Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Washington Redskins Preview and Predictions


Nov 9, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12) calls a play at the line of scrimmage before the ball is hikes against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I literally had a bird’s eye view of last week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, and things got pretty ugly despite a few glimmers of promise here and there.

The seats I had were right behind the Falcons’ sideline, and those dirty birds must have loved what they saw.

Last week was the perfect example of the Buccaneers shooting themselves in the foot when they had a great chance to win a football game. Whether it was some awful punting by Michael Koenen, the defense with three straight encroachment penalties, or Josh McCown making a costly mistake with the game on the line, nothing came as a surprise last Sunday.

But it did, however, come as a disappointment.

The Bucs could have secured their first divisional win of the season, and it would have been sweet revenge against the Falcons for that 56-14 beatdown they laid on Tampa Bay on Thursday Night Football. Instead, the Buccaneers are 1-8, winless in the division that could have easily been won this year given the NFC South’s struggles, and with almost nothing right going for them.

I say almost because of rookie wide receiver Mike Evans.

Is this guy becoming everything we thought he would, or what? Two weeks ago in Cleveland he had what was the best game of his young career, and he followed it up with an even better performance last week. This is all happening with inconsistency from the quarterback position, and an offensive line that can’t block to save their lives. Imagine if this kid had a real offense. It’s scary to think just how good he can be.

Evans will look to continue his successful streak this afternoon against the Washington Redskins and the secondary of former Buccaneers’ head coach Raheem Morris. Lately, I’ve been saying the same thing when going over the Bucs’ keys to victory on offense, so I must sound like a broken record.

Tampa Bay needs to hire a national search party to find their running game and give McCown a break. We don’t need that guy throwing it close to 50 times a game for any reason, so it will be up to Bobby Rainey and company to break a few tackles. I say that because I know that the offensive line hasn’t done a great job up front and that running room will be hard to come by. Doug Martin is out once again, so the trio of Rainey, Charles Sims and Mike James will lead the Buccaneer ground attack.

On defense, the Buccaneers are tasked with containing Robert Griffin III and keeping him in the pocket. They’ll want to be careful when letting the ‘Skins roll out to the right, as RG3 could very well create the time to find a wide open DeSean Jackson. The Buccaneers have not gotten good play out of their safeties this season, so losing Jackson over the top seems like a distinct possibility in this game.

Normally, the Tampa 2 is supposed to stop plays that go over the top, but it does require a good pass rush, and smart safety play, both of which the Bucs do not have. Expect Jackson to have a big day, as even if he catches one underneath, he has the ability to make defenders miss.

If the Buccaneers can keep RG3 in the pocket and stay glued to Washington’s wide receivers, then they will have a shot to win this football game. But the “stay glued” to wide receivers part hasn’t happened all year, and I don’t expect that to change overnight.


Today’s game is on the road, against a team that is bitter about losing to the Vikings last week. Even when the Buccaneers show a little bit of promise, the ugliness of their game rears its ugly head: frequent penalties, turnovers, bad playcalling, bad clock management, and a lack of a running game all come together to form the perfect storm of a bad football team.

Teams don’t need to stop the Buccaneers. They usually find a way to stop themselves.

Final Score: Washington Redskins 29, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20.