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This Day in Bills History, Oct. 21: The 2012 season turns wrong way

Oct. 21, 2012 – The Bills had gotten off to a respectable start for the 2012 season. They had split their first six games and were coming off an exciting overtime win at Arizona. Having returned home for their seventh game, hopes were high about the future.

However, the Tennessee Titans had other ideas.

The Titans beat the Bills, 35-34, in an entertaining contest at Ralph Wilson Stadium. It was a back-and-forth contest, with plenty of big plays. Chris Johnston of Tennessee went 83 yards for a score, while Brad Smith returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown for Buffalo.

The Bills rallied in the third quarter to take the lead at 34-28. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw touchdown passes to Donald Jones and Stevie Johnson. But with 1:03 to play, Matt Hasselbeck found Nate Washington with a 15-yard scoring strike. Rob Bironas added the extra point, and that was the difference.

The Bills had a bye the next week, and then lost six of their next games on their way to a 6-10 season.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

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