ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Three was the key Thursday night for Robert Griffin III.

The Washington Redskins’ rookie quarterback needed only three passes on his third and final drive to show glimpses of stardom in his much-anticipated NFL exhibition debut.

After a muffed handoff and no first downs in his first two series, RG3 found his rhythm by completing his final three passes for 58 yards, capped by a 20-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon in a 7-6 victory against the Buffalo Bills.

Garcon celebrated by doing a front-first somersault in the end zone. And he was quickly joined by Griffin, who raced over to congratulate him with a leap in the air. With 5:54 left in the first quarter, it was the go-ahead score after the Redskins fell behind, 3-0.

It was an eventful cameo appearance for the Heisman Trophy winner, who was drafted with the No. 2 pick out of Baylor. Griffin finished 4 of 6 for 70 yards and a lost fumble.

“It felt extremely good to come out and play,” Griffin said. “Coach did a good job calling plays, got me in a rhythm and helped get the offense in a rhythm on that third drive.”

Defensive end Mario Williams made a debut of his own for the Bills in his first game since signing a six-year, $100 million contract in free agency in March. Williams, the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, and the Bills’ new-look defensive front were solid in limiting the Redskins to 11 yards and no first downs in the first two series.

The trouble for Buffalo came on offense, which was sloppy and lacked finish.

Starter Ryan Fitzpatrick went 6 of 14 for 61 yards, and squandered an opportunity when the Bills got the ball at the Redskins’ 21 following Griffin’s fumble. The Bills were undone by a false start penalty and an illegal formation that negated what would have been a 20-yard touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson.

Buffalo settled for Rian Lindell hitting a 43-yard field goal.

“I thought it was really poor, but luckily it’s the preseason,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’ve got a lot to work on.”

The offense did no better under backup Tyler Thigpen, who hit 3 of 8 attempts for 38 yards. Thigpen failed to score despite six snaps from inside the Redskins’ 10. And the Bills then came away empty when Lindell pushed a 22-yarder wide left.

Lindell also hit a 45-yarder in the fourth quarter.

The Bills were penalized 14 times for 134 yards.

CHARGERS 21, PACKERS 13: Shannon Eastin became the first woman to officiate an NFL game and San Diego slogged to a sloppy victory at home.

RAVENS 31, FALCONS 17: Backup Curtis Painter threw three second-half touchdown passes for Baltimore at Atlanta.

EAGLES 24, STEELERS 23: Alex Henery kicked a 51-yard field goal with 12 seconds left as Philadelphia won at home.


SEAHAWKS: The team violated the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement by allowing receiver Terrell Owens to practice in shoulder pads during his first on-field practice.

BROWNS: Rookie running back Trent Richardson had surgery on his left knee.

JETS: Left guard Matt Slauson agreed to take a pay cut, reducing his salary by about $258,000 this season.

PANTHERS: Middle linebacker Jon Beason isn’t expected to play in Saturday night’s exhibition home opener against Houston after injuring his left hamstring.

TITANS: Matt Hasselbeck will get the start in the exhibition opener Saturday night against Seattle, his former team.

SAM HURD, a former NFL receiver, was arrested in San Antonio after federal officials say he tested positive for marijuana use.

Using illegal drugs would violate the terms of Hurd’s $100,000 bond that kept him free pending his federal drug conspiracy trial.