Denver moved the ball to the Buffalo 25-yard line on the ensuing drive, but Denver’s Allen threw an interception to Tre’Davious White to end the drive. Allen targeted Courtland Sutton on the play, but Sutton ran a comeback route, while Allen appeared to expect him to keep running up the seam.
“It’s just on me,” Allen said. “Called the right play, thought the wrong thing. Thought he was going to keep going. Courtland did exactly what he’s supposed to. He stopped on the route, and I threw it like he was going to keep running and made a poor decision there.”
Added Head Coach Vic Fangio: “It was critical, obviously. We were in field-goal range, with the wind at our back, and it took points off the board — at least three.”
The Broncos did not get any closer to the red zone. The team went all 60 minutes without a trip inside the Buffalo 20-yard line.
Despite the Broncos’ first-half struggles, Denver remained in the game at halftime and trailed just 6-0. The Bills, though, posted an eight-play, 59-yard touchdown drive to start the second half and extend the lead to 13-0. The Broncos were unable to cut the lead to one possession during the rest of the game.
“Actually, early on it was kind of OK, considering the conditions and the good defense we were going against,” Fangio said of the offense. “But at some point there, we just stopped moving it totally and they kind of smothered us. It was a problem, obviously, and one that we need to get rectified somehow.”
The offense, in general, failed to generate much momentum. A week after recording 113 yards on five catches, Sutton tallied just one catch for 27 yards on eight targets.
“He tweaked his ankle early in the game and kept playing, but I do think it affected him some,” Fangio said of Sutton. “I just think their whole defense as a whole just kind of whipped us, so it left the opportunities for everybody down to a minimum.”
Allen, meanwhile, completed 10-of-25 passes during the game for 82 yards, an interception and a 32.4 quarterback rating.
Fangio said he had not given any thought to whether rookie quarterback Drew Lock would play against the Chargers in Week 13. The Broncos must activate Lock ahead of the team’s Week 14 game in Houston, or else Lock will revert to injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
Allen said he hopes to continue to start at quarterback.
“Obviously I want to play,” Allen said. “I want to be part of the solution. That’s not up to me, so I’m going to work like I’m going to play next week.”
The Broncos have scored just six points over the last six quarters, dating back to a Week 11 game against the Vikings.
Denver’s opening drive also appeared promising, as Allen found Sutton for the receiver’s lone catch of the day. Guard Dalton Risner, however, was whistled for an unnecessary roughness penalty later in the drive, and the Broncos failed to capitalize off their largest gain of the day.
The offense never truly improved, as Denver gained just nine first downs, tallied 134 total yards, went 2-for-11 on third down and turned the ball over on the edge of the red zone. Forty-eight of those yards came on the Broncos’ first second-half drive, which culminated in a 45-yard Brandon McManus field goal.
Denver’s defense held the team within striking distance for most of the game, but Buffalo’s touchdown drive to begin the third quarter broke open the game — and the Bills only piled on from there.
Wide receiver John Brown, who led the AFC in receiving yards entering Week 12, caught a 34-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to deliver the final margin.
The Broncos have now been outscored 40-0 in the fourth quarter of the last five games.