BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Sean McDermott will face an old mentor for the second time since he took over the Bills on Sunday. The Ron Rivera-led Washington Football Team (1-1) will be at Highmark Stadium for a 1:00 kickoff on Sunday. McDermott worked under Rivera for six seasons with the Carolina Panthers. Buffalo has a chance to string together its first win streak of the season with a victory.
Here are the predictions from the WKBW sports staff:
Will the real Bills offense please stand up? After two weeks, the Bills passing offense, which was supposed to be this team's bread and butter, has been inconsistent.
"I've got to find ways to be better, there's no secret to that" Josh Allen said this week. "Whatever it takes, whether that's me throwing it 30 times or handing it off 30 times, whatever this team needs from me is what I'm going to do."
"Even though you get the contract and expectations are up here, it's about learning through the ins and outs of the job," head coach Sean McDermott added. "He'll continue to grow and, I'm excited about that."
So will this be the week they look like the team that was playing in 2020? If the Bills offensive line can contain the Washington Football Team's explosive pass rush, there could be some mismatches for Allen and the offense. Chase Young and Montez Sweat are too good to be completely shut down in this game, but the offensive line had a much better day against Miami than they did in Week 1.
On offense, quarterback Taylor Heinicke was impressive in Week 2 and shouldn't be overlooked. Wide Receiver Terry McLaurin and running back Antonion Gibson are explosive playmakers and will likely break off a few big plays. But the Bills defense is playing lights out right now and I don't expect that to change this week.
This won't be a walk in the park, but the Bills should be walking out of Highmark Stadium with their first win in Orchard Park this season.
Bills 28, WFT 20
Season Record: 1-1
The Buffalo Bills finally have their first win of the season and now they can build their first win streak of the season.
It's never easy to win on the road but the Bills did that last week and despite the score reading 35-0, there was still more to be desired from this Bills squad and it starts with the Bills pass game. Josh Allen has underperformed through these first two weeks but at some point, he's going to turn things around and I think this weekend is the weekend to do that. Allen is due for a 300+ yard game and I think he gets just that. While he won't be perfect, I believe scoring on this WFT defense won't be too big of an issue.
The Bills defense is coming off a solid performance, but I don't think this weekend will be another shutout, as the WFT should present a little more of a challenge than the Dolphins did on that side of the ball.
The Bills are by far the better team and there's no reason they shouldn't grab their second win of the season. I've gotten one random prediction right in each of the first two games [Gabriel Davis scoring the 1st TD for the Bills vs. Pittsburgh, and Greg Rousseau getting his first career sack vs. Miami]. This week I'm going with a Josh Allen rushing touchdown and a Tre White interception.
Bills: 27, WFT: 17
Season Record: 1-1
Over the course of four seasons and change, Sean McDermott has outdone his former mentor in Buffalo. The Bills have eight more wins under McDermott than Ron Rivera has had in both Carolina and Washington since the start of the 2017 season.
It's time to add a head-to-head win to that checklist. The Bills have come a very long way since the last time they played a Ron Rivera-led team (9-3 loss to Carolina in September of 2017). Even with the step backwards Buffalo's offense has taken in the first two weeks of the season, this contest really shouldn't be close.
The Bills beat Miami 35-0 and still left plenty of meat on the bone, so to speak, on the offensive side of the ball. The running game and short fields led the way to a final score that reflects on the offense better than its actual performance. In the week prior, we saw a high volume, west coast-type system have limited success against the Steelers.
Washington's back end is Buffalo's best chance to get back to its 2020-esque passing totals by a long shot so far. Josh Allen ranks 27th in the NFL in passing yards through the first two weeks of the year. Allen should be able to rise in those rankings on Sunday, provided that he doesn't have to run away from WFT edge rusher Chase Young all day long.
Bills: 31, WFT: 13
Season Record: 1-1