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Bills' turnover-happy defense carries load vs. Packers

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- When Willis McGahee went down, London Fletcher and the Buffalo Bills defense stepped up.

The linebacker scored on a 17-yard interception return and keyed
a four-takeaway outing in Buffalo's 24-10 win over the Green Bay
Packers on Sunday.

It didn't matter to Fletcher that the Bills offense generated
just 90 yards and four first downs through three quarters, or that
Buffalo was minus its most potent threat, McGahee. The running back
hurt his ribs 4 minutes in and didn't return.

"We put an emphasis on not worrying about what happens on the
other side of the ball," said Fletcher, who finished with a
team-high 14 tackles and broke up five pass attempts. "We knew if
we didn't allow them to score, our offense would be able to do
something."

The offense did just enough in ending a three-game losing streak
and helping the Bills improve to 3-5. Not that the final outcome
was reflected on the stat sheet, which weighed heavily in Green
Bay's favor.

The Packers out-gained the Bills 427 yards offense to 184. Green
Bay had 26 first downs to Buffalo's 11, and controlled the ball for
nearly 9 more minutes.

Brett Favre finished 28-of-47 for 287 yards passing, while
Buffalo's J.P. Losman was a modest 8-of-15 for 102 yards.

The difference? Turnovers.

Buffalo didn't commit one, a switch after Losman had committed
eight, including five interceptions, in his previous three starts.
Green Bay's four turnovers were one more than it had committed in
its previous three games.

Green Bay (3-5) lost in its attempt to win three straight for
the first time in two years and dropped to 0-5 all-time at Buffalo.

"This is a hard one because this was a football game we had the
opportunity to win," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's
getting too late in the year to let those type of opportunities
slip away. ... It stings, yes."

The game was decided after Losman put the Bills ahead 17-10,
hitting Lee Evans for a 43-yard touchdown pass with 8 minutes left.

Favre marched the Packers 60 yards to the Bills 1, only to have
the drive end when rookie safety Ko Simpson intercepted his pass 3
yards deep in the end zone.

Favre attempted to catch the Bills off guard with a quick snap,
but cornerback Nate Clements was ready, getting his hand in to tip
the pass intended for Donald Driver. The ball deflected to Simpson,
who ran it back 76 yards to set up Anthony Thomas' 14-yard
touchdown run.

"We were going to try to put it on our backs," Simpson said.
"With our offense not moving the ball, we just said, 'We got to
make a play.'"

That doesn't explain why the Packers, led by Ahman Green's 122
yards rushing, were thinking pass with the game-tying score on the
line. And it was reserve running back Noah Herron, after all, who
got the Packers to the 1 with a strong 10-yard run.

"We had the look we wanted," Favre said. "When Mike called
the play, at worst, it falls incomplete. Had it worked, it's a
great call."

The Packers did score their lone touchdown on a similar play,
when Favre hit Driver on a 1-yard slant.

Green Bay squandered another scoring chance in the final seconds
of the first half when, facing first-and-goal from the 5, center
Scott Wells' hard snap hit Favre in the face mask and Bills
defensive end Aaron Schobel recovered.

For Losman, it was the first time in 16 career starts that he's
won a game when tied or trailing in the fourth quarter.

Buffalo's win came at a price. McGahee did not return, hurt when
defensive tackle Colin Cole stuffed him for a 3-yard loss. Cole and
fellow lineman Ryan Pickett then landed on McGahee while he was
down.

Bills reserve receiver Josh Reed also did not return after
sustaining a bruised kidney early in the second half. Coach Dick
Jauron wouldn't detail the extent of the two players' injuries or
how much time they might miss.

Thomas filled in for McGahee and finished with 95 yards rushing,
including 56 in the fourth quarter.

Packers defensive tackle Corey Williams had a career-high three
sacks, while Aaron Kampman had one, to give him 9½ for the season.

"We shot ourselves in the foot all game," said Packers
cornerback Al Harris, who was burned on Evans' score. "It hurts
when you go out there and it was a game we should have won."

Game notes
Buffalo's 184 yards offense were the fewest allowed by the
Packers since a 10-0 win over the Bills at Green Bay on Dec. 22,
2002. ... Wells botched two snaps, both leading to fumbles. ...
Favre had not thrown an interception in 111 attempts before being
picked off by Fletcher. ... Bills PK Rian Lindell hit a 28-yard
field goal while Packers PK Dave Rayner hit a 49-yarder.