Brandon Allen's audition to be the starter could end this week, if the young quarterback fails to lead the Denver Broncos to victory over the Buffalo Bills. Emerging victorious in upstate New York today won't be easy.
But let us not forget; Allen led the Broncos out to a 20-0 halftime lead last week against a Vikings squad that was favored by 10.5 points. What that tells me, and what it absolutely screams to the Broncos' locker room, is that this team can win the unlikely games.
Allen needs a statement win to forestall the starter's torch getting passed to Drew Lock. Will Allen get it?
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Analysis: Why Ja'Wuan James remains on the 53-man roster, I don't understand. He's appeared in just two of Denver's 10 games this year and in those appearances, he's combined for 32 snaps. Get him on IR where he can focus on his recovery and mitigate the perception that James is an 'injury milker'.
DeMarcus Walker sits yet again, which makes it the second-straight week he's been a healthy scratch due to Adam Gotsis fighting his way back into the D-line rotation. The Broncos' focus this week is stopping the run, hence Gotsis.
Analysis: The biggest issue for the Bills' inactives is the absence of backup offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe. Buffalo's starting offensive tackle duo have been beleaguered. Von Miller could feast today.
Broadcast reporting that Shelby Harris 'tweaked' something during pre-game warmups. Keep an eye on him.
Bills will kick. Broncos will receive.
13:39: Allen converts 3rd-&-3 by hitting Tim Patrick. Devontae Booker with a great blitz pickup.
12:03: Allen on play-action hits Courtland Sutton for 27-yard gain.
10:45: Dalton Risner flagged for unnecessary roughness on second down. Ticky tack. Costs Broncos 15 yards.
10:10: Refs' flag on Risner kills all Broncos' momentum. 3rd-&-19, Allen's pass to Patrick falls incomplete. Punt.
8:42: On 3rd-&-9, Josh Allen hits Cole Beasley to convert. Justin Simmons had smothering coverage.
7:25: On 3rd-&-1, Bills convert with Devin Singletary.
5:44: Allen scrambles, picks up 14 yards on 3rd-&-12. First down.
4:40: Chris Harris, Jr. gives John Brown big cushion, which Allen exploits on a short pass to move the chains.
4:07: Allen hits TE Tyler Croft for 14 yards.
3:30: Singletary carries it 10 yards on first down, moving the chains.
1:56: On 3rd-&-6, Von Miller sacks Allen, mercifully ending Buffalo's 17-play, 69-yard drive. Steven Hauschka's 39-yard field goal is good.
Bills 3, Broncos 0
1:10: Allen hits Andrew Beck for 18-yard gain.
0:43: Phillip Lindsay bottled up for two-yard loss.
End of quarter
14:15: On 3rd-&-13, Allen's deep shot to Sutton falls incomplete. Punt.
13:01: On 3rd-&-5, Allen shucks two Broncos in the backfield, reverses field and picks up 18 yards on the scramble. Moves the chains.
11:12: Foster picks up 22 yards. Simmons tackles.
10:37: Beasley picks up 30, exploiting the significantly slower Alexander Johnson in coverage. Broncos in base defense with the Bills in 11 personnel.
8:52: On third down, Beasley is wrapped up quickly by Todd Davis. Forcing another field goal attempt. Hauschka kicks it through from 23 yards out.
Bills 6, Broncos 0
5:56: Allen sacked on 3rd-&-3 by Shaq Lawson for a whopping 14-yard loss. Broncos' decent field position wiped out.
4:03: Simmons picks off Allen, returns it to Buffalo's 35-yard line. A unnecessary roughness foul on Kareem Jackson takes 15 yards away.
4:02: Allen hits Noah Fant for 16-yard gain.
2:00: On 3rd-&-6, Allen scrambles, extends the ball and picks up eight yards, moving the chains.
1:53: Garett Bolles flagged for holding on first down on a Royce Freeman run that was bottled up for a loss. Bolles 13th holding foul of the season.
1:12: Allen picked off by Tre'Davious White on second down, wiping potential points off the board for Denver. Appeared to be a miscue between Allen and Sutton. Sutton ran a curl, Allen thought it was a nine route.
0:12: Bills give up with a Singletary draw that picks up nine yards.
End of half.
Bills 6, Broncos 0
14:47: Von Miller bottles up Singletary for a one-yard loss on first down.
14:14: Allen hits Foster for a 24-yard gain on 3rd-&-11.
13:02: On 3rd-&-10, Allen hits Beasley over the middle for six. Davontae Harris burned in coverage. 18-yard TD strike.
Bills 13, Broncos 0
10:39: On first down, Brandon Allen can't get the play off in time. Delay of game.
8:42: Allen throws screen to Fant, tackled for a three-yard loss on second down.
7:48: Allen flutters another pass to Sutton on 3rd-&-11. Incomplete and not even close to being on-target. Wind is blowing hard, though.
7:45: Brandon McManus hits the 45-yard field goal in the face of stiff wind.
Bills 13, Broncos 3
5:48: On 3rd-&-25, Duke Dawson lets a Josh Allen pass slip right through his hands. Falls incomplete. Bills punt.
4:13: 3rd-&-3, Allen targets DaeSean Hamilton. Incomplete. Broncos go three-and-out.
3:10: 3rd-&-7, Simmons tackles Dawson Knox two yards shy of the sticks. Bills punt.
1:44: 3rd-&-3, Allen sacked again by Shaq Lawson, who was completely unblocked in the A-gap. Miscue between C Connor McGovern and LG Dalton Risner.
0:02: Broncos call a bizarre timeout with the third quarter running out. Bills still convert on 3rd-&-2. D. Harris exploited in coverage.
14:00: J. Allen hits Singletary for eight-yard gain on 3rd-&-12. Wrapped up by Chris Harris, Jr. Bills punt.
13:03: B. Allen sacked for a nine-yard loss on first down. Broncos now have 2nd-&-19 from the 1-yard line.
12:10: 3rd-&-19, B. Allen throws it away on the goal-line. Punt.
12:06: Colby Wadman punts it 55 yards, returned for 11 yards by Andre Roberts. Isaac Yiadom flagged for unnecessary roughness, giving Bills a total of 26 yards on the return.
11:14: J. Allen goes deep down right sideline to John Brown. Initially ruled incomplete but after review, ruled a catch. Touchdown Bills. Chris Harris, Jr. burned in coverage on the 34-yard score. Into the wind, Allen showcases that arm strength.
Bills 20, Broncos 3
10:21: 3rd&-3, B. Allen throws incomplete to Lindsay.
10:18: Wadman shanks the ensuing punt. 13 yards net.
End of game
Bills 20, Broncos 3
Notes: Broncos failed to muster a first down in the final 25 minutes of play, finishing with 134 total yards. Denver went 2-for-11 on third down. Defensively, the Broncos allowed 8-of-16 on third down, 424 total yards and a 100-yard rusher in Devin Singletary.