Von Miller Says He 'Killed the Game' with Unsportsmanlike Penalty vs. Bills

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2017

Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, left, talks to Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

A silly mistake by a veteran player might have cost the Denver Broncos a chance at a win Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Linebacker Von Miller drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after jokingly pulling his hand away from Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, which extended a fourth-quarter drive for Buffalo.

The Bills' Twitter account shared video of that play:

He took full responsibility for the mistake after the game, via Jeff Legwold of ESPN:

"I can't put my team in situations like that. ...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 Bills wound up winning, 26-16.

If not for the penalty, which came after a third-down stop, Buffalo would have been forced to punt to the Broncos with just a seven-point lead and more than seven minutes remaining. After getting the first down, the Bills extended the drive another four minutes and ended with a field goal.

Denver only got the ball back with a little more than three minutes left, and Trevor Siemian couldn't lead the squad back from a 10-point deficit.

When asked about it after the game, Taylor admitted he was good friends with Miller and didn't know it was going to be a flag:

While it might have been just a joke, it caused a significant shift in the game. Per ESPN, the Bills' win probability jumped from 88.5 percent to 94.3 percent after the penalty.

Given the importance of every regular-season NFL game, Miller assuredly would like to have that moment back.