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Normally, a quarterback having two touchdown passes called back by penalties on the same drive comes back to haunt a team. The Bills and Josh Allen were able to laugh them off when it happened to them Saturday against the Broncos.

That’s because Allen and the Bills were already up by three touchdowns when he threw two scoring passes that didn’t count in the third quarter. He’d already thrown two legal touchdowns and run for two more by that point. Buffalo had to settle for a field goal on the penalty-laden drive, but the game was already well in hand. The Bills went on to win 48-19 and clinch their first AFC East championship in 25 years.

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Allen’s first illegitimate touchdown was a 1-yard score to Lee Smith. Buffalo was pushed back 10 yards because of offensive pass interference by a lineman who’d reported as eligible. Two plays later, Allen found Isaiah McKenzie in the left flat before the speedy wideout scored from 7 yards out. That one didn’t count because of a penalty for an illegal formation.

The Bills’ third-year quarterback had already overcome one drive filled with penalties to throw a touchdown earlier in the game. Buffalo’s last drive of the second quarter reached the Denver 5 before Devin Singletary scored on a Statue of Liberty run for a touchdown. A holding penalty brought that back, and then a subsequent offensive pass interference and false start gave the Bills a first-and-goal from the 30.

Allen completed an 8-yard pass to McKenzie and then found Jake Kumerow in the center of the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown.

The people feeling most hard done by Allen being deprived that third touchdown pass Saturday were likely his fantasy owners. Week 15 is fantasy semifinal week in most leagues, and Allen was already having a monster week before Sunday even began. But those four fewer fantasy points could matter come Monday night, even if the lack of six didn’t hurt the Bills in Denver.

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December 20, 2020