The Washington Football Team had a tall task in trying to beat the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. With a backup quarterback making his first career start on the road in a difficult environment for opposing players, the Bills clearly had the advantage.
With a 43-21 victory, that advantage proved to be a big one. Washington made some plays throughout the day, and over a two-minute span, they nearly made a game of it after scoring twice to cut Buffalo’s early 21-0 lead to 21-14. That was as close as they’d be to winning, however.
Here’s how our players to watch on the opposing side fared this week.
RB Antonio Gibson
The Bills bottled Washington’s rushing attack, limiting the Football Team to just 78 yards on 25 carries. Gibson carried 12 times for only 31 yards with a long carry of seven yards, so Buffalo kept him in check for most of the afternoon. I say “most” because Gibson made nearly everyone wearing a Buffalo uniform miss on the way to a 73-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Washington called a screen at the perfect time, as Buffalo brought extra pressure off the edge. Gibson bobbed, weaved, sprinted, and dove into the end zone on a highlight-reel play. That was his only catch of the afternoon.
WR Terry McLaurin
Washington’s top wideout had the misfortune of being shadowed by Tre’Davious White for much of the day, so he didn’t find much room to roam. McLaurin finished with four catches for 62 yards on seven targets. His longest grab was a 37-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter when the game was already well out of hand. It did set up a fourth-down passing touchdown, however.
TE Logan Thomas
The recipient of the aforementioned touchdown was the big tight end, who once again exposed a particular weakness of the Bills’ secondary: as talented and physical as they are, they’re all short, as none of Buffalo’s main secondary players is taller than 6’ exactly. Teams with big targets can box Buffalo out, and while it sometimes just means that the team gives up a garbage-time touchdown, it sometimes means that a player wins a jump ball to secure a Hail Mary and a victory. Either way, Thomas finished with four catches for 42 yards on four targets. He lost a fumble early in the second quarter when he was trying to fight for more yardage, but he showed the plus athleticism that made the Bills take a chance on the converted quarterback at tight end all those years ago.
DE Chase Young
Buffalo held Washington’s top pass rusher in check all day, frustrating him and keeping him out of the backfield. Young had three tackles and one quarterback hit, a play where Josh Allen had rolled out and was looking to make a play. Aside from that hit, Young was as close to a nonfactor as you’d hope for him to have been if you’re a Bills fan. And if you’re reading this, chances are good that you are a Bills fan, so you and I were both pretty happy that Young did little last week.
LB Jamin Davis
The young linebacker snuffed out a fourth-down conversion attempt by knifing through traffic and stopping running back Devin Singletary in his tracks. I thought live that Singletary should have kept going towards the sideline, but he tried to juke Davis instead, and the middle linebacker made a great open-field tackle to stop the play cold. That’s the only time I can remember Davis’s name being called, though he finished with six tackles on his 41 defensive snaps.