Can The Broncos QB Unlock An Offensive Sequel Against The Bills?

Written By Ian St. Clair on 12/16/2020

Drew Lock had his best game of the season.

Heck, it may have been the best game of the Denver Broncos quarterback’s young career.

In the 32-27 upset win over the Carolina Panthers, Lock finished 21-for-27, passing for 280 yards, four touchdowns and, the key stat, no interceptions.

To put that showing in historical perspective, Lock is now just the fourth quarterback in Broncos history to put up a game like that.

As CBS Sports first pointed out, players with at least four passing touchdowns, zero picks and a 75% completion percentage:

  • Lock (Sunday)
  • Peyton Manning (four times)
  • John Elway (1984)
  • Craig Morton (1981)

Patrick Smyth, the organization’s chief communications officer, added even more historical context.

Lock had the third-highest passer rating (149.5) for a game in team history. Smyth added that Lock’s passer rating on Sunday trailed only Manning (157.2 vs. the San Francisco 49ers in 2014) and Elway (156.0 vs. the Arizona Cardinals in 1995).

Let’s add one more for the Colorado sports betting market, just for fun.

CBS pointed out that only one quarterback this season has had a game with four touchdowns, zero picks, 75+% completion percentage, and 149+ quarterback rating: Lock.

Is this sustainable for Lock?

Now for the question of the week: Was this an anomaly from Lock or is it sustainable?

The task for him and Denver (5-8) this Saturday is no joke with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills (10-3) coming into Mile High.

The Bills are one of best teams in the AFC and look to have a legitimate shot for a deep playoff run.

As a side note, the Broncos will wear their color rush uniforms on Saturday.

That means a throwback to the snot-rocket “D” logo. And Denver seems to have good fortune when it pays homage to the iconic logo. It’s 3-1 in games in which it wears the color rush traffic cone uniforms.

Broncos vs. Bills odds

So it’s no surprise that Denver is a huge underdog.

However, the New Orleans Saints debacle tossed aside, the Broncos have shown improvement since their win over the Miami Dolphins. All three games have seen Denver get better each week. In those games, it’s 2-1.

For those betting on the Broncos, here’s another record to keep in mind: They’re 8-5 against the spread this season.

If you’re looking to wager on Saturday’s game, point spread betting is the way to go.

How the Broncos can pull off the upset

Let’s get the obvious taken care of right away: Denver needs to play like it did against the Panthers, especially offensively, with a similar offensive game plan (perhaps with a few added wrinkles).

And most importantly, they need a similar kind of game from Lock.

If he’s able to have the same kind of showing on Saturday against a much better defense and team, the Broncos will win.

That’s a tall ask because Buffalo is really, really good. With how good Allen and the Bills offense is, Denver will need its offense to show up.

Win the turnover battle

That ties in another key to this game: the Broncos must win the turnover battle.

If Lock and the offense give the ball away, as they have done this season, Denver has no shot.

Since the Broncos are last in the NFL in turnover differential at -18, that’s another tall ask. And as good as the defense has been for Denver this season, it doesn’t really take the ball away.

The Broncos need to do that on Saturday to give Lock and their offense a few more possessions (while taking them away from Allen).

You also start to see why the NFL betting odds have Denver as a touchdown-underdog.

To pull off the upset on Saturday, Lock and the Broncos must have their best game of the season. Again.

Photo by AP / Jack Dempsey
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Ian St. Clair

Ian is an award-winning sports journalist and a University of Northern Colorado graduate. He’s a Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. He broke into the gambling industry right as Colorado launched legal sports betting in 2020. Ian now manages the sites for some of the biggest gambling markets in North America and is an analyst for PlayColorado.

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