It was ugly, and, if you are a Bills fan, scary, too. Somehow, though, Buffalo inched closer to a berth in the AFC playoffs of the National Football League with a 13-10 victory in overtime over the New England Patriots Sunday in Foxboro, Mass.
The Bills won it on Steve Christie's 23-yard field goal with 1:48 left in the extra period after Adam Vinatieri missed two kicks into the wind that would have won it for New England. Vinatieri's attempt with 6 seconds left in regulation from 33 yards was wide right. Then on the first series of overtime, his try from 44 yards was on target but short.
Bills quarterback Doug Flutie completed his last 12 passes as he led a late touchdown drive to tie the game at 10-10 and the winning drive in overtime.
"We believe in ourselves and we believe we're a playoff-caliber team," Flutie said.
Flutie and the Bills (10-5) will have to wait at least until tonight to find out if they make the playoffs or perhaps next Sunday, when they end the regular season at home against Indianapolis.
Buffalo would have clinched a berth Sunday if Seattle lost or tied, but the Seahawks beat Kansas City, 23-14. The Bills clinch tonight if Miami loses to the New York Jets.
Buffalo and New England each scored a first-half field goal for a 3-3 tie. Then the Patriots (7-8) went ahead, 10-3, with 12:15 left in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard run by Terry Allen. It came one play after Chad Eaton's 30-yard return of Jonathan Linton's fumble. The Bills tied the game on Linton's 1-yard run with 4:23 left in regulation as Flutie completed all four of his passes on the 59-yard drive.
Overall, Flutie completed 22 of 35 passes for 212 yards and ran six times for 44 yards.
Buffalo outgained the Pats, 374-225, but lost three fumbles -- two by Linton and one by Eric Moulds.
The victory gave the Bills their eighth 10-win season of the 1990s. Next week's opponent, the Colts (13-2), have a chance at posting the best record in the AFC after winning their 11th in a row Sunday, 29-28, over the Browns in Cleveland.