Von Miller and the Denver Broncos lost to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, though that was mostly Trevor Siemian’s fault. Miller did, however, give up a crucial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that extended a late Bills drive and allow them to take time off the clock and kick a field goal to make it a two-score game.
Siemian threw two bad interceptions on the day, including one that gave the Bills the ball back with 10:44 left on the clock with a 23-16 lead. Buffalo drove the ball to the Denver 46 on the ensuing drive, and Miller pressured quarterback Tyrod Taylor on a 3rd and 6 wth 7:43 to go.
Taylor threw an incompletion and tumbled to the turf, where Miller was ready to offer him a hand up. But as Taylor reached for the hand, Miller pulled it away, as if to say ‘too slow.”
Hilarious, right? It was! Miller laughed. Taylor laughed. Everyone in the press box laughed. And then the official threw a flag and called Miller for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The resulting 15 yards and first down helped Buffalo avoid a punt, instead driving the ball to Denver’s 9 while the Broncos were forced to call all their timeouts. Buffalo then kicked a field goal that put them up 10 with just 3:14 left on the clock.
After the game, Miller scolded himself for “killing” his team.
“I can’t kill us,” Miller told reporters. “I killed the game today with that penalty. I’ve just got to be better than that, and I will be better than that.”
Taylor, meanwhile, said he and Miller and good friends who were drafted the same year. He was surprised Miller offered him a hand, and seemed a bit ashamed he fell for the oldest trick in the book.
“I stuck out my hand, thought he was going to help me up,” Taylor said. “ I don’t really expect people to help me up. But he extended his hand, so I guess I got played in that situation.”
Taylor may have been played the fool in that situation but his Bills held on for the win, which means he got the last laugh on the play.