ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Notable numbers and notes from the Broncos’ 40-14 thrashing at the hooves of the Buffalo Bills here Saturday:
MINUS-9: Denver’s giveaway-takeaway ratio the last three weeks, which has gotten progressively worse: two giveaways against Chicago, three against the Patriots and four on Saturday.
Since 2000, NFL teams are 11-282 when finishing with a minus-four or worse turnover margin. The Broncos haven’t won a game with such a bad margin since Dec. 14, 1985, when they defeated the Chiefs 14-13 at Mile High Stadium in spite of a minus-five ratio. Since then, they are 0-10-1 with minus-four-or-worse.
“Any time you have turnovers, you’re just setting yourselves up to fail,” lamented tight end Daniel Fells.
3-12: Denver’s record in games since 2008 when the kickoff temperature is below 50 degrees. It was 30 degrees Saturday, the coldest conditions in which the Broncos have played this season.
3-60: Receptions and yards for the Broncos’ entire complement of tight ends for the entirety of six games from Weeks 10-15.
5-77: Receptions and yards for the Broncos’ tight ends Saturday. Dante Rosario led the way with 32 yards on two receptions. Daniel Fells added 22 on two receptions, including one for a touchdown, while Virgil Green had one catch for nine yards.
Each had a grab on the touchdown drive to open the third quarter, meaning that the Broncos matched their tight end reception total from the previous five games on one possession. That included a 32-yard Rosario reception that was the longest completion to a tight end by Tim Tebow since he became the starting quarterback in Week 7.
Of course, it didn’t help secure overall success for the Broncos.
If the tight ends are involved and we don’t win, well, I’d rather not get the ball,” Fells said. “It’s all about the magic ‘W.’”
35.4: Tebow’s quarterback rating against the Bills, his lowest as an NFL starting quarterback. His previous low of 56.8 came against the Lions in Week 8.
19: Points surrendered by the defense Saturday, thanks to outstanding work in the red zone and early inaccuracy from Buffalo placekicker Dave Rayner, who missed two first-quarter field-goal attempts. The Bills breached the Broncos’ 30-yard-line seven times — including six into the red zone — and only came away with one touchdown, six field-goal attempts and 19 points.
21: Points surrendered by the offense and special teams.
“It’s very frustrating, because our defense goes out there and plays their hearts out,” Fells said.
“Too many big plays. All three phases. You can’t play as poorly as we did and give up a lot of points in every phase of the game — offense, defense, special teams, we gave up touchdowns,” said cornerback Champ Bailey. “It’s not acceptable.”
2,416: The season total of rushing yardage for the Broncos after Saturday’s game, which is the best for the club since 2005 and the fifth-best in franchise history. The Broncos need 214 yards against Kansas City to break the franchise single-season record, set in 2003 when Clinton Portis helped power the Broncos to 2,629 rushing yards.