ATLANTA, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Jay Feely kicked a 52-yard field goal as time ran out Sunday and veteran Chris Chandler, shaking off a case of the flu, threw for a franchise-record 429 yards and two touchdowns to give the Atlanta Falcons to a 33-30 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Feely's fourth field goal of the day kept alive Atlanta's faint hopes of claiming a wild card playoff berth.
"It will make for a great Christmas," Feely said. "Today is also my daughter's first birthday, so this will make a great present for her."
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Falcons (7-7), who finished just 3-5 at the Georgia Dome this season and trail Tampa Bay by one game for the third and final NFC wild card berth. The New York Giants and New Orleans Saints are also 7-7.
The Bills trailed by 10 early in the final period, but tied it at 30-30 with 48 seconds remaining on a four-yard pass from Alex Van Pelt to Peerless Price to cap an 82-yard march.
But Atlanta got a kickoff return to its own 43 and Chandler needed four plays to move the Falcons to the Bills' 34 - setting up Feely's game-winning field goal.
"(Holder) Chris (Mohr) tells me the same thing every time," Feely said. "He says 'just keep your head down and follow through.' If I do that, I know will make the kick. I felt I hit it well. It's like a golf shot. Thank God it was right down the middle of the fairway."
"Jay's got a very strong leg. I thought he had a good shot at it," Chandler said. "I've seen him go 55-plus. I felt confident in him."
Chandler brought the Falcons back from a 20-16 deficit, throwing a 63-yard touchdown pass to Tony Martin in the closing minute of the third quarter and a 49-yard score to tight end Alge Crumpler with just over three minutes gone in the fourth quarter.
Chandler, who completed 28 of 40 passes for two touchdowns with two interceptions, eclipsed the club record of 416 yards by Steve Bartkowski on Nov. 15, 1981 against Pittsburgh. It was the second best performance in the NFL this season, behind Charlie Batch's 436-yard game for Detroit against Arizona on Nov. 18.
"Friday around dinner time and all day Saturday I had chills and aches," Chandler said. "I felt better this morning. I had just aches. In a way, I thought it helped me to concentrate."
"He (Chandler) said he wasn't feeling good, but that he felt well enough to do the things that needed to be done to win," Falcons coach Dan Reeves said.
"At the coin toss, Chandler looked a little pale," Bills defensive end Phil Hansen said. "I looked at him, we know each other and he said 'hey man, I'm sick, take it easy on me.'
"I laughed and then told the whole defense to get after Chandler, he's sick. Then he turns around and sets a team record for yards. I'll have to remember that the next time."
Atlanta (7-7) took a 7-0 lead midway the opening quarter when Maurice Smith went in from a yard out on the first play after Chandler had hit Brian Finneran on a 36-yard pass. The Bills (2-12) tied it six minutes later when Shawn Bryson, gaining 130 yards rushing while playing in place of the injured Travis Henry, scored on a 15-yard run.
The Falcons regained the lead, at 10-7, wih 2:18 left in the first period on a 35-yard Feely field goal, but the Bills went in front midway through the second quarter when linebacker Brandon Spoon picked off a Chandler pass and returned it seven yards for a score.
Feely cut the Atlanta deficit to 14-13 with a 32-yard field goal with 2:28 left in the half and the Falcons appeared set to retake the lead before Chandler was intercepted in the Bills' end zone by Nate Clements with 30 seconds remaining before the break.
Feely then put Atlanta ahead, 16-14, with a 43-yard field goal with 6:04 left in the third quarter, but Bryson erupted for a 68-yard scoring run on the Bills' next play from scrimmage.
Van Pelt completed 17 of 31 passes for 208 yards.