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McCoy scores to seal Bills’ 13-7 OT win over Colts

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — LeSean McCoy scored on a 21-yard run with 1:33 left in overtime to secure the Buffalo Bills’ 13-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in a wintry, white-out setting best suited for snow shoes and sled dogs.

Mush!

McCoy finished with 156 yards rushing and topped the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth time in his career on a slick, snow-covered field.

The Bills’ sideline erupted after McCoy’s touchdown, with numerous players running on to the field to either make snow angels or engage in celebratory snowball fights.

Road to Super Bowl LII: Stream, start time, highlights and more

Buffalo (7-6) stayed alive in the AFC playoff picture, while the Colts (3-10) were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The game began in nearly white-out conditions with a major lake-effect storm blowing in off nearby Lake Erie. The snow fell so hard a half-hour before kickoff it was nearly impossible to see New Era Field’s west-end scoreboard from the east-end stands.

McCoy’s touchdown came on Buffalo’s second possession of overtime. Facing third-and-2, McCoy found a crease up the middle and had enough footing to cut to his left and scamper into the end zone untouched.

It was a topsy-turvy game played in a snow-globe setting , with a regular parade of work crews taking the field with snow blowers on their backs to clear the yard lines.

Early in the third quarter, fans were even treated to a rare metrological event of “thunder snow,” as lightning flashed over the stadium. The game was not stopped.

So much snow accumulated on the roof of the first-level suites that fans began building snowmen.

Colts receiver Chester Rogers disappeared into a snowbank in the end zone after being unable to stop on a deep pass from Jacoby Brissett. Rogers made the catch, but couldn’t keep both feet inbounds.

Injuries became an issue for Buffalo, with rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman leaving in the third quarter to be evaluated for a head injury. Peterman was starting in place of Tyrod Taylor, who was sidelined by a bruised left knee.

Joe Webb finished the game.

The Bills scored first on Peterman’s 8-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin in the final minute of the second quarter.

And it took the Colts nearly 59 total minutes to find the end zone before Brissett capped a 19-play, 77 yard drive by hitting tight end Jack Doyle for a 3-yard touchdown with 1:16 left. The Colts went for the win and Brissett faked a handoff to Marlon Mack, then hit a wide-open Doyle for the 2-point conversion. The play was negated by an offensive pass interference penalty against receiver Kamar Aiken.

That led to the Colts scrambling to settle for a 43-yard point-after attempt into the wind. Indianapolis used its final timeout for players to clear a spot for Adam Vinatieri. The NFL’s oldest layer hit a 43-yard wobbler that hooked in from the right and just sneaked over the crossbar.

Vinatieri, however, missed a field-goal wide left from the exact same spot with 1 second remaining after the Colts regained possession when Matthias Farley intercepted Webb’s pass over the middle with 52 seconds left.

GORE MILESTONES

Gore finished with a career-high 36 carries for 130 yards. It was his first 100-yard game in 15 outings, since gaining 101 yards in a 34-6 win at Miami on Dec. 12. It was also Gore’s 42nd career 100-yard game, tying him with O.J. Simpson for 16th on the NFL list.

The 97 combined rushing attempts were the most in an NFL game since the Chiefs and Bears combined for 100 attempts in Week 10 of the 1981 season.

NO PASSING

The Colts ran the ball 17 straight times before Brissett attempted his first pass, a short completion to Marlon Mack, who turned it into an 11-yard gain with 6:13 left in the second quarter.

The Colts didn’t attempt a pass in the first quarter, becoming the first NFL team to do so since the Panthers against Tampa Bay in Week 5 of last season. The last time the Colts failed to attempt a pass in one quarter was in a 27-13 win against Tennessee on Dec. 18, 2011.

That victory was their first of the season to end a 0-13 start.

UP NEXT

Colts: Host Denver Broncos on Thursday night.

Bills: Close out home schedule hosting Miami Dolphins on Dec. 17.

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Bills Ryan says standing for anthem pays respect to military

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan believes standing for the national anthem is a way for NFL players and coaches to show respect and give thanks to members of the armed forces.

“You’ve got to look at the gifts that we have, the opportunity that we have to play a great game is through the men and women that serve our country,” Ryan said before practice on Sunday. “And I think that’s an opportunity right there just to show respect.”

He was asked his opinion a day after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he is refusing to stand for the anthem because he believes the United States oppresses African Americans and other minorities.

Without specifically mentioning Kaepernick, Ryan said he can appreciate how some players have personal or religious beliefs that lead them to not stand for the anthem.

“Any time when I talk to our team about that, if there’s personal beliefs or whatever that keeps you from doing it, then I understand,” he said.

However, Ryan added, he encourages his players to stand for the anthem, and to do so as a team in a straight line along the sideline.

“That’s kind of our way of giving thanks,” Ryan said. “It’s an important thing for me.”

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Bills owner credits Kathryn Smith for earning her promotion

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BUFFALO, N.Y. —¬†Buffalo Bills co-owner Kim Pegula congratulated Kathryn Smith for becoming the NFL’s first full-time female assistant coach by saying she earned the promotion.

“Kathryn has been a part of Rex (Ryan’s) staff for the past seven years and has proven that she does excellent work,” Pegula said in a statement released to The Associated Press on Thursday. “While we understand the significance of this announcement, it’s important to understand that Kathryn earned this position because she has shown she is qualified, dedicated and puts in the work needed for this role.”

Pegula issued the statement a day after the Bills broke the league’s gender barrier by promoting Smith to be their special teams quality control coach.

“The Bills organization is proud of Kathryn and her promotion,” Pegula added. “We look forward to the contributions she will make to our organization in her new role.”

The move has generated a tremendous amount of buzz and attention.

Chelsea Clinton took notice by posting a note on her Twitter account. The daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton wrote “(hash)NoCeilings” in posting a link to a story about Smith’s promotion.

Smith’s appointment comes after Jen Welter served a six-week training camp internship last summer coaching inside linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals.

Smith is well-known within the Bills staff after spending this season as an administrative assistant for the team’s assistant coaches. She spent the past seven years working alongside Ryan.

She was the New York Jets player personnel assistant when Ryan took over as coach in 2009. Smith then served as Ryan’s assistant in 2014, his final year in New York before he was fired and then hired by the Bills.

“She certainly deserves this promotion based on her knowledge and strong commitment, just to name a couple of her outstanding qualities,” Ryan said in a statement released by the team. “She has proven that she’s ready for the next step.”

The 30-year-old Smith grew up outside of Syracuse, New York, and was a three-sport athlete at Christian Brothers Academy, where she was on the swimming, bowling and field hockey teams. She also spent time assisting her father Robert in serving as the school football team’s statistician.

Smith then attended St. John’s University, where she studied sports management and also worked as a men’s basketball team manager.

While at St. John’s, she landed internships with the New York Jets, first in a game-day/special events position and then a role in college scouting.

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