TORONTO — Often heralded as an offensive genius, Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan entered Sunday’s game between Washington and the Buffalo Bills having never suffered a shutout in 267 games as a head coach.
Still reeling from the injuries that have decimated their offense over the last two weeks, the Redskins found themselves overwhelmed and embarrassed in an outing that also saw them give up nine sacks, equaling a franchise worst.
“That’s as bad as I’ve been involved with from an offensive side as an assistant or a head coach,” a bewildered-looking Shanahan said after the loss. “. . . To score no points, I don’t think I’ve ever had that since I’ve been a coach — assistant or head coach, college or professionally. So it’s pretty humbling to take that.”
The shutout was the Redskins’ first since Dec. 27, 2009, when a squad led by Coach Jim Zorn fell, 17-0, to the Dallas Cowboys.
The defeat dropped the Redskins to 3-4 on the season and extended their losing streak to three games, and four of their last five.
“Makes you feel like you really didn’t do anything. . . . Don’t feel like much of nothing went right today,” said wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who had four catches for 40 yards.
Just three weeks ago, Shanahan and the Redskins were in their bye week with a 3-1 record and in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. But a quarterback change and a slew of injuries later, the wheels are coming off the Redskins’ season.
Judging by the way the Bills’ defensive players surrounded and swallowed up Redskins quarterback John Beck over and over again, it was hard to tell that that unit had entered Sunday’s contest with a measly four sacks on the season — worst in the NFL.
Against Washington’s line, which features replacement players at left tackle, left guard and center, the Bills pillaged the Redskins, holding them to 178 yards on offense. That output marked the fewest yards Washington has generated since it put up 160 during a game in 2007.
Beck found himself throwing to a revamped receiving corps. Top wideout Santana Moss is out with a broken hand and veteran tight end Chris Cooley is on injured reserve. But given how freely the Bills came through the line to harass the quarterback, it didn’t really matter who Beck was throwing to. When Beck did have time to throw, he struggled with accuracy — particularly on deep passes — and finished the game completing 20 of 33 passes for 208 yards and two interceptions.
“I don’t have any answers right now,” Beck said. “I want to see the tape. It’ll be very telling and I want to use that tape to make sure it doesn’t happen again. . . . I’m sure some of [the sacks] were on me there. As the quarterback, it’s part of my job to get the ball out of my hands, so I want to check that out on tape and see how I can help my guys out.”
It also mattered little that the Bills entered the game ranked 30th against the run. Running back Ryan Torain — who took over for Tim Hightower, who also is on injured reserve — found daylight hard to come by and mustered only 14 yards on eight carries.