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Bills Get Complete Team Win 26-16 Over Denver
Solid game from Taylor and great defensive effort leads to upset.
by Steve Saslow
Week 3
Broncos  16
Bills  26
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
Tyrod Taylor threw touchdown passes to Andre Holmes and Charles Clay while Stephen Hauschka hit four field goals including ones from 53 and 55 yards out as the Bills shocked the formerly undefeated Broncos 26-16. The running game struggled so Taylor made plays in the passing game hitting 20 of 26 passes for 213 yards and no interceptions to go with his two touchdowns. With the Bills trailing 16-13 early in the third quarter they went on a four play 69 yard drive in just 1:27 to take a lead they would not relinquish. The defense struggled in the passing game in the first half but E.J. Gaines and Tre'Davious White were solid down the stretch to help the Bills gain the victory. Both players had fourth quarter interceptions.

The Turning Point:
Ridiculous Von Miller Penalty: The Bills were going to have to punt on their game clinching FG drive when Von Miller faked helping Taylor up and they called an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on him keeping the drive alive. It was an absolutely ridiculous penalty as Taylor was laughing coming off the field before the flag came out. The Bills deserved the flag though after a series of terrible calls against them in the first half.

The Big Drive:
Final FG Drive: Thanks in part to the Miller penalty the Bills drove 53 yards in 16 plays and took 7:30 off the clock which was huge. Hauschka hit a 27 yard FG to clinch the win. A big play in the drive was LeSean McCoy taking a 3rd and 6 screen pass and getting the first down. Earlier in the drive on a 3rd and 5, Taylor slipped down but got up and ran for the first down. Of course, the Miller penalty was huge on the drive as well.

Stat I Did Like:
Turnovers: The Bills did not turn the ball over at all but forced two second half interceptions and you can add the fake punt stop by Deon Lacey as another takeaway.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Rushing Yards: That had 75 on 33 carries for just a 2.3 yard average per carry.

Scene Setters:
- The Penn State Marching Band performed at halftime.
- Jay Riemersma was the man leading the charge before the game.
- The Bills alumni held a huge tailgate party before the game for charity that had alumni such as Fred Jackson, Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Marv Levy are scheduled to attend the event, along with Bills alumni Booker Edgerson, Ed Rutkowski, Jeff Nixon, Lou Piccone, Darryl Talley, Pete Metzelaars, Don Beebe, Donovan Greer, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish in attendance according to the Buffalo News. Smith spoke to the entire defensive line in a huddle before the game.
- Today's game was the hottest one in Buffalo since 2002 and the first one above 80° since 2011.
- Everyone was waiting to see what type of protest would take place during the National Anthem. McCoy was sitting and stretching during the Anthem then finally kneeled near the end. The team came out about 7 yards off the sidelines. Several players knelt down including Ryan Davis, Mike Tolbert, Jordan Matthews, Lorenzo Alexander, Shareece Wright, Leonard Johnson, Cedric Thornton, Shaq Lawson, Marcell Dareus, Taiwan Jones and Kaelin Clay according to the Buffalo News. Many standing players had arms locked with each other and Coach McDermott. More Broncos were kneeling than Bills players.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Brandon Marshall: Winner: Marshall. Shady only had 21 yards on 14 carries but did some damage in the passing game.
LT Dion Dawkins vs. LB Von Miller: Winner: Dawkins. Miller had a sack and six tackles but didn't dominant the game. So the Bills had success against him.
DE Jerry Hughes vs. LT Donald Stephenson: Winner: Bolles. He ended up playing instead of Stephenson and he held Hughes in check.
LB Ramon Humber vs. RB C.J. Anderson: Winner: Humber. He had eight tackles and if you take away a 32 yard run, Anderson only had four yards on seven carries.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Get Passing Game Going: Success! Tyrod Taylor was solid in this game.
2. Keep Up Defensive Pressure: Failure! They didn't get consistent pressure on Siemien but had two sacks.
3. Take The Ball Away: Success! Two second half interceptions and a fake punt stop was huge.

My Take:
This was one of the biggest, and most fun victories for the Bills in a long time. They came in against a red hot Broncos team and took it to them in the second half. The made the adjustments they needed to at halftime to get the edge and a big victory. One thing is certain under Sean McDermott, they will play hard, aggressive football and not give up.

What's Ahead:
The Bills face their biggest test of the season before facing New England in December as they battle the undefeated NFL Champion Falcons.

  • Stephen Hauschka - He became the first Bills kicker to ever have two 53+ yard FGs in a game. He was 4 for 4 on his FGs and a huge part of the offense.
  • Tyrod Taylor - He had a solid game and made plays when he had to. It was an efficient game against a great defense. A well earned win.
  • E.J. Gaines - He made a lot of plays including a big interception.
  • Tre'Davious White - He was firmly in the goat column in the first half but bounced back real nice for a rookie and was solid in the second half including a big interception.

  • Goats
  • Jerry Hughes - They needed a big game from him but his name was only called with a penalty.
  • Zay Jones - He just isn't connecting with Taylor. He had two balls go off his hands, luckily one went into the hands of Andre Holmes for a score.

  • Player Of The Week
  • Stephen Hauschka - He was the main reason they won.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    Broncos Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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