Three things on my mind when Buffalo hosts Washington Sunday…
Washington is going with rookie Dwayne Haskins at quarterback only because they don’t have another choice. Nothing underscores that better than head coach Bill Callahan saying that Case Keenum could start even if he doesn’t practice all week. Alas, his concussion will prevent that from happening.
Haskins has been openly challenged by teammates. There are questions about his ability or willingness to digest the playbook. This is not a rookie that will inspire excitement or confidence in the D.C. locker room.
There’s no reason the Bills defense should not dominate this game. If Haskins goes Fitzmagic and moves the ball, even inconsistently, there will be concern. It’s one of the few times simply winning in the NFL won’t be acceptable. This situation might require a virtual shutout. Or even a real one.
Josh Allen already has three fourth quarter comebacks this season. But, you can’t have a comeback without getting behind and when the five teams you’ve beaten are 7-31 combined, that’s not ideal.
The only game the Bills led for all 15 fourth quarter minutes was against the Giants and even that one was a one score game for a while.
Bills fans would probably prefer something low on heart palpitations this week. Washington’s season is dead. They’re not much good at anything. The above section is all you need to know about their offense. Let’s see if Buffalo can bury a team early for once
Gold Jacket Convention
This game will match the running backs with the 4th and 6th most yards in NFL history: Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson. It’s the 3rd largest combined career total for a pair of backs ever in the same game.
This won’t be either guy at their height, but it ain’t Willie Mays playing center field for the Mets, either. Gore and Peterson will likely end up with the most carries for their respective teams. They rank 18th and 19th in the NFL for total rushing yards this year. Gore is averaging well over four yards a carry and Peterson is just five yards short of four per run.
Gore needs 100 yards to push past Barry Sanders into third place all-time. Especially in a game where the outcome is not likely in doubt for long, take a minute to enjoy this. Two legends and surefire Hall of Famers putting on one of their final shows together will be one special afternoon.
Last week, we were reminded that the more desperate team usually succeeds in the NFL. It wasn’t the Bills then. It will be the Bills this week.
Not that Buffalo is “desperate”, but they need a “get well” game badly and they have the perfect patsy. The squad on the other side resembles one of Washington’s most world famous pro teams: the Generals.
This game might be missing a rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown, but otherwise the Bills should look plenty like the Harlem Globetrotters–dazzling a befuddled and hopelessly inept opponent–right down to the red, white and blue uniforms. I’ll take the Bills 31-6.