What were the key numbers behind a torrid defeat for the Washington Commanders against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 at FedEx Field?
The hype train was getting out of control with the Washington Commanders. After two come-from-behind wins against the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos for their first 2-0 start since 2011, hope sprung eternal, but Week 3 provided a reality check.
Pump the brakes, this team isn't ready to compete against the big dogs just yet.
Earlier in the week, Ron Rivera had said Week 3 was a good opportunity to see where the team stands via the Commanders website.
""This is a very good football team. This is one of the AFC standards, so it's going to be a great opportunity for us to measure up.""- Ron Rivera via Commanders.com
I think the Commanders are going to need a bigger ruler - a yardstick might not be enough. They might need to use mile markers. After Sunday's debacle, it's clear to see that Washington still has a long way to go before they measure up with the leading contenders.
Yes, it was commendable that the team beat the Cardinals. But seeing the New York Giants come back and win after being down 20-0 against Arizona makes it a little less special. And yes, I do know they beat the Cowboys this week.
Yes, it's great that the Commanders came back and beat the Broncos, but after seeing them get trampled 70-20 by the Miami Dolphins and former Washington assistant Mike McDaniel, it makes that win a little less special.
Side note, how many good assistants did we let get away? After losses like this, it stings even more.
Washington has been plagued by the same flaws throughout Rivera's tenure. That progression and growth the team has been hoping for still seems just as elusive as it did when he took charge.
The slow starts have continued. The inability to get points in the red zone, yup, still got that. The defense getting gashed for big plays, that's there too. If you wanted a microcosm of all the issues this team has had, it was on full display versus the Bills.
Does that mean all hope is lost? Nope.
The Commanders still have 14 more games this season. We've seen flashes from Eric Bieniemy's offense. We have seen our front four harass offensive lines. We've seen Sam Howell make throws no quarterback in recent memory has made for this team.
There will be struggles, but these are growing pains. And, as Howell said after the game, the sun will come up tomorrow.
Let's get into the key numbers from Week 3's reality check against the Bills.