The Washington Redskins improved to 7-7 on the season on Sunday with a 35-25 victory over the Buffalo Bills at FedExField in Landover, Md.
The Washington Redskins had one more demon in the 2015 season to exorcise heading into Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills at FedExField.
Check out these top photos from the Washington Redskins' 2015 Week 15 matchup against the Buffalo Bills, Dec. 20, 2015, at FedExField.
Throughout the season, the team had overcome several major negative trends, like not being able to create takeaways, not performing in the third quarter and the inability to win on the road.
But as the Redskins faced the Bills Sunday in their final regular-season home game, they were yet to win consecutive games all season, despite being the top dog in the NFC East.
Well, consider that turkey cooked, too.
The Redskins dominated from the start in front of 80,124 fans on Sunday, dropping the Bills 35-25 to move to an even 7-7 on the season, and earning the team's first back-to-back wins since defeating the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys in consecutive weeks last season.
After the Bills had cut the Redskins' lead to 11 in the third quarter, the Redskins, led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, put the home crowd at ease to begin the fourth quarter, driving deep into Buffalo territory.
On 1st and Goal from the Bills' 5-yard line, Cousins found Pierre Garçon for a touchdown, and, after the extra point, Washington had extended its lead back to 18 at 35-17 with 11:21 left.
Cousins has been on the mark all game, and his receivers are rewarding him with some tough catches out there. Garçon's touchdown grab is just the latest example.
The two teams would trade punts on their next couple possessions.
The Bills would continue to make things interesting on their end, however. With 1:34 left, Tyrod Taylor found Sammy Watkins for a 20-yard touchdown. After a two-point conversion, the lead was cut to 10, at 35-25.
The Buffalo onside kick would be grabbed by Garçon, however, and Cousins & Co. was able to run out the clock from there.
THIRD QUARTER: Redskins 28, Bills 17
The Washington Redskins have one quarter left to try to wrap up their 2015 regular-season home slate with an emphatic victory.
But Washington needs to hold off a Buffalo Bills team that appeared to have found a little groove here in the third quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, the Redskins lead the Bills, 28-17.
With the New York Giants trailing big to the undefeated Carolina Panthers, the Redskins, with a win, can claim sole possession of first place in the NFC East -- at least until tonight. The Philadelphia Eagles, who also headed into today's action with a 6-7 record, take on the Arizona Cardinals, winners of seven straight, at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Bills got the ball to start the second half, and things immediately didn't go their way, as running back LeSean McCoy went down after taking a hit to the leg by Redskins safety Dashon Goldson.
You can see the respect McCoy, a former foe for years on the Philadelphia Eagles, has from his Redskins counterparts, as several Washington players -- including one of his best friends, DeSean Jackson -- huddled around the running back as he was being tended to on the field.
McCoy, however, was able to jog off the field on his own power, so hopefully that's a good sign. He was labeled as questionable to return with a knee injury.
Buffalo would forge on, getting deep in Washington territory. But the Redskins' defense stood tall once again, forcing the Bills to get on the scoreboard for the first time all game via field goal, cutting the Washington lead to 21-3 with 8:59 left in the third quarter.
So, by now, the Redskins' offense, which has been clicking all game, was itching to get back on the field for the second half.
On their first play in the third quarter, Kirk Cousins found DeSean Jackson deep over the left side of the field. Jackson evaded one defender and turned on the jets from there, going 77 yards for the touchdown.
With 8:53 left, the Redskins extended their lead to 28-3.
Unfortunately for the Redskins, the quick rush to the end zone was apparently contagious, as the Bills would use a 60-yard touchdown run by Mike Gillislee on their ensuing possession to cut the Washington lead to 28-10 with 6:48 left.
Then things began to get interesting.
The Bills forced a Redskins punt on their next drive, and Buffalo didn't need much time to strike again, using two plays -- a 37-yard pass to tight end Nick O'Leary and a 48-yard touchdown to Sammy Watkins -- to find the end zone once again.
With 3:56 left in the third, the Bills had cut the Redskins' lead to 11, 28-17.
The Redskins used a huge conversion on 3rd and 16 -- a 19-yard dart from Cousins to Pierre Garçon -- heading into the fourth quarter here at FedExField.
HALFTIME: Redskins 21, Bills 0
The chants of "You Like That!" are ringing out from the stands at FedExField.
Yes, through two quarters, there's plenty to like today if you're a Redskins fans, as Washington takes a 21-0 lead into halftime of their matchupagainst the Buffalo Bills.
