The Denver Broncos forced four turnovers – including three on Josh Allen – on their way to a dramatic 24-22 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Monday.
Despite the takeaways, the Broncos still needed a late game-winning drive and a few lucky breaks to secure the win. Wil Lutz’s initial attempt at the game-winning field goal bounced back off the upright, but he was gifted another opportunity after the Bills were flagged for having 12 players on the field.
Lutz drilled his second try for the decisive score that dropped the Bills to an even 5-5 on the season.
Another noteworthy penalty occurred on Denver’s final drive when a pass interference penalty on Bills defensive back Taron Johnson helped put Lutz in position for the kick.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott called the 12-men penalty “inexcusable” postgame, according to NFL Media’s Grant Gordon.
Allen, who threw two interceptions and lost one fumble, was critical of the performance put forth in front of the Bills’ home crowd. Allen ended his night on a positive by running in a go-ahead touchdown with under two minutes remaining.
“Sucks,” Allen said, according to NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano. “Shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. Lot of bad football. A lot of bad football.”
Bills running back James Cook was also guilty of a couple errors. His fumble on the first play of scrimmage in the first quarter set up the Broncos’ opening field goal. He was stripped again on the Bills’ final drive but incredibly picked up his own fumble and continued running for a 42-yard gain.
Allen finished the game with 15 completions on 26 attempts for one passing touchdown and two picks. He also had a rushing score. Cook was the team’s leading rusher with 109 yards, though Latavius Murray also put up 68 yards and scored a touchdown.
“It’s not ideal,” Allen told reporters, including John Wawrow of The Associated Press. “Yeah, I’m still confident. But it’s no secret: The clock’s ticking. Gotta have some urgency now.”
Meanwhile, Broncos passer Russell Wilson enjoyed an almost flawless game. The veteran completed all but five of his passes for two touchdowns to zero interceptions. His leading receiver was Courtland Sutton, who made a spectacular toe-drag touchdown in the second quarter.
Lutz’s game-winning kick also served as redemption for Denver’s special-teams unit after it botched two extra-point attempts. Those missed extra points ultimately forced the Broncos to drive for the win late as they trailed 22-21.
Buffalo has now lost three of its last four while Denver has won three in a row to improve to 4-5.
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