OPINION: Arrow Up/Arrow Down: Bills at Commanders

The Bills defense dominates in a 37-3 win at FedEx Field

Landover, Md. (WGR 550) - It was another dominant performance and blowout by the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, as they beat the Washington Commanders, 37-3, at FedEx Field to move to 2-1 on the 2023 season.

Here are my Arrows from Sunday's contest, starting with them pointing Up:

Photo credit Jess Rapfogel - Getty Images)


Dominant defense

The Bills defense controlled the game and put up dominant numbers, holding the Commanders to just a field goal at the end of the game. The unit also collected nine sacks, five turnovers and a defensive touchdown.

In addition, Buffalo held Washington to 1-of-9 on third down (11.1%), and gave up just 230 total yards.

LB - Terrel Bernard

Bernard is silencing critics with his play the last two weeks.

The second-year linebacker was sensational on Sunday, picking up two sacks, a terrific interception, and recovering a fumble. He added two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup to go along with a team-best seven total tackles.

DE - Leonard Floyd

Two more sacks for Floyd, on top of three quarterback hurries for the game. He’s doing exactly what he was signed to do.

A.J. Epenesa pick-six

Epenesa used his length and athleticism to pluck Commanders quarterback Sam Howell’s pass out of the air. He basically took it away from him, then eyed the end zone and got there for his first-career NFL touchdown.

Tre’Davious White/Micah Hyde interceptions

White and Hyde both came up with their first interceptions of 2023 and in similar fashion: By jumping between the ball and intended receiver.

They were both also credited with a pass breakup in the win.

RB - James Cook

Another impressive game for Cook, carrying the ball 16 times for 98 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per-carry.

WR - Stefon Diggs

Diggs was the leading receiver in the game for either team, grabbing eight balls for 111 yards.

Offensive line/Job against Commanders' front-four

The Bills' offensive line didn’t allow a single sack all game, and the Commanders were held to just one quarterback hurry!

They did an amazing job on the terrific Washington front-four of Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, and Daron Payne. Between the four of them, they only made eight tackles.

Third down offense

The Bills were 9-for-15 (60%) on third down.

Goal-to-go offense

The Bills had two goal-to-go situations and scored touchdowns on both of them.

Josh Allen running smart

Allen took off running three times in this game, and twice slid down and didn't take a hit. On the other run, he scampered for a 10-yard touchdown.

He finished the game with three carries for 46 yards.

Tyler Bass and Sam Martin

Bass was a perfect 7-for-7 on kicks with three field goals, including a 54-yarder.

Martin bombed a 70-yard punt that snuck just inside the end zone for a touchback.

"Bills Mafia" on the road!

Brian Robinson
Photo credit Brad Mills - USA TODAY Sports


8.1 yards per-carry allowed

As the game went on, of course the Bills were fine with letting the Commanders eat up some clock in the run game. However, they still allowed 8.1 yards per-carry on 13 rushes for 105 yards.

4th-and-1... empty

Early in the fourth quarter, up 16-0, the Bills faced a 4th-and-1 from the Commanders' 37-yard line. Instead of just sneaking Allen or running straight ahead, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey put him in shotgun with an empty backfield and tried throwing.

It was batted down and the Commanders took over on downs.

First down struggles

The Bills offense didn't help themselves much on first down, especially in the first half. Of their first six first downs, the Bills were stopped for negative yardage twice and threw three incompletions.

They totaled eight yards of offense on those first six first down plays. For the game, the Bills had 17(!) 2nd-and-8 or longer situations.


The Bills were penalized six times for 45 yards, but several were on key downs and plays they had stops, or forced the Commanders back into really tough offensive situations.

Photo credit Outlet Liquor
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