The Buffalo Bills have turned out to be a pretty good team.
Talk of tanking filled the airwaves, packed the blogs and was bandied about barrooms before the 2017 season began.
Yet here is Buffalo at 3-1, an open-receiver-incompletion away from 4-0.
The Bills upset the high-flying Atlanta Falcons, 23-17, in Mercedes Benz Stadium. The Falcons went to the Super Bowl last season and entered Sunday undefeated.
What a grand victory for Bills coach Sean McDermott. His team is in first place.
And the outcome had to taste especially sweet to Bills fans, accustomed to feeling shafted by bad breaks and bad calls over the 17-year drought.
Buffalo won a couple of reviews fans are used to losing, the first a 52-yard Tre'Davious White fumble return for a touchdown (the ball barely was jostled out of Matt Ryan's hand to overcome an incompletion ruling) and a fourth-quarter Micah Hyde interception (the ball scraped the turf, but officials ruled he had control) that led to a crucial field goal.
But there was reason for Bills fans to hold their breath the remainder of the game.
The Falcons got the ball back with 3:06 remaining and down by six points. They converted a fourth-and-4 play on their first set of downs and just kept marching.
With about 90 seconds to play, cornerback Leonard Johnson was flagged for defensive holding to negate a Cedric Thornton sack with about 90 seconds to play. Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was whistled for encroachment with 63 seconds left to put the ball at the 15-yard line.
On fourth-and-1 with 49 seconds to go, the NFL's reigning MVP overthrew Taylor Gabriel. White had some of Gabriel's jersey but wasn't penalized for defensive holding.
How about that?
Stephen Hauschka is a freaking weapon. He made field goals of 24 yards, 56 yards and 55 yards. He has made 11 straight attempts of 50 yards or longer, one short of the NFL record.
Hyde finished with a team-high seven tackles, one for a loss, and two interceptions for the first time in his career.
Bills tight end Charles Clay was the offense's MVP, catching five passes for 112 yards. Jordan Matthews scored his first Bills touchdown on a scrambly 9-yard Tyrod Taylor toss in the second quarter.
LeSean McCoy, scraping along the past couple games, kept the chains moving with 20 carries for 76 yards and three receptions for 32 yards.
The Bills visit the Cincinnati Bengals next week and then have their bye.
Story topics: Cedric Thornton/ Charles Clay/ Insta-Graham/ Jordan Matthews/ Leonard Johnson/ LeSean McCoy/ Matt Ryan/ Micah Hyde/ Sean McDermott/ Stephen Hauschka/ Taylor Gabriel/ Tre'davious White/ Tyrod Taylor