The Buffalo Bills shutout the Washington Redskins Sunday 23-0, in Toronto, Canada. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who earlier in the week signed a contract extension worth 59 million dollars, played like he deserved it throwing for 262 yards and two touchdowns.
This game was decided on Washington’s first two drives of the day. John Beck looked much like Rex Grossman, being ineffective and inaccurate. On the first drive, on third and three, Beck decided to take a shot down field, which he threw behind his receiver Terrance Austin rather than just try to get the first down. The Bills led 13-0 at halftime thanks to a first quarter TD pass by Fitzpatrick and the inability for the Redskins offense to put together a decent drive. This game never really got started as the Bills are the better team on paper and was the better team on the field Sunday.
It’s easy to say that Ryan Fitzpatrick was the player of the game. But Fred Jackson did exactly what he needed to do. Jackson finished the day with 26 carries for 120 yards, and kept the Redskins defense on the field. He did not get in to the end zone, but his performance made it difficult for the Redskins to get a rhythm because of their lack of time on the field. Buffalo out possessed Washington by nearly ten minutes, 34:51 to 25:09. The key loser for the Redskins had to be lack of a running game. Mike Shanahan has been known for being able to run the football no matter who is taking the hand offs. But yesterday the Redskins ran for 26 yards, and their leading rusher, Ryan Torain, had 14 yards on eight carries.
This game can be summed up by offensive line play. The Bills gave Fitzpatrick plenty of protection that helped contributes to his outstanding day. He was only sacked twice by a once furious Redskins defense. Washington’s line on the other hand let John Beck get absolutely destroyed. Beck was sacked nine times, two in a half by rookie Marcel Darius who defensive coordinator Jim Hasslett had no answer for. The Redskins did not rush for a first down on third down while going 4-14 on third downs all day. The Redskins gained an average of 3.3 yards per play, the Bills nearly doubled that gaining 6.3.
This win brings the Bills to 5-2 and this begins a very tough second half for them, following their bye last week. They still have to play five divisional games, including the Jets twice and the Patriots the last game of the season in Foxborough. If they can win six of their final nine games, they should be in great position for the post season.
For the Redskins, this starts the downward spiral that will be the rest of their season. They are now 3-4, after starting the season 3-1. They host San Francisco next week and still have to play the Jets, the Patriots, the Cowboys, and the Giants in late December. Everyone knew this team was destined for the playoffs, but the false sense of hope provided for the fans to start the season, is terrible. Now everyone in D.C. is starting to realize they are at least a couple of offensive players away from being able to compete with the big boys of the NFL.