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Broncos vs Bills preview: Can Denver circle the wagons and get the upset?

The task in front of the Broncos on Saturday is a steep one. Denver will have to play its best game of the season if it wants to have a chance to come away with the win.

The road back to relevancy has more resembled of a roller coaster.

The last four years for the Denver Broncos have left just about everyone dizzy and nauseous.

This Saturday is a chance for the Broncos (5-8) to flush some of those sentiments out of our system. A Denver win over the Buffalo Bills (10-3), while not making it all better, would definitely offer up a bit of hope and joy heading into Christmas. It’s not an easy ask, to say the least.

Can Drew Lock and the Broncos unlock an offensive sequel against Buffalo on Sunday? On the MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I have Josh Allen and the Bills as the class of the AFC, along with the Kansas City Chiefs. For Denver to have a chance on Saturday, it needs to play as it did against the Carolina Panthers, and even better.

Can the Broncos do it? We’re about to find out.

Offensive Rankings

Buffalo: Tenth in overall offense (375.4 yards per game), 22nd in rushing (102.5), third in passing (272.8), ninth in scoring offense (27.6 points per game).

Denver: Twenty-fifth in overall offense (328.6 yards per game), 13th in rushing (117.2), 27th in passing (211.5), 29th in scoring offense (19.8 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Buffalo: Twentieth in overall defense (363.8 yards per game), 19th in rushing defense (119.9), 19th in passing defense (243.9), 15th in scoring defense (24.7 points per game).

Denver: Sixteenth in overall in defense (351.7 yards per game), 27th in rushing defense (131.0), tenth in passing defense (220.7), 23rd in scoring defense (26.7 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Saturday’s game.

Win the turnover battle

For Lock and the Broncos to have a chance, they cannot turn the ball over. On the flip side, Denver’s defense needs to find a way to create a few turnovers to give the offense some extra possessions because it needs it. The task in front of the Broncos is a difficult one, winning the turnover battle gives them a puncher’s chance. — Ian St. Clair

Two-point conversions

Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Lock needs to carry the day

Lock has to carry the day because Allen is probably going to shred Denver’s defense. The good news is Buffalo has some issues defending the run, so the offense could feasibly put together another complete game. — Joe Rowles

Lock down Stefon Diggs

Diggs was the first receiver in the NFL to break 100 catches on the year, ranks third in total yards, and has been Allen’s top target this year. The Broncos will need to allocate additional attention in the secondary to slowing him down. With the cornerback group being thin, this will be a tall task, but will go a long way towards keeping the lid on the Bills offense. — Jeff Essary

Strong rushing game

The win over the Panthers included a lot of balance between running and passing. Denver needs to keep the defense off balance by being effective in both aspects of offense, so let’s get Melvin Gordon or Phillip Lindsay (or both) rolling from the outset. — Taylor Kothe

Contain Allen

The defensive line and linebackers have to contain Allen. He’s dangerous on the run, because he is a threat to run and pass; especially as he moves to his right. If the Broncos want to stop the Bills offense, it is going to be necessary to take away that aspect of the game. With the secondary consisting of third- and fourth-stringers at this point, the guys up front are going to have to create havoc in the backfield. — Adam Malnati

What are your keys to Saturday’s game?