The offense? On fire. The defense? Swarming around the quarterback and making plays in the back end.
But be cautious, as the Redskins had a similar first-half showing last week against the Chicago Bears, only to see the Bears tie the game up in the second half before Washington was able to escape Soldier Field with a three-point victory.
So let's see if the Redskins can continue to keep their foot firmly on the Bills' throats in the third and fourth quarters here on a chilly afternoon in Landover, Md.
The Redskins began the second quarter in favorable field position, from the Buffalo 38. But three plays later, Jay Gruden sent out the offense to try to attempt a 4th and 1 from the 37.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was able to draw the Buffalo defensive front offsides, however, giving Washington a fresh set of downs at the 32.
What a break for the Redskins, and what a boneheaded play by the Bills.
Washington would make them play, and in a somewhat surprising way. Facing a 3rd and Goal from the 13, Cousins, lined up in the shotgun, took off to his right, was able to escape the grasp of several Buffalo defenders, and found the end zone for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season.
The Washington defense brought it on the ensuing drive, as Ricky Jean Francois and Jason Hatcher collected sacks on back-to-back plays to force a punt.
The ensuing drive for the Redskins, meanwhile, was short and sweet. Five plays, 56 yards and 1:46 off the clock, as Cousins would find Jordan Reed for a 18-yard touchdown -- Reed's second score of the game.
With 8:52 left in the first half, the Redskins had grabbed hold of a commanding 21-0 lead.
If the team wasn't already rolling to this point, the ensuing Buffalo drive ended on a sack by Ryan Kerrigan on third down -- extending his team lead to 8.5 sacks on the year.
But retuner Jamison Crowder would muff the Bills' punt, and Buffalo would recover at the Washington 43. This certainly put a halt to the Redskins' huge momentum thus far, and has really been the rookie Crowder's first major mistake of the year.
The Bills would get deep into Washington territory, thanks in large part to a fourth down conversion from Tyrod Taylor to Sammy Watkins.
But after several shots from as close as the 1-yard line, the Redskins' defense stood tall. On 4th and Goal from the 1, Taylor lofted a pass towards Watkins, but it sailed way over his head, leading to a huge turnover on downs.
The Redskins would run the clock out from there to go into halftime with the commanding lead.
FIRST QUARTER: Redskins 7, Bills 0
Here it is: the final battle of the 2015 regular season at FedExField.
Check out images of the Washington Redskins warming up and taking the field prior to their 2015 Week 15 matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills Dec. 20, 2015, at FedExField, presented by Cox.
The Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills come in to today's game with identical 6-7 records, but much more is on the line for the home team, which entered Sunday's action in a three-way tie atop the NFC East standings.
The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles -- the other teams in first place -- have decidedly tougher matchups staring them in face today. The Giants take on the undefeated Carolina Panthers, while the Eagles take on the Arizona Cardinals, winners of seven straight.
So if you're the Redskins, it's critical to take advantage today against a Bills squad that has been inconsistent all year.
The Bills won the opening coin toss, and elected to defer to the second half, sending the opening kickoff the Redskins' way, which was return by Rashad Ross to the Washington 16-yard line.
For a second straight week, Kirk Cousins & Co. took the field for their opening possession and slowly, but surely marched down the field.
Cousins to Jordan Reed > 7 yards. Cousins to DeSean Jackson > 28 yards. Cousins to Ryan Grant > 13 yards. Alfred Morris > 9-yard run. Cousins to Reed > 16 yards.
And, on 1st and Goal from the 3, Cousins threw a jump ball to Reed, which he handled with ease against the Buffalo defense for a touchdown. It was the culmination of a 10-play, 84-yard drive that took 5:38 off the clock.
Just what the doctor ordered here to start things for the Redskins.
The Bills began their opening posession from their own 23. After utilizing a heavy dose of the run by Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy for their first few plays, Buffalo faced a 3rd and 10 from their own 43. Taylor threw a laser to Robert Woods for 15 yards across the middle, however, getting the ball into Washington territory at the 42.
Buffalo would face a 3rd and 4 three plays later, but a false start penalty turned that into a 3rd and 9. Taylor's pass on the play to Sammy Watkins sailed over the second-year receiver's head, however, forcing the Bills to punt.
That punt, an odd dropkick-attempt, went for just 17 yards to Jamison Crowder, who returned it 5 yards to the Washington 29. Very odd -- I couldn't tell if the ball slipped or if that was on purpose.
The Redskins are facing a 1st and 10 from the Buffalo 46 when we continue in the second quarter, up 7-0.