The Broncos looked like they were going to get a chance at a comeback. Down seven points to the Bills midway through the fourth, Von Miller got pressure on Tyrod Taylor and forced an incomplete pass on third down. Buffalo would have to punt. Except:
“I can’t put my team in situations like that,” Miller said. “... I’ve got to be smarter than that. I’m always on the rookies and the young guys about being smart, doing this, doing that. And in a crucial situation in the game — I’ve just got to be better than that ... I killed the game today with that play. I’ve just got to be better than that.”
The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave Buffalo a first down and extended the drive. And by the time it was over, the Bills had run four more minutes off the clock, forced Denver to use all their timeouts, and kicked a field goal to make it a two-score game.
Easy for me to say because I have no stake in the matter, but: I think it was totally worth it.
Taylor didn’t take it personally—he thought it was funny—but after a 26-16 win I bet he’d volunteer to be the butt of that gag every week.
“Me and Von came out the same year (in the draft) and we’re good friends and we were laughing on the field,” Taylor said. “I honestly didn’t know it was going to be a flag. Like I said, we were laughing (about it). It ended up working in our favor. I guess a bad play by him at the time, pretty sure he wishes he could have that back.”