Sunday, October 30, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Bills 23, Redskins 0
By James Walker
TORONTO -- Here are some initial thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 23-0 victory over the Washington Redskins:
What it means: Buffalo picked up a key win coming off the bye week and improved to 5-2. The Bills needed to pad their record before a tough upcoming slate, which includes three consecutive road games in the month of November. It also stops a three-game losing streak for the Bills in Toronto.
Defense steps up: Buffalo's much-maligned defense had its best game of the season. The Bills took advantage of Washington's multiple injuries on offense and shut out the Redskins. The Bills also had a season-high nine sacks, which was the second most in franchise history. Rookie defensive linemen Marcell Dareus led Buffalo with 2.5 sacks.
The $59-million man: This wasn't just another game for Bills starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Sunday was his first since officially becoming the face of the franchise. Fitzpatrick was solid in his first game since signing a $59 million contract extension with Buffalo. He completed 21 of 27 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Fitzpatrick had a stellar passing rating of 116.4.
Jackson comes up big again: Bills starting running back Fred Jackson recorded 120 rushing yards against Washington and has 821 rushing yards on the season. Jackson also had 74 receiving yards. With Fitzpatrick's contract done, Jackson could be one of the players next in line to get a pay raise. Buffalo has been hesitant to pay Jackson because of his age (30) and because they drafted C.J. Spiller in the first round in 2010. But Jackson is showing his value every week on the field.
What's next: Buffalo has a huge game with playoff implications next week against the division rival New York Jets (4-3). The Jets are coming off a bye and had two weeks to prepare for Buffalo. The Jets and Bills will play twice in November in what most likely will be elimination games.