The 1-1 Buffalo Bills Week 3 matchup with the 2-0 Washington Commanders kicks off at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon. Ahead of this AFC-NFC showdown, let’s make some bold Bills-Commanders predictions.
After the Bills Week 1 collapse against the New York Jets, the team righted the ship in Week 2, taking out the Las Vegas Raiders with ease, 38-10. The big difference in these two games was Josh Allen playing much better in the second game. His three interceptions and one fumble against the Jets cost his team the game in New Jersey. At home in Orchard Park, Allen had no turnovers and picked the Raiders apart.
As for the Commanders, the team is undefeated, but it’s a shaky 2-0 record. The team beat the lowly Arizona Cardinals by four points in Week 1 and turned away a two-point conversion after an 11-point comeback and a Broncos Hail Mary to get the win in Week 2. Now, they host the Bills in Week 3.
A Bills win would mean they are back on track, while a Commanders win would anoint them as a real deal in 2023. With that as the background, let’s move on to the Bills-Commanders predictions.
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3. Game manager Josh Allen makes another appearance
Gunslinger Josh Allen came out in Week 1, and the results were horrific. The quarterback seemed to learn his lesson from that Jets game, though. He took the blame for the loss after the game, and more importantly, his play in Week 2 showed that he really took those lessons to heart.
Game manager Josh Allen played in the Raiders game. He was uber-efficient, completing 31-of-37 passes (83.7%) for 274 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions or fumbles. The QB took what the Raiders gave him, made the smart pass, and didn’t try to be the hero on every play.
Allen also only ran three times for seven yards and took two sacks, which in this case, is a good thing as it shows he tried to hang in the pocket more.
He still made some great throws and showed off his escapability and creativity at times, but there weren’t those “No, no, no!” moments from the sideline and the crowd. This was the Allen that could conceivably take a team to the Super Bowl.
Will Buffalo get this game-manager Josh Allen all year? It’s too early to tell. However, the first bold Bills-Commanders Week 3 prediction is that Bills fans will get Allen in a button-down shirt tucked into his khakis for another week instead of the Allen with leather pants and cool shades.
2. The Bills pass rush gets some shine
While the Bills rallied after the Week 1 loss and looked much (much, much) better in Week 2, there are still some issues the team has that won’t end overnight.
One of the team’s issues is that the pass rush is not getting home. Yes, the Bills had five sacks against the Jets, but four of those were more a product of Zach Wilson’s play than the rushers. In Week 2, the Bills didn’t get a single sack on Jimmy Garoppolo, despite the suspect Raiders offensive line.
The rush will get better if/when Von Miller gets back. However, that could still be a while, and the defensive ends and tackles need to start getting more production now before the harder back half of the schedule kicks in.
The good news is the Commanders have allowed 10 sacks on quarterback Sam Howell in two weeks. Again, some of that is the young quarterback’s fault, and some is the line, but either way, the Bills defense needs to take advantage of that.
Bold Bills-Commanders Week 3 prediction No. 2 is that the Buffalo rush will get home this weekend. Leonard Floyd, Gregory Rousseau, and company have been winning (against poor offensive lines and suspect QBs) their battles, but not finishing the job. This week they take Howell down at least three times.
1. Bills 33, Commanders 13
The Buffalo Bills have more talent on their roster than the Commanders (although it is closer than you may think), are better coached, and have a massive advantage at the most important position on the field: Quarterback.
As long as the Bills — specifically Josh Allen — stick to the plan, take what the other team gives them, and plays within themselves, there is no reason this game should be close.
Buffalo is better than its 1-1 record suggests right now, and Washington isn’t quite as good as its 2-0 mark indicates. After this Week 3 matchup in the nation’s capital, the two teams’ records will even out at 2-1, and that will be closer to the truth for both these teams.