In a game where Josh Allen broke a number of team records and the defense left their mark with three turnovers, it was the Bills offensive line that earned a heavy dose of praise in Buffalo's 43-21 victory.
Washington's defensive line is its team's strength, but the Bills offense overcame their threats and produced its best performance of the 2021 season. The Bills offense did not allow Josh Allen to be sacked once in this game which allowed him to complete 32 out of 43 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns.
Most NFL games are won and lost in the trenches and that's exactly how it shook out Sunday afternoon.
"They did a really good job, the game was won in the trenches," Running back Zack Moss said. "Coach McDermott preaches that week in and week out. And those guys were definitely up for the task, going against the front like that and they did a really good job. And that's why we were able to stay on point on offense. We weren't down in second and long situations and things like that. We were able to stay on track. Big shout out to those guys in the run game and in the pass game."
This was a big improvement for the Bills after Josh Allen was pressured 28 times and sacked three times throughout the first two weeks.
"I mean I think we didn't play our best the first couple weeks, and I think it goes hand-in-hand, our success will lead to Josh's success," guard Jon Feliciano stated.
Today's game marked the first time since at least the 1970 NFL merger that all eight starting defensive linemen on both teams were first round picks. Players like Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen are the big names on the Washington defensive line. The mindset for the Bills offensive line was focused on not buying the hype of what Washington's defense line has done in the past and stopping them from having success on Sunday.
"I don't really think it was more so changing anything, it was more so worrying about us," left tackle Dion Dawkins said. "Going into this game, we knew that they had that hype. There's a lot of high-profile guys, all first round guys, all high-caliber dudes. And we just knew that we had to worry about ourselves, because you can get lost in the sauce, honestly."
The Bills had a great day statistically against Washington with 77 offensive plays with an average gain of 6.2 yards per play. The Bills had 481 total net yards on offense with 29 first downs compared to 22 first downs in Week one and 21 first downs in Week two. Dawson Knox said after the game that their success on offense directly had to do with how well the Bills offensive line played.
"The offensive line balled out," Knox said. "When you put up 400+ yards, that all starts up front.
We always talk about how the game is controlled by the line of scrimmage so it's the offensive line and defensive line, they're the pacesetters of the game. So our line was awesome today in the running game and passing game and it showed in every stat category that starts with the O-line, so they did a great job."
Here are some other post game notes from the Bills locker room after the win.
Edmunds on another strong defensive performance by Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer
Veteran safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer continued to lead a strong defensive effort against Washington. Both players had their first interceptions of the season with Hyde having one tackle for loss and two passes defensed. They both made a handful of other impact plays that helped the Bills hold Washington to 2-11 (18%) on third down.
"I definitely think they made big time plays, those are two ballers," linebacker Tremaine Edmunds said. "I'm happy for them, man and they put the work in all week and just to see it show up on game day I'm extremely happy for them. So, I mean they are playmakers and they made plays today."
How Emmanuel Sanders keeps his emotions in check
Emmanuel Sanders had his best performance as a Buffalo Bill this season hauling in five passes for 94 yards and with two touchdowns. His two touchdown catches are the most he's had in a single game since he had two against the Cowboys while playing for the Broncos in 2017. He spoke after the win how he looks at the game week-to-week and how he doesn't allow himself to get too high after wins or too low after losses.
"At the end of the day, it's football and it's like life," Sanders said. "I remember when we lost to the Steelers, I was telling everybody it's a roller coaster ride but don't ride the emotions of it. Because sometimes even you guys, when we lose it's like, oh, the Bills are the worst. Then the next week, we're the greatest thing, right? I tell guys, 'Don't ride that. Josh, don't listen to that.' He's been in the league a long time and he's probably heard it all. Every Sunday you get to prove yourself and he went out today and proved himself."