If there ever was a winnable game for a 3-7 team on the road against a 7-3 team, it would be this one. The Denver Broncos match up well against the Buffalo Bills, but they have consistently struggled to find ways to close out games in 2019.
That issue is why many of us here at Mile High Report are not confident Denver will come out with a win this week. Even though more of us predicted a Broncos loss here, those of us who see a win see a big win. That helped push us over the edge in these predictions with a collective Denver win of 18-17 over Buffalo.
Here is how we see things going down individually.
Broncos 26, Bills 13
I spent a good portion of my Friday stirring the pot with Bills fans on Twitter. In my view, there is no bigger fraud at 7-3 than these Buffalo Bills. All seven of their wins have been against the worst teams in the NFL and two of the three losses have come against teams with a .500 record or worse. In short, they have had the cupcake of all cupcakes of schedules in 2019.
Even so, Denver has proven they excel at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and that could easily happen again this week. By all accounts, they match up well enough with Buffalo’s strengths and weaknesses - it will just come down to execution and that is always a wild card with these 2019 Broncos. Even so, I like them here to win big and make a statement against a playoff pretender. - Tim Lynch
Bills 17, Broncos 10
The Broncos are fighting hard to remain competitive and then just as hard to find some way to screw things up and lose. Buffalo isn’t exactly what one would call a good team but they’re a team that wins and wins ugly. This game will likely be a brutal one to watch and I predict the Bills eek one out, 17-10. - Kevin Gillikin
Broncos 27, Bills 20
Fans talk about teams getting cupcake schedules, but if the Bills’ 2019 schedule to date had been any softer it would be more puddle than cupcake. With wins over the Jets, Giants, Bengals, the Mariota Titans, Dolphins (2x), and Redskins, Buffalo has been feasting on bottom feeders all year. They’ve played only 1 team that currently has a winning record & their three losses came against the three most talented teams they’ve faced. With the Broncos recently beating the Browns and giving the Vikings all they wanted, this is a rare situation where you could actually feel somewhat good about your 3-7 team traveling to face a 7-3 team.
I think the Broncos lean on their rushing attack and play action against a bad Bills rush defense, while trying to shield their weakness at corner as best they can. Allen is improving as a QB, but can he pick on that weakness like Cousins did? I think he falls just short. The Broncos finally break that 25 point barrier that’s been haunting them in a win. - Taylor Kothe
Bills 27, Broncos 17
Bills roll the Broncos 27-17. Lack of talent, lack of depth and a banged up offensive line will not help Brandon Allen, as he will take multiple sacks and give up one turnover. Improper play calling from Scangarello will not utilize rushing attack in Freeman and Lindsay. Scangarello will more than likely force feeds Fant again. Defensively the DEs must contain Allen. He will take lots of risks and there’s a high probability Simmons of CHJ gets an INT, but lack of halftime adjustments continue to plague offense. - Luke Patterson
Broncos 24, Bills 14
There’s a lot of “what ifs” at play in this game, which is going to make it tough to really feel out the match up from this far out. The biggest one for me is the health of the interior offensive line. If Connor McGovern, Dalton Risner, and/or Ron Leary can’t go it really changes the outlook for the offense because the depth behind them is so shaky with Elijah Wilkinson already playing tackle. If they do play, losing Andy Janovich won’t sting so much and there remains a good chance Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman get a lot of opportunities at the Bills second and third level run defenders.
Brandon Allen will need to be better at the “boring” stuff than he was against the Vikings. He did a really commendable job keeping drives alive and finding deep shots, and his play late in the game was every bit as good as anything we saw out of Joe Flacco. However, he was 3/10 in the red zone and missed two easy plays that could have led to points in the first half. The Bills’ pass defense isn’t anywhere near as scary as the Vikings, but they do have weapons with Jerry Hughes and Tre’Davious White.
Lastly, Davontae Harris and Duke Dawson are really going to be under the microscope. Vic Fangio’s doing all he can to hide them and the lack of pass rush beyond Von Miller, but if Josh Allen can escape trouble, they’ll need to hold up their end in coverage or things could get tight. All that said, I’m feeling really optimistic about this game. I think Vic Fangio throws a sink at Josh Allen and he embarrasses himself. - Joe Rowles
Bills 21, Broncos 13
Denver struggles traveling east, especially to Buffalo. The Bills defense will likely be a problem for Denver’s offense. As I mentioned to Ian on the MHR Radio Podcast, the Broncos will struggle because of the traveling, and playing an early game on the east coast. It won’t be a drubbing, but this isn’t a game that Denver wins when they are a good team. I don’t think a bad Broncos team can overcome those issues either. Hopefully, that will usher in the Drew Lock experiment next week. - Adam Malnati
Bills 16, Broncos 13
The Broncos aren’t as bad as their record indicates, and Buffalo isn’t as good. In terms of records, Denver is 16-20-1 all-time against the Bills, and 11-13 in Buffalo. Based on the records and how both teams play, this will be a close game that could go either way, but the Broncos aren’t able to overcome all the obstacles in from of them to leave Orchard Park with a victory. - Ian St. Clair