Up next: Redskins on a downward spiral

Make it 12 consecutive years that the Redskins have lost at least three consecutive games. Losing is nothing new to a franchise that has made the playoffs just three times in the past 19 years, but Sunday's 23-0 loss to Buffalo in Toronto – Washington's first regular-season international game – was the Redskins' ugliest defeat since a Week 10 home embarrassment against Philadelphia in 2010.

After dropping to 3-4 after a 3-1 start, the Redskins have to try to reverse their freefall in a hurry with the red-hot 49ers coming to town this weekend.

Washington's revamped offensive line that had played well in the previous week's 33-20 defeat at Carolina was overwhelmed by a previously impotent Bills pass rush. Buffalo, which came in with just four sacks in six games, had that many by halftime en route to nine, the most Washington had allowed in 33 years.

That poor pass protection played a large part in the Redskins managing just 10 first downs and 178 yards while getting shut out for the first time in coach Mike Shanahan's two seasons. It was the first time the offensive guru has ever been part of a shutout in all of his time as a NFL head coach or assistant.

"We couldn't anything going," Shanahan said. "I don't think I've ever had one worse since I've been coaching as an assistant or a head coach, college or pro. I'm very disappointed in our execution."

But at least the offense can blame the absence of five injured starters: receiver Santana Moss, tight end Chris Cooley (injured reserve), running back Tim Hightower (IR), left tackle Trent Williams and left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (IR).

"(The Bills) got the better of us," said center turned left guard Will Montgomery, who started between usual backup tackle Sean Locklear and first-year center Erik Cook. "It's humbling. We're 3-1 and you guys are asking us about playoffs, and now we're (3-4) and the (stuff's) hitting the fan."

A Washington defense that was among the NFL's best in September allowed an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown on Buffalo's second series. The Redskins later were gashed for gains of 46 yards to set up a field goal and 43 yards to set up a touchdown -- even though the defense had all 11 starters with free safety O.J. Atgowe back after missing the Panthers game due to a knee injury.

"Embarrassing ... we got beat down," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said.

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo added, "We knew we needed this game ... and this is obviously devastating."

The Redskins' special teams weren't exempt either. A field goal unit that had converted six straight attempts had a 49-yarder blocked with Washington trailing 7-0.

In summary, the game was a total meltdown for the Redskins, who fell below .500 for the first time this year heading into this week's visit from NFC West leader San Francisco (6-1).

Including their Week 5 bye, the Redskins will have gone more than a month without winning by the time they meet the 49ers.

"Sadly, it can get worse," nose tackle Barry Cofield said when asked if the Redskins have hit rock bottom. "If it don't get better, there'll be a lot of changes."

Player notes


--- FB Darrel Young made the first start of his two seasons against the Bills. The Redskins had been going with two tight ends or three wide receivers.

--- WR Leonard Hankerson, Washington's third-round draft pick, made his first career catch a nice one, grabbing a 23-yard pass from John Beck on third-and-8.

--- WR Jabar Gaffney's second catch Sunday gave him 400 for his career. He finished the day with four receptions for 40 yards.

--- OLB Brian Orakpo's fumble recovery was the first of his three seasons.

--- ILB London Fletcher's goal-line interception was his second pick of the season, his highest total since he had three in 2007, his first year in Washington.

--- WR Anthony Armstrong started for the first time this year in place of injured Santana Moss. Armstrong was targeted four times but had no receptions.


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