Bills face ‘another test’ against Broncos top ranked red zone defense

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) is sacked by Denver Broncos linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (97) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Westerholt)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – This season the Bills have faced their fair share of tough defenses. Look no further than last week’s game against the Steelers and came away with a 26-15 win thanks to a big third quarter.

Now they’ve got another challenge against the Broncos. At first that sounds misleading given how much Denver has struggled this year at just 5-8. But one area they’ve been able to dominate in is their red zone defense that ranks first in the NFL.

“They’re definitely active on the back end and they’ve got a hell of a front so it’s gonna be another test for us because the defense is definitely impressive,” Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs said.

Impressive is a good word to use when describing this Broncos defense and the way its performed despite all of the injuries they’ve dealt with. Their secondary has been hammered with injuries losing five cornerbacks so far this season because of injuries or suspension.

“They’re extremely well disciplined, extremely well coached. It’s kind of like that bend don’t break motto where that’s where they tighten up in the red zone,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said.

“They do a good job of getting pressure up front. In the back end, smart players that are ready to jump on things and they understand they have an extra defender at the end line behind them, so they’re kind of forcing you to throw over the top of them. And it just doesn’t work out many times in your favor.”

What has worked in the Bills favor is their red zone offense. This is where Josh Allen has thrived. So far throughout his career in 141 pass attempts he has 35 passing touchdowns and no interceptions in the red zone. He also has 22 rushing touchdowns inside opponents 20-yard line.

“I think [Brian] Daboll calls a great game especially when we get in the red zone. Our guys go out there run the right routes and catch the ball. For me it’s just kind of put it where only your guy can get it and if not we’ll take the three points,” Allen said.

“Obviously we’ll take six as many times as we can, we know that’s not gonna be perfect all the time and we’re gonna have to settle for field goals every once in a while but hopefully more often than not we’re putting six on the board instead of three.”

Diggs also credits offensive coordinator Brian Daboll for the play calling when they get in the red zone.

“I would give it all to Coach Daboll and the way he draws it up and the fact that we have so many skill players that can make plays in the red zone. I feel like we’ve got a lot of weapons on offense and they do a great job of utilizing those guys and you see tight ends even showing up big for us at times,” Diggs said.

Allen’s mobility also helps in those situations.

“In the red zone that’s big because you’re working with limited space and a guy that can move around maybe run for it maybe move around a little bit, put the ball anywhere he has a hell of an arm as we know so being able to throw the ball on the run or put it in a spot that not a lot of guys can put it at any given time,” Diggs explained.

“We see him sometimes we watch tape and we see him fire a ball and it’s like damn he threw that ball so hard. You don’t know how hard he throws in the game because it’s just like his usual but he can squeeze a ball in those small areas and it’s impressive.”

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