Game Blog: Redskins 16, Bills 17

Rich Tandler offers his insight with a game blog about the game versus the Bills.


The atmosphere here still says NFL game day, but there clearly is a difference. As I'm typing this, the Redskins band is playing a rendition of Hail to the Redskins in about three-quarters time. That led into a nice video tribute to Sean, one that had everyone in the press box watching with somber attention and had the FedEx crowd waving their #21 towels and cheering.

Right after the video they band then cranked out HTTR in full rhythm, the Bills came out to start warming up. Again, it's game day.

I don't quite understand playing "We Won't Get Fooled Again" by the Who before the Redskins come out. Although it has a strong beat, "Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss" seem like odd lyrics for such a circumstance.

The Redskins met at the Redskins logo at midfield just before the moment of silence and the National Anthem. A nice touch.

You can tell who the cold-weather team is. Very few Bills have on long sleeves, almost every Redskin does. I saw a couple of Bills fans walking around in short sleeves and shorts. I guess the 40's and a steady breeze is springtime in Northwestern New York.

First Quarter

14:50—Going to Caldwell for five on the first play. After not getting him involved at all for weeks, it looks like they want to get him involved early with Randle El inactive.

12:08—Santana makes one of his "flypaper hands" catches to convert a third and six. It wasn't a particularly tough catch, but it was good to see him make one over his head like that.

10:46—Campbell seems to be "on" in the early going. His only incompletion has been a drop by Cooley.

10:08—Another catch by Moss, another first down. Campbell did a great job if buying time before firing a bullet to #89.

8:45—A good job by Campbell of holding on to the ball after getting hit in the pocket. He scrambles for a few yards.

7:54—Gibbs is going for it on fourth and a long one at the four. Similar spot on the field but a different score than we saw a week ago in Tampa.

7:32—We'll never know how it would have worked out as Samuels committed his second false start of the drive and Suisham will try a field goal.

FG Suisham 27
Redskins 3, Bills 0

The Redskins come out in a "missing man" formation, with 10 players on defense for the first snap. Apparently, there is a gentleman's agreement on the part of the Bills to run on the play.

7:02—That worked out well for the Bills as Fred Jackson ran for 22 yards. Reed Doughty now comes in to complete the defensive alignment.

5:52—Springs had a pick in his hands, but he couldn't hold on. He was shaken up a bit, but he limped off the field.

5:27—It looks like Portis needs to get tired out a little. He's running hard but with no patience.

4:12—To Moss for 19. Everyone was looking for Portis to have a big game, but the other star from the U is well on his way to doing just that.

3:34—It looks like Todd Wade tweaked his knee again. Heyer will again go in a right tackle.

3:07—If you don't run the bubble screen to Moss 8-10 times a game like they did last year, it can be a pretty effective play. They just ran it for 10 yards on first down.

1:47—Cooley is the best I've seen in a long time with making a catch just shy of the first down line and fighting his way for the extra yard or two to move the sticks. It's only a little bit of YAC, but it's huge.

0:38—Double Heavy Jumbo with Alexander and Pucillo in after Cooley makes a great snag at the three. He made up for his earlier drop with that grab. They go with the pass, though, and it's just out of Cooley's reach.

0:10—Again, a pass out of that double jumbo, this time Campbell has to scramble and he runs out of bounds. Maybe now on third and goal he can find a real receiver since there will be five of them in the game.

End of First Quarter
Redskins 3, Bills 0

Second Quarter

14:53—Nobody open and Campbell takes the sack.

FG Suisham 28
Redskins 6, Bills 0

One drive of 13 plays and another one of 14 plays, two first and goal inside the five situations and the Redskins have just six points to show.

14:29—Campbell was a little shaken up on the sack, but nobody is warming up for the Redskins.

11:42—Trent Edwards just made his second straight nice third-down completion. The Bills are in Redskins territory and they could make the Skins pay for their Red Zone failures.

10:21—Finally, a third-down stop as Landry blitzes up the middle forcing an early throw that is complete but a few yards short of the first down. The Skins will have a long way to go again, 92 yards, as the Buffalo drive was good for field position purposes.

Safety Campbell tackled in end zone
Redskins 6, Bills 2

The Redskins had Betts and Cooley flanking Campbell in the shotgun on third and long, but the Bills got the sack for the safety anyway. He never had a chance. Cooley went straight out into a pattern and the blitzing LB that got the sack, Angelo Crowell, came from that side.

This is the worst pass protection we've seen in quite a while. That's three sacks and we're midway through the third quarter.

6:14—The Bills are back in Redskins territory after a pass and a 10-yard run. Edwards is sharp after a shaky start.

5:03—On second and five, M. Washington blitzed from the left side, but the play was a run to the right. Buffalo seems to be a step ahead of the Redskins defense.

3:57—Our old friend Robert Royal just coughed up the ball after catching a pass. He had trouble doing the latter when he was here. That was after a false start by another former Redskin, the $18 million guard Derrick Dockery. The Redskins recover and stop the drive. It was Philip Daniels with the strip and recovery.

3:51—Betts follows a nice block by the Redskins' new #66, Kendall, for a nice pickup on a screen pass.

2:04—Again the pass protection is spotty as Campbell has to scramble and throw it away.

1:56—I just shook hands with Marv Levy. It's not often that there are two Hall of Fame coaches in the building at the same time.

0:43—Along with Moss, Cooley is now officially having a huge game. He hauls in another one for a first down at the 15.

0:36—Again, Campbell is pressured, smacked as he was throwing.

0:34—The Redskins call their first timeout of the half on third and ten at the 15. That's right, their first timeout of the half with 34 seconds left.

