Week 7: Bills Rip Redskins 24-7
Running game comes to life in easy win.
by Steve Saslow
The Bills woke up from their one month slumber and took out all their frustrations on a struggling Redskin team. It was a renaissance of sorts as the Bills found there long dormant running game and Josh Reed showed why the team was so high on him this year in the 24-7 win over Washington.
The Fans and many players have been saying for weeks that the team needed to run the ball, and they finally broke out in style. The offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage and Travis Henry looked like the player of a year ago as he rumbled for a career high 167 yards on 31 carries and two touchdown runs. He took advantage of the holes he was given and ran hard on every play running through tackles like he did so often last year.
Another player that looked like last year's version of himself, was Reed. He caught a career high tying eight catches for 109 yards and a touchdown of his own. Those three scores led the offensive resurgence as they mixed the run and the pass to perfection. The offensive gameplan used a lot of pre snap motion to confuse the Redskins defense and only that old bugaboo penalties seemed to derail certain drives.
Three touchdowns and a Rian Lindell chip shot field goal was more than enough for a defense that was also fired up to end the team slump. They shutdown the running game early and held off the big play passing threats to keep the Redskins for doing much offensively.
The Bills scored on their opening possession when the running game faltered for the last time in this game. Henry was stuffed on a third and goal play setting up Lindell's 20 yard field goal. The Bills stretched it to 10-0 when Henry ran it in from four yards out early in the second quarter. The Bills used a unique mix of packages on this drive and did so the entire game.
The Redskins got down inside the Bills one yard line in the second quarter but Antoine Winfield kept himself off the goat list by a nice opening field tackle keeping McCants out of the end zone. On the next play Lawyer Milloy came up with a recovery of a Patrick Ramsey fumble to keep the Redskins off the scoreboard in the first half. They were down field thanks to a 47 yard pass to Laveurnes Coles who beat Winfield deep. The Redskins came close to pulling off several big plays but seemed just a bit out of sync.
The crowd seemed to lose emotion in the start of the third quarter after the emotional Darryl Talley wall of fame ceremony. The Redskins went right down the field for a 71 yard drive in 12 plays to their only score of the game a 25 yard pass to Rod Gardener who beat Kevin Thomas for the score. It was one of only two drives of 12 yards or more in this game by the Redskins offense that was held to 169 yards in this game.
The Bills responded and took the momentum back on a six play, 80 yard touchdown drive that was highlighted by runs of 21 and 13 yards by Henry. The last two plays of this drive were perfect calls by Kevin Gilbride. He sent little used blocking tight end Ryan Neufeld deep down field and he was wide open for a 25 yard gain. That setup the touchdown in which the Bills stacked the left side of the line and Reed sold the run before slipping wide open for an easy 10 yard score.
The Bills capped the scoring two possessions later as Henry scored from 14 yards out breaking tackles along the way. It was a workmanlike drive as Henry and Reed starred again on the game clinching drive.
The Bills responded and may have saved the job of their head coach. They dominated more than the final score indicates. The held the ball for nearly 37 minutes. Outgained the Skins 432-169 in total yards. The last ranked running game that was averaging 57 yards a game finished with 196 in this game including 17 on a pretty reverse by Antonio Brown. It was a nice effort as the team played with enthusiasm that was missing for a month, now will they be able to bring the perfect gameplan and the enthusiasm in a very hostile road prime time affair next week against a great team in Kansas City.
Here are our exclusive gameballs and goats from the Bills win. This one will be very heavily waited on the plus side: