15:00: The Bills have a second-and-6 from their own 32-yard line when play resumes.
Trent Edwards drops back and finds running back Fred Jackson streaking down the right sideline. He makes the catch and reverses field to avoid Broncos defenders. He picks up 65 yards before being taken down by Dre’ Bly at the Denver three-yard line.
13:30: After a one-yard gain on first-and-goal, Edwards hands off to Xavier Omon for the second consecutive play, and he loses a yard after being taken down by Jamie Winborn and Josh Bell. On third-and-goal, Edwards’ pass is complete to Steve Johnson in the end zone. Dre’ Bly made a diving attempt to break it up, and may have gotten a piece of it, but Johnson got the touchdown.
The Rian Lindell extra point puts the Bills back on top of the Broncos, 23-20.
TWO UPDATES: For Buffalo, running back Marshawn Lynch’s return is questionable with a shoulder injury. For Denver, Jay Cutler is now just 17 yards away from breaking the franchise’s single-season passing yard record.
12:47: Selvin Young is back to receive the Buffalo kickoff. He takes it out to the 26-yard line, and the offense takes over.
On first down, Cutler sends Tatum Bell in motion, setting up an empty backfield. He drops back and lets loose a pass down the middle of the field and into the waiting arms of a wide-open Tony Scheffler. It’s a 36-yard reception, setting up a first-and-10 at the Buffalo 38-yard line.
Cutler is in the shotgun, drops back and quickly fires a pass to Eddie Royal, who slides to the ground and makes the reception for another first-down.
UPDATE: With the long pass to Scheffler, Cutler set the Broncos franchise record for single-season passing yards.
11:13: An incomplete pass on first down — Royal slipped — sets up a second-and-10. Cutler hands off to Young, who picks up two yards.
Now it’s third-and-8 for the Broncos at the Buffalo 25-yard line. Cutler is in the shotgun with Tatum Bell to his left. He launches a pass to the back of the end zone, but it’s over the head of a streaking Royal.
11:03: On fourth down, Prater drives home a 43-yard field goal attempt to tie the game. The Broncos and Bills are all knotted up at 23-23.
10:54: After a short kickoff by Prater — trying to keep it away from special teams nightmare Leodis McKelvin — Fred Jackson fields it and takes it 30 yards into Broncos territory.
The Bills are set up to start their drive at the Denver 45.
A girl in a bright orange bikini top was just shown on the big screen — Broncos fans apparently take their cold weather games seriously.
Now play resumes and Edwards fakes a handoff before rolling to his right and finding Josh Reed for a first down at the 29-yard line.
10:20: On first down, it’s play-action from Edwards again, and he completes a pass as he’s hit to Reed again, setting up another first down on the 18-yard line.
9:09: After a 10-yard run by Jackson and a measurement, the Bills have a first-and-goal from the eight-yard line. On first down, Jackson takes the carry eight yards into the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point is good, and Buffalo leads Denver, 30-23.
8:48: The Broncos offense jogs to the line at their own 24. Empty backfield for Cutler, who drops back and is hit as he throws into space. The pass falls incomplete between two Bills defenders.
8:43: Second-and-10, Cutler is in the shotgun with Tatum Bell beside him. He tries to get the ball to Eddie Royal, but the pass is intercepted at about the Denver 25-yard line. There’s a flag on the play, however. Holding on Marcus Stroud — five-yard penalty and automatic first down. Interception negated.
On the next play, Cutler finds Marshall for a 19-yard gain. Tatum Bell follows that up with a three-yard run, then a Cutler pass intended for Brandon Stokley falls incomplete.
That sets up third-and-7, and Cutler finds Royal for 15 yards and the first down.
7:10: On first down, Cutler finds Marshall for eight yards, then follows that up with another connection for 11 yards down to the Buffalo 15-yard line.
5:42: It’s third-and-10 from the 15 after two incomplete Cutler passes. The first was a quick throw-away to avoid a sack, and the second was just over Marshall’s head in the back of the end zone. Now on third down, Cutler tries to get the ball to Marshall for a touchdown, but it’s intercepted at the goal line by Kawika Mitchell. He returns it to the two-yard line, where Buffalo has a first-and-10.
4:55: Fred Jackson takes two consecutive handoffs — the first picks up five yards, the second is snuffed out by Ebenezer Ekuban and Marcus Thomas for no gain. Now it’s third-and-5 for the Bills at their own 7.
Jackson takes the pitch on third down to the right side, but Nic Clemons is there for the initial stop, blowing up the play after one yard.
The crowd chants, “Eddie! Eddie!” As Brian Moorman is in to punt. The ball takes a Buffalo bounce in front of Royal, and the the Bills down it at the Denver 39-yard line. It’s a 53-yard punt.
2:45: Cutler completes a seven-yard pass to Brandon Stokley on first down, then avoids some defenders on a scramble on second-and-3 to pick up a first down in Buffalo territory. It’s a nine-yard run for the quarterback.
On the next first down, he tries to get the ball to Marshall, but Terrence McGee is there to knock the ball away. Solid coverage by McGee on what looked to be a catch by Marshall inside the 20.
2:01: On the last play before the two minute warning, Cutler is in teh shotgun and tries to find Stokley near the first-down marker. The ball is knocked away, and the Broncos have a third-and-10 from the Buffalo 45-yard line on the other side of the break.
1:56: Cutler is in the shotgun with an empty backfield. Four receivers are out wide. He drops back, dances in the pocket and finds Stokley for the first down. Stokley gets back up and starts sprinting toward the end zone, but the refs say he was down by contact.
Now the ball is at the 32-yard line, first-and-10. Cutler gets it to Marshall for another first down at the 20-yard line. They’re back in the red zone, and the team calls its second timeout of the half.
1:16: Cutler’s pass to Stokley in the middle of the field falls incomplete after a defensive back meets Stokley just as the ball gets there. It looks like he might have an interception, but the ball hits the ground.
On second down, Cutler is in the shotgun again and gets the ball out to Daniel Graham for a five-yard gain. The offense hurries up to the line and Cutler takes the snap in shotgun again before overthrowing Stokley in the back of the end zone.
0:39: It’s now fourth-and-5 at the 15-yard line for the Broncos, down by a touchdown. The offense huddles up, and Cutler is in the shotgun with four receivers out wide. He takes the snap and lofts it to Stokley, who almost comes away with a miraculous catch — but the ball pops out as he hits the ground.
Turnover on downs.
Edwards takes a knee to end the game, and the two teams meet at midfield to shake hands.
The Bills come away with the victory, 30-23.
The loss means the Broncos will head to San Diego next week for a winner-to-the-playoffs, loser-go-home matchup.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com