Denver (3-7; 5-5 ATS) at Buffalo (7-3; 6-3-1 ATS)
Early line: Bills (minus-4.5 points). Total: (37)
DEN 25TH OFF; BUF 3RD DEF
DEN 16TH RUN; BUF 18TH vs. RUN
DEN 25TH PASS; BUF 3RD vs. PASS
DEN 27TH PTS; BUF 3RD PTS ALLOWED
BUF 19TH OFF; DEN 4TH DEF
BUF 8TH RUN; DEN 11TH vs. RUN
BUF 23RD PASS; DEN 5TH vs. PASS
BUF 20TH PTS; DEN 9TH PTS ALLOWED
DEN 20TH TO/TA; BUF T16TH TO-TA
Bills lead all-time series 21-16-1 and have won 3 of last 4 games vs. Broncos, including a 26-16 win at Buffalo in most recent game Sept. 24, 2017. Broncos are in a stretch of four road games in five weeks that began last week at Minnesota. They've lost their last two road games against the Bills in 2017 and 2011 and haven’t won in Buffalo since 2007.
BRONCOS got burned by an epic 2nd-half meltdown in 27-23 Week 11 road loss to the Vikings that was hardly surprising.
BRONCOS took a 20-0 lead into the locker room at Minneapolis after limiting the Vikings to just 14 yards rushing and 33 passing in the first half. Not only did Denver become the only one of 100 teams to lose after taking a lead of at last 20 points at the half over the last 5 seasons, but they were outscored 20-0 in the 4th quarter, despite a nearly 15-minute advantage in time of possession.
BRONCOS are getting famous for their fourth-quarter follies: They've lost a league-high four games after leading in the fourth quarter, and they have not scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter in six straight games.
BRONCOS kept that streak alive with three misfires from QB Brandon Allen (17-39-240-1 TD-1 INT-61.9 QB rating in Week 11) — and some clock mismanagement — from inside the Vikings' 5-yard line in the game’s final seconds, when grabbed jerseys and twisted facemasks didn't draw flags.
On the 19th play of the fruitless drive, Allen's last pass was too hard and blasted off rookie TE Noah Fant’s facemask before he could get his hands up as time expired. The BRONCOS converted three fourth downs on the drive.
"The only problem for Denver after these fourth-down conversions, there was some bad clock management," NBC analyst Tony Dungy said. "They wasted a lot of time and had to rush at the end." After Allen's scramble to the 4 with 27 seconds left, the BRONCOS milled around until Minnesota called timeout with 10 seconds left.
Joining the offense and coaching in the blame was both the BRONCOS’ defense and special teams. After limiting the Vikings to six punts and two fumbles in the first half, the Broncos allowed TDs on all four of Minnesota's drives after halftime, as they had no answer for the no-huddle.
BRONCOS PK Brandon McManus missed a 41-yard field goal, and three plays later the Vikings took the lead for good.
BRONCOS also got greedy at the end of the first half when they recovered a fumbled kickoff at the Minnesota 17 with a minute left in the half and promptly gave the ball back to the Vikings. Allen's misfire to Fant on the next play was intercepted, preventing the Broncos from taking a 4-score lead and providing an ominous end to their momentum.
"In hindsight, maybe we should have just ran it three times and got our three points and been happy," BRONCOS head coach Vic Fangio said. "But you would have roasted me if I did that. In hindsight, maybe that would have been a good thing."
Points have been precious for the BRONCOS for more than a year — they haven't scored more than 24 points in their last 19 games, the longest current streak in the NFL.
BRONCOS’ offense gained 394 total yards, while their defense limited Vikes to 321 total yards (only 18-37 rushing) and registered 5 sacks for 35 yards in losses and 2 takeaways (both FRs).
BRONCOS drove 90 yards for their first TD, a 3rd-and-goal throw to TE Troy Fumagalli for his first career score. They spiced up their play calling with repeated success, using a 38-yard reverse pass by Courtland Sutton to fellow WR Tim Patrick. Sutton kept the ball on 2 more end-around plays during that drive, including a 4th-and-1 run from the 7 to set up their 2nd TD.
Sutton led BRONCOS’ Week 11 receivers with 5-113 receiving on 9 targets and a long of 48. Patrick pitched in with 4-77 on 8 targets and a long of 38, and Fant finished with 4-60 on 11 targets with a long of 31.
RB Patrick Lindsay led BRONCOS’ 33-124 ground game with 16-67 rushing and a long of 11, while Denver’s defense limited Vikings RB Dalvin Cook, who entered game leading the league in rushing, to a mere 11-26-1 (2.4 ypc).
DE Shelby Harris had a huge game for BRONCOS, spearheading defense with 3 sacks, a FF, 2 TFLs and 5 tackles.
Check status of BRONCOS FB Andy Janovich, who left Week 11 game with an elbow injury after earlier bulling his way into the end zone on a 3rd-and-goal run from the 1 in the second quarter; TE Jeff Heuerman (knee; DNP in Week 11); and OT Ja’Wuan James (knee; DNP in Week 11).
Continuing to capitalize on a soft schedule, BILLS pummeled lowly Dolphins in 37-20 Week 11 road win with QB Josh Allen tying a career high with three touchdown passes and running for another score to help Buffalo complete a season sweep of Miami.
The victory gave the BILLS their best 10-game record since 1999, but through Week 10, Buffalo’s wins had come against opponents with a combined record of 12-44.
The BILLS netted a season-best 424 yards, and their point total was also a season high. “That was our best game,” said Bills WR John Brown, who caught two touchdown passes. “But we haven’t played our best game yet.”
Allen’s TD tosses covered 40 and 9 yards to Brown and 23 yards to BILLS TE Dawson Knox. Allen also scored on an 8-yard run, and he had a 36-yard run to set up a field goal. He had a season-high 56 yards rushing on 7 carries and has 7 total TD runs (4 in last 3 games).
Brown totaled 137 yards receiving, the most by a BILLS player in nearly three years, on nine catches (14 targets), and has gained at least 50 yards receiving in every game so far this season (817 yards total with 4 TDs; 14.6 ypc).
The BILLS scored on their first four possessions to take a 16-0 lead, and at that point they enjoyed a 211-24 advantage in total yards.
RB Devin Singletary led BILLS’ robust 34-168-1 ground game (4.9 ypc) with 15-75 rushing with a long of 22, and PK Stephen Hauschka connected on 3-of-3 FGs (51, 34, 21) in Week 11 win.
BILLS’ typically staunch defense limited Dolphins to 303 total yards, 4-of-14 3rd-down conversions and 1-of-4 4th-down conversions and registered 7 sacks for 43 yards in losses and one takeaway.
MLB Tremaine Edmunds led BILLS’ Week 11 defense with half a sack, 2 hurries, a PB and team-high 12 tackles. SLB Matt Milano added half a sack, 2 PBs and 7 tackles.
Check status of BILLS OT Ty Nsekhe, who was carted off the field in the third quarter in Week 11 game with a right-ankle injury; and S Siran Neal, who sat out the second half with a concussion.
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