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Too many injuries, turnovers and a too many men penalty costs Bills in loss to Broncos

Denver Broncos' Baron Browning, left, and Alex Singleton (49) tackle Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, center, during the first half an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Adrian Kraus
/
AP
Denver Broncos' Baron Browning, left, and Alex Singleton (49) tackle Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, center, during the first half an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Too many injuries. Too many turnovers. Too many men.

Too many things continued piling up for Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills to overcome in a 24-22 loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

The Bills (5-5) turned the ball over four times, with Allen throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. Buffalo's injury-depleted defense — missing five starters — sagged in allowing Russell Wilson to march the Broncos on a 10-play, 57-yard drive that ended with Wil Lutz hitting a 36-yard field goal as time expired.

Lutz got the benefit of a do-over after his initial 41-yard attempt sailed wide right, but the miss was negated due to the Bills having 12 players on the field.

"It's inexcusable," coach Sean McDermott said. "We practice that two or three times a week, the substitution from dime to field-goal block and at the end of the day, we didn't execute it."

He had few other answers on what might be required to address the many other issues the three-time defending AFC East champions are facing in having dropped four of six and slipping further out of the playoff picture.

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"I think I need a little bit of time here after the game to assess that," McDermott said. "Obviously I'm not real happy right now, so I'll evaluate that in the next 24 hours here and see where that takes us."

Second-year offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey's job security remains in question.

McDermott reiterated what he's said in the past that he has confidence in Dorsey, before adding: "But I believe we can be better at the same time."

Dorsey is a first-time NFL coordinator after being elevated from Bills quarterback coach to take over after Brian Daboll left to coach the New York Giants following the 2021 season.

He's now overseeing an offense that has not scored 26 or more points in six straight outings, matching the longest stretch since 2018, Allen's rookie season.

Allen, meantime, has thrown 11 interceptions this season and turned the ball over in a career-worst six straight games.

"Shouldn't have been in that position in the first place," Allen said of the game being determined by a field goal. "Just a lot of bad football. A lot of bad football."

After winning the coin toss, McDermott shifted his strategy in having the offense open the game. The plan backfired on the first snap when running back James Cook lost a fumble. The turnovers continued on Buffalo's second possession when Allen's hard pass over the middle hit off receiver Gabe Davis' hands and bounced directly to safety Justin Simmons at the Broncos 11.

Allen's second interception came on the first play from scrimmage after Lutz made a 49-yard field goal to put Denver up 12-8 with 45 seconds left in the first half. Denver converted that turnover into Lutz's 40-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

"It's not ideal," Allen said, when assessing the hole the Bills have dug. "Yeah, I'm still confident. But it's no secret. The clock's ticking. Gotta have some urgency now."