In a new series here at Buffalo Rumblings, we're going to take a look at one play in each of the next five Buffalo Bills games that permanently changed the flow of the game - for good or for bad - for Buffalo. In Sunday's 23-0 win over the Washington Redskins, that play was Fred Jackson's 43-yard run on the first play of the third quarter.
Buffalo left some plays out there in the first half of Sunday's game in Toronto. Though the Bills led 13-0 at the break, two turnovers - including one in the red zone when a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass intended for Stevie Johnson was picked off by London Fletcher - kept the score manageable for the Redskins.
The Bills got the ball first in the second half, however, and needed to seize their opportunity to extend their lead and put Washington in a deeper hole. Jackson got that ball rolling.
After a touchback on the kickoff, Jackson took a simple handoff off of left guard and raced 43 yards all the way to the Redskins' 37-yard line. David Nelson came in motion from right to left pre-snap, then sealed as a lead blocker to his right across the formation, getting the backside contain. Because Nelson is a receiver, that motion took cornerback DeAngelo Hall across the formation and out of the path of Jackson - otherwise, he'd have been unblocked to make the stop.
Andy Levitre sealed the edge, and Eric Wood and Chad Rinehart doubled the defensive tackle, giving Jackson a huge lane through which to run. The play wouldn't have yielded nearly as much yardage as it ultimately did, however, without outstanding downfield blocking by running back-turned-receiver C.J. Spiller. Jackson simply needed to hit the hole and go, and that's precisely what he did.
Six plays later, Fitzpatrick hit Scott Chandler for a touchdown. The Bills' lead was very quickly 20-0, and from there, the Redskins didn't have a prayer at a comeback.