The NFL Preseason gets fully underway on Thursday night as the Washington Redskins travel to take on the Buffalo Bills. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. EST start time and it will be televised on NFL RedZone. Currently the odds for the matchup have the Redskins as the 1.5 point favorite for the contest with the total set at 34.5 points.
Tonight's game is the debut of Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III for the Redskins and it appears he is garnering a lot of opinions based on the point spread in this game. The Bills have won all three matchups with Washington dating back the 2001 season and although these are two completely different squads, it could be more of the same for the Redskins. Obviously both teams are probably going to be a bit rusty heading into this game tonight and preseason games always seem to come down to which third and fourth stringers want it more. Typically we've seen those guys as the reasons teams win or lose in the preseason.
Buffalo made some significant offseason signings this past year and is coming off a 2011-12 campaign that saw them finish with a 6-10 regular season. It's widely regarded that this year's Bills team will probably win more games than the six they posted last year, but just how much better will they be? They have a Harvard quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick that threw for more than 3,800 yards last season. With some major additions including former No. 1 overall pick and Houston Texan defensive end Mario Williams, this team could be greatly improved.
Washington made the big splash at the draft, nabbing up Heisman winner Griffin III who is being exalted as Washington's savior before he's even taken a preseason snap in the NFL. Obviously time will tell in regards to Griffin III, but there's no doubt there is a lot of hype and pressure on him to succeed. And, as we know in the NFL, the leash isn't exactly long when it comes to having to succeed. The Redskins are built for the future, no doubt, but they still need to be able to win football games in the present or people are going to start to get antsy. It never matters just how young you are when people want to win NOW.
The point spread is interesting because I think Buffalo should actually be favored in this game.
Free Pick: We're going to take the UNDER in this game much like we will on most NFL Preseason contests. Neither team is really gotten into a whole lot of practice time and there is going to be a lot of rustiness involved. As we saw in the Hall of Fame game on Sunday, only 27 points were scored as both offenses really struggled once the starters were taken out of the game a couple of minutes into the game. Expect more of the same here tonight as each team struggles to score.
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