Redskins’ RGIII clears a checkpoint

Ben Raby, wtop.com

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III cleared another checkpoint Thursday with a successful NFL preseason debut.

The Redskins’ starting QB went 4-for-6 for 70 yards against the Buffalo Bills’ starting defense and ended his night with a 20-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon. RGIII led Washington’s first three offensive series for a total of 14 plays behind center. He left the game with the Redskins leading the Bills 7-3 with 5:54 to play in the first quarter. The Redskins held on for a 7-6 final margin of victory.

“It felt extremely good to come out [and play],” Griffin III told the Redskins Radio Network.

“Coach did a good job calling plays, getting me in a rhythm and helping get the offense in rhythm. That’s what it’s all about.”

RGIII threw one incomplete pass on his opening drive as the Redskins went three- and-out to begin the game. On the Redskins’ next series, RGIII connected with Leonard Hankerson for a 12-yard completion before Royster fumbled one play later at the Washington 21 yard line.

RGIII led Washington’s first three offensive series for a total of 14 plays behind center. He left the game with the Redskins leading the Bills 7-3 with 5:54 to play in the first quarter.

The rookie quarterback’s third series of the game was particularly impressive as RGIII led the Redskins on an eight play 80-yard drive culminating in his TD pass to Garcon.

“It was a great feeling having a long drive that we really needed,” Garcon told the Redskins Radio Network. “Playing against a different opponent, we really need to put it on tape and see where we can get better. But it was good to have some drives and good to obviously score a touchdown too.”

Garcon led all Washington starters with three catches for 58 yards, while Evan Royster rushed for 21 yards on seven carries. Royster also had a fumble, the game’s only turnover of the first quarter.

The Redskins answered with the game’s only touchdown on the very next drive.

Backup QB Rex Grossman replaced RGIII late in the first quarter but the 10-year veteran failed to duplicate the rookie’s performance. Grossman went 2-for-10 for 22 yards while rookie Kirk Cousins was 9-for-22 for 74 yards and an interception.

Washington’s preseason opener was far from perfect, but the RGIII era is off to an impressive start.

“It’s very good to watch him,” Garcon said. “I can help him out as much as I can because I’ve been around a great quarterback [in Peyton Manning] and I’ve been in the league for a little bit, so I can try to give him a little bit of knowledge. We communicate and help each other. It’s great to see him come into his own.”

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