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Buffalo Bills 43, Washington Football Team 21: Rapid recap and notes

A dominant win against the NFC East opponent.

The Buffalo Bills rolled up their second crushing victory in two weeks Sunday, steamrolling the Washington Football Team in a 43-21 win. Buffalo played well on both sides of the ball, dashing out to a 21-0 lead in the first half. They weathered a couple big plays from Washington, then put on the squeeze in the second half. The scoring margin hit 29 points late in the fourth quarter, and Buffalo had their backups playing out the string for the second week in a row. After a shaky season opener, the Bills of the last two weeks have looked incredible.

The Bills opened up the game on offense, but quickly found themselves in a 3rd & 15 situation. But Josh Allen quickly showed that he was in for a hot game, answering with a 23-yard completion to Gabriel Davis. He would then complete his next four passes, finishing with a missile in the end zone to Emmanuel Sanders.

The Bills’ defense showed that they were still in top condition, forcing a three-and-out against Washington. Buffalo took over and drove 41 yards down the field, putting them at the edge of field goal territory. But on a windy day, Sean McDermott opted to try an extend the drive on fourth down. Josh Allen’s completion to Devin Singletary didn’t move the chains, and Washington took over again.

Their chance didn’t last long, though. After three plays, Tre’Davious White knocked the ball out of Logan Thomas’s hands, and Matt Milano recovered the fumble. Zack Moss was the star of the next drive, rushing for 31 yards and catching the seven-yard touchdown pass.

Another drive, another turnover—it only took three plays for Jordan Poyer to leap in front of a Taylor Heinicke pass and bring it back to the red zone. The Bills quickly capitalized, with Dawson Knox making a ridiculous catch in the end zone for Allen’s third touchdown of the day.

Finally, Washington had a few plays break their way. Buffalo tried a blitz, and Heinicke found hotshot running back Antonio Gibson on a screen pass. It perfectly caught the defense flatfooted, and Gibson outran everyone 73 yards to the end zone. On the ensuing kickoff, Dustin Hopkins used some wizardry to boot the ball short and with backspin. The Bills were totally unprepared for that, and Hopkins managed to recover his own kick deep in Buffalo territory. Washington used that momentum to set up a Heinicke touchdown and close Buffalo’s lead to seven points.

The Bills punted on their next drive, but their defense still had things well in hand, forcing another three-and-out. Unfortunately a 33-yard punt return by Isaiah McKenzie was wiped out by a penalty. Fortunately, Allen hit Sanders for a 41-yard completion on the next play. Although they started the drive with less than four minutes in the half, they came to the edge of the end zone, and finished with a field goal.

The remainder of the half was textbook by everyone involved. Taron Johnson intercepted Heinicke, but the play was wiped out by penalty. The Bills locked down the next three plays, and forced a punt with 30 seconds remaining in the half. In the remaining time, Allen moved the team 51 yards and set up one more field goal.

After halftime, the wheels fell off for Washington. Heinicke threw another interception and the team couldn’t put together any offensive momentum, while Allen stayed hot, taking the Bills on three more scoring drives. The Football Team finally scored a touchdown with five minutes left in the game, but the Bills were already winning by 29 points at that point.

Injury report

  • Jordan Poyer was a little shaken up after missing a tackle in the fourth quarter of the game. He seemed alright, walking off the field, and Jaquan Johnson filled in at the end of the game.

Quick hits

  • Some heavy winds made the usual kicking decisions a little trickier. In the first quarter, the Bills faced a 4th & 2 from their 35-yard line, and opted to go for it. Josh Allen’s pass to Devin Singletary came up short.
  • A textbook punch by Tre’Davious White knocked the ball out of Logan Thomas’s hands late in the first quarter. The Bills built on that to score another touchdown, which was their first points off a turnover this season.
  • With a 21-0 start to this week’s game, the Bills wrapped up a 56-point streak of unanswered scoring that dated back to the end of their season opener. The streak ended with Antonio Gibson’s electric touchdown on a 73-yard screen play.
  • Has anyone ever seen a play like Dustin Hopkins kicking the ball about 20 yards shorter than usual, and having it rebound right into his hands? Maybe teams should try more of that and fewer onside kicks.
  • Big shoutout to Siran Neal, whose grandfather passed away this week. Neal turned in a big special teams play in the fourth quarter, downing a Bills punt at the one-yard line.
  • Have a day, Josh Allen!
  • Heck of a performance by Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, each of whom had an interception and a tackle for loss in this one.
  • The Bills had eight sacks in the first two weeks of the season, but didn’t manage to take down Taylor Heinicke even once today. They made up for it on the back end of the defense, with two picks.
  • Tight ends had the best of times and the worst of times today. Both Logan Thomas and Dawson Knox made tremendous, acrobatic touchdown catches. But Thomas lost a fumble, and both players had dropped passes that were nearly intercepted by defenders near them.
  • Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders came close to having a pair of 100-yard receiving games today. Beasley had 98 yards, while Sanders had 94.

Next week

Buffalo hosts the Houston Texans in Orchard Park on Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT. The Texans are 1-2, coming off a 24-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football.