The Broncos win a wild one!
It was a rollercoaster from the first snap to the final snap but in the end, they came away with the win after a Wil Lutz game-winning field goal gave them the 24-22 victory. This game was a sloppy one for both sides so coming away with winners and losers for this one will be tough because a player could fit both categories. However, the Broncos came away with a victory, their third straight, and the second one in a row against an AFC favorite so I will lean positive.
QB Russell Wilson
It wasn’t a pretty one for Russell Wilson, but he threw for two touchdown passes and led the offense down the field for two late-game drives, including the final drive that set up the game-winning field goal.
He finished the game 24/29 for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns. Again, it wasn’t the prettiest game ever played by Russ, but he did enough to get the Broncos the win and that is all that matters at the end of the day.
Right now, he is on pace for a season finishing with over 3,000 yards passing, 30+ touchdown passes, and under 10 interceptions. If you had told me before the season started that he would be on pace for that at midseason, I would have been ecstatic.
RB Javonte Williams
It was not the most efficient night for Javonte, but he was a focal part of the offense their success in this one. Altogether, he had 25 touches for 110 yards from scrimmage and 1 touchdown. 79 of those yards came on the ground against a stacked Buffalo Bills defense while he added 4 receptions for 31 yards as well.
He finished with just 3.8 yards per carry, but he was the Broncos bell cow back tonight and he ran tough and found the end zone once again.
WR Courtland Sutton
Another week, another Courtland Sutton touchdown reception. This week, he came down with a beautiful touchdown catch on the sideline after Russell Wilson tossed one up and he tip-toed and was able to stay in bounds.
He is now up to 7 touchdown receptions this season and is on pace for nearly 15 if he keeps up this pace.
Russell Wilson throws one up and Courtland Sutton comes down with an unbelievable catch on 4th down for a TOUCHDOWN pic.twitter.com/vW2yR6mcY3— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 14, 2023
He did have a fumble later in the game that eventually led to a Bills touchdown but if Wilson threw a better ball, he would have had an easy first down and likely avoided the fumble. So, I am overlooking that costly play and focusing on the big touchdown catch.
Sutton led the team in targets (11) and receptions (8) as well as yards with 53. Many thought Jerry Jeudy would be the Broncos number-one receiver this season but Sutton has cemented himself in that role this season.
For the second straight week, the Broncos' secondary made multiple big plays and caused multiple turnovers. In the prior game, it was against Patrick Mahomes and in this one, it was against Josh Allen. Two of the best quarterbacks in the league, so they are balling out right now.
Broncos start the game off with a Ja'Quan McMillion strip!pic.twitter.com/rrLdI4N2Mr— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 14, 2023
Slot corner Ja’Quan McMillian (or McMillion according to Joe Buck) started the game off with a forced fumble on the very first play. This set the tone for the game and gave the Broncos an early 3-0 lead over the Bills on the road.
Later in the game, safety Justin Simmons hauled in an interception off a deflection and veteran Fabian Moreau jumped a route to get an interception before the end of the first half.
At the end of the day, they caused three of the four turnovers in this game (the other being the Josh Allen fumble on the handoff attempt) and held Allen to under 200 yards passing. He finished the game with 177 yards passing and a quarterback rating of 59.3. So, they played pretty well and held one of the best quarterbacks in the league in check.
KR/PR Marvin Mims Jr.
The Broncos explosive rookie did not do much on offense but his impact was felt in the return game. He set the Broncos up in good field position multiple times after solid punt and kick returns.
He returned one kick return for 31 yards while also having 2 punt returns for 44 yards which included a long of 27 yards. In a game where field position mattered, he ended up being a key part of the Broncos victory over the Bills.
Even though the Broncos won, head coach Sean Payton is going to be pissed about the Broncos sloppy play. They have had issues with penalties throughout the year and their undisciplined play struck once again in this one.
They had 10 total penalties for 61 yards in this one with most of them coming on the offensive side of the ball. Multiple false starts, holding calls, and ineligible man down field calls set the Broncos offense back. With their struggles to pick up chunk yards completely, these penalties are backbreakers for this team.
If they want to have continued success moving forward, they will need to clean this area of their game up and I know Payton will be putting an emphasis on moving forward.
Broncos kicking unit
Even though kicker Wil Lutz finished the game 4-4 on field goals, including a game-winner, the kicking unit makes the losers list.
They had two missed extra points which nearly came back to bite them in the end. One was a missed kick by Lutz and the other a bobbled hold by the holder Riley Dixon. Then, on the game-winning field goal attempt, Lutz missed his first attempt but was bailed out by a 12-man in the huddle penalty by the Bills. He would go on to kick the game-winner right down the middle but if the Bills had 11 men on the field, the atmosphere, feeling, and mood of Broncos Country would be VERY different right now.
They need to clean this up and avoid these costly mistakes moving forward. Outside of the opener, the field goal and extra point game have been flawless, but tonight, not so much.
One final note. Punter Riley Dixon was booming punts in this one, but he needs to work on his coffin punt skills in Madden. He was kicking punts out of the back of the Bills end zone leading to a touchback.
Thank god the Bills stopped handing the ball off at times because the Broncos defense did not have an answer. James Cook averaged 9.1 yards per carry and finished with 109 rushing yards. Meanwhile, veteran Latavius Murray averaged 6.8 yards per carry and finished the game with 7.6 yards per carry. Altogether, the Bills had 192 rushing yards in this game and averaged 7.4 yards per carry as a team.
That is not good.
The Broncos' run defense has been an issue at times this season but has been better lately. However, the Bills run at will in this one and this is something they need to fix moving forward.
Broncos Pass Rush
Josh Allen is a tough quarterback to sack, but the Broncos pass rush had issues getting after him consistently in this one and finished the game with 0 sacks.
We saw them get after Patrick Mahomes consistently the game prior so I was hopeful we would see a repeat performance in this one. They did come close at times, but overall, they were not having much success in that area.