The Denver Broncos beat the Buffalo Bills in a game where they completed the most improbable pass of the Next Gen Stats era, forced four turnovers, and still trailed with under two minutes to go in the contest. To say that the Bills continue to beat themselves about as effectively as teams are beating them is an understatement, and Monday night’s debacle reinforced that feeling.
Here’s how our five Broncos to watch performed against the Bills on Monday.
QB Russell Wilson
Wilson completed 83% of his passes for two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 117.4, all excellent numbers. He passed for just 193 yards on 29 attempts, but given the fact that three of Denver’s drive started in Buffalo territory — and three more began just ten yards or less away from midfield — the Broncos didn’t have far to go for their scoring possessions. Wilson showed some good mobility and awareness, as well, as he was able to scramble for first downs and keep plays alive long enough to shovel passes to receivers for first-down yardage, as well. Sometimes, all your quarterback has to do to win is throw the ball to the guys wearing his uniform rather than the people in opposing colors. That’s what Wilson did on Monday and what he’s done all year, which is why the Broncos have won their last three games.
RB Jaleel McLaughlin
It made me feel pretty great to see that our Q&A with Mile High Report identified McLaughlin as an under-the-radar player to watch, yet he was highlighted in our piece. The Bills clearly knew to look out for him, too, as the speedy rookie was bottled up on offense. He gained just eight yards on six carries, adding two catches for four yards. Denver wasn’t able to run effectively for most of the evening, averaging just 3.2 yards per carry overall (38 rushes for 122 yards).
WR Courtland Sutton
The stats show that Buffalo did a pretty good job on Sutton, as he hauled in eight of his 11 targets for just 53 yards on the night. While the Bills were able to force a fumble on one of those catches, which was recovered by cornerback Rasul Douglas and led to a game-tying touchdown from running back Latavius Murray, another one of those grabs was a ridiculous toe-drag catch in the end zone on a fourth down to give Denver a 9-0 advantage in the second quarter. Sutton is a dynamic wideout, and Buffalo’s battered secondary did as well as they could have given the circumstances.
RT Mike McGlinchey
The Bills were able to put some pressure on Wilson, and much of it came from the right side of the offensive line. Whether it was from defensive end Greg Rousseau, who had a sack, or blitzes from either the linebacker level or the secondary, Buffalo was able to mix in some pressures throughout. McGlinchey has been a weak link up front for an otherwise pretty solid Denver offensive line, and Monday wasn’t much of an exception.
CB Patrick Surtain II
While the stud corner didn’t have an interception, he was able to limit Buffalo’s top wideout, Stefon Diggs, to just three catches for 34 yards on the evening. Perhaps that’s also an indicator of an offense that’s not functioning at a high enough — or an intelligent enough — level to find ways to give its best player the ball, but I digress. Surtain II is one of the league’s best corners, and most quarterbacks stay away from him as a result. He had two tackles with no pass breakups on the evening.