In his much-anticipated NFL preseason debut on Aug. 9, Robert Griffin III only needed three passes on his third and final drive to display signs of stardom.
After his first two series produced no first downs and a muffed handoff, the Washington Redskins rookie quarterback found his groove by completing his final three passes for 58 yards. The drive was capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon in a 7-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Griffin finished the night going 4-for-6 for 70 yards and a lost fumble. Though brief, it was a good night for the Heisman Trophy winner, who was drafted with the No. 2 overall pick out of Baylor.
"It felt extremely good to come out and play," Griffin said. "Coach did a good job calling plays, got me in a rhythm and helped get the offense get into a rhythm on that third drive."
The Redskins were smart to have Griffin make quick throws against Buffalo's defensive front. Griffin appeared comfortable executing the offense, he didn't seem to be hurried. That's great news when you consider that most rookie quarterbacks tend to play too fast. Also, the Redskins chose not to use him on any runs -- a move to avoid in the preseason.
Griffin's only real miscue was the fumble, which he got credit for because he was the last player to possess the ball. However, replays showed running back Evan Royster was partially responsible because he never closed his hands on the ball.
After starting his third series of the night with an incomplete pass to Niles Paul, Griffin delivered his next throw with authority and good timing, hitting Garcon over the middle for a 20-yard gain.
Two plays later, he completed a pass to Garcon up the left side for 18 yards. Then came the touchdown pass with a quick dump off to Garcon, who got a great block from Trent Williams clearing the way up the left side.
Otherwise, the game was rather sloppy and not very exciting. Also, the replacement officials had their share of struggles.
After blowing a call on a touchback late in the first quarter, they received a resounding chorus of boos. Bills punter Brian Moorman hit a 49-yard punt, which Buffalo's Ruvell Martin downed at the Redskins' 4-yard line. However, back judge Craig Burd ruled it a touchback.