News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 PFF ReFocused: Buffalo Bills 48, Denver Broncos 19

Dec 19, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) looks to throw against Denver Broncos defensive tackle McTelvin Agim (95) during the third quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills were crowned AFC East champions for the first time in 25 years after a 48-19 beatdown of the Denver Broncos thanks to a four-touchdown performance from star quarterback Josh Allen.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

STORY OF THE GAME

The Bills’ offense was able to pick apart a makeshift Denver defense with ease, scoring three touchdowns on their first four drives. Allen led the way for Buffalo, tossing for 359 yards and two touchdowns while adding two more scores on the ground. The three-year starter completed 14 10-plus-yard passes, while only 10 of Denver's plays in total ended up going for 10 or more yards. This is also Allen’s seventh career 300-yard passing game, with all of them coming in 2020. 

Allen’s two favorite targets were Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley. Diggs has been dominant as of late. He has caught 31 passes for 369 yards in his last three games, with 16 of those passes gaining 10 yards or more. 

The Bills practically iced the game in the third quarter when Allen scampered in for a one-yard score before Tre’Davious White strip-sacked Drew Lock and Jerry Hughes scooped-and-scored 17 seconds later.

Lock and the Denver offense looked lost for most of the game, especially so in the second half, where the team only found the end zone on a garbage-time touchdown run by Melvin Gordon III.

Lock could not get the offense going, especially down the field, as he completed only one 15-plus-yard pass attempt. The second-year signal-caller threw the ball only 4.6 yards downfield on average, his lowest of the season, and he managed just 4.1 yards per attempt on the day. 

ROOKIE WATCH

The talented rookie duo of Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler was non-existent for most of this game, with each receiver catching only one pass for a combined 23 yards. Jeudy was on the receiving end of Lock’s lone 15-plus-yard completion. Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry III allowed two pressures but zero sacks on 39 pass-blocking snaps. 

Bills rookie running back Zack Moss was able to wind the clock down late with his bruising running style. Eight of his 13 carries gained five-plus yards. Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis caught just two passes but nearly found the end zone, though he ultimately did not extend the football and was downed at the 1-yard line. 

On the other side of the ball, Michael Ojemudia was in coverage for 39 snaps but allowed 39 yards on three receptions. McTelvin Agim and Derrek Tuszka both recorded one pressure across 21 combined defensive snaps.

For the Bills, the lone rookie defender was AJ Epenesa, who pressured Lock once and batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage.

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