By Rich Tandler
Welcome to the Redskins-Bills live game blog!
What we are going to do here is keep a running blog of news, notes, and nuggets that will run until just before kickoff. Then we’ll continue this right into the live game blog and keep you going on that until the clock reads 0:00.
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Summary—Mike Shanahan went his entire career without his team getting shut out—until today. The Redskins’ 23-0 shellacking was a total team effort.
There isn’t much else right now, I’ll be getting my initial thoughts about this stinker up in a little while, please check back in a little while.
7:48—The Redskins start to move the ball, Donte Stallworth trips, Byrd picks off the deep pass, and Fred Davis draws a 15-yard penalty on the tackle. I’d say that about sums up the day, but not enough bad happened on the play.
12:48—I present the following comment to the blog from Ron Torain. Your thoughts are welcome:
Let's face it, this Shananigans' experiment is a total bust!! He doesn't show one scintilla of a clue about how to put a winning football team together. I know Dan wants to stay out of it because of all of the flack he's taken in the past for so-called "medling" but sometimes, you've got to do like Jerry and keep working it until you get it right and to hell what other people say! After all, he's not just an owner, Dan's a Skins fan first and I know this has got to be painful!! And, the bottom line is: If Kyle and Mike think they can win with poor ole Rex and John (two questionable back-ups at best),and if Dan lets them have it their way, then I truly wonder how he made all those millions in the first place!! Oh well, Beck just got intercepted again, "how sad for us" "This is truly saaaaaddd!! I don't see any positive future for this Shananigans-led mess!!
Summary—The good news is that the Bills scored only seven points in this quarter. The bad news is that the Redskins still haven’t scored any. They have no running game against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL and they have given up seven sacks to a team that had four on the season coming into this game.
Hard to find much positive to say here.
3:44—The Redskins go nowhere after Brandon Banks gives them decent field position with a punt return to midfield. A sack of Beck made it difficult and then with a four-man rush the Bills get their seventh sack on fourth down.
7:34—The Redskins mustered a first down, so the drive wasn’t a total failure. Well, maybe since it was followed by a penalty and a sack. MVP Sav Rocca booms another punt and the Bills have the ball back. This one is officially out of hand. It would take a major turnaround to even make it competitive.
11:01—The Bills get a drive sparked by a long run by, you guessed it, Jackson. A 15-yard TD pass from Fitzpatrick to Scott Chandler. It looked like London Fletcher was looking for some help as he was the only one near Chandler.
Summary—The Redskins’ offense has been awful and the defense hasn’t been much better. I’d say you can blame the four sacks partially on the Redskins’ offensive line and partially on John Beck being reluctant to get rid of the ball.
Buffalo outgained the Redskins 230 yards to 61 and Washington is fortunate that it’s only 13-0.
1:55—The Redskins might have saved their season with an end zone interception. Well, they have to play a lot better if there is anything to be saved. Still, it remains 10-0 with the Redskins and Beck attempting a two-minute drive. Oops, fourth sack of the game for the Bills, who had four sacks coming into the game.
9:26—Keyaron Fox, in the game because Rocky McIntosh is out with an ankle injury, just saved a first down and possibly a touchdown with a nice open field tackle of Jackson on a screen pass. The Bills get only a field goal after a bad pass interference penalty on Josh Wilson (bad play by Wilson, not bad call) moves the Bills downfield.
On second down, Ryan Kerrigan, who is playing well, got some good pressure on Fitzpatrick, forcing him out of the pocket and into an incompletion.
11:44—Wow, looks like Roy Helu should have picked up the blitz. Beck sacked, field goal blocked, the Redskins come away empty.
14:27—The Redskins get a gift turnover as Fitzpatrick fumbled the snap. Jackson tried to scoop it up and run but he couldn’t get the handle on it and the Redskins recovered. It was the first fumble the Bills have lost this year.
Summary—The Bills did pretty much whatever they wanted to on their second drive. Washington's defense isn't getting much pass pressure and receivers are wide open. The Redskins, on the other hand, have looked sluggish offensively. The Redskins need to get a stop or this one will get out of hand.
1:01—Leonard Hankerson got his first career catch good for 23 yards to convert a third down but the drive stalls after that. Beck went to Anthony Armstrong in a tight window to try to convert third and eight. It looked like maybe Armstrong could have fought for the ball a little harder but, regardless, it was incomplete and team MVP Sav Rocca punts.
