Image Credit: © Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Ha ha ha ha!!!
Ha ha ha!!!
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
The Bills beat the Washington Football Team on Sunday. In a word, it was a laugher. Final score: 43-21, but as they say, it wasn’t that close.
When the Patriots recovered after a disastrous first half to beat Atlanta in the Super Bowl, someone asked Bill Belichick after the game if the coaches were worried at halftime. He answered that they didn’t feel too badly, because they were competitive on the field, they just weren’t competitive on the scoreboard. Well, late in the first half against the Bills, WFT was competitive on the scoreboard, 21-14, but they weren’t competitive in the game. In fact, the game was over shortly after the opening kickoff; we just didn’t know it yet. Washington couldn’t stop the Bills, and Washington couldn’t move the ball against the Bills.
Everyone knows that WFT made exactly two plays in the game, two that resulted in two touchdowns. Other than those two plays, the Bills completely dominated from start to finish. The first was a picture-perfect screen pass and run on second and eight from their own 27. Antonio Gibson’s catch and run, finished off when he reached for the pylon following Tre’Davious White’s spectacular downfield sprint and hit, was a beautiful football play.
© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
The second was the ensuing kickoff, when Dustin Hopkins (remember Dustin Hopkins?) lifted the kick high into the fierce wind. Isaiah McKenzie at first looked like he played it well, but the ball stopped in the wind. Stopped. And drifted left, falling to the ground in the great no-man’s land that the Bills’ special teams unit leaves between two rows of blockers upfield and McKenzie. McKenzie didn’t get close to catching it, and after WFT batted it around a bit, Hopkins recovered one of the odder, albeit unintentional, on-side kicks even seen. A few plays later, Washington scored, and suddenly it was 21-14 – competitive on the scoreboard, maybe, but not on the field. Late in the half, two Bills field goals made it 27-14, confirming that the game was over.
Washington’s offense isn’t very good, especially with Ryan Fitzpatrick not on the field, and their defense is worse. They give up passing yards in big chunks, and they were just what the doctor ordered for Josh Allen’s early-season passing ills. Beasley, Sanders, and Diggs each caught a bunch of passes, long, short, and in-between. Josh’s touch returned on several passes. None was better than the touchdown pass to Sanders, when Allen got rid of it in a hurry but still somehow floated a catchable ball low and away. He dropped a perfect long ball into Sanders later in the game. He found Beasley with multiple fireballs, and Beasley thrives on balls coming in hot.
The defense didn’t miss out on the fun. But for that 73-yarder, the Bills would have given up a total of 217 yards. 75 of those 217 came on WFT’s meaningless final drive of the game. The Bills defense simply gave Washington nothing. The Bills had one sack for zero yards, and it didn’t matter. They showed none of the exotic pass-rush schemes we saw a week ago – they rushed four down linemen over and over, generating very little quick pressure. The Bills knew they didn’t need pass rush – their back seven allowed pretty much nothing except one screen pass.
It was an odd game in a few ways.
The wind was brutal again Sunday. It blew from hard to very hard. Justin Tucker may have kicked a 66-yarder to win on Sunday, but given the opportunity to kick to the closed end of Highmark Stadium, Tyler Bass would have been good from 70. He crushed it in warmups and on kickoffs in that direction.
© Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
There weren’t any big plays, because by definition a big play is a game-changing play, a play that may determine the outcome of the game. Plenty of guys made good plays – Taron Johnson, Dawson Knox, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Matt Milano, McKenzie, but if they hadn’t made their plays, someone else would have. There was no way Washington was winning that game.
On fourth and two, how did Josh Allen manage to complete a pass for zero yards? I mean, I get that on third and seven or fourth and eight, the only thing the defense may give you is short of the sticks. But really, why are the Bills throwing short of the sticks on fourth and TWO? No matter though, because just like there were no big plays, there were no bad plays. The Bills went for it on fourth and two because, well, it just didn’t matter.
It was a good day. The Dolphins lost, the Patriots lost, the Jets were the Jets, the Chiefs lost, and the Bills threw another win on the pile. They’re on their way.
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