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Bills Roll Over Tebow, Broncos 40-14
Big plays by defense and special teams leads to rout.
by Steve Saslow
at
Week 16
Broncos  14
Bills  40
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
There was no magic for Tim Tebow on this day. The Bills picked him off four times, two of them were returned for touchdowns on back to back plays to lead the Bills to a 40-14 Christmas Eve rout over the Broncos. Leodis McKelvin set a club record for punt return yardage including an 80 yard return for a score. C.J. Spiller ran for a career high 111 yards and also had a score. Jairus Byrd took an interception back 37 yards for a touchdown. On the next play from scrimmage Chris Kelsay hit Tebow from behind and Spencer Johnson picked it out of the air and rumbled 17 yards for another touchdown. Dave Rayner bounced back from two misses to hit his last four field goals.

The Turning Point:
Leodis McKelvin's 80 yard punt return for a score gave the Bills a 10-7 lead that they wouldn't relinquish.

The Big Drive:
The only offensive touchdown drive: The Bills went 58 yards in five plays to Spiller's 4 yard touchdown run on a delayed draw play. He faked out Von Miller to get into the end zone. The key play on the drive was a beautiful 30 yard pass down the field to David Nelson.

Stat I Did Like:
Four Interceptions: Two of them were returned for touchdowns on back to back plays.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Red Zone Efficiency: The Bills were just 1 for 6 in the red zone. Imagine how much worse the final score could have been?

Quick Slants:
- The Bills won the toss and elected to receive. That is a change, they normally defer to the second half when they win the toss. They didn't have anything special up their sleeve though as they went three and out.
- Ralph Wilson Stadium was more than half empty and very quiet. There were quite a few cheers when Tebow was making plays as there seemed to be almost as many Tebow/Bronco fans as Bills fans.
- Chan Gailey continues to play it way too conservative. Two missed field goals in the first quarter never should have happened. They have nothing to lose so they should be going for it on 4th and relatively short in Broncos territory.
- Why is Gailey so in love with Tashard Choice? I know he had him in Georgia Tech but his regime drafted C.J. Spiller. He constantly went to Choice again on third downs and in the red zone when Spiller is a much more talented player.
- The Bills broke a string of 18 straight failed third down conversions when Fitzpatrick hit Stevie Johnson on a 55 yard catch and run. It was the longest pass completion of Johnson's career.

My Take:
Many would say all the Bills did today was hurt where they will pick in the draft. I say on this Christmas Eve it was nice to see the Bills make big plays again and get a victory. After seven straight losses the great start of the season seems like it happened years ago. For one day only the Bills gave their fans a holiday present. A nice win that hurt the playoff chances of the Denver Tebows. They also made the great Tim Tebow look bad. It may cost them a few spots in the draft but the way they draft does it matter?

What's Ahead:
The Bills close out the season in Foxboro to take on the Patriots. New England will likely get revenge for the Bills win earlier this season.

Gameballs

  • Chris Kelsay - He had two sacks, a pass deflection that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, and two big run stops.
  • C.J. Spiller - He ran for a career high 111 yards and added 27 yards receiving. Really developing into a solid player.
  • Leodis McKelvin - He had a career high 135 punt return yards and a touchdown.


  • Goats
  • Dave Rayner - He missed field goals from 45 and 31 yards out on successive drives. He eventually settled down and hit his next four field goals.
  • Tashard Choice - He was awful and shouldn't have been as heavily used as he was.


  • Player Of The Week
  • Chris Kelsay - He was dominant. Maybe the best game of his career.


  • Positional Breakdown and Grades
    NFL.com Gamebook
    Broncos Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage




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