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Game predictions | Bills vs. Washington in Week 9


Interim head coach Bill Callahan may be losing, but he's doing it in record time. Washington's extreme run-first approach doesn't figure to change if rookie Dwayne Haskins makes his first start this week, and it could even make sense against a Bills defense much better at stopping the pass than the run. That dichotomy is typical of a Buffalo team that can't put together a complete game, especially at home. Josh Allen is fantastic in the red zone (11 of 16 for 68 yards and six TDs against zero picks), but he doesn't get there often enough, because he's tied for second in the NFL in fumbles (eight) and is 27th in yards per attempt. Those traits could keep this game closer than necessary, but winning ugly against bad teams is what this Bills group does best.

Buffalo 27, Washington 17

MDS's take: After an ugly loss to the Eagles, the Bills' defense will bounce back against a much worse opponent.

MDS's pick: Bills 13, Washington 6.

Florio's take: It's a Super Bowl XXVII rematch, and Thurman Thomas wouldn't need a helmet to win this one.

Florio's pick: Bills 24, Washington 14.

What to watch for: Since Bill Callahan took over as interim coach in Week 6, Washington quietly ranks 10th in the league in rushing yards and eighth in yards per attempt. After the Eagles steamrolled the Bills on the ground last week (218 yards, three touchdowns), Washington likely will look to implement a similar game plan. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

Bold prediction: Frank Gore will outrush Adrian Peterson in a battle of future Hall of Fame running backs. Gore will rush for 75 yards and a touchdown; Peterson will have a solid first half, but Washington's inability to convert on third-down passes and extend drives will hold him to 65 yards. -- John Keim

Stat to know: The Redskins have gone nine straight quarters without scoring a touchdown, the longest active streak in the NFL and second longest in the 2019 season (Miami, 10).

Keim's pick: Bills 20, Redskins 9

Louis-Jacques' pick: Bills 21, Washington 6

The Redskins have been awful this season and that will continue here. The Buffalo defense struggled last week, but it will bounce back here in a big way. They will limit the Redskins offense and Josh Allen will make enough plays to pull this out.

Pick: Bills 26, Redskins 10

Last week was an enormous letdown. The Bills (5-2) had lost only one game, to New England, and were expected to continue streaking against an inconsistent Eagles team. Instead, they were crushed, looking inferior to Philadelphia on both sides of the ball. There should be no such issues against the Redskins (1-7). Buffalo should get back on the winning track, but a big spread is hard to justify for a team that has such a conservative approach.

Pick: Redskins +9.5

The Bills' offense needs to produce better if they want to be considered legitimate AFC playoff contenders. One would think this matchup against a defense that allows 378.4 yards per game is a chance for Josh Allen and Co. to do just that, but Washington — on defense, at least — isn't as bad as its 1-7 record suggests. The other side of the ball is a different story. That Redskins offense has no chance to score enough points on the Bills to pull off a road upset.

Prediction: Bills 20, Redskins 13


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