The Buffalo Bills are back on the road this week, heading a bit south to take on the Washington Commanders in a Week 3 interconference matchup. The Bills are currently 6.5-point favorites with DraftKings Sportsbook heading into their 1 p.m. EDT matchup next Sunday at FedEx Field.
- Spread: Bills -6.5 (-112)
- Over/Under: 44.5 (-110) / 44.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Bills -285, Commanders (+230)
Interestingly, this will be the third time in four years for the Bills and Washington facing off. In each of those three games, Washington will have had a different nickname each time. It’s more than possible that the next time Buffalo and Washington face off (either 2025 or 2027 if not in a Super Bowl) the Commanders nickname will have changed to something else.
Heading into this game, what are the biggest story lines for the Bills? Certainly, Buffalo’s performance in Week 2 is a good place to start. Quarterback Josh Allen was surgically precise delivering the football against the Las Vegas Raiders. Allen finished 31-of-37 (83.8%) for 274 yards with three touchdowns — completely turning things around after such a poor outing in Week 1.
Buffalo’s running game found its groove, led by running back James Cook who finished with 17 carries for 123 yards and four receptions for 36 yards.
Linebacker Matt Milano continues turning heads each week, and he now has two interceptions in two games. The latest pick was a play for the ages, with Milano jumping above running back Josh Jacobs with outstretched hands to steal away the football. Through two weeks in the NFL, Milano is Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded linebacker at 89.9. It was clear that the Raiders preferred not testing Milano too often, which is further evident when looking at wide receiver Davante Adams’ reception chart in Week 2.
Buffalo’s defense line played a dominating brand of football on Sunday, controlling the line of scrimmage and getting their hands up and clogging lanes all afternoon. Additionally, the Bills’ defense executed a near-complete shut down of Las Vegas’ entire rushing attack. Reigning NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs was held to -2 yards on nine carries — a first for any rushing champion in the league.
While Bills Mafia is riding the wave’s crest right now, it’s important not to overlook the Commanders in Week 3. Washington is currently 2-0, with victories over the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. Most are quick to point out the level of competition, but no NFL team is a walkover, and the Commanders have a very talented defense. Quarterback Sam Howell has shown well for Washington as a competent and confident leader``, and he continues to grow as a starting signal caller with each decision he makes. By and large, early returns are positive that Howell can be the team’s long-term solution at the position for head coach Ron Rivera. The Bills will also have their hands full trying to contain wide receiver Terry McLaurin.
Washington’s defensive line is among the best in the NFL, boasting four former first-round picks among the unit. Defensive end Chase Young and Montez Sweat, as well as defensive tackles Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen. Buffalo’s offensive line could be in for a very challenging task in keeping QB17 upright and out of harm’s way Sunday afternoon.
For the Bills to succeed, they will likely need to put together a similar game plan to Week 2 — and avoid getting into situations that plagued them against the Jets in Week 1. Josh Allen must once again take what the defense gives him, even if it means checkdowns and incomplete passes to mitigate disaster borne out of influenced mistakes.
All our coverage for the Buffalo Bills’ Week 3 matchup against the Washington Commanders is linked below. Be sure to check it out and stay connected with us at Buffalo Rumblings!