ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) – Tyrod Taylor threw two touchdowns and the Bills intercepted Trevor Siemian twice in the final 19 minutes of Buffalo’s 26-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Taylor went 20 of 26 for 213 yards with a 2-yard touchdown to Andre Holmes and a 6-yarder to Charles Clay. Taylor got lucky on the touchdown pass to Holmes, as his pass deflected off the hands of Zay Jones just inside the goal line and bounced directly to Holmes in the back of the end zone.
The Bills (2-1) overcame their struggling running attack courtesy of Taylor’s arm and a stout defense in a game LeSean McCoy was limited to 21 yards on 14 carries. Though he had seven catches for 48 yards, McCoy’s latest poor outing came after he was limited to 9 yards rushing in a 9-3 loss at Carolina.
PHOTO GALLERY: Broncos Fall To The Bills In Buffalo
The Bills allowed just one touchdown, while Brandon McManus rounded out Denver’s scoring with three field goals.
Rather than point fingers at the Taylor-led offense following the loss to Carolina, Bills defenders blamed themselves for failing to generate any turnovers. They made up for that against the Broncos on an unseasonably hot afternoon, with temperatures projected to reach the upper 80s, making the on-field conditions even warmer.
In falling to 2-1, the Broncos turned the ball over on each of their final four possessions, with Siemian being intercepted by E.J. Gaines and Tre’Davious White.
The Broncos also turned the ball over twice on downs.
Deon Lacey tackled De’Angelo Henderson for a 1-yard gain when Denver attempted a fake punt on fourth-and-2 at its own 31 early in the fourth quarter. And the Broncos’ final drive ended when Siemian underthrew a pass to Emmanuel Sanders with under 2 minutes left.
Buffalo went ahead 20-16 on Taylor’s 6-yard pass to Clay with 6:20 left in the third quarter, and then put the game out of reach on a pair of field goals by Stephen Hauschka.
Hauschka hit a 53-yarder after the Broncos were foiled on their fake punt. Hauschka also hit a 55-yarder in becoming Buffalo’s first player to make two field goals 53 yards or longer in the same game.
Hauschka then sealed the win with a 37-yard field goal with 3:14 left on a drive following White’s interception.
Von Miller didn’t help the Broncos’ cause on that drive. Though he had a sack and was in on six tackles, the star linebacker took a foolish penalty with 6 minutes left.
Offering his hand as if to help up Taylor, Miller then pulled it away at the last second right in front of an official, who flagged Miller 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
It was a disappointing performance for Siemian, who entered the game tied for the league lead with six touchdowns passing. Instead, he finished hitting 24 of 40 for 259 and two interceptions. Jamaal Charles scored Denver’s lone touchdown on a 12-yard run five minutes into the second quarter.
Two undisciplined penalties against the Bills led to the Broncos’ first touchdown. First, safety Micah Hyde was flagged for a late hit on C.J. Anderson, who was well out of bounds following a 32-yard run. On the next play, defensive end Jerry Hughes drew a roughing-the-passer penalty for bowling over Siemian after he threw an incompletion.
Bills RB LeSean McCoy knelt, then sat and stretched during the anthem a day after he caused a stir by tweeting, “It’s really sad man” and then used an obscenity to describe Trump. Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly joined the team on the field during the anthem and held up his left hand while holding a Bills cap.
More than half of the Broncos players — including linebacker Von Miller, safety Aqib Talib and receiver Demaryius Thomas — knelt on their side of the field.
Fans began to boo as the Bills players walked in unison onto the field. They stopped booing once the anthem began.
Broncos: Rookie starting left tackle Garett Bolles started a week after fearing he tore his left Achilles tendon. Tests, however, revealed he sustained a bruised bone and returned to practice on Thursday.
Bills: Starting left tackle Cordy Glenn (right ankle) and Dareus (right ankle) were ruled out after being hurt in a 9-3 loss at Carolina last week. Rookie third-round draft pick Dion Dawkins started in place of Glenn, while Cedric Thornton started for Dareus.
Broncos: Host Oakland Raiders on Oct. 1.
Bills: At Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 1.
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