If you had told me on Sunday morning that Peyton Manning would complete 14-of-20 passes for 173 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions against the Buffalo Bills today, I'd have guessed, without even a shred of doubt, that the Bills would be upsetting the Denver Broncos.
That, of course, was not the case.
Despite Manning's quiet - no, poor - day, the Bills could not capitalize on three Broncos turnovers and even make a competitive game out of the situation. Instead, they fell behind 24-3 by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, then made a hackneyed effort at a comeback from three scores down while Denver hit cruise control. The final: Broncos 24, Bills 17.
Along the way, the Bills committed 11 penalties for 98 yards, with many of those coming in key spots to sustain Broncos drives - or end their own. They turned the football over three times, with Sammy Watkins fumbling on the opening possession and Kyle Orton adding two interceptions. Buffalo's defense contained breakout star runner C.J. Anderson, sort of, holding him to 58 yards on 21 carries... but he also scored three touchdowns, and Denver ran for 134 yards as a team. After cutting the lead to 24-17 with less than a minute remaining, a Jordan Gay onside kick didn't travel 10 yards, and the Broncos recovered easily.
One wonders what might have been if the Bills hadn't, as they have on countless previous occasions, killed their own chances of competing against one of the league's best teams. Instead, they're 7-6, and all but kaput in the AFC playoff race.
We'll have more on this game tomorrow, if you can handle it. Until then, feel free to lament another lost season.