At first glance, Sunday’s win looks like most of the other Bills wins this season.
A bad team with a bad record getting swallowed up by the Bills defense while the offense takes its sweet time finishing a win.
However, this win was not that.
First of all, I’m convinced the 3-8 Broncos are a better team than their record says. Their defense is top ten in most categories. They’ve got three losses via last second field goals. Denver has hung with everyone they’ve faced not named Kansas City.
Buffalo now gets added to that exceptionally short list.
The score wasn’t a monster, but this was a butt-whipping. The 46 net passing yards allowed were the fewest for a Buffalo team since 2005. The 2.91 yards per play were the 4th lowest allowed by any team in the league this season.
Here’s the easy way to underline the Buffalo dominance: It was the Bills season high in yards gained and their season low in yards allowed. It was the Broncos season low in yards gained and their season high in yards allowed.
More encouraging is that the Bills are going about their game differently. The changes they made in Miami continued to work this week.
The defense is attacking more and playing downhill. The 11 sacks they’ve collected in the last two games are exactly half their total from the first nine.
The no-huddle offense seems to now be a staple. The Bills totaled 424 yards exactly in both games, which is a season high. They went over 200 yards rushing for the first time this year against Denver. Josh Allen even hit a deep ball!
Despite all the positives, this victory is not even in the same area code as “signature” win. Brandon Allen lost the Allen quarterback battle by so much that you could have run Mel Allen or Woody Allen out there in a Broncos helmet and no one would have noticed.
The Bills season still also has a neat dividing line to it. The top three quarterbacks they’ve faced (Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Baker Mayfield) have all walked away with wins. The eight QBs they beat include two that quickly lost their starting jobs. It would take an argument to decide who is the best QB they beat, but you’d probably land somewhere between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Sam Darnold.
The Bills will have an opportunity to change things with Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson and the rematch with Brady scheduled for three of the next four. We’ll find out soon enough if the improved Bills are good enough to hang with other legit playoff contenders.
The Bills team from the first half of the season would have had no chance, but this team is not that team.