Week 15 Preview: Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncosby Jacob Dunne December 18, 2020 0 comments
Week 15 brings football to Empower Field at Mile High to see the Buffalo Bills take on the Denver Broncos. The Broncos (5-8) are coming off an upset win against the Carolina Panthers while the Bills (10-3) are on a roll after securing their third win in a row after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.
Drew Lock had the best game of his career last week, throwing for 280 yards and a career-high four touchdowns versus zero interceptions. He also had career-highs in completion percentage (77.8 percent) and quarterback rating (149.5). Melvin Gordon had 91 scrimmage yards (68 rushing, 23 receiving). Rookie KJ Hamler had a career-high 86 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Diontae Spencer did his part on special teams with an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, the Broncos accumulated four sacks and three pass deflections.
If the Broncos want to pull off the upset at home, Lock will need to carry over that dominant offensive momentum into Week 15. If Lock can continue his success in the passing game, Gordon should have no problem finding lanes in the running game. The Broncos have been stellar against the pass this season, allowing just 220.7 yards per game (10th in NFL), but A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan‘s absence will make it difficult for the Broncos to stop Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley.
Josh Allen continued his MVP-type season, beating the 11-1 Pittsburgh Steelers at home. He threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns versus one interception. Diggs had 10 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown. It was his fourth game this season with 10-plus catches (most in NFL). Gabriel Davis also added a 13-yard touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Taron Johnson intercepted Ben Roethlisberger for a 51-yard touchdown and Matt Milano recorded the Bills’ only sack of the game.
If the Bills want to hold off the Broncos, the defense will need to get after Lock and force turnovers. The Bills’ defense ranks fourth in the NFL in takeaways per game (1.6) while Lock trails only Carson Wentz for most interceptions thrown in the NFL (13). With Pro Bowl cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Josh Norman manning the secondary, it’ll be up to Jerry Hughes and A.J. Klein to put pressure on Lock and stop the Broncos’ rushing attack.
Date: December 19, 2020
Start time: 2:30 p.m. MST
Location: Denver, CO
Stadium: Empower Field at Mile High
TV Info: NFLN
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: BUF +6.5 (-110) | DEN -6.5 (-110)
Moneyline: BUF -315 | DEN +240
Over/Under: O 49.5 (-110) | U 49.5 (-110)
The Broncos opened up as +5.5 point underdogs to start the week and increased to +6.5. The over/under opened at 48 but has gone up to 49.5. Allen and the Bills have been on a mission all season. It’s difficult to envision the Broncos pulling off an upset win against a Bills team that’s currently firing on all cylinders. Lock and this young Broncos offense are coming off a career-week, which bodes well for their offensive prospects this week. The Broncos have enough offensive firepower to match Buffalo score-for-score. Expect the Broncos to cover the 6.5-point spread at home.
Allen gets his first taste of the mile-high altitude and struggles in the first half. The Broncos hold the Bills to 10 points and take a 10-10 tie into halftime. Coming out of the break, Allen erupts for two consecutive scoring drives to give the Bills a 24-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Lock leads a 75-yard touchdown drive finding Tim Patrick over the middle for a 23-yard score. Justin Simmons picks off Allen with 2:17 remaining in the game, which leads to a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Gordon with 37 seconds to go. Allen finds Diggs on a 41-yard pass down the sidelines to get in field goal range. Tyler Bass hits a 51-yard field goal as time expires to win the game.
Final Score: Bills 27, Broncos 24