A dramatic game-winning field goal from Wil Lutz saw the Denver Broncos claim a road win over the Buffalo Bills in a breathless conclusion to Week 10 of the 2023 NFL season.
The Broncos entered Monday Night Football as 7.5-point underdogs but Russell Wilson and his team took advantage of the Bills' lack of discipline to post a 24-22 victory at the Hallmark Stadium.
The Bills went into Week 10 having lost three of their last five games and with injury clouds hanging over a number of key offensive pieces including quarterback Josh Allen, who had been dealing with a shoulder injury.
With star wide receiver Stefon Diggs also missing practice time in preparation for this game, it was perhaps no surprise to see Buffalo start slowly on offense and James Cook set the tone for an evening of errors when fumbling the ball after just eight seconds.
After a Lutz field goal, Allen marched the Bills down the field but a rapid-fire pass burst out of Gabe Davis's hands and into those of Denver's defense and that theme continued through the first quarter as both offenses failed to get anything going.
The first touchdown of the contest came courtesy of some magic from Wilson, who managed to evade the on-rushing Shaq Wilson before floating a pass in the direction of receiver Courtland Sutton, who somehow managed to keep both feet inbounds.
Buffalo would respond, as impressive rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid scored his second touchdown in three games before Allen connected with Davis for a two-point conversion.
Lutz nailed another kick with 45 seconds left in the second quarter and then disaster struck for Allen once again as he threw another pick, allowing the Broncos to kick a third field goal of the half as Denver went into the locker room with a 15-8 half-time lead.
After the offense failed to convert a fourth-down opportunity, the Buffalo defense came out firing in the second half, turning over the ball near the halfway line as a big hit forced Sutton to cough up the ball.
That sparked the Bills into life, Cook finding some running room and Allen connecting with a deep shot to Khalil Shakir, then the quarterback handed the ball to Latavius Murray who punched in a second Buffalo touchdown to tie the game.
An inaccurate Allen was then picked off again and the stuttering offenses traded punts but Denver retook the lead at the start of the fourth as Wilson found running back Javonte Williams for a three-yard touchdown.
A bobbled snap on the extra-point attempt left the Broncos six points ahead before the Bills, again doing plenty of work on the ground, took the lead for the first and only time when Allen rushed for a touchdown in the final two minutes.
Buffalo looked set to move to a 6-4 record when Wilson was sacked on the halfway line with 35 seconds left of the clock.
Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy drew a flag on a deep third-down pass for defensive pass interference to move Denver into range for the game-winning field goal.
There was still time for more drama as Lutz pushed his first effort right of the posts but, on a night of indefensible errors from the Bills, the home team were flagged for having 12 men on the field, allowing Denver's kicker a second chance with which he made no mistake.
After a 3-1 start to the season, the Bills were considered to be one of the leading contenders for the Super Bowl but a run of four losses from six games has them out to +2500 to win the Lombardi for the first time.
Buffalo is +1200 to win the AFC Championship and +280 to win the AFC East, with Allen now +2200 to be named regular season MVP.
Next up for the Bills is a Week 11 trip to their divisional rivals the New York Jets, for which Buffalo is a seven-point favorite, but the pre-Christmas schedule gets tougher with games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys on the horizon.
As for the Broncos, it seemed inconceivable that they could make the playoffs after losing five of their first six games of the season but Wilson and his team are improving and have now beaten the Packers, the Chiefs and the Bills in their last three.
The 4-5 Broncos are +1225 to make the playoffs, which remains unlikely, but a more realistic target could be to win at least eight games, which is priced at -115.
Next up for the Broncos is a Week 11 meeting with Josh Dobbs and the Vikings at Mile High with Denver -140 on the money line and -2.5 favorites.