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PRO FOOTBALL : Rogers Has Big Day as Redskins Show Bills How It's Done, 27-7

November 02, 1987| From Times Wire Services

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Washington Redskins gave the Buffalo Bills a lesson Sunday on how a playoff team wins.

The NFC East-leading Redskins, who have been in postseason play four of the last five years, rolled to a convincing 27-7 victory over Buffalo, gaining almost twice as many total yards and doubling the time of possession on the Bills.

"It's been a long time since we played this well, certainly this year," said Washington Coach Joe Gibbs, whose team is 6-1. "I think we played just as good as we can play. It was our day."

The Redskins did it with a solid running game that got 299 yards and a defense that held the Bills to 21 yards rushing. They held the ball for nearly 41 minutes to just 19 for Buffalo,

"They opened up holes inside; they opened up holes outside," said Redskins' quarterback Jay Schroeder of his offensive line. "We could run anything we wanted today."

George Rogers returned to the Redskin starting lineup and showed he's recovered from nagging toe and shoulder injuries, rushing 30 times for 125 yards.

"I didn't hurt my shoulder and I didn't hurt my toe so I guess I came out all right," Rogers said. "The first few plays I was starting to get winded but all of a sudden I got my second wind."

Schroeder threw two touchdown passes to Kelvin Bryant and the Redskin defense intercepted Buffalo's Jim Kelly three times and also recovered a fumble.

Kelly, who led the Bills back from a 21-0 deficit last week against Miami, couldn't do it again against the Redskins defense, although he completed 25 of 43 passes for 292 yards.

The Bills dropped to 3-4.

Ali Haji-Sheikh kicked field goals from 30 and 33 yards and Schroeder also ran for a 13-yard touchdown for the Redskins.

Rogers, who led the NFL with 18 touchdowns last season, showed he'd returned to form on the first drive of the game.

With Rogers rushing for 36 of the 67 yards during the drive, the Redskins moved down the field easily before settling for Haji-Sheikh's 30-yard field goal that put Washington ahead, 3-0, in the first quarter.

The Redskins increased their lead following a 51-yard pass from Schroeder to Gary Clark that moved Washington deep into Buffalo territory. Five plays later, Schroeder found Bryant over the middle for a 12-yard touchdown pass that made it 10-0.

A penalty against Buffalo nose tackle Fred Smerlas set up Washington's next score. Smerlas ran into Haji-Sheikh after the Redskins' kicker missed a 44-yard field goal.

Given a first down on the Buffalo 22, the Redskins moved in for the score, with Schroeder scoring on a bootleg from the 13-yard line.

Kelly's third interception of the day in the third quarter set up the second Schroeder-to-Bryant touchdown pass, this one from seven yards out.

The Redskins increased the lead to 27-0 with Haji-Sheikh's 33-yarder late in the third quarter.

Kelly, who had thrown a touchdown in each of his last 11 games, continued the streak with a 17-yard scoring pass to Andre Reed early in the fourth quarter for Buffalo's only score.

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