Buffalo takes on the Redskins in the Bills’ annual “home game in Toronto” this Sunday. Frank Doyle previews the action.
It’s been nineteen years since the Redskins beat the Bills but Buffalo would swap all their five wins since to have that one loss back.
That win over Buffalo was in Super Bowl XXVI. It was Buffalo’s second straight loss and the hapless Bills would go on to set a record for the most consecutive Super Bowls lost.
Buffalo has lived in the shadow of what must be the greatest nearly team in League history in the twenty years since, but it hasn’t been all roses for Washington either. George Allen brought success to Washington in the 1970s and the Redskins won three Super Bowls and contested a fourth during the first Joe Gibbs era of the 1980s and early ‘90s, but the Redskins have never been close since the Hogs went to pasture.
We’ve become accustomed to thinking of Washington as being contenders while Buffalo struggles. This isn’t true – they’ve both been awful for twenty years, with the Redskins’ being slightly worse. Washington has a 134-175, .433 record since winning that Super Bowl, while the Bills are 151-159, .487 over those twenty years. Even allowing for the AFC Championship winning seasons of 1992 and 1993, the Bills were still the better team over the twenty years.
And they look like being a better team on Sunday too. The NFL betting line makes Buffalo a seven point favorite and it’s hard to argue with the wisdom of that line.
Washington got off to a good start this season but once Rex Grossman reverted to type and started turning the ball over the wheels fell off the burgundy and gold wagon. So Mike Shanahan pulled Grossman for John Beck, and proved the old adage that when you have two starting quarterbacks you actually have none at all.
No such problem for Buffalo, where Ryan Fitzpatrick is The Man. Buffalo has been magnificent since the start of the season with a thrilling spread offense, a bombs-away attitude and an opportunistic defense that’s epitomised by safety George Wilson. Buffalo has lost two of three since its hot start but it’s rested coming off a bye while the Redskins are banged up.
Whatever about Grossman and Beck, there are few quarterbacks in league who would do much on a team that’s got so many starters on the IR. Buffalo and Toronto will be two happy towns come Sunday night.
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