5:11—The Bills finish the drive on a 20-yard TD pass from Fitzpatrick to Chandler. It’s about time for the Redskins to open up the offense a little more and answer. Scoring drive was 8 plays, 80 yards. I don’t think the Bills faced a third down in the drive.
7:30—The Bills are spreading the field a lot with five wide receivers on first down. On their second drive it’s working as they are getting good yardage on first and are nearing the red zone.
10:20—The Redskins have another three and out. Terrence Austin was less than a yard short of the line to make near midfield, but Mike Shanahan decided not to gamble. Perhaps the fact that Ryan Torain didn’t get much on his first two runs nudged along the decision.
12:25—The teams trade three and outs on their first possession. Like the defense for the Redskins on third and 12, they rushed just three, knowing that Fitzpatrick would get rid of the ball quickly anyway. He completed the pass but it was short of the first down.
Shanny works with the D
0:35 to kickoff—When Mike Shanahan came on board as the head coach of the Redskins, he wanted to be sure that everyone knew that he wasn’t just an offensive specialist. He said that in his position, he has to have detailed knowledge on both sides of the ball despite his reputation as an offensive guru.
He apparently put that knowledge to work this week. He spent some time with defense in practice to try to straighten up the issues that have led to them giving up over 400 yards in each of the last two games.
If the defense can regain its form and keep the Redskins in the game, Shanahan may start to regain the Mastermind moniker he had in Denver.
Shockers abound in the NFL
0:55 to kickoff—The Dolphins still lead the Giants; it’s now 17-10 with the third quarter winding down. This is “one of those days” in the NFL so far with the winless Rams now pounding the Saints 24-0.
If the Giants do lose, the Redskins will end the day no worse than one game out of first place in the NFC East.
Torain to start
1:10 to kickoff—The Redskins announced that Ryan Torain will start at running back. It remains to be seen if he or Roy Helu will get the majority of the carries against a suspect Bills rushing defense.
1:45 to kickoff--WR Donald Jones, CB Aaron Williams, CB T.Wheatley, LB A.Coleman, OL Chris Hairston, OL Demetrius Bell, NT Kyle Williams.
1:20 to kickoff—The Redskins inactives are out a little quicker than we thought: Phillip Buchanon, Mike Sellers, Markus White, Trent Williams, Dominique Byrd, Santana Moss, Darrion Scott.
Atogwe warming up
1:30 to kickoff—Perhaps the most questionable of the Redskins listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report was free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe. He missed the Carolina game with a knee injury and he didn’t practice a whole lot this week. Reports are that he is out on the field warming up. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will play but it is a positive sign.
We should get the inactives about 45 minutes from now.
It’s still early, but . . .
2:10 to kickoff—The Giants, who are in first place in the NFC East, a game ahead of the Redskins and Cowboys, are in trouble against the winless Miami Dolphins. They trail Miami 14-3 with about nine minutes left in the second quarter. The Dolphins have scored on consecutive drives for the first time this season.
2:30 to kickoff—Several tweets from folks on the scene in Toronto indicate that the Redskins will be sporting their old-school gold pants for today’s game along with white jerseys.
Will Beck open it up?
3:00 to kickoff—In his Basics article on CSN Washington today, Ryan O’Halloran writes that the Redskins will not have the luxury of taking it easy on John Beck today. Even if they get a running game going in the absence of Tim Hightower—and they could with Torain and Helu—they will need Beck to attack the suspect defense of the Bills, who boast a high-scoring offense.
Will Hank get another shot today?
4:00 to kickoff—I heard on Friday that all six wide receivers who are able to suit up will do so. That would put Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, Niles Paul, Donte Stallworth, and Leonard Hankerson in uniform.
This is subject to change, of course. The absence of Mike Sellers will ding special teams so perhaps Hankerson won’t be up. If he is, it will be interesting to see if he will get any snaps and opportunities prior to garbage time. Mike Shanahan said last Monday that Hankerson has been practicing well and that he earned his game-day jersey by doing that. With Santana Moss out and with Armstrong still finding his niche in the offense after missing two and a half games with a hamstring injury the Redskins need to find a combination of receivers that works.
Hankerson could be part of that mix.
5:30 to kickoff—Thanks to NFL.com’s NFL Rewind service, I can watch an entire game in about 45 minutes with their “condensed” feature. I took a look at the Bills loss to the Giants and some of their win over the Eagles. I jotted down a few things to look for here in my Enemy Intel article.