Final: Bills 23, Redskins 0
The promising start to the Redskins’ season is now officially gone. Their 23-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday at Rogers Centre was their fourth in five games, and at 3-4 they are now below .500 for the first time this season. The game was the first shutout for Coach Mike Shanahan in 267 games as a head coach.
The Redskins already trailed 20-0 when the quarter began, and on the first play, quarterback John Beck dropped back on third and 4 from midfield and looked for tight end Fred Davis, but instead found Bills safety George Wilson for the Redskins’ first turnover. They escaped further damage on the scoreboard, though, when Bills placekicker Rian Lindell knocked a 44-yard attempt off the right upright.
The Redskins then moved the ball into Buffalo territory for one of the few times all day. On first and 10 from the Bills’ 39, Beck dropped back and looked for Donte Stallworth deep on a post route. But Stallworth fell, and Bills safety Jarius Byrd made a diving interception at the goal line. He returned it from the end zone, and Davis was assessed a facemask penalty that gave the Bills the ball at their own 37 with 7:48 left.
That lead to a meaningless-but-effective drive for the Bills, one Lindell punctuated with a 41-yard field goal with 3:26 remaining that made it 23-0. The Redskins’ best chance to score came on their final possession, when Beck moved them inside the Buffalo 25. But on third down, linebacker Kirk Morrison came up with the Bills’ ninth sack of the day, and on fourth down, Beck looked for Jabar Gaffney at the back of the end zone, where the ball fell incomplete.
Third quarter: Bills 20, Redskins 0
The Redskins continued to struggle on both sides of the ball and the Bills carried a 20-0 lead into the final quarter.
The third quarter picked up where the second quarter left off. The Bills first play of the half was a Fred Jackson run up the middle. He ran 43 yards before Washington could push him out of bounds. Six play laters, Buffalo faced third-and-1 from the Redskins’ 15-yard line. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found Scott Chandler in the end zone for the touchdown. It was Chandler’s second of the day and gave the Bills a 20-point advantage.
Washington, meanwhile, struggled to do anything right on offense. Beck took three more sacks; the Bills had seven through three quarters. The Bills had only four sacks all season coming into the game.
The Redskins had only 37 yards of offense in the third quarter, giving them a total of 97 on the day. They have only five first downs. Playing from behind, they’ve essentially had to abandon the run. They have only 23 rushing yards on the day.
Beck was 12 of 21 passing for 118 yards through three quarters.
Second quarter: Bills 13, Redskins 0
The Redskins offense has struggled mightily through two quarters of play. The Bills lead 13-0 at halftime, and the Redskins have managed just 61 yards of offense and only three first downs.
On the ground, the Redskins have 24 rushing yards; Ryan Torain has only 15 yards on six carries.
Meanwhile, the Bills tallied 230 yards of total offense in the first half. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 14 of 20 passing for 183 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The Redskins had their best opportunity to score in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Fitzpatrick fumbled a snap and Washington linebacker Brian Orakpo recovered it, putting the Redskins on Buffalo’s 31-yard line to start a drive.
After reaching he Bills’ 16-yard line, the Redskins’ offense unraveled. John Beck took a sack for a six-yard loss on first down and another sack for a nine-yard loss on third down. The end result: the Redskins were back at the 31-yard line and Graham Gano trotted on the field to attempt a field goal.
His 49-yard attempt, however, was blocked, and the Redskins were unable to get any points off the fumble recovery.
Buffalo took over on downs and Fitzpatrick led the Bills offense down the field. A pass interference penalty against cornerback Josh Wilson moved Buffalo 34 yards down the field, but the drive quickly stalled. Rian Lindell hit a 37-yard field goal to give the Bills a 10-0 lead.
In the closing minutes of the half, the Bills were on the verge of scoring again. On third-and-goal from the Washington seven-yard line, Fitzpatrick threw an interception to London Fletcher in the end zone. The turnover kept the Bills off the scoreboard and gave Beck nearly two minutes to get something started.
Instead, Beck scrambled once and took yet another sack. The Bills had four sacks in the first half, matching their total from the previous six games.
Buffalo ran its two-minute offense and was able to score once more before the half ended. Fitzpatrick hit Fred Jackson on a short route and Jackson turned it into a 46-yard gain, thanks in part to a missed tackle by Rocky McIntosh. Three plays later, Lindell hit a 44-yard field goal as time expired to end the half.
First quarter: Bill 7, Redskins 0
The Buffalo Bills jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to tight end Scott Chandler with 5:18 left in the first quarter.
The play capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive that took four minutes and 53 seconds. On the drive, the Bills did a good job of mixing things up and out-scheming the Redskins. Receivers ran free and Fitzpatrick picked apart the defense for completions.
On the touchdown, Chandler got behind linebacker London Fletcher, made the catch, and turned up field before Fletcher shoved him into the end zone.
Buffalo’s scoring drive came after Washington went three-and-out on its first two possessions of the game and Buffalo went three-and-out on its first.
Following the Bills’ touchdown drive, the Redskins seemed to find a bit of a rhythm, and on third-and-8, John Beck completed a 21-yard strike to rookie Leonard Hankerson for the Miami product’s first career catch. But two plays later, Beck overthrew Hankerson by a mile while going for the end zone, and two plays later the Redskins punted.
Buffalo took its 7-0 lead into the second quarter.
For the first time all season, the Redskins’ offense started with a two receiver set, with a fullback and one tight end. The team previously has gone with either three-receiver/one tight end sets or two-receiver/two tight end sets.
Linebacker Rocky McIntosh sat out a portion of the first quarter