Fairly dominant is the best way to describe the Redskins performance on Friday night. Both teams played hard my man, but the Redskins played better. And it was Donovan McNabb who set the tone against the Bills. The easiest way to describe McNabb’s performance: he was typical Donovan McNabb. He threw several nice passes, and directed the team on an 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. But he also reminded fans that he can throw a ball right into the dirt, for no apparent reason.
However, his first outing as a Redskin was a success as he finished the game completing 5-of-8 passes for 58-yards, and a touchdown. With the Redskins ahead 28-3 in the 3rd quarter, McNabb took time to talk to the camera, “Guys came in excited, everybody wanted to see who could make a play in a game time situation. The exciting part was to see the offense put up points and eat up yards, the defense getting turnovers, special teams scoring points; I think you’re seeing a whole new ball club compared to what you’ve seen in previous years.”
And McNabb was exactly right, in previous seasons the Redskins have usually looked abysmal in exhibition games. The teams mantra in the preseason has traditionally been, “Don’t worry it’s just preseason football.” But for this team preseason football seems to directly correlate with how they perform in the regular season. Except for when Steve Spurrier was the head coach, but that’s neither here nor there.
It was great to see a well conditioned team that committed few penalties, was well organized, and played hard start-to-finish. And guess what, they even played well on special teams. With 13 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Redskins decided to bank their future punter. Brandon Banks, rookie from Kansas State, displayed the blazing speed that has made him a training camp success. Banks broke down the sideline for a 77-yard punt return to give the Redskins a 28-3 lead in the 3rd Quarter.
The 3rd quarter also allowed another young player to make his mark. Rex Grossman, who finished the game completing 11-of-18 passes for 140-yards, and two touchdowns, hooked up with Devon Thomas for a 44-yard touchdown pass. Thomas ran a basic post route, and Grossman hit him stride. This offense seems to be tailor made for Grossman’s skills, and as to this point he seems to be an adequate backup for McNabb. Fred Davis also caught a touchdown pass, and the defense was solid throughout. It’s refreshing to say that the team played like winners.
The Redskins won the game 42-17, with the most important statistic being: zero major injuries.