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Storylines That The Bills Are Following

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 22, 2013 – 4:39 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

While it may not have the engagement of a Cowboys season series, the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills have built quite a history together over the years. This will be the fourth time the Redskins and Bills have played each other in the preseason over the last six seasons.

Sure Robert Griffin III’s debut season will most be remembered for his 76-yard touchdown, stuffing Dallas in their own home on Thanksgiving and his first regular season game against the New Orleans Saints among other moments, but the first time the he walked out onto an NFL field was in Buffalo last year.

Although there weren’t as many touchdowns as there were during their 2010 matchup, the only touchdown that was scored on the day gave wide receiver Pierre Garcon a pretty good glimpse of what a Buffalo sky looks like in early August.

As the Redskins hope to win their fifth straight preseason game against their Super Bowl XXVI opponent, here’s a snippet of what New York and national media are keeping an eye on.

Similar to Week 1 against Titans running back Chris Johnson, the Redskins defense needs to be quick on their toes this weekend against Bills speedster C.J. Spiller. Spiller, who averaged six yards per carry last season on 207 carries, wants to become the eighth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season per NY Daily News.

On Monday, the Bills released veteran kicker Rian Lindwell to make room for 2013 sixth round selection Dustin Hopkins to assume full kicking duties this year. The former first-team All-American has received nothing but rave reviews so far. On Saturday, he’ll attempt to outkick a record holder (Kai Forbath). Story on him via Tim Graham.

Just like the other 31 franchises, the Bills have some tough decisions moving forward as they trim their roster down to 53 men. Three positions they are keeping an eye on are offensive line, defensive line and safety. Conversely, they’ll be going against a veteran offensive line in Washington who paved the way for the league’s top rushing attack, a defensive line that is fluid at the moment (Chris Neild will be stepping up in Barry Cofield’s absence) and a wide receiving core that has a great battle going on towards the end of the depth chart.

For a while it seemed as if first round pick E.J. Manuel was going to win the Bills starting gig, but after a knee injury has knocked him out for the rest of the preseason, veteran Kevin Kolb will get extended time against the Redskins. Kolb hasn’t had too much success against the Redskins over the years, but he’s hoping that he can make plays now that his name is being called on. For the Redskins, this would be a great opportunity for either of the rookie defensive backs to make a statement.

Over the past few days, ESPN has been releasing their top 100 offensive and defensive players in chunks of 10. As of this afternoon, two Bills defensive tackles (Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams) have cracked the list. They could impose a tough challenge on the interior offensive line.

While not Buffalo media, Redskins.com’s Brian Tinsman has four keys to the afternoon showdown as well.

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