Buffalo Bills on verge of first AFC title in quarter-century

·3 min read

BUFFALO (10-3) at DENVER (5-8)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m., NFL Network

OPENING LINE — Bills by 5

RECORD VS. SPREAD — Bills 8-5; Broncos 8-5

SERIES RECORD — Bills lead 22-16-1

LAST MEETING — Bills beat Broncos 20-3 on Nov. 24, 2019, at Orchard Park, N.Y.

LAST WEEK — Bills beat Steelers 26-15; Broncos beat Panthers 32-27

AP PRO32 RANKING — Bills No. 3, Broncos No. 21

BILLS OFFENSE — OVERALL (10), RUSH (22), PASS (3).

BILLS Defence — OVERALL (20), RUSH (19-T), PASS (19).

BRONCOS OFFENSE — OVERALL (25), RUSH (13), PASS (27).

BRONCOS Defence — OVERALL (16), RUSH (27), PASS (10).

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — The Bills can clinch their first AFC East title since 1995 with a win in Denver. ... The Bills’ last 11-win season was in 1999. ... Buffalo is seeking its third playoff berth in four years under coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane, who arrived in 2017 and quickly ended the franchise’s 17-year playoff drought, which was the longest in North America’s four major sports. ... QB Josh Allen has thrown for 3,641 yards. That’s fifth most on the team’s single-season list. With 203 yards Saturday, Allen would jump all the way to No. 2 behind Drew Bledsoe’s 2002 mark of 4,359 yards. ... Allen’s 35 touchdowns (28 passing, six rushing and one receiving) are a team record, one more than Jim Kelly had in 1991. ... Allen’s 28 TD throws are five shy of Kelly’s team record set in ’91. ... WR Stefon Diggs has 100 receptions this season, matching the team’s single-season record set by Eric Moulds in 2002. ... The Bills held the Steelers to one conversion on 10 third-down opportunities last week. ... LB Matt Milano had a career-high three pass breakups and a tackle for loss in the teams’ last meeting. ... Broncos QB Drew Lock had his best game of his two-year career last week when he completed 21 of 27 passes for 280 yards and a career-best four touchdowns with no interceptions at Carolina. ... Lock’s 149.5 passer rating was the best in the league last week. ... RB Melvin Gordon is available because his scheduled plea in a DUI case was delayed. Gordon, who would have faced a three-game suspension under the new collective bargaining agreement, scored three touchdowns in his last game against Buffalo in 2019 with the Chargers. ... WR Tim Patrick has 333 receiving yards in three games against AFC East opponents this season. ... Rookie WR KJ Hamler had season-high 86 yards and two TDs last week on just two catches. ... TE Troy Fumagalli set career highs with four catches for 53 yards against Carolina after Noah Fant left after one series with an illness. ... S Will Parks had six tackles and a sack in his return to the Broncos after being claimed off waivers from Philadelphia. ... LT Garett Bolles is set to return to the starting lineup after missing a game for the first time in his four-year career. Bolles is suspected to have gotten food poisoning. He and Fant stayed behind a day before rejoining their teammates after negative COVID-19 tests. ... Fantasy tip: Diggs’ 1,167 receiving yards are 201 yards shy of Moulds’ team record of 1,368 set in 1998. He’ll be facing a depleted Denver secondary that’s lost five cornerbacks in the last two weeks: A.J. Bouye to a PED suspension, Bryce Callahan to a foot injury and Kevin Tolliver II, Essang Bassey and Duke Dawson to ACL tears. That leaves CBs De'Vante Bausby and rookie Michael Ojemudia along with nickel back Parks to face the Bills.

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