Another Redskins 0-for-5

Another Redskins 0-for-5
October 30, 2011, 11:47 pm
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Reviewing the five things we identified to watch in the Redskins-Bills game preview posted Sunday morning:

1. STRENGTH VS. STRENGTHEntering the game: The Redskins 21 sacks were tied for most in the NFL; the Bills seven sacks allowed were the fewest in the league. Something had to give.

What happened: Buffalo allowed just two sacks in nearly 30 Ryan Fitzpatrick drop-backs and those two sacks didnt come until the Bills had built a lead.

The Redskins should have been able to get more done because the Bills left side was patch-work a third left tackle and a second left guard (The Rhino himself, former Redskins draft pick Chad Rinehart).

The Redskins two sacks tied a season low.

2. WHO GETS THE CARRIES?Entering the game: Tim Hightower was lost for the season last week and even though he wasnt likely to be the every-game No. 1 back, he did leave a void. The Redskins now put their hopes on Roy Helu and Ryan Torain.

What happened: For the third straight week, the Redskins fell behind and had to move to the passing game almost exclusively.

The Redskins rushed a season-low 12 times (they came in averaging 26.5 attempts per game) for a season-low 26 yards (they came in averaging 106.8 yards per game). Ryan Torain got the start and played first and second downs and Roy Helu handled third down and no-huddle situations. Torain rushed eight times for 14 yards but Helu had no carries.

3. REPLACING MOSSEntering the game: Receiver Santana Moss is out 5-7 weeks and his absence robs the Redskins of their No. 1 receiver. So who would step up? Jabar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong are likely to be the top two in the pecking order and Niles Paul and Terrence Austin will get more playing time.

What happened: The Redskins longest completion by a receiver was a 23-yard, third-down catch by Leonard Hankerson of all people. Notice that he wasnt mentioned in the previous. Gaffney caught four passes for 40 yards and two for 22 yards.

Stallworth, inactive last week, was targeted twice but most alarming is Armstrong being targeted four times but not having a catch.
4. CONTAINING FRED JACKSONEntering the game: Jackson averaged a shade over 100 yards rushing through six games, the primary reason why Buffalo was fourth in rushing offense. He was averaged 5.7 yards per carry and the Redskins were woeful against the run in losses to Philadelphia and Carolina.
What happened: Jackson did whatever he wanted, just like Cam Newton last week. The Bills running back rushed 26 times for 120 yards and caught three passes for 74 yards.

In the last three games, the Redskins have allowed 192, 175 and 138 yards rushing.

5. TAKE TWO FOR BECKEntering the game: The Redskins eased quarterback John Beck into the game last week, but against a Buffalo team averaging 31.3 points per game, a few of the chains need to come off today. Dont be surprised if the Redskins look more diversified offensively, allowing Beck to do what he does best play action roll outs.

What happened: The Redskins did throw a couple of early wrinkles, but ultimately, its tough to evaluate Beck because of the players around him and the fact he was sacked a franchise record-tying nine times. And that doesnt count some of the shots he took after throwing.

Beck was 20-of-33 passing for 208 yards and two interceptions but being a part of Mike Shanahans first shutout loss as an NFL coach wasnt the kind of step Beck wanted to take.

Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com