It was fitting that Monday's Denver at Buffalo game ended in a walk-off field goal after five other Week 10 games did so on Sunday, a record for the most in a single week in NFL history. Unfortunately for the Bills, they were on the losing end of the 24-22 loss after a devastating defensive penalty gave the Broncos a second chance. Now at 5-5 and facing a challenging remaining schedule, Buffalo is a bit of a longshot to make the playoffs per DraftKings and the SportsLine Projection Model.
If we are being impartial, the Bills didn't deserve to win Monday despite closing as 8-point favorites. Buffalo had four turnovers, with star quarterback Josh Allen having had a hand in three of them. He leads the NFL with 14 giveaways on the season. Yet thanks in part to a pair of failed Broncos PATs, Allen got the Bills the 22-21 lead on a six-yard touchdown run with 1:55 left.
However, Russell Wilson got the Broncos in position -- thanks to a crucial pass interference penalty on Bills cornerback Taron Johnson -- for a game-winning 41-yard field goal try by former Pro Bowler Will Lutz -- except he missed wide right. Alas, while the Bills and their fans were wildly celebrating, there was a flag on the play, as the Buffalo defense had 12 men on the field. Lutz then drilled the winning 36-yarder as time expired.
Buffalo was the first team to be penalized for having too many men on the field in the final minute of regulation or in overtime on a field goal attempt since 2007 (Seahawks vs Browns).
After the game, Bills coach Sean McDermott said his team was prepared for that first rushed field goal attempt with both teams having multiple players running onto the field in a free-for all: "Absolutely, absolutely. We practiced two or three times that this week, the substitution from dime to field goal block and at the end of the day, we didn't execute it. So it's inexcusable."
McDermott also mentioned possible big changes and when asked specifically about offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, he said: "I'm confident, but believe we can be better at the same time." Update: Dorsey has been fired. Since winning three straight games in dominant fashion from Weeks 2-4 and averaging 41 points per game in that span, the Bills are 2-4 and averaging 20.5 PPG, and Allen is reverting to his younger turnover form.
Buffalo now sits 10th in the AFC. The Bills are +200 at DraftKings to make the playoffs and -250 to miss. The team has an updated over/under win total of 8.5, although the Over is a -140 favorite. Per the SportsLine Projection Model, the Bills have a 20.7% shot of making the playoffs (equates to a price of +383) and a projected win total of 8.6. For a point of comparison, the Bills were given a 98% playoff chance following their Week 4 blowout of Miami.
The remaining schedule is a monster, ranked as the fourth-toughest in the league. In theory, Buffalo should win at home against the New York Jets on Sunday and opened as 7-point favorites, but after that it gets much tougher: Week 12 at the Eagles, a Week 13 bye, Week 14 at the Chiefs, Week 15 vs. the Cowboys, Week 16 at the Chargers, Week 17 vs. the Patriots (should be a win) and Week 18 at the Dolphins.
The model gives Buffalo only an 11.8% chance of winning the AFC East (now two behind the Dolphins in the loss column), a 2.5% shot of winning the conference title and a 1.1% chance of the first Super Bowl championship in team history. DK has dropped the Bills to +3000 to win Super Bowl 58.
If there is a bright side, the Bills do have the second-best point differential (+78) by a .500 or worse team through 10 games in NFL history. That point differential is the fourth-best in the league. The stat is largely regarded as the true barometer of a team.
Denver has won three straight to get to 4-5 but is still given just a 6.9% playoff chance by the model, compared to +550 (15.4%) at DK.
Bills updated futures
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