As we continue to move closer to the NFL postseason, every game and every play is scrutinized even more. For teams battling to make the postseason, those instances are magnified even more. We have a couple of them right here, as the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins search for the playoffs. The search is going to be more difficult for the Bills despite having the same record as the Redskins, 6-7. Redskins are beneficiaries of playing in what amounts to a garbage dumpster of a division. The Cowboys have had to play without Romo for the majority of the season, you can’t trust the Eagles, the Giants are off and on, and the Redskins are trying their hardest. Talent wise on paper all three of those teams are superior to the Redskins, so I give sorta some credit to Washington for being in the running for the NFC East. I contend that the Cowboys would have had this division wrapped up already if Romo was healthy, but injuries are part of the game so you can’t dwell too much on that fact. Look out for the Redskins now that the door is open for them to open. They are still being treated as the least favorable team in the division to win it.
The Giants, Skins, and Eagles are all tied at 6-7 with the Cowboys trailing with a 4-9 record pending last nights result against the Jets. The Redskins currently own the tiebreaker, so are in essence 1st in the NFC East. Conversely, the Bills can forget about aiming for the division crown in the AFC East. That one is the Patriots. So, the best Buffalo can hope for is a piece of a Wild Card. I believe that they come up short in that regard. Like always with this Bills team, they will almost be there, but almost there isn’t good enough. Rex Ryan was brought on to get them over those tribulations. The defense was supposed to be one of the best in the NFL. Rex Ryan said this defense had the talent to be the best defense in the last decade.
Flash forward to week 15 of the NFL and the Bills are actually relying on their offense more so than the defense. Who would have thought Tyrod Taylor was going to be the focal point of this team before the season started? I did not. I was extremely critical of the guy, as I have noted in previous articles. He has proven me wrong and a lot of others, so for that I tip my hat to him. However, his ability to carry this team is limited. If the Bills had that top defense, I suspect we would be hearing a lot more about Tyrod Taylor. In the same mold as Russell Wilson when the Seahawks started to hit their stride a few years ago. A lot is going to need to go right for the Bills to make the playoffs. The rest of the reason are must wins and other teams need to assist them as well. The Redskins stand a much better chance at earning a spot. Big game here for both squads. Let’s get to the pick.
Buffalo Bills vs. Washington Redskins NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Redskins +2.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bills vs. Redskins Pick:
The Redskins have improved their defense considerably over the last few seasons. I remember when Robert Griffin was playing like the savior of the franchise that the Redskins had to score over 30 points because the defense would give it right back. However, things change, and both of those situations are no longer present. Griffin is on the scout team and the Redskins’ defense has evolved into a not so bad unit. The Redskins are allowing 23.6 points per game for 17th in the NFL. Not great, but not bad. They were consistently bad in the past. Against the pass they are 15th and the run they are 24th. The running game is where the Bills could exploit the Redskins.
Taylor is a runner himself, and along with LeSean McCoy, the Bills are 3rd in the NFL in rushing. That is where you get the Bills as favorites in this game. Taylor has rushed for 371 yards along with 3 touchdowns on the ground. He has also thrown for 18 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. The Bills are 19th on defense, though. Nice prediction there Rex. And they have gotten worse as the season moved on. In the last four games they have given up 20 or more games in each outing for an average of 23.5 points per game. That isn’t terribly bad, but I think with the total so low at 44 there is a good chance of more than 44 total points. The Bills have not had a good defense. The perception is they do, but it has been the offense.
PICK: OVER 44 POINTS (-110)