Things got a little sloppy in the second quarter.
It is, after all, the first preseason game for both teams — though you won’t hear either coaching staff saying that after the game.
The first quarter ended on a holding call on the Redskins’ Erik Cook, and after another Sav Rocca punt, the Bills committed three false start penalties on their next drive — leading to another change of possession.
By the 10:44 mark in the second quarter, the Bills had been penalized six times for 30 yards; the Redskins two times for 20 yards.
Both teams struggled to move the ball early on in the second quarter with their second-unit offenses on the field.
But with some dark clouds emerging over Ralph Wilson Stadium and a strong storm system brewing nearby, the Bills took over on their own 38-yard line with 7:02 remaining in the first half. Backup quarterback Tyler Thigpen found T.J. Graham for a 21-yard pass to the 17-yard line.
After an incomplete pass, running back Tashard Choice slashed his way for seven yards to the nine, leading to a six-yard pass to the Redskins’ 3-yard line to Ruvell Martin. Though the Redskins’ defense held strong, a holding play on Washington gave Buffalo a 1st and goal from the 2-yard line.
Yet again, the Redskins defense stood tall, pushing the Bills back to the 4-yard line on the next three plays. Lindell then failed to convert a 22-yard field goal, preserving the 7-3 lead for the Redskins heading into the two-minute warning.
The 1:58 mark in the second quarter signified another rookie quarterback making his debut for the Redskins: fourth-round selection Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State. Another rookie — running back Alfred Morris — turned his first carry into a four-yard gain, and the two-minute offense was on.
Cousins found Brandon Banks for seven yards and a first down. He then found Niles Paul for 11 yards. But after two straight incompletions to Paul, Cousins was intercepted by cornerback Ron Brooks around the Bills’ 40-yard line, giving Buffalo the ball at their 44 with 42 seconds remaining in the half.
The Redskins got the ball right back on the next play after rookie cornerback Richard Crawford picked off an underthrown pass. Cousins found Josh Morgan for a eight-yard reception with 23 seconds remaining, leading to a Washington timeout. A screen pass to Banks along the Redskins’ sideline resulted in no gain and another timeout, this time with 16 seconds remaining.
On 3rd and 2 from the Redskins’ 46-yard line, Cousins found Morgan for seven yards and a first down. A quick spike with five seconds to go gave Cousins 47 yards to the end zone, but the rookie quarterback couldn’t get the next play off in time, leading to a delay of game penalty and a 10-second run-off, ending the first half.
I’d say the most telling aspect of the second quarter was the Redskins’ defensive second unit. Though Lindell missed a chip-shot field goal that would’ve made the score 7-6, the Bills had seven straight plays from within the Redskins’ 3-yard line and didn’t convert any of them.
Tags: 2012 preseason, buffalo bills, washington redskins
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