Redskins crush Bills 30-7 in preseason game 3
With only two days of practice and preparation since their Monday night home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Washington Redskins came out at FedEx Field Saturday afternoon and laid a proper whipping on the visiting Buffalo Bills, trouncing the visitors 30-7 and running up big advantages in virtually every statistical category in the process.
The third preseason game, normally considered the most important game before the start of the regular season, was missing some drama because neither team had the starting quarterback they hope to have when the real games begins. Rookie signal-caller E.J. Manuel missed the game with injury and, of course, the Redskins were without Robert Griffin III, the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, still working his way back from a knee injury, and backup Kirk Cousins, who sprained a foot in Monday night’s win. That left the Bills to play Kevin Kolb and rookie Jeff Tuel, while the Redskins countered with veteran Rex Grossman and Pat White.
The Bills got the ball first, but couldn’t do much with it, as rookie LB Brandon Jenkins continued to make waves on this preseason with a 3-yard sack on third down to force a punt. Redskins CB/PR Richard Crawford fielded the punt inside his own 5-yard line, a poor decision, and advanced it only to the 14. Later in the game, Crawford would suffer a devastating knee injury that will end his season early.] Grossman got the Redskins off to a good start with a 10-play 86-yard drive that featured several very nice runs by RB Alfred Morris, who looks ready to go, and a couple of pretty completions to tight ends Logan Paulsen for 11 yards and Fred Davis for 31 yards. Grossman also found RB Roy Helu on a wheel route down the left sideline and tossed a beautiful lob for a 21-yard gain. The drive ended on a play that was called a run, but Grossman audibled out to a pass when he saw WR Pierre Garcon in single coverage. As his offensive line blocked for the run, Grossman hit Garcon for a pretty 8-yard TD pass to put the Redskins up 7-0.
The Redskins had the Bills stopped for three-and-out on the next series, but a stupid face mask penalty on rookie CB David Amerson gave Buffalo an extra 15 yards and an automatic first down. Kolb and RB C.J. Spiller combined to move the Bills the rest of the way until Spiller scored on a short touchdown run to tie the game. However, on the drive Kolb was kneed in the back of the head by Brandon Jenkins and would not return to the game after that drive with concussion-like symptoms.
Grossman started his second drive of the game by going back to his tight ends, this time rookie Jordan Reed for 11 yards. Then, on 3rd and 10, Grossman threw to WR Santana Moss, who made a fantastic leaping catch on the high pass and eluded a tackle to slip down the left sideline and rambled for a total of 45 yards down to the Buffalo 24-yard line. The Redskins drove another 14 yards before Grossman threw incomplete on 3rd and 1 and Kai Forbath nailed a 28-yard field goal for the 10-7 lead.
On their next possession the Bills committed offensive pass interference on a long pass against CB Josh Wilson, who had excellent coverage, and had to punt. The Redskins came back with Grossman completing a quick 14-yard completion to Aldrick Robinson, who led everyone with 4 receptions for 61 yards. However, the drive bogged down after that and the Redskins were forced to punt.
Next possession was a momentous one for both teams. The Bills, starting at their own 16-yard line, advanced deep into Washington territory thanks mostly to a 42-yard pass interference penalty against rookie CB David Amerson. At the 26-yard line, rookie QB Jeff Tuel completed a short pass to WR Stevie Johnson who picked up a first down, but fumbled, courtesy of Redskins ILB Bryan Kehl, who knocked the ball out just before Johnson’s knee hit the turf. OLB Rob Jackson jumped on the ball and the Redskins took over at the 17.
Pat White entered the game at quarterback and hit Robinson for an 11-yard gain. A few short Roy Helu runs set up a 12-yard scamper up the middle, in which Helu fumbled at the end of the run, but managed to recover it himself. The next play he rushed over right tackle for 17 yards. The Skins got three yards on the next two plays and then on 3rd and 7, White faked a handoff in the pistol and then followed FB Darrel Young, in beast mode as a lead blocker, over the left side and into the end zone on a 14-yard QB run. Washington led 17-7.
The Bills got one first down on their next drive, but it would be their last first down of the game and they eventually punted at their own 41-yard line, putting the ball into the end zone and giving Washington a possession on their own 20. White hit Robinson on a short pass over the middle and the receiver raced to the Washington 41. Two plays later, White hit Robinson again for 15 yards to the Buffalo 41 yard line just before the two minute warning. The Skins took a five-yard penalty on the the backup center before White ran the read-option for 11 yards to the Buffalo 35-yard line. Washington could advance no further so on fourth down Mike Shanahan sent Kai Forbath out for a 53-yard field goal attempt. The kick would have been good from 63 yards and was almost perfectly down the middle, putting the Redskins up 20-7 with 1:04 left in the first half.
On the final possession of the first half, Redskins OLB Darryl Tapp sacked Tuel for 3 yards and the first half expired with the Redskins up by 13 points.
The third half was dismal, with the teams trading one punt after another until the Bills’ punt returner muffed a Sav Rocca punt at the 6-yard line and backup LB Vic So’oto recovered for the Redskins. However, the Redskins could do nothing with the ball and had to settle for a Forbath 21-yard field goal to increase their lead to 23-7.
With less than a minute left in the third quarter, the Bills punted to rookie RB Chris Thompson, who caught the ball on a dead run at the Washington 39-yard line and raced down the middle of the field for 31 yards until tackled at Buffalo’s 30. From there, the Redskins slowly advanced to the goal line thanks to White and Thompson, until Keiland Williams took over at the one yard line. On fourth down from the one, Williams took a handoff, shrugged off a tackle in the backfield, and bounced to the left side of the offensive line to score the game’s final points. Washington led 30-7.