Robert Griffin III made his debut on Thursday and didn't disappoint as he helped the Washington Redskins take a 7-6 win over the Buffalo Bills in the preseason opener for both teams.
The second overall pick of the 2012 draft, Griffin won the Heisman Trophy last season and Washington traded up to get the Baylor product. Named the starter of the team immediately, he played three series on Thursday and went 4-for-6 with 70 yards and a touchdown, but also lost a fumble.
The recipient of that touchdown was Pierre Garcon, who signed with the Redskins as a free agent in the offseason. He caught three passes for 58 yards, including a 20-yard score in the first quarter that was the only touchdown of the game.
Washington is coming off a 5-11 campaign that saw the team finish dead last in the NFC East. Washington hasn't had a winning season since a 9-7 mark in 2007.
The Bills, who finished 6-10 last season after starting 3-0, did a lot to improve their defense in the offseason as they landed All-Pro defensive end Mario Williams and pass-rushing specialist Mark Anderson. Also, the team drafted cornerback Stephon Gilmore with the 10th overall pick in this year's draft.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 61 yards on 6-of-14 passing and led Buffalo to one of its two field goals in the game, but that was thanks to a recovered fumble by the defense.
Griffin's first series was a quick three-and-out, and then his next series saw him fumble the ball and Buffalo recovered deep in Washington territory, which led to a 43-yard field goal from Rian Lindell.
Griffin finally got it together on the next drive as he marched the team 80 yards in eight plays, capped on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon. Griffin and Gracon also connected on plays of 20 and 18 yards during the drive.
"I think we started to get into a flow as we had some more time together," said Griffin. "The line got things together and gave me some time and I felt like I was able to read things a lot cleaner."
Buffalo drove down to the Washington four-yard line with Tyler Thigpen under center late in the second quarter, but a chip-shot 22-yard field goal attempt from Lindell was no good.
The teams exchanged interceptions before the half ended and neither offenses could get any points on the board in the third.
The Bills ended the third with the ball and a 15-play, 57-yard drive that ate up over eight minutes was finished with a 45-yard field goal from Lindell to make it a 7-6 game early in the fourth.
That capped the scoring, though, as Buffalo was unable to get into field range on its next two touches and Washington killed the clock.