Bills use all-around effort to end skid

Despite his team’s long losing streak, Bills safety George
Wilson had a good feeling about ending the skid against Tim Tebow
and the Denver Broncos.

Jairus Byrd and Spencer Johnson returned Tebow interceptions for
touchdowns on consecutive plays from scrimmage in the fourth
quarter to seal Buffalo’s 40-14 rout of the Broncos on Saturday.
The Bills snapped a seven-game slide and stalled the Broncos in
their bid to secure their first playoff berth since 2005.

Tebow finished with a career-worst four interceptions as the
Broncos (8-7) lost their second in a row and fell into a tie with
Oakland for first place in the AFC West. The Broncos close the
season at home against Kansas City next week, while Oakland hosts
San Diego.

The Bills, meanwhile, will close out their 12th consecutive
season without a postseason berth next week at New England.

”We’ve been well overdue for a big game as a team,” Wilson
said. ”To come out with the offense, defense, and special teams
all hitting on all cylinders, it’s a great feeling to have.”

C.J. Spiller scored on a 4-yard run and Leodis McKelvin busted
an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown to help the Bills to their
first win since blowing out Washington at the end of October in
Toronto, a victory that made them 5-2.

”Guys came out and played hard,” said Spiller, who surpassed
the 100-yard mark for the first time in his two-year career by
gaining 111 yards on 16 carries. ”That was the team that was 5-2
that performed out there.”

Byrd scored on a 37-yard return with 8:03 left and Johnson had a
17-yarder just 18 seconds later as Buffalo (6-9) won its home
finale.

Dave Rayner shook off two missed field-goal attempts – and a
booing crowd – to hit his final four, all from within 29 yards.

The Bills held the Broncos to 293 yards.

”I thought our guys played extremely well,” Buffalo coach Chan
Gailey said. ”I thought we kept the pressure on the run game the
whole game. It was a great job of planning and playing by our
defense.”

The Bills set a single-season franchise record with five
interceptions returned for touchdowns.

”When we had opportunities to get our hands on the ball, we
took advantage of them and pulled down interceptions,” Wilson
said.

Tebow finished 13 of 30 for 185 yards with a 17-yard touchdown
pass to Daniel Fells. He added 34 yards rushing, and scored on a
1-yard plunge.

”My confidence is just fine,” Tebow said. ”I have to do a
better job of not giving them opportunities. I tried to make
something happen, and I tried to force it.”

While Tebow was struggling, his Bills counterpart, Ryan
Fitzpatrick enjoyed his most efficient game in two months by going
15 of 27 for 196 yards with no interceptions. Fitzpatrick took
plenty of heat during the seven-game skid, in which he threw eight
touchdown passes versus 12 interceptions.

”I think the losses that piled up motivated us,” Fitzpatrick
said. ”It was fun to be on the sidelines to see the guys jumping
around. (The defense) smelled blood out there in the water, and
they were going after that.”

Tebow had generated a national buzz for his ability to produce
in the clutch. Entering the game with two interceptions all season,
he was picked off four times in the second half as his record
dropped to 7-3 since taking over the starting job.

”We did a good job of keeping (Tebow) in the pocket and making
him throw from the pocket,” Johnson said. ”Everybody did a great
job of being disciplined in that area.”

Buffalo will attempt to sweep the season series from the
Patriots in the regular-season finale. The Bills defeated New
England 34-31 in Week 3.

”There’s a lot of good football left to be played with the guys
in the locker room,” Kelsay said.

NOTES: After McKelvin scored, Denver’s Eddie Royal returned the
ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, but it was negated by a
block in the back penalty against Dante Rosario. … Broncos RB
Willis McGahee had 64 yards rushing to give him 1,054 this season.
He became the second NFL player to reach 1,000 yards rushing with
three teams. He previously did it with Buffalo and Baltimore. Ricky
Watters rushed for 1,000 yards with San Francisco, Philadelphia and
Seattle. … The Bills finished 5-3 at home (including a win over
Washington at Toronto), matching their best record since going 5-3
in 2004.