Denver Broncos’ Winners and Losers from Loss to Buffalo Bills


The Denver Broncos walked into Buffalo and played a complete dud of a game on both sides of the ball. As a result, they left Buffalo with a big loss to the tune of a 20-3 drubbing where the score didn’t represent the level of domination that took place.

The defense couldn’t get themselves off of the field with stops, and the offense couldn’t stay on the field, resulting in a lopsided time of possession statistic, a lopsided score, and hopefully a lot of difficult questions being posed to the coaching staff. The defense gave up 244 yards on the ground after being dominant last month against the run. This figure is semi-inflated because of Josh Allen’s 56-yards rushing, most of which came on passing plays he was able to extend.

The defense couldn’t figure out how to handle Cole Beasley and the shallow crossing routes, and routinely got burned by the speedster over the middle of the field. John Brown was kept in check for the entire game by Chris Harris, Jr., until a big 34-yard touchdown pass sailed over Harris’s head on the slant-and-go double move that left the Broncos’ star cornerback in the dust.


The Buffalo rushing trio of Frank Gore, Devin Singletary, and Josh Allen were able to keep Denver’s defense on the field by picking up first downs and extending drives, while also holding a 5.2 yards per carry average, which is unacceptable for a defense, especially with 47 rushing attempts against.

The offense scored three points, had a turnover in the red zone, was 3-for-11 on third downs, gave up four sacks for negative 33 yards, and seven of their ten possessions resulted in a three-and-out. Those numbers should have people questioning if the quarterback, offensive coordinator, and offensive line need some changes.


Drew Lock is waiting in the wings ready to make his NFL debut after sitting quietly for the first two months of the season. Ja’waun James needs to get healthy and play some right tackle for this team this season. At this point, shifting Dalton Risner to left tackle, where he played abundantly in college, should be considered. Garrett Bolles has proven over and over again that he’s not the man for the most important position along the offensive line.

It’s really difficult to find positives in games like these, but the following are the Winners and Losers from this game.


Von Miller had his second game in a row with a sack, adding another quarterback to his famous list. He also made a few good tackles in the run game, including a tackle for loss.

Jeremiah Attaochu was claimed off waivers and played quite a few snaps as a new guy, making multiple plays in the backfield.


Justin Simmons got back on track after a down game last week, managing the easiest interception of his career after Josh Allen seemingly threw the ball directly to him after overthrowing his receiver over the middle. He had eight tackles and another pass deflected, as well.

The Broncos’ rushing game. It’s a bit confusing why the Broncos didn’t continue to challenge the Bills’ rushing defense, as they were running the ball extremely well with a five-yard-per-carry average. The team only had 17 attempts for 85 yards, with Phillip Lindsay getting majority of those carries (13). The analysts continually mentioned that the weather had a big impact on throwing the football, but the Broncos kept trying.

Brandon Allen’s terrible day opened the door wide for Drew Lock to play in the coming weeks. Allen is now 1-2 as a starter with a good win over Cleveland and two ugly losses to the Vikings and Bills. He’s not the quarterback of the future, and it’s time to see if Lock can be that guy.


Denver’s run defense allowed 244 yards rushing with a 5.2 YPC average. That’s not good enough to win any game.

Denver’s pass rush managed one sack on 30 Josh Allen dropbacks. Film study all week needed to be about containing Allen and not allowing him chances to make plays outside the pocket. However, they routinely broke contain and couldn’t bring Josh Allen down, allowing him to extend plays with his legs.

Brandon Allen was 10 of 25 for 82 yards, a 3.28 YPA average, an interception in the red zone on a bad pass, multiple passes entirely under or overthrown by large margins, four sacks for negative 33 yards, and a 32.4 QBR. His stat line speaks for itself, as the wind clearly impacted his ability to be effective.

Garrett Bolles leads the NFL in penalties with 13, but he has been fortunate with only four of those being accepted. He has now been the starting left tackle for the Broncos for nearly three years and it’s time to move on. The Garrett Bolles Project needs to be over. Try Dalton Risner at left tackle or draft one in the first round. He’s unreliable, undisciplined, and isn’t improving. He has strings of games where he looks like the player they wanted but then regresses so quickly.

I wouldn’t be mad if the Broncos drafted a punter this coming draft after how bad Colby Wadman has been. He had eight punts for a 44.4-yard average, which isn’t terrible, but he also punted once for 13 yards which resulted in a touchdown two plays later. He routinely doesn’t get enough air under his punts, giving the returners opportunities to get big returns, and his ability to pin opponents inside their 10-20 yard line is worse than middling.

Game Notes:

– Frank Gore moved into third on the all-time leaders in rushing yards list, passing Barry Sanders.

– Denver had the fewest total yards of the season in Buffalo.

– Buffalo took a two-game lead for the Wild Card spot in the playoffs and moved to two games behind New England for the division lead.

– Buffalo running back Devin Singletary had his first-ever 100-yard game.

– Von Miller sacked the 51st quarterback of his career.

Up next, the Broncos play the Los Angles Chargers in Denver. Denver beat the Chargers in L.A. in Week 5, and they have a chance to sweep a division-rival for the first time in a few years.


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