With seconds on the clock, the kicker’s first attempt from 41 yards had drifted wide of the mark, but he was offered a reprieve after the Bills were penalized for having too many players on the field.
The Bills had tried, but failed, to switch from their dime defense to a field goal block formation, leaving one extra man on the field.
Lutz made no mistake with his second effort which sailed over from 36 yards, after the five-yard penalty.
“We practiced two or three times this week – the substitution from dime to field goal block. At the end of the day, we didn’t execute it, so it’s inexcusable,” the visibly frustrated Buffalo Bills coach, Sean McDermott, told reporters after the game.
It capped off a sloppy performance from the Bills who have now lost two consecutive games – they currently sit outside the AFC playoff places on 5-5 for the season.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen endured another difficult night, throwing two interceptions – his sixth-straight game with a pick – and losing a fumble. He now leads the NFL with 11 interceptions this season.
“It sucks. A lot of bad football,” Allen told reporters when asked what went wrong for the team.
Despite the plethora of errors – which have become a common theme for the Buffalo offense this season – the Bills had their noses in front with less than two minutes remaining after Allen’s six-yard rushing touchdown had put the home team 22-21 ahead.
But there was still time for Bills to trip themselves up and a clear pass interference by cornerback Taron Johnson with 35 seconds left was penalized, handing Lutz the chance to win it for Denver.
The Broncos are now 4-5 this season after three consecutive wins.
While the night may be remembered for the Bills’ error-strewn display, Courtland Sutton’s remarkable second quarter touchdown for Denver will also live long in the memory.
The improbable moment came with just under seven-and-a-half minutes left to play in the second quarter when quarterback Russell Wilson spun out of trouble and sent a pass towards the corner.
Sutton caught the ball and was initially ruled out-of-bounds until a video review showed the receiver’s magical toe drag footwork had kept himself in to hand Denver a 9-0 lead.
Hamlin continues comeback
Despite the chastening defeat, there was some good news for the Bills who saw Damar Hamlin make his first tackle in an NFL regular season game since his cardiac arrest in January.
Hamlin came on in the fourth quarter and wrapped up tight end Adam Trautman near the sideline during the nail-biting conclusion.
Hamlin was fully cleared to resume football activities in April. By August, he was a full participant in preseason games.
Hamlin collapsed in January after making a tackle and taking a shot to the head and chest area. Medical professionals performed CPR when he lost his pulse and he needed to be revived through resuscitation and defibrillation. He was on a ventilator for days and spent more than a week in a Cincinnati hospital.
It was later determined that Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was caused by commotio cordis, which can occur when severe trauma to the chest disrupts the heart’s electrical charge and causes dangerous fibrillations (or abnormal heartbeats).
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