Commanders Brought Down to Earth in 37-3 Loss to the Buffalo Bills

Landover, MD- The Washington Commanders had fancied themselves as a good team that was ready to take the next step. The Buffalo Bills are a team that’s been contenders that had gotten off to a shaky start. For today, the Bills reminded the Commanders they have a way to go to be Super Bowl contenders. In a game that presented chances for both teams, the “contender” Bills made theirs, the “upstart” Commanders did not. Sometimes that is all that separates teams in the NFL and that was on display today. The defense fought hard but Josh Allen’s legs eventually wore them down but the offense was repeatedly outclassed today. Sam Howell in his fourth start finally looked like an overmatched rookie, and the offensive line was repeatedly beaten but the Bills pass rush.


Sam Howell, in his fourth start, had his first truly bad game. Howell finished 19 of 29 for 190 yards, zero touchdowns, four interceptions and was sacked nine times. If it wasn’t a lineman (mostly a tackle) getting beat around then end, then it was Howell holding the ball too long, or missing the free rusher. Howell has to learn when to make a play, and when to throw it away and live to fight another down. Howell is a fighter and a tough competitor, but he can’t take the extra hits he has been. That is just not sustainable for any quarterback in this league. Howell’s offensive weapons must help starting with Antonio Gibson, you cannot fumble the ball or not fight for close passes. Also receivers weren’t getting open as well. That lends itself to a blowout loss.

Josh Allen evades Chase Young.

The defense had flaws but made this a game until well into the fourth quarter. The main concern with the defense was the lack of getting off the field on third down. Too often the defense would be stout to give up a long third down conversion. Sometimes it would be the secondary leaving a receiver wide open usually in the middle of the field, or Josh Allen would get the first down on the ground. The defensive line create solid pressure but Allen extended plays with his size and mobility. The one glaring hole in this defense in at linebacker. Too often the line creates pressure and the secondary covers well but then a linebacker would be the difference maker and finisher, this team doesn’t possess that. Linebacker play between the two teams was glaring and that must be addressed.


Yes today was bad but an out of conference loss is not bad in the grand scheme of things. In the locker room I didn’t get a sense of a team that was defeated, but of a team picking each other up and focused on what’s ahead. Win or lose in Philadelphia next week if the team plays well then all is good. Now if this carries over to next week then their can be concern. The offense must take some pressure off of Sam Howell and lean on the running game and defense. The season really starts next week with the divisional game in Philadelphia. Today wasn’t the Commanders day but they are still 2-1 after three games and if I offered most fans that, most would have taken that.


Felix Trammell