Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen silenced the critics on Sunday, putting on an absolute clinic against one of the more talented defenses in the NFL. Buffalo scored on their first offensive drive, and didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal all game, ultimately dismantling the Washington Football Team, 43-21.
Here are the four biggest takeaways from NFL Week 3.
Josh Allen gets his groove back
After two inconsistent games to begin the season, fans began to groan that opposing defenses had figured out how to combat Josh Allen and the Bills’ passing game. Those concerns were put to rest on Sunday, though. Allen was impeccable, completing 74-percent of his 43 pass attempts for 358 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, while averaging 8.3 yards-per-attempt. He capped things off with a rushing touchdown, as well, before Mitchell Trubisky took over in the fourth quarter.
Allen was not only efficient, but was poised and decisive with his throws from the pocket. Unlike his first two games, in which he looked rattled at times, Allen was calm and collected in the pocket – thanks to quality protection by his offensive line against one of the most feared defensive lines in the NFL. Allen completed passes to eight different receivers, connecting with Cole Beasley 11 times for 94 yards, Emmanuel Sanders five times for 94 yards and two touchdowns, and Stefon Diggs six times for 62 yards.
This game was reminiscent of last year’s version of Allen, and should give Buffalo fans a collective sigh of relief that their franchise quarterback has found his rhythm.
Defense makes big plays, offense rewards them
Buffalo’s defense was stellar for the third consecutive week. Outside of Antonio Gibson’s incredible 73-yard score on a screen pass, the defense limited Washington to just 218 total yards of offense. The Football team went 2-11 on third downs and rushed for just 79 yards on 25 carries.
While the pass rush wasn’t as lethal as it was last week against the Dolphins, the Bills made up for it with huge plays on defense. Tre’Davious White forced a fumble after punching the ball out of tight end Logan Thomas’ hands before Matt Milano recovered it, and both safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer recorded beautiful interceptions. Buffalo scored 17 points off of those takeaways (two touchdowns, one field goal).
Buffalo’s defense has been strong in each of their three games this season and looks to be a complete and dominant unit going forward.
Zack Moss effective in all phases
After a two-touchdown performance in Week 2, Buffalo leaned on Zack Moss to shoulder the load against Washington’s stout defense. Moss showed great burst, power and vision in the run game, picking up 60 yards on 13 carries (4.6 yards-per-attempt). He was consistent and intentional as a ball-carrier, as noted by his production with a long of just nine yards. Moss consistently picked up tough yards and kept the Bills ahead of the sticks.
He flashed in the passing game, too, showing the ability to get open as a receiver. Moss ran a crisp angle route that resulted in a 17-yard gain. He finished with three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. Moss proved that the Bills have a solid one-two punch at running back and the team can rely on each in different situations and game plans. As a whole, Buffalo rushed for 122 yards on 37 carries in the win.
Matt Milano continues an incredible stretch
Linebacker Matt Milano’s four-year, $41.5 million contract looks like more of a bargain with each passing week. The 27-year old finished the game with six tackles, two tackles for loss, one pass breakup and a fumble recovery. He delivered a devastating blow to Taylor Heinicke for a fourth-down tackle for loss in the fourth quarter, as well.
Milano has been the most consistently impactful player on Buffalo’s defense through three games, and has solidified himself as one of the elite linebackers in the NFL. He’s been sticky in coverage, dominant against the run, and disruptive as a blitzer – a truly dominant force in every aspect of the position. As long as he stays healthy, the 27-year old will remain one of the most underrated players in the entire league.