After a debilitating Week 8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills fans slept a little easier last week knowing the Washington Redskins were coming to town Sunday. The question still lingered in the back of some fans’ heads whether the Bills would again play down to a bad team. Thankfully Buffalo pulled out the win Sunday. I believe it’s always important to understand the peaks and valleys of these types of wins, so let’s dive in.
(All charts courtesy of numberFire LIVE)
The Bills came into this game with a +70.73% win probability and for the first time this season would not dip below the original projection. Despite Adrian Peterson rushing for over 100 yards in the first half and some offensive inconsistencies late, the numbers suggest this was the Bills’ most convincing win of the season.
The Bills’ offense began with an eight-play, 54-yard drive capped off by a six-yard touchdown throw to Cole Beasley. Early on, it was clear that rookie Devin Singletary would receive a much heavier work load, carrying the ball on half the opening drive’s plays. That drive increased Buffalo’s chances by 11.65%, with the Beasley touchdown bringing Buffalo to an 82.38% win probability.
Five drives later Josh Allen and company were set up at the Washington one-yard line with a 92.32% win probability. What came next was a series of follies that had Bills fans questioning the play calling—both going into the second half and following the game. To be fair, this isn't too far off script for offensive coordinator Brian Daboll who called Frank Gore’s number three times on the one-yard line. Gore has been a goal line go-to for most of the season, but looking at the numbers these plays would drop the Bills’ win probability by 4.27%. However, Josh Allen took a QB sneak over the goal line to finish the drive and put the Bills back at a 92.42% win percentage. After last week’s questionable play calling, fans and analysts may look at this series as a microcosm of the year.
After a somewhat stagnant second half, Devin Singletary put the game away for Buffalo with a two-yard touchdown run late in the fourth. The rookie had a career day finishing with 140 yards and a touchdown. While the Bills never dipped below a 70% win probability, some fans and analysts are still critical of Buffalo’s inability to put away games. Safety Micah Hyde said after the game “I’m done apologizing for wins.” You can't blame him, but you can also blame Bills mafia for being concerned with the way the wins are happening.