Redskins-Bills GameDay Preview

10.28.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins

Wondering what to expect as the Redskins take on the Bills this Sunday in Toronto?'s Gary Fitzgerald provides a gameday preview and 3 keys to the game for WOW!


Redskins (3-3) @ Bills (4-2)

The Redskins travel to Toronto, Ontario in Canada to take on the Buffalo Bills at the Rogers Centre on Sunday, Oct. 30. Kickoff is 4:05 p.m. ET. It's the first time in Redskins franchise history that they will play a regular season game outside of the United States.

Since 2008, Buffalo has played one regular season game in Toronto every season. Overall, the Bills are 0-3 in Toronto in that span.

The Redskins are 1-2 in road games so far this season. They lost to the Dallas Cowboys 18-16 at Cowboys Stadium in Week 3, defeated the St. Louis Rams 17-10 at the Edward Jones Dome in Week 4 and lost to the Carolina Panthers 33-20 at Bank of America Stadium in Week 7.

The Bills are 3-0 in home games. They have beaten the Oakland Raiders 38-35, the New England Patriots 34-31 and the Philadelphia Eagles 31-24 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. Five of the Bills' six games this season have been decided by seven points or less.

In the regular season and postseason, the Redskins and Bills have met 11 times, with Buffalo holding the overall advantage 7-4. The Bills have won the last five regular season meetings since falling to Washington 37-24 in Super Bowl XXVI.

In that game, Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien threw touchdown passes to Earnest Byner and Gary Clark and Gerald Riggs rushed for two touchdowns. The Redskins' defense dominated, limiting Thurman Thomas to just 13 yards on 10 carries and sacking Jim Kelly five times.

The last time the two teams played in the regular season was Dec. 2, 2007 at FedExField. The Bills won 17-16 in an emotional game that occurred five days after the death of safety Sean Taylor. Rian Lindell connected on a last-second 36-yard field goal to give the Bills the win.


Beck, The Sequel-

John Beck showed promise in his first Redskins start last Sunday. He completed 22-of-37 passes for 279 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a QB rating of 80.8. Beck credited the revamped offensive line with giving him time to go through his progressions and find second and third receivers. He also impressed with his ability to roll out of the pocket and throw on the run. Buffalo lacks a great pass rush – they have just four sacks, worst in the league – and they lost linebacker Shawne Merriman for the season last week. While Beck should have time in the pocket on Sunday, he must be wary of a Bills’ pass defense that already has 12 interceptions.

On the Ground -

For the fourth game in a row, the Redskins face off against a run defense ranked 30th or worst in the NFL. The Bills are ranked 30th against the run and the unit will be without nose tackle Kyle Williams, who is sidelined with bone spurs in left foot. Ryan Torain would appear to be the likely starter on Sunday – this could be his chance to finally establish himself and prove he can stay healthy the rest of the season. The Bills’ defense yields an average of 5.1 yards per carry, so it makes sense for the Redskins to emphasize the run on Sunday. Both Torain and Roy Helu are averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

Beware the Spread -

The Bills are increasingly employing a spread offense and Ivy League-educated quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose first NFL start was against the Redskins in 2005 when he was with the St. Louis Rams, has thrived. Many of his passes are in the short to intermediate range – his top targets Stevie Johnson (33 catches, four touchdowns) and David Nelson (27 catches, two touchdowns) are averaging 11.7 yards per catch. The Redskins’ secondary is banged up with cornerback DeAngelo Hall slowed by a hip injury safety Oshiomogho Atogwe slowed by a knee injury. Strong coverage should be key to allow Redskins pass rushers to get to Fitzpatrick – he has been sacked just six times this season.

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