The Redskins emphasized one stat above the others for receivers last season: yards after the catch. That’s exactly what Pierre Garcon provided in their 7-6 preseason opening win at Buffalo.

Garcon picked up extra yards on his 18-yard catch from Robert Griffin III. All 20 yards on his touchdown catch came after the reception. It was a screen in which Garcon read his blocks well, cutting inside and then back outside. First, Santana Moss threw a key block and then left tackle Trent Williams. Garcon then did a flip into the end zone.

If the first game was an indication, Garcon provides the Redskins with a physical receiver capable of making plays. It’s been a while since they’ve had one of those.

Banks slips: Receiver Brandon Banks was targeted nine times and only caught two passes. While his quickness and speed are assets, his size is not. Physical defensive backs will run through him as the ball arrives, making it tough for Banks to hold onto the catch as happened Thursday. He slipped on one route and appeared to stop short on another. If he needs to show he can help at receiver, then Banks has a lot to prove over the next three games.

The O-line did what? The offensive line wasn’t stellar in run blocking, but the group did one thing that was important: keeping RG3 clean. This from a line starting three backups in LG Maurice Hurt, RG Adam Gettis and RT Tyler Polumbus. The Redskins gave Griffin extra protection on some pass plays and also called for quick throws. But the line held up. Gettis, a rookie fifth-round pick, showed a lot of lower-body strength and even though he got stood up once, he did not give ground.

New look? Linebacker Brian Orakpo’s first four plays had him rushing from a four-point stance, giving the Redskins almost a 4-3 look. It did help Orakpo generate pressure on Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Orakpo forced Fitzpatrick to step up into the pocket and with the Redskins’ interior clogging the middle, he had nowhere to run. Ryan Kerrigan then sacked him.

Aching: Left tackle Trent Williams showed his athleticism on Pierre Garcon’s 20-yard touchdown catch by getting downfield and blocking two defensive backs. But at the end of the play, fellow lineman Maurice Hurt was shoved into his left ankle. Williams’ night was done after this series anyway. X-rays were negative, but Williams told reporters that he was definitely sore.

Lackluster battle: Neither Evan Royster nor Roy Helu stood out in their competition to start in case Tim Hightower isn’t ready to open the season. Royster carried seven times for 21 yards while Helu ran four times for 17. The line wasn’t providing great holes for either back.

Rookie sizzle: RB Alfred Morris isn’t vying for the starting job at this point. But he looked good in his NFL debut, rushing for 54 yards on 15 carries. Though his long was only six yards, Morris was always falling forward for extra yards. He did not lose any yards on his runs. He made the most of mediocre blocking.

Rookie sizzle, II: Sixth-round pick Richard Crawford helped on defense and special teams. The cornerback made a nice read, staying disciplined with his eyes, for a downfield interception. On special teams, he returned one punt 18 yards, making two defenders miss.

D-line depth: The Redskins coaches have to be pleased with what they saw from the backup defensive line, especially near the goal line. If Thursday is any indication, they’ll have excellent depth. It starts with nose tackle Chris Baker, who is having an excellent camp. His athleticism and power were evident and he plugged the hole twice inside the five-yard line. Second-year Jarvis Jenkins wasn’t flashy, but he showed power.

John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner. Follow him on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLWAS.