Have the Broncos rid themselves of their early-season demons? Can they consider themselves legitimate dark-horse contenders to emerge as a playoff team in a crowded AFC?
The answers to those questions are at stake in the Broncos’ in-conference clash with the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football airing on Denver7.
The Bills – thought to be among the league’s elite and bona fide Super Bowl hopefuls for the last couple of seasons – surprisingly face some of the same questions.
At 5-4, Buffalo risks falling into the muddied middle of the pack in the AFC. Falling to 5-5 would put them only a half-game ahead of even the bottom-dwelling Broncos.
“It's a must win game,” said Matt Bové, the sports director for WKBW, Denver7’s sister station in Buffalo. “If the Bills do not win this game tonight, their chances at making the playoffs plummet, and that was never something we thought we were going to be talking about at this point in the season.”
For the Bills, optimism may not be hard to find on Monday Night. Buffalo boats a 24-6 record at home since 2020, tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the best in the NFL over that span.
The Broncos, for their part, are a dismal 8-20 on the road over the last three-plus seasons.
“Going into [Highmark Stadium] is a little bit of a buzzsaw and even it's been that way really since [quarterback Josh Allen was] drafted,” Bové said. “They're just really really good at home [...] In a must win game, I can imagine that this place is going to be pretty juiced up tonight.”
Monday night will also mark the first time Super Bowl 50 hero and current Bills linebacker Von Miller has played against his former team.
Bové sat down with Miller to talk about the matchup.
“He loves Denver so much. He misses Denver, he misses the people of Denver, he misses being out in the community in Denver,” Bové said. “Von Miller is the most positive human that I think I have ever chatted with. So I think it's cool to have that perspective on somebody who's just positive about everything. But when you ask him, ‘What's it going to be like playing against your former team?’ He was like, ‘There's no bad blood. Everybody there loved me. And I loved everybody.’
“He still loves Denver. But I think tonight he would really love beating Denver.”