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Cleveland Browns Knock Off Buffalo Bills On Thursday Night Football

E J Manuel is attended to by trainers after being injured in the third quarter of the Bills loss to the Browns (Getty Images)

You have to admit that was a tough one to take.

The Bills appeared to be in control of their game in Cleveland Thursday night when the whole team seemed to get hurt. The Bills already went into the Browns game with running backs CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson hobbled with injuries, but they gutted it out. Then one by one, other players on the offense went down; Stevie Johnson, EJ Manuel, TJ Graham and their replacements just couldn’t fill the gap.

The Bills fell to the Browns 37-24 in a see-saw battle that exposed the Bills lack of capable back-ups. The most glaring loss for the Bills was Manuel, who went out with a knee injury in the third quarter and never returned. Undrafted Jeff Tuel came in to take over and had a rough night. Tuel finished only 8 of 20 for 80 yards passing. With the Bills trailing by six with under two minutes to play, a Tuel pass was intercepted and returned 44 yards to seal the Browns win.

Injuries and poor special teams contributed to the loss. Browns kick returner Travis Benjamin terrorized the Bills all night. His 79-yard return of a punt in the second quarter gave the Browns a 17-10 lead and dictated the Bills strategy on punt coverage the rest of the night. Benjamin set a Browns record for punt return yardage in a game.

So the Bills fall to 2-3 on the season and now have some big-time concerns before their next game, primarily the health of their starting quarterback because Tuel proved he can’t move the offense. They’re off until a week from Sunday when they host the Cincinnati Bengals.

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