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Broncos dared Taylor to beat them in the air - so he did

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So was it a crafty Bills team that won - or did a sloppy Broncos team just lose?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Did the Bills beat the Broncos or did the Broncos beat themselves?

That’s the question Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of The Afternoon Drive posed to linebacker Todd Davis today.

“I think we beat ourselves,” he said. “We had a lot of mental errors and dumb penalties that put us in bad situations. ...There were a lot of self-inflicted wounds yesterday.”

Davis is not wrong about the errors.

Broncos had 10 penalties for 79 yards, including Von Miller’s unsportsmanlike conduct call that kept a fourth-quarter drive alive for the Bills and allowed them to eat the clock and put more points on the board.

The Broncos also had two turnovers that gave the Bills excellent field position and more importantly took away potential scoring opportunities for a team needing to play catch up much of the game.

Finally, in the bonehead call of the year (so far), the Broncos decided to try a fake punt.

On 4th-and-2.

From their own 31.

But let’s be clear about who beat whom in this game.

The Bills beat the Broncos.

The Bills had the better game plan. The Bills had the better execution. The Bills forced the mistakes. And, well, the Bills got two breaks on terrible ref calls agains the Broncos (I’ll let you pick which two).

But the Bills were the better team and that was the problem.

“They beat us,” head coach Vance Joseph said Monday back in Denver. “They beat us in the critical errors, what we’ve talked about. Red zone, third downs, and not turning the ball over - they didn’t do those thing and we did. They won the football game fair and square.”

The defense - which did stop the run and essentially shut down LeSean McCoy all day with only 21 yards - gave up pass play after pass play while Miller and Davis chased quarterback Tyrod Taylor all over the field while he looked for - and usually found - an open receiver.

“They definitely threw some things at us that we didn’t see and weren’t ready for,” Davis said. “They brought their A-game.”

Correction, the Bills brought their A+ game and the Broncos didn’t do their homework.

“It was Tyrod Taylor being very on his game, and because of the rollout situation...when you get seven, eight, nine seconds to throw, anyone can get free,” Shapiro said.

And get free they did. Bills wide receivers flew quite a bit in the secondary’s restricted air space.

“It becomes a fire drill back there; guys are all over the place,” Shapiro added. “It’s tough to keep an eye on everybody.”

Davis commended Taylor’s 20-of-26 completion rate and noted the defense just couldn’t contain Buffalo’s mobile QB.

“That was our goal - stop the run and make him beat us in the air,” Davis said. “And he kind of did it yesterday, so hats off to him.”

Yeah. He “kind of did.”


For a chicken-and-the-egg kind of question - did Bills beat the Broncos or Broncos beat themselves?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Broncos definitely beat themselves - turnovers, penalties, red zone issues...
    (103 votes)
  • 53%
    Bills flat out put the smackdown on the Broncos.
    (365 votes)
  • 31%
    A loss is a loss is a loss. Beat the Raiders.
    (220 votes)
688 votes total Vote Now