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Bills Slow Down Manning, Can’t Stop The Run Game In 24-17 Loss To Broncos

In the end Sunday, the one thing that the Bills had relied on all season came back to bite them.

Their run defense, which was great to this point in the year, failed them Sunday, as the Broncos went from a passing attack to a ground game, rushing for 3 touchdowns in a 24-17 win in Denver.

The loss puts the Bills at 7-6, and puts a serious dent in any hopes of making the postseason.

QB Kyle Orton was 38 of 57 for 355 yards. He led the Bills on two long TD drives in the fourth quarter after they’d fallen behind 21-3.

The problem was the Bills run D couldn’t stop C.J. Anderson, who ran over them for three touchdowns to help the Broncos build an 18-point lead.

Anderson had TD runs of 6, 1 and 3 yards. The latter score followed a 47-yard burst by fellow undrafted tailback Juwan Thompson, Denver’s longest run of the season.

Manning finished 14 of 20 for 173 yards with two interceptions. His top receiver, Demaryius Thomas, was held to two catches for 11 yards, and tight end Julius Thomas (ankle) was active but didn’t play for the third straight week.

The Broncos QB also threw two interceptions deep in Buffalo territory and tight end Jacob Tamme fumbled at the Bills 10-yard line. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have come down to David Bruton Jr.’s recovery of an onside kick in the final minute.

The Bills turned it over twice, including Chris Harris’ Jr.’s goal line interception in the third quarter. That led to a 50-yard field goal by Connor Barth, who focused only on field goals.

Orton connected with Chris Hogan on a 14-yard score with 10:46 remaining to make it 24-10. Buffalo punted on fourth-and-2 from its 16 with 5 1-2 minutes remaining. The gamble paid off when Denver went three-and-out.

Orton drove the Bills 90 yards in 17 plays, converting two fourth downs before taking it in from the 1 with 55 seconds left.

With 127 yards receiving on seven catches, Sammy Watkins became the first Bills rookie with four 100-yard games in a season.

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