If you had told me Saturday that the Buffalo Bills would out-gain the Denver Broncos in total offense by over 100 yards, that Kyle Orton would pass for over 300 yards while Peyton Manning was under 200 and without a touchdown, but that even after all the good both the offense and defense produced, the Bills comeback bid falls short vs. the Broncos and the game ends after a failed onside kick by Buffalo…. I’d have said there’s absolutely no way. Well it just goes to show you that you can’t have any idea what’s going to happen on any given Sunday.
Getting right into the grading portion for the offense, I’m going with a B+. They moved the ball very well, Sammy Watkins returned to the player that won Offensive Rookie of the Month in October. With 127 yards receiving on seven catches, Watkins became the first Bills rookie with four 100-yard games in a single season.
I would have liked to see more balance to the Bills offensive attack, as the running game was non existent at times, but if that’s how we get Watkins back involved and if we’re going to put up over 400 yards of total offense, I’m not going to complain. However, I will complain about the lack of scoring. You know, the lack of scoring that has been the same problem that has plagued the team all season and continually cost them games. It was especially obvious in this game when a Broncos team that is usually a guarantee to put points on the board at a high rate was struggling and the Bills still couldn’t win.
The reason the Broncos offense was struggling is that the Bills defense was playing extremely well all things considered. They are the first team in 51 games to stop Manning from throwing a TD and they are just the second team this season to hold him under 200 passing yards. In addition to those impressive stats, they got two interceptions from the future Hall of Fame QB and three turnovers overall. Not to mention the Bills secondary completely shut down Demaryius Thomas, holding him to just 11 yards and 2 receptions.
Unfortunately where the passing game struggled, the Broncos had a lot of success running the ball. They tallied over 130 yards on the ground, but despite that seemingly high total and the three rushing TDs surrendered to CJ Anderson, Anderson was not efficient with his runs. He averaged just 2.8 yards per carry on 21 attempts and if not for 47 yard run by Thompson, his average would have been low as well. All those factors are why, despite the loss I’m grading the defense at a B+ as well.
Samuelson Slant Grade: B+
Despite the loss, this was one of the better games the Bills have played against a team not named the Jets. That’s why I was high on both the offense and defense even though the outcome wasn’t what I wanted. Let me know what you think though Bills Mafia.