Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins: Three Keys to the Game


Well, this isn’t where the Buffalo Bills or any fan wanted to be.

The Bills are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, and most likely have three games left between now and the offseason.

But even though the Bills will probably sitting at home for the 16th consecutive postseason this winter and some might call these next three games “meaningless,” that doesn’t mean there isn’t still something worth fighting for.

If Buffalo can win out it can make some significant strides heading into the offseason and can ruin some teams’ playoff hopes along the way, the first one being Sunday’s opponent – the Washington Redskins.

Here’s this week’s Three Keys to the Game for the matchup with the Redskins, which kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. from FedEx Field:

1) Let Tyrod Taylor loose.

Something Buffalo can do in these next three games is give  a hard look at Tyrod Taylor as the future of this franchise.

The former Virgnia Tech quarterback has already earned himself the role of starting quarterback heading into next season, but the jury is still out on Taylor as the franchise quarterback. These next three games can help that decision.

Don’t let last weekend’s performance fool you, the Redskins’ pass defense is not good. Washington is 16th in the NFL in passing yards allowed which is just the middle of the pack, but has seen the seventh-fewest attempts this year making things rather skewed.

Taylor has taken steps as a passer this year and is finally starting to get in sync with his receivers. Buffalo will have another opportunity to take a step forward in the passing game Sunday.

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2) Rush the passer.

The Buffalo Bills had one sack against the Philadelphia Eagles, and even without Kyle Williams that’s unacceptable with the amount of money spent on the defensive line. The Bills haven’t blitzed all that often this year, but when they have they’ve been successful.

Against a below-average offensive line the Bills will have an opportunity to get after Kirk Cousins. If Buffalo can get Cousins off of his game they’ll be in good shape and the Redskins will have trouble moving the ball.

3) Stick together.

Former Bills star Darryl Talley called out the Bills for their lack of togetherness this season.

“Everybody’s doing their own thing,” Talley said via The Buffalo News. “They’re supposed to be working together like five fingers on a glove. All of them. That’s what made us different because we could beat you on offense, we could beat you on defense, we could beat you with special teams. Right now, they aren’t really beating you any kind of way.

“There’s no pattern, no come-from-behind, there’s no . . . nothing.”

Against the Redskins, a team fighting for a division title, is the perfect time for the Buffalo Bills to come together.

Players like Sammy Watkins and Marcell Dareus have said how they’re starting to see things click in both phases of the ball. Well, it’s time to show it.

Prediction: Bills win 31-21

The Buffalo Bills should be able to score at will against Washington. If the Bills can limit the mistakes and penalties that cost them the game last week, they’ll be able to move the ball efficiently Sunday and will be hard to stop.