LANDOVER, Md. (WROC) — The Bills defense befuddled Washington quarterback Sam Howell and the Commanders’ offense all day long in a dominant 37-3 victory.
Howell threw four interceptions, was sacked nine times, and Antonio Gibson lost a fumble which set up the knockout touchdown by Josh Allen to secure the win.
Allen did not have a spectacular day but did more than enough to win. He completed 20 passes on 32 attempts for 218 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also ran for a 23-yard touchdown and finished with 46 yards on the ground.
“It’s easy to play the game when your defense comes up for you like that and puts you in really good situations,” said Allen. “It was impressive. That was fun to watch.”
The star of Sunday’s game was Terrel Bernard. The second-year middle linebacker, in just his third game starting in that role, had an interception, a recovered fumble, and two sacks. It’s the first time since 2007 that a player had those stats in a single game.
Micah Hyde, Tre’Davious White, and AJ Epenesa had the other interceptions. Epenesa’s was the first of his career, which he returned 32 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“It’s contagious,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “It’s good for us that other guys are stepping up as well to make plays. Some of the guys that made some plays in the first two games maybe didn’t make those same plays today. It’s getting spread around.”
Leonard Floyd had two sacks, which came on back-to-back plays, not appearing hampered by an ankle injury that caused him to miss time in practice earlier this week. Ed Oliver and DaQuan Jones each had 1.5 sacks, and Epenesa and Greg Rousseau each had one.
“Our energy is contagious,” said defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. “It’s like ‘I want one, I want one, I want one.’ But nobody’s selfish. Everybody that got one, everybody couldn’t be happier for them. We’ve got a group of guys that love each other and play for each other. It’s just an avalanche.”
“It’s kind of like a bomb ready to go off at any time,” said Rousseau. “We’re out there, we’re rushing, we’re playing good in the first half, but we weren’t really getting home like we were in the second half. But when eventually when they really had to drop back and pass it every play when they had to catch up, it was easy.”
Tyler Bass made three field goals, providing points for the Bills when the team’s offense stalled three times in the first half.
Stefon Diggs did the brunt of the receiving work catching eight passes for 111 yards. Allen did not complete more than two passes to any other receiver, but Gabe Davis had a 35-yard reception in the second quarter for the game’s first touchdown.
James Cook carried the ball 15 times for 98 rushing yards. Latavius Murray punched in a short touchdown in garbage time for the game’s final score.
Washington’s lone points came with less than a minute to play when Joey Slye kicked a 51-yard field goal.
The win moves the Bills to 2-1 heading into next week’s pivotal matchup with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins routed the Denver Broncos 70-20 and will enter at 3-0. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park.