(Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports)

Redskins will battle Bills in regular season dress rehearsal

This game will give us our biggest glimpse of Kirk Cousins until the season opener.

by Michael Marzacco, special to Breaking Burgundy

The Washington Redskins will entertain the Buffalo Bills Friday night at FedEx Field in their third game of the preseason. Washington is coming off a win over the New York Jets, 22-18, in their second preseason game.

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Where: FedEx Field

Coverage: CSN (TV); ESPN 980 (radio)

What Happened Last Week:

The Redskins rallied to beat the Jets last Friday as quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kendal Thompson with 36 seconds for the game-winner. Washington held an early 14-2 lead thanks to two touchdown passes from quarterback Colt McCoy to wide receiver Rashad Ross. The Jets came back to claim a 18-14 lead in the fourth quarter until Sudfeld anchored the comeback.

Meet the Bills:

Rex Ryan enters his second year as Buffalo's head coach after previously serving as coach of the divisional-rival Jets. The Bills finished third in the AFC East with an 8-8 record last year and enter this season hoping to grab a wild card berth or challenge the Patriots for the division. Virginia Tech fans remember their star quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, a Hampton, Virginia product who is looking to build upon his breakout 2015 season. Specifically, he threw for 3,035 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions while adding 568 yards and four more scores as a rusher. In last week’s 21-0 win over the Giants, Taylor went 7-of-10 for 132 yards and a touchdown. He had a nice play in the first quarter where he spun away from New York’s pass rush and fired a deep pass to tight end Charles Clay for 59 yards. The Bills enter Week 3 of the preseason with a 1-1 record; they fell to the Colts, 19-18, at home in their preseason opener.

Things to watch for:

* Dress rehearsal for Captain Kirk

After Kirk Cousins completed each of his five throws the Redskins' preseason opener, he was a healthy scratch for the Jets game. However, head coach Jay Gruden has told reporters that he will play at least a half Friday. This is Cousins' first test of the season and it comes against a defense that has been successful on third downs often this month.


* Redskins defense vs. Tyrod Taylor

If Cousins plays a full half, don’t be surprised if Taylor and the Redskins' starting defense follows suit. If that happens, you’re in for a treat. Taylor looked impressive in last week's shutout of the Giants. How he will perform against Washington's improved secondary? 

* Running back Robert Kelley

Look for Kelley to be unleashed Friday with starting RB Matt Jones done for the preseason due to a sprained shoulder. With backup running back Chris Thompson is dealing with knee and shoulder soreness as well, Kelley, along with Keith Marshall and Mack Brown, should be used extensively. There are roster spots up for grabs at the running back position, so expect that trio to play with some sense of urgency. Jones hopes to be ready to go for the regular season opener Sept. 12.

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