By Mark Pierce
When the Washington Redskins take the field on Thursday night to face the Buffalo Bills for game one of the 2012 NFL pre-season, it will be in unaccustomed circumstances. They have a brand-spanking new franchise quarterback. A defense that requires other teams to contend with its actions. Decent receivers and running backs. And yes folks, according to Kevin Ewoldt of Hogshaven.com, the sports books in Vegas have the Redskins favored to win the contest by 2. Savor that for a moment. It may be in a pre-season contest many people consider meaningless, but the betting experts rank the skins as the better team in this matchup, if only marginally.
But this has been an off-season of new experiences for the team. Some would say having the likes of Robert Griffin III don the burgundy and gold is the most important of all the changes brought to the team, but even more critical has been allowing Shanahan and Allen's five year plan to come to fruition. ( we are starting year three, in case you missed it) By all appearances, owner Dan Snyder has ceased his meddlesome big spending ways, and allowed the football experts in Washington to guide the team's course.
Thus, on Thursday night will we see the starters for the allotted 12-20 snaps, followed by the two's led by Rex Grossman. It will be interesting to see Washington's troubled offensive line facing Buffalo's vaunted defensive front. LeRebius, Gettis, and Compton are all likely to play extended snaps. Same with Polumbus and Smith. The Skins are fortunate, really, to get such a test early in the pre-season, as it will provide a snapshot of areas in which they need to improve along the line and elsewhere.