ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — The biggest challenge for the Bills offense this week is the Commanders defensive line. Washington is tied for the NFL lead with ten sacks including seven last week alone in a 35-33 comeback win over Denver.
All four starters up front for the Commanders are former first round picks.
“It’s one of the best groups, if not the best group in the league,” said Josh Allen. “Up front they’re all big, fast, powerful, and explosive. They all can get after the quarterback.”
Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, the starting defensive tackles for Washington, are both products of the University of Alabama. The former Crimson Tide players were drafted in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Montez Sweat and Chase Young are the starting defensive ends for the Commanders. Both edge rushers had 1.5 each in their Week 2 win over the Broncos.
Sean McDermott said when watching the Commanders on film, the talent and twitchiness of the defensive line stands out. He added that they’re a deep group.
“Making sure that we don’t let them takeover the game because they have the ability to do that,” said Allen.
The Bills do have a secret weapon to get ready. Free agent guard Connor McGovern spent the last three years in Dallas where Washington is a divisional opponent. He’s made five career starts against the Commanders.
“I know the baseline,” said McGovern. “Like how they’re going to play it and how they’re going to rush the ball. Some guys are more readers than penetrators so you can jump on and get them quick. Maybe it’s having to slide one way or another. They don’t give up on anything. It doesn’t if they’re up or down 30 points. They’re still going to give you the same rush every single time.”
Last Sunday against the Raiders, the Bills used running back and receivers to help block star edge rusher Maxx Crosby on almost every pass play. This weekend will be the same against a great Washington defensive line.
“It’s got to be not just the offensive line,” said McDermott. “But everyone involved to help manage that.”