If Week 2 of the Buffalo Bills season was a ‘get right’ game, then Week 3 was a message to the rest of the league. That message was: Our Window looks wide open from here. Let’s talk about 4 takeaways from a week 3 beatdown in D.C.
Takeaways from the Buffalo Bills Week 3 Win
1. The defense is comfortably creating chaos
Terrel Bernard had a game: two sacks, a fumble recovery, and a pick. As the defacto replacement for Tremaine Edmunds, suddenly Buffalo doesn’t look any worse for the wear. If Bernard and the defense continue to play like this, Buffalo is legitimately a Super Bowl contender. Leonard Floyd also had a stellar game, and the entire defensive front line feasted all afternoon. The defense had nine sacks, four picks, and a fumble recovery.
If the rest of the league isn’t worried yet, remember this: Von Miller hasn’t stepped on the field yet. As good as the offense is starting to look, this defense is what the Bills need to ride. Imagine if this defense had been on the field for that Bengals playoff game…
2. The Offensive Play Calling remains the Wild Card
Why on a 3rd and 12 did the Bills run a poorly-executed screen pass late in the first half? It failed miserably and Tyler Bass had to bail out the bad call with a 54-yard boot. Every so often there is a boneheaded play call that just defies the rest of the calls made by Dorsey. This offense doesn’t need ‘cute’ and ‘tricky’, it runs just fine, as was seen today.
There was another moment on a 4th down that seemed like a no-brainer to kick a field goal and yet Buffalo was all “go for it”! I feel like Sean McDermott needs to make the 4th down calls and not Dorsey. It’s like Dorsey thinks he is playing with house money. Yeah, the long Field Goal is risky in that situation but 19-0 is a three-possession game, 16-0 is only a two-possession game. Gotta play the metrics in this case.
On the other hand, James Cook has become a nice compliment of solid (not flashy or ferocious) running and pass-catching, a consistent and safe option. If Cook continues to settle into this role, Buffalo’s offense is truly a duel threat. Tyler Bass is the unsung MVP of the first three games, almost as automatic as that Tucker guy. The Bills offense is playing at a high level.
3. There are Two Sides to Josh Allen
Josh Allen is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Brilliant most times, with monstrous moments. The Hyde version of Josh ‘Jekyll’ Allen peeked back out in the third quarter when he threw an ill-advised deep ball that of course got picked. The Bills had all the momentum and Allen has got to learn to ‘do no harm’ as the leader of the team. You don’t have to always advance the ball, just don’t give it away. Yeah, it was the same net gain as a punt, but the stat sheet doesn’t show that, and it doesn’t help the confidence of Allen or the offense.
I’ll take Josh Allen having moments like that interception, as long as it doesn’t turn into a habit. Today it was a fleeting moment that was forgivable. He needs to find a way to keep Josh ‘Hyde’ Allen hidden. Allen’s final numbers: 20-32 for 218, one touchdown and one interception, and no sacks; he ran for 46 yards and a touchdown as well, and that was only three and half quarters, as Kyle Allen came in when it was 30-0. It’s not a gaudy stat line or MVP-worthy, but it was what the Bills needed, and it was what Allen provided.
4. Don’t Forget Who they Defeated
To have a small reality check, let’s remember that this was Washington. They were 2-0, and who did they beat? Arizona and Denver, who have a combined record of 1-5. As our old friend and former NFL Head Coach Dennis Allen famously said, “They are who we thought they were”. In this case, the Bills didn’t let them off the hook. There were, somehow, still a few pundit prognosticators who picked the Commanders to win the game. Whoops.
This was a combination of the Bills being as good as advertised and the Commanders not being as good as was thought. It was a great win to be sure and a game that the Bills will use to keep springing forward and proving to the rest of the league that they are for real. But nobody should really be surprised that the Bills won and won big.
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