Allen, Bills wary of battered Broncos

Field Level Media

November 21, 2019 at 6:19 am.

Josh Allen is the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week, but the Buffalo Bills quarterback isn’t resting easy despite playing a team with a losing record Sunday.

“I don’t think their record shows how good they are,” Allen said of the Denver Broncos on Wednesday. “They’ve lost a couple of games by less than one score. Their defense is pretty dang good.”

The Broncos are on track for a third straight losing season, after previously going without two in a row since 1971-72. But despite a 3-7 record, Denver has been in almost every game, with four losses decided by a single play in the final minute.

The latest was last week’s 27-23 loss at Minnesota, in which the Broncos blew a 20-point halftime lead and couldn’t score on three plays from the 4-yard line in the final seconds.

With the playoffs a distant dream, Denver will need to focus on building for the future.

“I know we do have some stuff growing, and we’re building,” cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. “We’re understanding the defense, understanding what the new guys that we brought in (can contribute), building that chemistry, so it’s something that definitely we can build on for next year. But like I said, I’m just focusing on the week to week. Every week is a challenge, a great challenge for me, and I have to be able to play good for us to win.”

Quarterback Brandon Allen will make his third career start Sunday in Buffalo, where the Broncos haven’t won since 2007. Allen has played well since taking over for the injured Joe Flacco, and he will be the starter for the foreseeable future.

Rookie Drew Lock, who has been on injured reserve since the start of the season, won’t be activated this week and may stay on IR for the rest of the season, although he began practicing last week. Lock could have been put on the active roster after fullback Andy Janovich’s season-ending right elbow injury, but the team signed tight end Orson Charles on Tuesday.

Denver is dealing with plenty of injuries on offense, but it does have a formidable defense that could give Josh Allen some trouble. The Broncos rank fourth in total defense (310.8 yards per game), fifth in pass defense (210.3) and tied for seventh in scoring defense (19.7 points per game) in the NFL.

Buffalo will try to stop the likes of linebacker Von Miller and defensive lineman Shelby Harris, who had three sacks last week, without right tackle Ty Nsekhe, who injured his ankle last Sunday in a 37-20 win at Miami.

The Bills are also dealing with injuries on their defense. Safety Siran Neal is in the concussion protocol, and defensive lineman Jerry Hughes is battling a nagging groin injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday.

Hughes was able to play against the Dolphins despite the injury flaring up in the preparation for the Week 11 game. Head coach Sean McDermott didn’t rule anyone out of Sunday’s game other than Nsekhe, who is considered week to week.

In addition to Janovich’s injury, Broncos offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James (knee) and tight end Jeff Heuerman (knee) are questionable for the Sunday game.