Josh Allen threw and ran for a touchdown, Buffalo’s defense forced five turnovers and the Bills won their second in a row after a rough season opener, routing Washington 37-3 Sunday to hand the Commanders their first loss of the year.
Allen was 20 of 32 with 218 yards passing, including a 35-yard TD pass to Gabe Davis. He added a 10-yard scamper into the end zone among his 46 yards rushing. His interception in the third quarter on third-and-20 functioned more like a long punt than his four backbreaking giveaways that contributed to Buffalo’s Week 1 loss at the Jets.
The Bills (2-1) tormented Howell, sacking him nine times and piling up four interceptions — one each by Terrel Bernard, Micah Hyde and Tre’Davious White and A.J. Epenesa — the last being a pick-6 that sent Commanders fans to the exits. They also forced a fumble, improving to 19-2 since 2019 when facing a quarterback who has made 16 or fewer NFL starts.
Making his fourth start for the Commanders (2-1), Howell lost for the first time as a pro, with many of the offensive line woes that were masked by wins against Arizona and Denver finally costing them. Howell was 19 of 29 for 170 yards.
A 51-yard field goal by Joey Slye with 46 seconds left helped Washington avoid the first shutout of the Ron Rivera era that began in 2020.
A 38-10 thrashing of the Raiders was apparently just the start of the defensive dominance for Buffalo. It was the first Bills shutout since Oct. 3, 2021 — a blowout of Houston, which was also the last time they had five or more turnovers.
The nine sacks were Buffalo’s most since 10 of Washington’s John Beck on Oct. 30, 2011, in Toronto.
Bernard became the first NFL player with two or more sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery since Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher in 2007. His pick was the fourth in a row by a Buffalo linebacker this season, a streak Hyde ended in the second quarter with his first interception since Jan. 15, 2022 in the playoffs against New England.
Washington’s defensive line of Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat and Chase Young that generated back-to-back victories by forcing turnovers was rendered ineffective. The Commanders did not sack Josh Allen once in 32 passing attempts before he was pulled for backup Kyle Allen when the game got out of hand.
Commanders TE Logan Thomas was inactive a week after being concussed on his TD catch at Denver.
Bills: Host the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.
Commanders: Visit the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday.