LANDOVER, Md. With starting quarterback Robert Griffin III and backup Kirk Cousins sidelined with injuries, reserves Rex Grossman and Pat White led the Washington Redskins to a 30-7 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.
The Redskins, who improved to 3-0 in the preseason, outgained the Bills 452-155 while dropping the visitors to 2-1.
Grossman, Washington's starter in 2011, was 11 of 21 for 171 yards and a touchdown while White, who hasn't taken a regular season snap since 2009, was 7-for-14 for 96 yards and ran for a 14-yard touchdown.
"Rex is a vet [so] it doesn't surprise me that he played well," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "But it's nice to see Pat come in and play exceptionally well."
Grossman and White figure to take all the snaps on Thursday at Tampa Bay as Washington seeks its first perfect preseason since 1985.
Saturday, Grossman led the Redskins on a 10-play, 86-yard scoring march on their first possession that included completions of 21 yards to running back Roy Helu and 31 to tight end Fred Davis before a 7-yard touchdown strike to receiver Pierre Garcon. Grossman's 45-yard pass to veteran receiver Santana Moss helped set up Kai Forbath's 28-yard field goal that gave Washington the lead for good after Kevin Kolb had guided Buffalo on a 10-play 66-yard drive that ended with C.J. Spiller's 2-yard touchdown run with 6:06 left in the first quarter.
The Bills wouldn't score again as the Redskins throttled a hurry-up offense that was good preparation for the Sept. 9 opener against Philadelphia and its similar up-tempo attack.
"It was a great opportunity for us," said seventh-year defensive end Kedric Golston, who gave his teammates a fiery pregame speech.
"You always want to win, but I'm more impressed by the way the offense moved the ball and the way the defense held our own," said seventh-year Redskins safety Reed Doughty, who started in place of the injured Brandon Meriweather. You take away a lot of good things and try to get rid of the penalties."
Washington, which was penalized 18 times for 161 yards in its conquests of Tennessee and Pittsburgh, committed six penalties for 106 yards with rookie David Amerson and fellow cornerback Josh Wilson being tabbed for long pass interference calls.
Buffalo lost two fumbles to set up 10 Washington points while also losing Kolb filling in for rookie EJ Manuel (knee) -- to what were termed "concussion-like symptoms, a red flag for a quarterback who has already had at least two concussions. The Bills also lost cornerback Stefon Gilmore was sidelined with a wrist injury and safety Da'Norris Searcy filling in for the just-activated Jairus Byrd to a head injury in what was a very frustrating day for first-year coach Doug Marrone.
"Obviously, we're very disappointed with our performance," Marrone said. "We have a lot of work ahead of us. We left some plays out there. We have to just go out there and make some plays."
But who'll be executing those plays? With undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel as his only healthy quarterback, Marrone said that Buffalo will likely sign another soon.
"I'm not going to sit here and say everything is fine and dandy," Marrone said. "EJ was doing a heck of a job and we need to get him back as soon as we can."
After Bryan Kehl forced Buffalo's Stevie Johnson to fumble and fellow linebacker Rob Jackson recovered at the Washington 17 to preserve the 10-7 lead, White expanded it to 10 points with his touchdown that finished a nine-play, 83-yard series late in the second quarter. Forbath's 53-yarder with 1:04 left in the half made it 20-7. He added a 21-yarder in the third quarter. Keiland Williams' 1yard run on fourth-and-goal with 11:05 remaining rounded out the scoring.
The Redskins, whose only loss since their Week 10 bye of 2012 was the divisional round loss to Seattle, lost second-year cornerback/punt returner Richard Crawford for the season with a sprained left knee. Running back Chris Thompson, a fifth-round draft pick who has fumbled twice, returned three punts for 48 yards. Although he hasn't performed that duty since high school , he's in line to replace Crawford unless Washington keeps undrafted rookie Skye Dawson solely for that role.
NOTES: Bills running back C.J. Spiller's step-grandfather reportedly shot two people to death and critically wounded two others before killing himself in Florida. Spiller was unavailable for comment. Marrone said didn't know enough about the situation to comment. ... Starters Griffin (knee), Meriweather (knee) and nose tackle Barry Cofield (hand) didn't play for Washington. ... Shanahan revealed that reserve running back Evan Royster didn't play because he sprained an ankle during practice four days earlier
By David Elfin, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: August 24, 2013 09:22:00 PM
Grossman leads Redskins past Bills; Kolb hurt
|All Times Eastern|