timeout as Lindell lined up a second time, but consecutive timeouts aren't allowed in the NFL -- and they result in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty when specifically called to freeze the kicker.

The penalty gave Lindell a much easier kick in the rain. His game-winner extended his streak to 17 consecutive made field goals, tying the franchise record.

Gibbs said he asked an official if it was OK to call a second timeout, and the coach thought the official said yes. Still, the harried moments of a game's final seconds are hardly a good time to be learning the rule book.

"There's nobody to blame but myself," Gibbs said. "I should have known the rule."

Afterward, players spilled their emotions in a room in which Taylor's locker was sealed in Plexiglas, just as it is at Redskins Park, the team's headquarters. They tried to exonerate Gibbs, saying that any number of mistakes and blown plays could have cost them the game.

More than anything, though, they were emotionally spent.

"I didn't show up to play this game," said Smoot, the Washington cornerback. "I showed up for a tribute for my friend, to send him out right, and we found a way to mess it up."

On Wednesday, Taylor's father, Pedro Taylor, addressed the Redskins and urged them to win five games in a row and make the playoffs. But Washington (5-7) has now lost four straight and is fading quickly from the postseason picture. The Redskins will fly to Taylor's funeral Monday, then must try to find a way to focus for a Thursday night game against Chicago.

"I just hope as a team we can get down to Miami for the funeral and get some closure so that we can move forward," defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "It's been tough for everybody. ... It wasn't easy to get out there and play today."

When the Redskins defense came on for the first time, Taylor's safety position was vacant: Only 10 players were on the field for Jackson's 22-yard run around the left end. Then Taylor's replacement, Reed Doughty, ran out, and he was the one who made the tackle on the next play, a short pass to Josh Reed.

"It was important for the team to know that he was with us one last time on the field," Doughty said. "That was special. It's really difficult to be running out there taking over for somebody who is of legend proportions. It was really hard."

Buffalo (6-6), with solid performances from rookie quarterback Trent Edwards and third-string running back Fred Jackson, broke a two-game skid to keep its AFC playoff hopes alive. But the Bills were unwelcome outsiders on a day that was part memorial service and part celebration, one that fittingly ended in a chilly autumn shower.

"It was a very emotional day for everybody," Buffalo coach Dick Jauron said. "I'm sure more so for them, but we have a number of players on our squad that were very close to Sean -- played with him in college or in the NFL. I thought that both teams really played hard, and that would honor him. That's how he played the game. He played it all-out. It was a 60-minute game; that's how he played the game."

Fans held posters that called Taylor the "eternal 12th man." Another read, "4-ever a Skin, 4-ever a Cane, 4-ever 21," a reference to Taylor's stellar college career at the University of Miami before the Redskins drafted him in the first round in 2004.

When Moss, one of Taylor's closest friends on the team, caught his first pass, he pounded his chest and held up his index and middle fingers and his pinky. It was his way of spelling "21" for all to see. He repeated the gesture throughout the game, sometimes with both hands.

Portis, another close friend of Taylor's, lifted his jersey to reveal a white shirt that included the words "In memory of Sean Taylor" after the 3-yard run that gave the Redskins a 16-5 lead in the third quarter and seemed to realize the promise that they would, indeed, win one for their departed teammate.

The gestures contrasted with the hard, cold facts of a football game. The Redskins offense had the same problem as in recent weeks: an inability to finish drives. Washington kept settling for 3 points instead of 7, with Shaun Suisham kicking first-half field goals of 27, 28 and 33 yards.

The Bills never did get a 7. Their only points in the first half came when Angelo Crowell sacked Campbell in the end zone for a safety. Lee Evans' juggling catch set up a second-half field goal, and turnovers by Campbell on back-to-back possessions -- defensive tackle Larry Tripplett forced a fumble and made a diving interception of a tipped ball -- led to two more field goals.

Buffalo started its final drive at its 22 with 56 seconds remaining and no timeouts. A 31-yard pass to Josh Reed set up the winning kick that broke so many hearts.

"It's unfortunate," Jauron said, "that one of those teams had to lose on this day."

Game notes


Jackson, making his first NFL start because of injuries to Marshawn Lynch and Anthony Thomas, ran for 82 yards on 16 carries and caught four passes for 69 yards. ... Edwards, who this week regained the starter's job from J.P. Losman, completed 22 of 36 passes for 257 yards and improved to 4-1 as a starter. ... The Redskins' injuries included CB Shawn Springs (bruised back) and RT Todd Wade (bruised knee). ... Redskins WR Antwaan Randle El (hamstring) missed a game for the first time in his six-year NFL career.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
BUF
WSH
1st Downs1522
Passing 1st downs
1013
Rushing 1st downs
46
1st downs from penalties
13
3rd down efficiency
5-138-17
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays5670
Total Yards357281
Yards per play6.44.0
Total Drives1210
Passing257202
Comp-Att
22-3621-37
Yards per pass
7.14.9
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-04-14
Rushing10079
Rushing Attempts
2029
Yards per rush
5.02.7
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-31-4
Penalties8-1014-34
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession27:0432:56

Passing Leaders

BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Edwards22/362577.1000-0
WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Campbell21/372165.8014-14

Rushing Leaders

BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson16825.1022
Wright2147.0015
WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Portis25502.016
Campbell3186.0011

Receiving Leaders

BUFRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson46917.3054
Reed56713.4030
WSHRECYDSAVGTDLG
Cooley78912.7029
Moss56312.6021

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERBUFWSH
wshFG7:16Shaun Suisham 27 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 58 yds, 7:48
03
SECOND QUARTERBUFWSH
wshFG14:53Shaun Suisham 28 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 84 yds, 6:06
06
bufSF8:24Jason Campbell tackled in end zone by Angelo Crowell.
Drive info: 3 plays, -8 yds, 1:28
26
wshFG0:29Shaun Suisham 33 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 56 yds, 3:32
29
THIRD QUARTERBUFWSH
bufFG11:25Rian Lindell 38 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 49 yds, 3:39
59
wshTD5:47Clinton Portis, 3 yd run (Shaun Suisham kick is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 57 yds, 5:39
516
bufFG1:14Rian Lindell 43 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 14 yds, 1:32
816
FOURTH QUARTERBUFWSH
bufFG11:17Rian Lindell 24 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 18 yds, 4:04
1116
bufFG6:38Rian Lindell 33 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 65 yds, 3:15
1416
bufFG0:08Rian Lindell 36 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 60 yds, 0:52
1716