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Rapid Reaction: Bumbling Trevor Siemian and goofy call by confused ref doom the Broncos to defeat

September 24, 2017 Updated: September 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm
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Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, left, is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

What happened to the team we knew?

The Broncos looked magnificent last week while utterly dominating the (allegedly) mighty Cowboys.

The same team bumbled to defeat in Buffalo. The Broncos will be stumbling into next week’s game against the invading Raiders, always the mangiest team in the NFL. The AFC West is mighty this season, and the Broncos never looked mighty on Sunday.

What happened?

Here are two reasons why the Broncos lost to the Bills:

One – Trevor Siemian’s errant arm

Let’s get this straight: Siemian has often been sensational this season. He was dominating against the Cowboys.

He returned to mediocrity against the Bills.

His fourth quarter interception toss to Tre Davis ranks as the worst throw of the decade by a Bronco quarterback, and maybe the worst throw of the 21st century.

I heard from a young Bronco fan who said it was worst throw in franchise history.

That fan never saw Steve Tensi throw a football for the Broncos. (Tensi's career completion percentage: 42.8. There's bad. And then there's Tensi bad.)

Siemian’s last throw offered a brief summary of his dreadful afternoon in Western New York.

Emmanuel Sanders was open, and the Broncos still had a slight chance at victory.

Siemian’s throw was short. Siemian's touch was off. His decisions were off.

A bad day for No. 13. He’ll have to better – much better – for the Broncos to return to the playoffs.

Two – An official with no sense of humor, or judgement

Midway through the fourth quarter, Von Miller hurried Bills QB Tyrod Taylor into an incompletion.

Then, in a brief and harmless attempt at humor, Miller faked an offer to help Taylor to his feet. This was Von being Von. This was absolutely no big deal. You could see, clearly, that Taylor got the joke.

Malice?

None.

Ref Carl Cheffers did not get the joke. He flagged Miller for unsportsmanlike conduct, allowing the Bills to drive to a vital field goal.

Siemian’s second interception was really bad. It was not as bad as Cheffers’ call. One of the all-time bad NFL calls.

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