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BILLS FALL SHORT OF FANTASTIC FINISH, LOSE IN OT

The Buffalo Bills' attempt to write another of their miracle-comeback stories ended up in the trash bin Sunday before 78,458 fans in Rich Stadium.

Using heroics of their own, the Denver Broncos spoiled what seemed to be turning into another of those "Can you believe this is happening?" Buffalo finishes by snatching a 23-20 victory in overtime.

In the beginning, it looked as if the Bills were going to get horsewhipped as the Broncos -- aided by a bundle of Bills mistakes and the relentless running of Terrell Davis -- opened a 20-0 lead in the third quarter.

After throwing a third-quarter interception, starting quarterback Todd Collins was yanked, and new second-stringer Alex Van Pelt came off the bench to run the old no-huddle offense.

Suddenly, Buffalo seemed to have been touched by a magic wand. The Bills crawled out of their hole, scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and sent the game into overtime on Steve Christie's 55-yard field goal in the final seconds.

Shades of Frank Reich, it seemed as if the "Comeback Kids" of yore had returned to the frigid turf of Rich.

For a while, it looked as if the Bills might pull it off.

The teams traded punts and the game was deep into overtime when Buffalo running back Antowain Smith hauled the ball for four straight gains as the Bills pounded down the field.

If the drive could have stayed alive for a few more plays, the faithful believed, Buffalo surely would have moved to within field-goal range.

But then an old play went wrong, and the dream turned into a nightmare.

A razzle-dazzle reverse option pass that was supposed to end up with receiver Andre Reed surprising the Broncos by throwing downfield went awry and turned into a 20-yard loss that ultimately set up Denver's winning field goal.

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