OPINION: Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills at Broncos

The Bills win and secured their first AFC East division title in 25 years

The Buffalo Bills beat the Denver Broncos 48-19 on Saturday to earn their first AFC East divisional championship in 25 years.

Here are the Arrows Up... and Up:


- Terry and Kim Pegula

The Pegulas earned their first division title since buying the Bills in 2014. It has taken three different head coaches and six full seasons, but their hiring of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane has finally stabilized the organization and appears to have it set up for a sustained run of success.

- Sean McDermott

The Bills were playing their third game in 13 days, and on a short turnaround after playing on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They had to fly out west, and everyone in Western New York was talking about winning the AFC East title for the first time in 25 years.

Despite all that, McDermott kept his team focused and on the task - playing a complete game in every phase to win comfortably.

- Brandon Beane

The Bills general manager has assembled a terrific roster with very few holes, as well as an all-star front office that has been able to not only draft well, but find the right free agent parts to fit what the team needs both on the field and within the structure of the program they’ve built.

- Josh Allen

Allen was on point all afternoon, both with his arm and legs.

He was 28-of-40 (70%) for 359 yards and two touchdowns passing and ran the ball three times for 33 yards and another two touchdowns, totaling four touchdowns on the afternoon.

Allen should squarely be back in the league MVP discussion, collecting 39 total touchdowns (passing + rushing + receiving) and leading the Bills to the AFC East divisional title.

- Stefon Diggs

Diggs’ incredible season continued on Saturday with a season-high 11 receptions for 147 yards. He also set a Bills' single-season franchise record with 111 receptions, and is only 12 yards shy of moving into No. 2 on the single-sason franchise yards receiving list.

- Cole Beasley

Beasley continued the best year of his career, catching eight passes for 112 yards. He was especially good in the second half, grabbing six balls for 90 yards.

- 7.6 yards per-carry!

That’s what the Bills ran for when combining Zack Moss’ 13 carries for 81 yards, Devin Singletary’s eight carries for 68 yards, and Allen’s three carries for 33 yards. They totaled 24 runs for 182 yards. The Bills have run for 539 yards over their last four games.

- Closing out the game

Once again, just as they did a week ago against the Steelers, the Bills used the power running game to close out a win, and with long drives.

In this one, it was a 10-play, 4:48 drive followed by a 12-play, 7:46 drive, both resulting in Tyler Bass field goals, to extend the Bills lead to 25 points, then 28 points at the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter. On the second of those drives, Moss ran the ball seven times, including four straight to start, and Singletary ran it twice. Moss had 55 yards on that drive.

The next time the Bills got the ball back, it was a much shorter drive, because on the very first play Singletary took the ball 51 yards to the end zone.

- Explosive plays

The Bills offense had nine plays of 20 yards or more, tied for the most they’ve had in one game this season. This also included two plays of over 50 yards, their first 50-plus yard plays of the season.

For the game, the Bills averaged 8.2 yards per-play, their second highest average for the season.

- Jake Kumerow’s first touchdown with the Bills

The wide receiver had been active a few games, and had gotten some snaps in the red zone, but was finally targeted with a pass and made the most of it. His 22-yard touchdown catch from Allen put the Bills up 21-7 in the second quarter. With the touchdown catch, the Bills tied the NFL record with 13 different players catching a touchdown pass in one season.

- Corey Bojorquez

One punt for 63 yards, and downed at the Broncos' five-yard line.

- Tre’Davious White

The Bills' All-Pro cornerback filled up the defensive stat sheet with three total tackles, one for a loss, a sack that forced a fumble that was eventually returned for a touchdown, a quarterback hurry, and two passes defended.

- Jerry Hughes’ fumble return

Hughes scooped up the fumble caused by White’s sack of Broncos’ quarterback Drew Lock, and suddenly looked like Chicago Bears Hall of Fame running back Gayle Sayers, weaving through the Broncos offense and eventually scoring from 21 yards away.

Hughes was a former high school running back in Texas, and it showed. It was his second career NFL touchdown, and first since 2014.

- Defense on Broncos wide receivers

Broncos wide receivers had a total of five catches for 37 yards. The Bills did a great job on them all afternoon, forcing Lock to throw to his tight ends and running backs.

- Third down offense

The Bills were a whopping 9-for-13 (69%) on third downs on Saturday.

- Defensive consistency

The Broncos averaged only 4.0 yards per-offensive play, the second-lowest total the Bills defense has allowed this season, and second-lowest for the Broncos offense, as well.

- Tyler Bass

Once again, the Bills rookie kicker was perfect, going 6-for-6 on extra points and converting both of his field goal attempts, for an 8-for-8 day.

- The third quarter

There’s been a lot said and written about the Bills' third quarter struggles this season, but they’ve been better the last couple weeks and may have completely put to rest any of that talk on Saturday.

In the third quarter against the Broncos, the Bills out-gained Denver 170-9, had a 9-1 first down edge, and didn’t allow a third down conversion. The Bills held the ball for just shy of 11 minutes, and they out-scored the Broncos 17-0 in the third quarter.

- Statue of Liberty

I don’t care that it didn’t count due to a penalty. The "Statue of Liberty" play the Bills ran for a would-be touchdown was creative and beautiful.


Did you really think I’d have any Arrows Down after the Bills won their first division title in a quarter-century, and did it by winning 48-19?

Nope. Enjoy the win, Bills fans. You deserve it.

Listen to the Extra Point Show on WGR on Monday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST. I’ll have much more.

Follow me on Twitter: @SalSports

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