ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — The Bills committed four turnovers in an ugly Monday night game against the Broncos. But they found themselves with a chance to win late. For all intents and purposes, they did win.
However, a penalty on the Bills allowed the Broncos a do-over on their game-winning field goal. A miss was turned into a make and the Bills lost 24-22, dropping them to .500 on the season.
With 24 seconds remaining and no timeouts left, the Broncos were down 22-21. They were in field goal position thanks to a Taron Johnson pass interference penalty on third and ten. Johnson did not look back at the ball and ran into Jerry Jeudy on a Russell Wilson underthrow.
Wilson kneeled on the ball and the Broncos’ field goal unit ran onto the field, hoping to kick the game-winning field goal with no time remaining. However, the field goal went wide right and it seemed as if the Bills had won.
But there were 12 men on the field for the Bills, giving Wil Lutz another try at the win. He did not miss the second time around, completing an embarrassing finish for Sean McDermott’s football team.
“We practiced two or three times that this week, the substitution from dime [defense] to field goal block,” said McDermott. “At the end of the day, we didn’t execute it. It’s inexcusable.”
“It sucks,” said Allen. “We shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. It’s a lot of bad football. A lot of bad football.”
The Bills turned the ball over three times in the first half alone. James Cook fumbled on the first play from scrimmage when Ja’Quan McMillian stripped the ball from him and recovered the fumble. Cook did not play on the next three drives.
On the Bills’ second drive, Gabe Davis dropped a would-be first down which went right to Justin Simmons for an interception. Allen threw another interception on the final drive of the first half, getting picked off by Fabian Moreau.
“It wasn’t good enough. You can’t turn the ball over period, let alone four times,” said McDermott.
Despite the offense’s woes, the Bills’ defense did a good job of weathering the storm in the first half. They allowed three field goals and one touchdown, a fourth-down conversion from Russell Wilson to Courtland Sutton who made a phenomenal toe-dragging catch at the side of the end zone.
The Bills had one scoring drive in the first half when Dalton Kincaid was wide-open for a 22-yard touchdown. They would go for and convert the two-point conversion. The Broncos led 15-8 at the half.
It was the Broncos who committed the first turnover of the second half, as Johnson forced a fumble which Rasul Douglas recovered. The Bills turned that into a touchdown, with Latavius Murray scoring to tie the game up at 15.
The Bills would stumble once again at the end of the third quarter, with Allen and Cook fumbling the exchange and giving the ball to the Broncos for the fourth time. The Broncos would not be able to capitalize and had to punt.
The Bills were forced to punt as well, and Marvin Mims returned the punt to midfield. Javonte Williams finished off the scoring play with a three-yard touchdown, but the PAT was aborted because of a bad hold to make it 21-15.
Cook nearly fumbled once again on the ensuing drive, but the ball hit the turf and bounced right back up into his hands which he carried for 42 yards into Denver territory. Allen would scramble in for a touchdown to make it 22-21.
However, the lead would not hold thanks to Buffalo’s penalty on the missed field goal, resulting in a 24-22 loss.
“I’m still confident but it’s no secret that the clock’s ticking,” said Allen. “We’ve got to have some urgency now.”
The Bills will host the New York Jets on Sunday, November 19th at 4:25 p.m.