ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -
Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and the Green Bay Packers may have watched home-field advantage in the playoffs slip through their fingers.
Rodgers was intercepted twice by third-string safety Bacarri Rambo and Nelson dropped a wide-open pass late in the third quarter in a sloppy, inefficient 21-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills yesterday.
"It wasn't my best day by any stretch of the imagination," Rodgers said. "I gotta play better for us to win. I expect more of myself."
Rodgers was 17-for-42 for 185 yards, and didn't get much help from his receivers, either. Trailing 16-10 and facing second-and-6 at his 6-yard line, Rodgers found Nelson in stride down the right sideline, but the normally sure-handed receiver dropped the ball with nothing but field in front of him.
"We had all sorts of chances and just didn't make them, for whatever reason," Nelson said. "My drop could've won the game for us, so I've gotta make those no matter how easy or hard they are."
The Packers (10-4) had a five-game win streak snapped and squandered a chance to get closer to their sixth straight playoff berth.
The Bills (8-6) stayed in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt. Marcus Thigpen scored on a 75-yard punt return, and Dan Carpenter hit all four field-goal tries.
Green Bay's Eddie Lacy scored on a 1-yard plunge, and Mason Crosby hit two field-goal attempts, and had a 53-yarder blocked by Mario Williams.
The game wasn't decided until the Packers' final possession, which ended with yet another turnover by Rodgers. On first-and-10 at his 10, Rodgers dropped back and had the ball knocked out of his hand by Mario Williams. The ball rolled into the end zone, and lay untouched before being scooped up by Lacy with 1:51 left. The play was whistled dead at that point, because only Rodgers was allowed to advance the ball with under 2 minutes left.
The turnovers were uncharacteristic for a quarterback who had thrown only three interceptions this season - and none since throwing two in a 44-23 loss at New Orleans on Oct. 26.
Green Bay was held to 333 yards offense - its lowest total since gaining 320 in a 42-10 win over Minnesota on Oct. 2. And the Bills held the Packers to 10 points on eight first-half possessions. They had scored six TDs and four field goals in their previous 10 first-half drives spanning the previous two games.
Green Bay travels to play Tampa Bay next weekend, before closing the regular season at home against NFC North rival Detroit.
"Everything's right in front of us. If we win out, we still win the North," Rodgers said. "This is an important time for us to see what kind of chemistry we have on this team."