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What Went Wrong in WFT's Blowout Loss in Buffalo? (Besides Everything)

With a backup quarterback and a struggling offense, three turnovers were too much to overcome for Washington in 43-21 loss on Sunday.
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Coming off a last-second win over the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football in Week 2, the Washington Football Team headed to Orchard Park, New York to take on the Buffalo Bills.

The tone was set early with two quick turnovers on Washington's second and third possessions of the game after a three-and-out on the first.

READ MORE: Bills 42, WFT 21: Top 10 Observations

That initial drive resulted in just nine yards on three plays and a Washington punt. The Bills took advantage early and marched 75 yards on eight plays for a touchdown on their first possession of the game, resulting in a 7-0 lead for Buffalo.

Washington took the next possession and on a third-and-8 from its 37, quarterback Taylor Heinicke hit wide receiver Logan Thomas for 17 yards, but Thomas fumbled the ball while trying to make a play. 

The Bills' ensuing drive resulted in another seven points after an eight-play, 52-yard drive, and a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Allen to wide receiver Zack Moss that took 4:12 off the clock and gave the Bills a 14-0 lead.

Down 14-0, the Washington Football Team needed points to keep up with Buffalo, but its third drive of the game resulted in another turnover. A short pass from Heinicke to wideout Tery McLaurin was intercepted by the Bills' Jordan Poyer and returned 28 yards to the Washington 17.

It took the Bills just three plays and 17 yards to score, paving the way to a 21-0 Bills lead with 10:42 left in the first half.

It looked like Washington would recover, however, as two very quick, very quirky scores made the score more respectable at the half, 27-14.

After the Bills' third touchdown, Washington had the ball at its 25-yard line. It took running back Antonio Gibson just two plays to score, including an incredible 73-yard catch-and-run.

Then, on an unusual special teams play on the ensuing kickoff, the ball bounced high in the air untouched by a Bills player at the 25-yard line, and Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins hustled downfield to recover the live ball.

That recovery set up a short field for Washington, which went five plays and 24 yards ending in a Heinicke 4-yard scramble to the right for the touchdown.

It looked like Washington was in it, and they had the momentum at the half.

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Washington started the second half with a momentum-killing four-play, 15-yard drive and punt, and the Washington defense could not hold.

The Bills went 93 yards in 17 plays that ate an incredible 8:17 off the clock and completely wore out the defense. 

READ MORE: Mistake-Filled Washington Blown Out In Buffalo, 43-21

Now down 33-14 with the third quarter coming to a close, and desperately needing points and backed up to his own nine-yard line, Heinicke pressed hard, and was picked off by the Bills' Micah Hyde on a pass to wide receiver Adam Humphries at the Washington 28 yard line.

That Bills drive resulted in three points on a 29-yard field goal by Tyler Bass, making the score 36-14 with just 2:11 remaining in the third quarter.

The next two Washington drives resulted in a punt and turnover on downs, before exchanging touchdown drives with Buffalo, making the score 43-21 with 5:21 left in the game. 

The Bills ran out the clock on the final drive of the game. 

That recovery set up a short field for Washington, which went five plays and 24 yards ending in a Heinicke 4-yard scramble to the right for the touchdown.

It's hard for any team to overcome three turnovers in a game, especially when its defense is reeling and the offense is searching for production. The three turnovers resulted in valuable extra time on offense and 17 points for the Bills. 

Washington also lost the time of possession battle 24:23 - 35:37, with its defense on the field the majority of the second half. 

Washington has some work to do on both offense and defense before the Week 4 road matchup against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 3. 

CONTINUE READING: WFT Digs Early 21-Point Hole with Turnovers in Buffalo