0:30—It didn't do any good as Campbell sailed one over Cooley's head and the Skins again settle for three.

FG Suisham 33
Redskins 9, Bills 2

0:16—Suisham is kicking high and short. Must be practice for kicking to Hester next game.

Well, the defense is pitching a shutout so far. The Red Zone woes have prevented us from having a blowout in progress.

Redskins 9, Bills 2

Third Quarter

13:50—A great, juggling catch over Smoot by Lee Evans puts the Bills 24 yards from a tie game.

13:19—A holding call on Royal backs them up; first and 20 at the 24. Time to put some heat on the kid.

13:27—OK, third and 18 on the fringe of FG range. A sack would put them out of range.

12:02—They got what they needed, a 12-yard pass to Parrish to make it a fairly easy kick for LIndell.

FG Lindell 38
Redskins 9, Bills 5

I could make a crack about a 9 to 5 job here at FedEx, but that would be dumb.

The Bills have stopped themselves their last two drives with the fumble and now the holding penalty. The O needs to punch one into the end zone here. You don't want to let a team led by a rookie QB, one ranked #31 in both offense and defense, to hang around until the late going.

11:13—A 37-yard Cartwright kick return gets the Skins good field position to get going.

11:02—The Skins start with Campbell rolling out and going to Caldwell. Maybe they're going to move him around a little more to make up for the protection issues (thanks, Peyton).

9:09—Another nice catch by Moss converts a third and three. The Redskins are nearing the danger, I mean Red Zone.

7:50—First and 10 at the 19. Welcome to the Red Zone, where Redskins drives disappear.

6:22—Cooley's turn, 13 yards to convert a third and seven. Time to punch it in.

Portis 3 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 16, Bills 5

Portis made an angel's wings gesture with his hands after scoring. Subtle, but nice.

4:18—A third-down stop on a stray pass by Edwards. The Redskins should get reasonable field position here.

4:12—Very good position, in fact, after a shanked 28-yard punt. It's first and 10 at the Washington 35, time to put this baby away.

2:41—It seems like it happens once a game, Campbell loses a fumble. He had scrambled for a one-yard gain and the ball came out on the way down. Good position for Buffalo at the Washington 39; at least it's a two-score game now.

1:20—Good pressure on Edwards forces a one-hop pass. Third and six.

1:14—Edwards had the right idea, but his pass was a little long and Smoot had good coverage on Evans. Buffalo has to settle for a field goal.

FG Lindell 43
Redskins 16, Bills 8

1:02—A holding call pushes back a decent return by Cartwright. The Redskins will start at their 12, they need to get back some offensive rhythm after that last ugly three and turnover.

0:19—A tip and pick on what looked like a third-down conversion pass to Moss has the Bills in a good spot at the Skins' 24.

End of Third Quarter
Redskins 16, Bills 8

Fourth Quarter

14:35—Big third down, five to go.

14:00—Cooly converted by Edwards with a nine-yard pass to Josh Reed. First and goal at the 10.

13:28—The Redskins get a break with a holding penalty, first and goal at the 20 now. Good call, Daniels would have had Jackson for a loss if he hadn't been grabbed.

12:53—A ball on the ground that the Redskins don't get after a bad center exchange. A loss of six, second and goal at the 26.

12:10—A run doesn't surprise anyone, a gain of two makes it third and goal at the 24.

11:25—Royal on a reception to the five, but it's holding. Take the penalty and back them up or make it fourth and goal at the five? The Skins decline the penalty, Buffalo will try a field goal.

FG Lindell 24
Redskins 16, Bills 11

So that makes two turnovers in Washington territory and six points for the Bills. Not bad, but the O needs to get it in gear.

10:35—Maybe the pass interference call—the DB tugging on Caldwell's jersey on a deep sideline pass—will get things going for the Redskins.

10:00—A big third down, eight to go. Well out of field goal range.

9:55—Nope, McCardell stumbles after Campbell throws, it would have been a though completion anyway.

9:48—Frost boots in right into the end zone for a net on 19 on the punt. You might as well go for it.

8:54—A 54-yard conversion on a third and five play has the Bills knocking on the door. Will this be yet another instance of the Redskins failing to seal the deal?

7:52—OK, another key third down opportunity, with two to go this time. Jumbo package going in for the Bills.

7:07—Dwayne Wright gets stoned for a loss of one. Good stick by McIntosh, followed by the rest of the defense.

FG Lindell 23
Redskins 16, Bills 14

4:39—A three and out was not what the Skins needed. On top of that, Parris gets a 22-yard punt return, putting the Bills about 50 yards away from field goal range.

4:00—Good coverage forces Edwards to scramble and throw it away, setting up third and eight.

3:54—Jackson drops one, not sure if it would have been enough had he caught it. Another chance for redemption by the Washington offense. Buffalo burned a timeout earlier, so a first down or two should wrap it up.

2:41—I'm not sure what Buffalo is saving its timeouts for.

2:00—Finally, a big third-down conversion on a little screen pass to Portis. First down at the 2:00 warning. They'll need another one to avoid the need to punt, but Buffalo will have to burn its timeouts.

1:55—A couple of yards for Portis and Buffalo burns its first timeout.

1:51—Portis for nothing and the Bills burn another timeout. It would be good to get the first, but you don't want to stop the clock.

1:40—Portis for four, the Skins will punt with about a minute left.

1:06—The Skins take their first timeout prior to punting.

0:56—With good coverage on a booming punt, the Bills are at their own 22.

0:27—A missed tackle lets Parrish squirt out of bounds.

FG Lindell 32
Bills 17, Redskins 16


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