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Quarterly Analysis

Bills defense keeps Washington's epic TD drought alive



Theme: Bills’ offense comes out firing.

Devin time: Complaints over the lack of touches for Devin Singletary were heard. The rookie back had six touches for 79 yards, including a 49-yard screen pass gain.

TD streak: Cole Beasley became the first Bill since Charles Clay in 2016 to have a TD catch in three straight games.

Early mistake: The Redskins went three and out on their first drive due to an illegal formation penalty on the first snap that wiped out a 10-yard Adrian Peterson run.

Lineup Watch: Besides Case Keenum, the next three key Redskins out due to injury were free safety Montae Nicholson, receiving back Chris Thompson and tight end Vernon Davis. Troy Apke, making his second career start, replaced Nicholson.

Iron men: It was the 137th straight game for Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan and the 123rd straight for Buffalo’s Jerry Hughes. Those streaks ran third and fourth in the NFL, respectively.

Matching up: The Bills matched Tre’Davious White on the Redskins’ top receiver, rookie Terry McLaurin to open the game. McLaurin entered the game leading NFL rookie wideouts with 458 yards.


Theme: Andre Roberts makes a big play.

Short drive: The Bills took a 17-3 lead on a touchdown drive of just 39 yards. It came after a 66-yard kickoff return by Andre Roberts.

Run heavy: The Redskins entered the game with rushes on 61% of first-half plays, most in the NFL. But they were averaging only 3.4 yards per carry on those runs. They ran on 59% of first downs against the Bills in the first half and averaged 8.4 a carry.

Ex-Bills kicker: Washington’s Dustin Hopkins was a sixth-round pick of the Bills in 2013. He wasn’t ready as a rookie to make the roster, but he has been solid since 2015 for the Redskins. He made field goals of 29 and 32 yards.

Under center: Haskins was under center for only four of 533 pass attempts last year at Ohio State. He was under center for 5 of 29 drop-backs vs. the Bills. He went 3 of 4 on those plays and took an 8-yard sack.

Try, try again: The Bills bunched up with three tight ends and two backs on four plays in a row from the Washington 1. Finally, Josh Allen plunged over for the TD.


Theme: No knockout punch by the Bills.

Dull quarter: The Bills managed only 50 yards on 16 plays going into the wind. However, Washington gained just 40 yards on 10 plays.

Key stop: Redskins rookie defensive tackle Daron Payne penetrated against Mitch Morse on a fourth-and-1 run play to stop the Bills on downs at the Washington 24. Kickers were having a tough time booting the ball toward the scoreboard end. So the Bills eschewed a 42-yard field goal try to go for it on fourth down.

Shank: A 15-yard punt into the wind by Corey Bojorquez set up the Redskins at the Bills’ 35, and they turned it into a field goal. It cut the score to 17-9.

Time management: Washington had to burn a time out early in the quarter because it had 12 men on the field for a fourth-and-1 play by the Bills.

Second guess: The Bills were a bit conservative with play-calling going into the 18-mph wind in the third quarter. On a drive that started at their own 16, they managed 2 and 1 yards on first-down run plays against a run-focused Washington defense.


Theme: There are no style points in the NFL. It wasn’t dominating or thrilling. But the Bills’ 6-2 mark is their best record at midseason in 26 years, since they went 7-1 in 1993.

Drought city: Washington has gone 13 straight quarters and 32 straight possessions without an offensive touchdown. It’s the longest such drought in the history of the franchise, which was founded 87 years ago.

OP drought: The Redskins have not won in Buffalo since 1987.

Good roll: A low Corey Bojorquez punt with the wind rolled for a 59-yard net, to the Redskins’ 13. The Bills then forced a three and out.

Showdown of greats: Adrian Peterson rushed for 108 yards and now is 292 behind No. 5 Curtis Martin on the NFL’s all-time list. Frank Gore gained 15 yards and stands 84 behind No. 3 Barry Sanders.

No turnovers: Neither team made a turnover. It was just the 17th game in Bills history with no turnovers and the first since a 14-13 Bills win against Detroit last December. Josh Allen almost made a turnover in the fourth quarter when he fumbled on a run off tackle. Quinton Spain recovered.

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