Final Score: Buffalo 40, Denver 14
Orchard Park, NY (Sports Network) - The Bills picked off Tim Tebow four times,
two of which were returned for touchdowns on consecutive plays in the fourth
quarter, as Buffalo rolled over the playoff-hopeful Broncos, 40-14.
The Broncos' second straight loss dropped them into a tie with Oakland atop
the AFC West with 8-7 records. The Raiders close out the regular season next
week with a home game against San Diego, which had a chance to make it a
three-way tie atop the division but lost to the Lions on Saturday.
The Broncos finish their slate at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jairus Byrd and Spencer Johnson each took back interceptions for touchdowns,
and Leodis McKelvin returned a punt 80 yards for a score to help the Bills
(6-9) end a seven-game losing streak in emphatic fashion.
C.J. Spiller ran for a career-high 111 yards and a TD, while Ryan Fitzpatrick
tossed for 196 yards on 15-of-27 attempts in the victory.
The Bills played mistake-free and forced Tebow into throwing twice as many
interceptions (four) as he had since taking over under center in Week 7.
When asked if it was the worst game of his career, Tebow replied, "It's
probably safe to say that. ...It's one loss. We have to come back and have a
great game against Kansas City."
Tebow completed 13-of-30 passes for 185 yards, ran for a touchdown and threw
for another, but his woes started in the final minute of the third when he
overthrew Demaryius Thomas.
Justin Rogers's interception led to Dave Rayner's 29-yard field goal for a
26-14 lead, and after trading punts, Byrd stepped in front of Tebow's pass
over the middle and took it back 37 yards for a touchdown with 8:03 remaining.
On the next play from scrimmage, Chris Kelsay hit Tebow's arm as the
quarterback was rolling left, causing the ball to pop up into the air and into
the arms of Johnson, who rumbled 16 yards for the back-breaking score.
"Those guys smelled blood in the water and they got after him," Fitzpatrick
said. "It was fun sitting on the sideline seeing the guys jumping around and
The game started out much differently for Denver, which went 73 yards in 11
plays on its first drive, with Tebow plowing over the goal line from a yard
out to finish things off.
But the Broncos failed to record a first down the rest of the half, allowing
the Bills to shake off two missed field goals by Rayner in the first quarter.
Rayner was wide left on tries of 45 and 31 yards before splitting the uprights
on a 28-yard attempt with 6:06 remaining in the second quarter.
Shortly thereafter, Britton Colquitt outkicked his coverage with a 50-yard
punt. McKelvin fielded the booming kick at his own 20-yard line and took it up
the left sideline, where he avoided Colquitt's blatant trip on his way to the
Eddie Royal returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, but a block
in the back penalty on Dante Rosario nullified the score.
The Bills got the ball back at their own 42 with 1:52 left in the half, and
David Nelson's 30-yard catch helped set up Spiller's four-yard touchdown run
with 19 seconds remaining.
The Broncos broke out of their offensive funk on their first play of the
second half, as Tebow hit Rosario for a 32-yard gain. After running for two
yards on 4th-and-1, Tebow found Daniel Fells on a seam route up the middle for
a 17-yard touchdown.
Buffalo had first-and-goal situations the next two times it had the ball, but
settled for a pair of 25-yard Rayner field goals.
Denver's Willis McGahee rushed for 64 yards on 15 carries and joined Ricky
Watters as the only players in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards with three
different teams. McGahee also ran for 1,000 yards with Buffalo and
Baltimore...The Bills finished the season 5-3 at home and play at New England
in next week's season finale...Steve Johnson had a game-high 92 receiving
yards on four receptions...Thomas led Denver with four catches for 76 yards.
12/24 19:39:10 ET
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