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Buffalo vs. Washington: Rookie review

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NFL: Washington Redskins at Buffalo BillsMark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight week, Singletary is the highlight

This past Sunday, the Buffalo Bills improved to 6-2 by defeating the Washington Redskins 24-9. Offensively, it was a day that didn’t feature quarterback Josh Allen much. Instead, it was rookie Devin Singletary who was largely asked to lead the offense, which he did with aplomb. In only surrendering nine points to an opponent, it was a successful day for the defense, although they were gashed on the ground in the first half. More about how each rookie performed against Washington below.


DT Ed Oliver

Whether it was game-plan specific or due to Jordan Phillips’s stellar play necessitating it, Oliver didn’t start against Washington and only saw 18 snaps total. During that time, the rookie was still able to hang tough and beat his man, even if the play never went his direction. The team gave up more than 100 rushing yards in the first half, but almost none of that could be viewed as Oliver’s fault. Against the pass, the Redskins had no interest in exposing their rookie quarterback to anything more than a five-step drop, so there weren’t many opportunities for the defensive tackle to pass rush. Even still, he did earn some pressure on Haskins on his first few series in the game.

OT Cody Ford

For the first time this season, Ford didn’t see the field. That may be due to the rookie’s elbow injury he sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 or, perhaps the coaches have finally decided to stick with Nsekhe as the starter and let Ford develop in practice.

RB Devin Singletary

Fans have been begging the Bills, and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, to feature Singletary more in the offense. Against Washington they got their wish. Singletary saw 41 snaps, notching 20 carries and four targets in the passing game. The rookie didn’t disappoint either, by averaging 4.8 yards a carry. His 49-yard screen pass late in the first quarter was a highlight of the day, as the rookie runner was patient with his blockers, and chose just the right moment to burst upfield and start running full speed.

TE Dawson Knox

Knox was only targeted twice in the passing game—both on short passes—but if you’re looking for why Singletary had such a good day on the ground, the tight end was a big reason. He’s not the strongest blocker at the point of attack, but his body is so fluid and his balance is such that he was able to lock up players like Ryan Kerrigan or Josh Sweat with his reach blocks. His J-block of Fabian Moreau late in the third quarter was the key block that sprung Singletary for a 17-yard gain.

LB Vosean Joseph

The former fifth-round linebacker remains on injured reserve following shoulder surgery.

S Jaquan Johnson

Johnson was again active for a game, seeming to have carved out a solid special teams role.

TE Tommy Sweeney

With the return of Tyler Kroft, Sweeney was again a healthy scratch this week against the Redskins.

DE Darryl Johnson

Another shakeup to the lineup was the lack of defensive snaps for Darryl Johnson. With the team looking to improve its run defense, Johnson was a liability there so the drop in on-field plays was to be expected. The defensive end was a mainstay on special teams, however.

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