Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keys To The Game: Redskins Vs. Bills
Focus On Fitzpatrick: One of the more efficient quarterbacks in the NFL right now, Ryan Fitzpatrick is completing 66.3 percent of his passes and has thrown only six interceptions against his 12 touchdowns. The Buffalo passing game is built around smart decisions and quick passes, and an offensive line that has allowed only seven sacks to date has allowed Fitzpatrick to thrive. If the Redskins can frustrate the line and not the other way around, Fitzpatrick’s decision-making ability may be rattled.
All Torain, All The Time: With Tim Hightower out for the season because of a torn ACL in his left knee, the running game now belongs to Ryan Torain and Roy Helu. Torain, more of a punishing back than Hightower, figures to get the majority of carries against the Bills as Helu remains a third-down, change-of-pace back. Establishing the run early against a unit that is allowing 135.7 yards a game—the fourth consecutive opponent the Redskins face ranked 30th or worse in run defense—will be important.
A Resilient Runner: Fred Jackson starred collegiately at Coe, a Division III school in Iowa, in two Midwest-based indoor football leagues and in NFL Europe before getting his shot with Buffalo in 2006. He’s been one of the more consistent running backs since — a speedy, shifty type of player who Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo said reminds him of Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy. With 601 yards, Jackson is second in the AFC in rushing, and he and C.J. Spiller have given fits to opposing run defenses all season.