If there were ever a ‘get right’ game for the Buffalo Bills, it would be hosting the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Denver comes into this game at 3-5 with a negative points differential of 54. Only four teams have a worse point differential, and only four teams have fewer wins.
Las Vegas agrees that the Bills have an advantage. Buffalo currently sits as a seven-point favorite for the primetime showdown. ESPN’s analytics gives the Bills a 79% win probability. None of that matters when it comes to playing the game on the field, though. What does matter is getting a much-needed victory, so here are my five keys to a Bills win when they kick off with the Broncos on Monday Night Football.
Blitz the Broncos
I understand there has been a newfound hatred for EPA, but the Broncos EPA when teams blitz Russell Wilson is the worst in the league at -4.5 vs. .1 when he isn’t blitzed. Denver has a pass block win rate of 61% (ESPN Analytics), which is ninth-best in the league. So, sending an extra man could go a long way to getting back to the winning ways.
Run the Rock
The Broncos are last in the league in both yards allowed per rush (5.4 yards) and rushing yards allowed per game (154.1). Their run block win rate is also the worst in the league, per ESPN Analytics at just a 28% win rate. This all adds up to a big game from the Bills rushing attack.
Fold the Flags
Do not give Denver the hidden-yard advantage via penalties. The Broncos are first in the league at just 7.8 penalties per game. They’re also first at just 70.4 penalty yards per game. Meanwhile, the Bills are in the middle of the pack in all penalty stats.
Regulate the Redzone
The Broncos allow a touchdown on 50% of their opponent’s trips to the red zone. That isn’t terrible; it ranks 11th best in the NFL. The Bills offense ranks third in the league with a TD scoring percentage of 68.6. When Buffalo gets into the opposing 20, Josh Allen and crew must finish those drives with touchdowns.
Crush the Clock
The Bills’ poor offensive performances in the first quarter of late is the most frustrating stat for me. They average just 3.3 points per first quarter over their last three games. That is the ninth-worst mark in the league. Meanwhile, Denver’s defense has allowed just two points per first quarter over the last three games. It’s clear to see who has the advantage and where Buffalo needs to break some trends.