The Bills Monday Night Meltdown: 4 takeaways
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
It wasn’t the ugliest game of the week, but it sure wasn’t a pretty battle between the Broncos and Bills on Monday night in Buffalo. In the end, the Bills (5-5) found a way to lose and did themselves no favors in their quest to return to the postseason. Fourth quarter mistakes, capped by a back breaking twelve men on the field call in the closing seconds, led to an extremely disappointing 24-22 loss at home.
Buffalo now finds itself in 10th place in the AFC standings, firmly not in the playoff picture. Josh Allen had three turnovers Monday night: his 11 interceptions and 13 total turnovers this season are both NFL highs. Aside from the turnovers, he was pretty woeful all night. He threw for just 177 yards and completed just three passes to Stefon Diggs. The Bills did find success on the ground, led by Cook’s 109 yards that included a whacky 42-yard run that saw him recover his own fumble and run for 29 more yards on a go-ahead drive late in the game. Veteran Latavius Murray registered 68 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine carries as well.
Defensively, the Bills struggled to contain Russell Wilson, who at times looked like he did when he was in his prime, especially on this play in the red zone. But despite the turnovers and struggling to contain Wilson, the Buffalo Bills would have won the game if not for their special teams gaffe on the final play…
The game appeared to be over when Will Lutz’s 41-yard attempt went wide right with just four seconds left. But the Bills were then flagged for 12 men on the field and gave Lutz a second chance, which he took advantage of. More on that later, lets talk about...
The receiving core
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con
Allen hasn’t been perfect for Buffalo, but it doesn’t help that his targets aren’t consistent enough. Tight end Dalton Kincaid led with five catches for 51 yards and a touchdown while Gabe Davis had two catches for 56 yards. But Davis also let a ball go right through his hands that led to a pick. Stefon Diggs was targeted five times, and finished with 3 catches for 34 yards. Diggs is far and away the leader of this unit, but he isunderperforming compared to last year, and they just haven’t been good enough as a whole. About Diggs underperforming, this is after an off-season where he was so frustrated about not getting the ball enough that he was ready consider moving on from Buffalo.
Game-Winning field goals
Andy Cross/The Denver Post
Sunday’s action involved five teams winning on a walk off field goal: Cleveland, Arizona, Houston, Seattle, and Detroit. That’s the most in a single day in NFL history, and Lutz added to the tally and made it 6 for the week, albeit a lucky sixth…
The Bills defense did make some stops against the Broncos. Buffalo held Denver to several field goals, forced a fumble, and forced five punts. But the mistakes were too costly, and they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The most obvious and brutal one: 12 men on the field to give Lutz a second chance. You just can’t make that mistake, certainly not at that moment. Calls for someone to be fired immediately began after the game. Mistakes cost the Bills the game on Monday night, and maybe the playoffs…
Time is running out
Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News
The Bills are a .500 football team midway through November for the first time since 2018. That was both Allen’s rookie season, and the last time Buffalo missed the playoffs. Now, at 5-5 overall and just 2-5 against the AFC, the Bills are just about out of the postseason entirely. The upcoming schedule is daunting. Next week they play the Jets at home, but then it’s the Eagles in Philly on Nov. 26, followed by the Chiefs in KC on Dec. 10, the Cowboys at home Dec. 17, then back on the road to LA to take on the Chargers, then back home against the Patriots on New Years Eve, and the season finale in MIami against the Dolphins on Jan. 7. It’s a murderers row, at least four of the final 6 teams they will face in those games are playoff teams. The Eagles and Chiefs won the NFC/AFC respectively last year and are both still two of the strongest contenders for the Super Bowl. The Cowboys and Chargers are both playoff teams as well, and the Dolphins are likely to win the AFC east over Buffalo. It doesn’t look good, they really are almost out of the postseason conversation altogether. Sean McDermott’s job security doesn’t look too good either right now.