GAME PREDICTIONS

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NFL analysts | Bills vs. Washington game predictions | Week 3

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The Bills' defense is among the league's best through two weeks. Ron Rivera's group has looked like an advertisement for defensive variance thus far. Taylor Heinicke of Old Dominion is setting completion records, while 2020 MVP candidate Josh Allen hasn't yet been shooting as straight as a year ago. Everything up is down in this matchup, but the Bills have too many ways to win games with a revived pass rush and Matt Milano dominating at linebacker.

Pick: Bills 30-19

This isn't the Giants' defense that Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke torched for 336 yards. Heinicke and the Football Team (1-1) will collide with a Buffalo defense that has not allowed an opposing team to throw for 200 yards. Against the Bills (1-1) and Josh Allen, Washington will struggle to keep pace on the scoreboard. 

Pick: Bills -10

Washington is supposed to have a dominant defense, but it hasn't been that way yet. The front has to be better. Buffalo rebounded against the Dolphins to even the record. Josh Allen looked much better. But this will be a tough game against the Washington front. I think the Bills win a close one.

Pick: Bills 24, Washington 20

What to watch for: The Washington defense came into the season with high expectations but has started the year ranked No. 25 in yards allowed and No. 17 in points allowed. Against a Bills offensive line that is still improving, the defensive front should have an opportunity to take a step forward. With Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen still getting into a rhythm, making his day difficult -- as the Steelers did in Week 1 -- would go a long way toward a potential upset. If the Bills' offense has its way, however, Washington could be in for a long day. -- Alaina Getzenberg

Bold prediction: Bills receiver Stefon Diggs will surpass 100 yards for the first time this season, as Allen proves accurate enough to hit a big play or two. Diggs had seven 100-yard games last season but has gained just 69 and 60 yards, respectively, in the first two games of this season. In three games vs. Washington, he has surpassed 143 yards twice, albeit against a different group than he'll face Sunday. But Washington has allowed some big plays and benefitted from near misses. -- John Keim

Stat to know: Washington has lost five straight road games at the Bills, and all by double digits. Its last road win at the Bills was in Week 8 of the 1987 season.

Keim's pick: Bills 23, Washington 16
Getzenberg's pick: Bills 24, Washington 10
FPI prediction: BUF, 71.0% (by an average of 7.9 points)

The Bills are coming off a shutout victory. Washington's Taylor Heinicke threw for 336 yards in Week 2, but Buffalo will clamp down on the running game in a big home victory.

Pick: Bills 31, Washington 20

The second hung jury of Week 3 comes with the Buffalo Bills laying a touchdown plus a hook in a home matchup with the Washington Football Team, as two reigning division champions fight to avoid 1-2 starts. 

O'Donnell on Buffalo minus 7.5 points: "The Bills rebounded in Week 2 in a way folks would expect from a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The defense is second in the league in sacks, second in yards allowed, and this week they take on Taylor Heinicke in only his third career start for Washington. Returning to Western New York, and coming off a big division win, the defense should be counted on to continue playing well while the offense catches up. Josh Allen hasn't looked his best to start the year, but he's too talented to mire in mediocrity for long. Washington's vaunted defense hasn't lived up to its billing so far either and is coming off a game that saw Daniel Jones present some real problems. Allen can do all the things Jones can do but at a higher level. Combine the strong defense with an improving (and hopefully hungry) Allen, and I'm willing to lay the 7.5 points at home."

Predictions

Davenport: Buffalo
Gagnon: Washington
Kenyon: Washington
O'Donnell: Buffalo
Rogers: Washington
Sobleski: Buffalo

Score Prediction: Bills 27, Washington 20

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