Both the Bills and Broncos featured a starting quarterback with the name Allen on the back of his jersey, but that’s pretty much where the similarities ended. Denver was 3-7 on the year, a lost season of a great defense aging and little offensive firepower. Buffalo was 7-3, with a young, strong defense and improving offensive play.
Bronco Brandon Allen was starting his third career game; his play seemed to pave the way for rookie Drew Lock to take over the reins in the coming weeks. Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen keeps honing his craft and is looking to be the best QB out of the 2018 class this side of Baltimore. Denver head coach Vic Fangio is an old-school former defensive coordinator who may well be overmatched in his first stint as the man in charge. Sean McDermott is one of the young guns in NFL coaching, looking to bring his team to the playoffs for the second time in three years.
The first half was a game of field position and defense. Buffalo kicker Stephen Hauschka nailed two field goal attempts from inside the 40. Both quarterbacks threw a first half pick. Both defenses showed stronger than offenses; most of the offense was on the ground, very few long passes were completed. Buffalo took control out of the break. Josh Allen hit Cole Beasley with an 18-yard laser strike for a score on the first possession. Denver did get on the board with 45-yard field goal. Punts ensured until Allen dropped a bomb to John Brown, who laid out for a 34-yard touchdown to close the scoring at 20-3.
How Devin Singletary and Frank Gore Buoyed the Offense, and Bills Odds Preview for Week 13.
The Bills’ ground game collected 244 yards against the Broncos’ defense. Allen scampered for 56 and Devin Singletary broke the century mark for the first time in his rookie season with 106 yards on 21 carries. Frank Gore muscled his way for 56 yards to supplant Hall of Famer Barry Sanders in third place on the NFL all-time rushing list, bringing his career total to 15,289. Allen was 15 of 25 for 185 yards through the air, with the two TDs and one pick for a rating of 92.9.
The Buffalo defense held the struggling Denver squad to 134 total yards, sacking Brandon Allen four times for 33 yards. Shaq Lawson had two of the sacks, and Tre’Davious White had the pick deep in Buffalo’s zone to keep the Broncos off the scoreboard.
Standing at 8-3, Buffalo is in line for a Wild Card spot, but the schedule is no longer the Bills’ friend. Of those eight wins, only one has come against a team with a winning record. Three of the next four are against division leaders, the Cowboys, Ravens, and Patriots. The Cowboys are battling the Eagles for the NFC East crown, a division neither seems to want to win; the Ravens and Patriots are the two best teams in the conference.
The Bills also face the Steelers, who are also in the Wild Card chase, and end the campaign with a currently resurgent New York Jets team. The Cowboys host the Bills on Thanksgiving Thursday and are a seven-point home favorite. The over/under is 44.5. The betting odds of a 2019 Buffalo Bills playoff spot are -550, and +350 to miss the playoffs.