The Buffalo Bills are 2-1 after topping the Washington Commanders, 37-3, on the road in Week 3. Buffalo held Washington scoreless for all but the final 46 seconds of the fourth quarter — and showcased how truly dominant a Sean McDermott-led defense can be.
This was the same dominance we saw last week against the Las Vegas Raiders, where they scored 38 points. The Bills have now scored at least 37 points in back-to-back weeks and will look to carry that same momentum when they host the Miami Dolphins in Week 4 — the very team that just scored 70 points on the Denver Broncos.
As always, let’s take a look at ESPN Analytics and its win probability metrics to highlight moments of the game where everything seemed to be in Buffalo’s favor. Like last week, the metrics favored Buffalo for all of the game — as soon as quarterback Josh Allen completed his first pass, its win probability immediately increased to 71.4% and then did so for the rest of the game.
First quarter, 6:42 remaining — BUF with a 67.2% win probability
It’s becoming a theme, but the Bills’ win probability decreased to 67.2% when the Commanders began to put together a solid drive because the defense didn’t seem to make any adjustments. However, the drive was immediately stalled by an incredible interception from linebacker Terrel Bernard, and the momentum was flipped for the remainder of the game.
First quarter, 0:41 remaining — BUF with a 85.2% win probability
Thanks to the defense forcing the Commanders to go three-and-out deep in their own territory, Deonte Harty’s 23-yard punt return coupled with a Washington penalty put Buffalo on the 35-yard line and immediately led to a 35-yard laser to Gabe Davis for the first touchdown of the game. The momentum shifted after Bernard’s interception but this was the cherry on top — and they didn’t slow down.
Start of 3rd quarter — BUF with a 93.8% win probability
Micah Hyde picked off Sam Howell with less than a minute in the first half but the offense was only able to put up three points. Leading 16-0 into the half, the win probability metrics were heavily favoring Buffalo at this point and the only thing could decrease it would be a turnover — and well, that’s what happened. Allen threw an interception on their first drive of the second half but I’m not too mad at it considering it was on third down and was essentially a punt anyways. ESPN Analytics lowered the probability by just two percent, though, suggesting they did not trust Howell to get the job done.
Entire fourth quarter — BUF with a 99.9% win probability
Things just got significantly worse for Washington as the fourth quarter started. Allen started the fourth quarter with a 10-yard rushing touchdown, increasing the score to 23-0. The following possession for Washington resulted in a pick-six for A.J. Epenesa, further increasing the lead. It was just points and points for Buffalo in the fourth quarter, even when the starters were pulled. Commanders head coach Ron Rivera apparently couldn't live with a goose egg and kicked a field goal with less than a minute left rather than going for the touchdown.