Might as well call Sunday’s 37-3 trouncing of the Washington Commanders by the Buffalo Bills the Terrel Bernard game, as Buffalo’s young middle linebacker was all over the field in keying an aggressive defense that teed off on young Commanders quarterback Sam Howell.
Today’s edition of Buffalo Rumblinks recaps the win and offers up observations, positional grades and report cards as the Bills beat the Commanders for the ninth time in their last 10 meetings.
Game recap, key plays: Bills throttle Commanders
Despite getting solid pressure on the opposing quarterback, the Bills’ defense entered Week 3 with only three sacks to their credit. That all changed in a hurry on Sunday. The Bills recorded three first-quarter sacks and finished with nine takedowns of quarterback Sam Howell.
Bernard set the tone for the defense. He recorded two sacks and had an interception in the first quarter, becoming just the third Bill to accomplish that feat over an entire game (joining Cornelius Bennett and Jerry Hughes). Bernard later added a fumble recovery, becoming just the ninth NFL player since at least 1960 to have two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery in the same game.
Linked below: A break down of Bernard’s historic game, analysis of how Buffalo’s defense was able to use simulated pressures to terrorize Howell all game long, game recaps, and key plays that shaped the game.
- Plays that shaped the game: Bills terrorize Sam Howell with simulated pressures - Buffalo News
- Bills linebacker Terrel Bernard fills the stat sheet against Washington - Buffalo News
- Terrel Bernard joins elite Bills company with eye-popping stat line in 1st quarter vs. Commanders - newyorkupstate.com
- How Terrel Bernard’s splash plays propelled Bills to boat-racing of Commanders - The Athletic (subscription required)
- Terrel Bernard makes Bills history with incredible game against Commanders - Democrat & Chronicle
- Buffalo Bills’ Terrel Bernard off to historic start - ESPN - Buffalo Bills Blog- ESPN
- Buffalo Bills’ pass rush ‘like a ticking time bomb,’ explodes in 9-sack, historic win over Commanders - newyorkupstate.com
- Bills defense forces five turnovers in 37-3 slaughter of Commanders - Democrat & Chronicle
- Buffalo Bills defense batters Washington Commanders, win 37-3 (Game recap) - newyorkupstate.com
- McDermott happy to see splash plays from Buffalo defense - WGR 550
- Bills 37-3 Commanders (Sep 24, 2023) Game Recap - ESPN
Observations from Buffalo’s blowout win
Besides a banner day for Bernard, among the other observations from Buffalo’s second straight blowout win: the Bills boast a deep and talented defensive line that helped pressure Howell 15 times; quarterback Josh Allen and the offense relied on the big play to gash the Commanders, finishing with six explosive plays of 20-yards or more; the offense was once again balanced as Buffalo’s three-headed monster at running back—James Cook, Damien Harris, and Latavius Murray—ran wild over Washington; the offensive line passed another major test; wide receiver Stefon Diggs continued his start to the season, and more!
- Bills observations: Buffalo looks ready for Miami after walloping Commanders - The Athletic (subscription required)
- Off and running: Bills’ three-man tailback plan off to solid start - Buffalo News
- Sean McDermott’s defense makes statement in Bills’ dominant win over Commanders (Instant observations) - newyorkupstate.com
- Simon: Bills defense set tone for rout in D.C. - WGR 550
- Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen reveals why he finally started sliding, avoiding hits vs. Commanders - newyorkupstate.com
- NFL 2023 Week 3: Biggest questions, risers and takeaways - ESPN
- Bills Mailbag: Is Greg Rousseau on his way to becoming a star? - Buffalo News
- Bulldog: Ophelia, what went wrong? - WGR 550
Report cards and positional grades
Catch up on report cards and see which players are trending up and whose stock is on the decline following Buffalo’s 37-3 win over Washington.
- Bills report card: Buffalo defense batters Commanders, is one of most fearsome in league - Democrat & Chronicle
- Capaccio: Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills at Commanders - WGR 550