VIENNA, Va ., Aug 26, 2013 — It’s only a preseason game. Preseason games don’t count. These are just two of the countless derogatory remarks made by football fans and experts each year. It is basically a truism that they simply provide true on-the-field practice for a team and allow the coaches to decide which players have the most promise in game situations. It does help when they turn out well.
On Saturday, the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills, 30-7, in a preseason game at Fed Ex Field.
The Redskins had their two primary quarterbacks on injured reserve. They had to rely on two back-ups and a heck of an offensive line to send the Bills packing back to Buffalo with their tails tucked between their legs.
Washington was on a roll leading up to this game. They beat the Tennessee Titans in a squeaker, 22-21, then proceeded to shock the Pittsburg Steelers, 24-13.
The Redskins turned in one of the better performances of the last couple of years. Even Coach Shanahan was caught with a shy smile here and there.
The scoring started on Washington’s first possession. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon snagged a seven-yard touchdown pass from Rex Grossman to cap an 86-yard opening drive for the Redskins. Starting at quarterback for Kirk Cousins, who came down with a bad case of sprained foot/plantar fasciitis a week ago, Rex Grossman completed 11 of 21 passes for 171 yards and threw for one touchdown.
The Bills came right back though, with a 56-yard drive that culminated in a two-yard touchdown run by running back C.J. Spiller. That drive also left them without Kevin Kolb for the rest of the game. Buffalo quarterback Kevin Kolb left the game in the first quarter with concussion-like symptoms after taking a knee to the back of the head.
The C.J. Spiller touchdown, however, would be the only score of the game for Buffalo.
The Redskins countered with a drive that included a 45-yard catch by wide receiver Santana Moss, which put them in the right spot to kick a field goal. Kai Forbath drilled a field goal from 28 yards out for his first score of the season and gave Washington a 10-7 lead. This turned out to be the game winner as Buffalo never scored again and Washington tacked on another 20 points before it was over.
The two back-up quarterbacks, Grossman and newcomer Pat White, basically alternated with each other through the remainder of the game.
For many fans today, it was their first glimpse of the prowess of Pat White, the former West Virginia star, and he delivered well on his anticipated returns, after several seasons as a Miami Dolphin. White ended the day completing 7 of 14 passes for 96 yards and rushed for 26 yards and a touchdown on three carries. He seems to have the same offensive style as Robert Griffin, III.
Kai Forbath was a perfect 3 for 3, including a 53-yard field goal. His other two were from 28 yards and 21 yards. Forbath also chipped in three extra points.
Washington rushed for 208 yards, while their defense held Buffalo to just 92 yards.
Penalties bedeviled the Skins, something that will be taken up in the next few practices. It is roster rearranging time, and by Tuesday afternoon, the rosters will be reduced from 90 to 75.
All in all it was a well fought game, the Redskins presented themselves as a balanced, team-conscious group. They were definitely in the catbird seat today, putting the Buffalo Bills in the comeback position, which simply did not work for the Bills.
A more formidable foe, however, meets the Redskins on Thursday night when they meet Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.
It will be interesting to see how these newer guys work out for the last pre-season game. Fingers are crossed – the fans are ready, it just remains to be seen if the team is ready.
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