The Buffalo Bills defeated the Washington Redskins 23-0 in an all-around good effort from both sides of the ball defensively and offensively. The game was considered a home game though being played away from Ralph Wilson stadium. The Buffalo Bills played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto Ontario which is a part of a 5 year deal between the Buffalo Bills and the Roger Centre which requires 5 regular season and 3 preseason games during a 5 year period.
This was the 3rd consecutive game for the Bills against an NFC East opponent. Coming into the game the Bills lost the last 2 out of 3 games and searching for answer on defense to stop the bleeding. The opportunistic defense answered the call to the tune of 9 sacks and 2 interceptions by both safeties George Wilson and Jarius Byrd. Redskins QB John Beck was battered in the victory being hit and sacked repeatedly having no time to get in a rhythm. During the telecast the commentators mentioned that throughout Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan entire coaching career he had never been held scoreless as he was Sunday. When the Buffalo Bills fired Head Coach Dick Jauron in the midst of the 2008 season the front office first reached out to Coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan wasn’t interested in the offer, which at the time was reportedly offering 10 million dollars a year. I’m sure in hindsight of the Bills being atop the AFC East currently, he may reconsider.
Newly crowned franchise QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who earlier in the week signed a contract stretching over 6 years and 59 million dollars finished with 260 yards passing and 2 TDs to TE Scott Chandler. The offense moved the ball well MVP candidate Fred Jackson was a dual threat accumulating over 100 yards in rushing and 70 yards receiving. The offensive line was shuffled as they recover from injuries gave up only 2 sacks however left Ryan Fitzpatrick susceptible to a couple of hits. Former Bill London Fletcher placed a punishing hit on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick before halftime that appeared to rattle the QB. That particular hit may have led to an interception being thrown in the endzone later on in the quarter to the before mentioned Fletcher. Special Teams played a role in the game as well; Spencer Johnson and Marcell Dareus who defensively finished with 2.5 sacks filing in for injured Nose Tackle Kyle Williams combined together and blocked a punt preserving the shutout victory. The block punt was the second consecutive game the special team unit made such a play.
Following Sunday game I assume many were attempting to put the win into perspective. Most suggest the Redskins aren’t a very good team which I won’t dispute especially with their recent misfortune and injury woes. In their previous game the Redskins lost their leading rusher in Tim Hightower and WR Santana Moss allowing the Bills to catch the Redskins at a great time. Critics say the Bills defeated a team that has issue at the QB position and lacking playmakers on offense. However the Redskins still possess one of the best young Linebacker cores in the NFL a group that includes Brian Orakpo, a player in which the Bills front office still catch flak over for not choosing. Orakpo came out of the University of Texas and the front office regime opted to go with Aaron Maybin with 11th overall pick. The 3rd year pro has been a good pass rushing presence for the Redskins a area that the Bills has been lacking for some time.
The Buffalo Bills are in good position to compete for one of the 6 AFC playoff whether it be as a wildcard or division winner. To keep on this pace I have identified a area that should keep the Bills into contention throughout the winter. Heading into Sunday game the Bills had only 4 sacks on opposing QBs, with injuries on the defensive line the Bills were forced to utilize players in different positions. Rookie Marcell Dareus who normally plays Defensive End however with the absence of Kyle Williams he were forced to slide over and play Defensive Tackle. When and if Kyle Williams reemerges this season I suggest Defensive Coordinator George Edwards to look at using the 4-3 base defense, which will allow both Dareus and Williams to line up over the Center. Currently the 3-4 based defenses in my view has Dareus playing out of position not allowing him to have as big of an impact that is possible. As Sunday game showed Dareus in that position can cause havoc and give the defense the pressure on QBs he has been lacking. While a defense scheme is not ideal midseason the Bills rank 2nd to last in the NFL in both yards through the air as well as on the ground, it may be used sparingly but effective if used correctly.
The next game the Buffalo Bills will play will be a home game versus the New York Jets. This is a division game that could boost the Bills momentum moving forward. This will be 1st game out 2 the Bills play the Jets in the month of November. Buffalo offense will face one of the most feared men in sports Darelle Revis or Revis Island as many calls him, it will be interesting to see the approach Coach Gailey will take moving the ball through the air. In prior years the Jets defense was well rounded, this year hasn’t been the case the Jets run defense has been vulnerable throughout the season RB Fred Jackson should be able to use that to his advantage. Great Matchup between thses AFC East Foes
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