The Redskins (2-4) will host the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3) at 1 PM in Landover, MD.
Washington will be sporting their throwback uniforms today as a part of the Redskins annual Homecoming game. Coming into the game, the Redskins must face an opponent coming off of a bye week for the second straight week. The Buccaneers have had two weeks to prepare and scout Washington while also getting some needed rest.
Tampa Bay comes into this match-up with a versatile offense that has recently found success in both the ground and air game. With WR’s Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson at rookie QB Jameis Winston hands, the Buccaneers can gain yards in a hurry. While these receivers stretch the field, RB Doug Martin will be able to find some running room for himself along with Winston, who has the ability to tuck and run at any time. The Buccaneers average 122 yards per game on the ground, which is simply bad news for the Redskins.
This past week, Washington allowed Jets RB Chris Ivory to run at will, totaling 146 yards and a touchdown at the end of the day. Buccaneers RB Doug Martin looks to do the exact same. Martin is coming off of his best game of the season two weeks ago, where Martin ran for 123 yards, two touchdowns and also tallying a reception touchdown from Winston.
For the Redskins, it will be another long day if they cannot stop the run game. Washington is still banged up with two CB’s including veteran DeAngelo Hall sidelined for the game. The Redskins secondary must be able to keep either Evans or Jackson quiet today, seeing as stopping both of them is seemingly impossible.
Offensively for Washington, RB Matt Jones will return from a toe injury and split carries with Alfred Morris. It was rumored earlier in the week that WR DeSean Jackson could make an appearance however it looks like he will not be playing this week once again as he continues to rest up his hamstring.
The good news for Washington?
Tampa Bay has the 25th ranked pass defense in the NFL, giving QB Kirk Cousins an opportunity to break out of this recent slump he has had. Cousins threw for only 196 yards and one touchdown last week against the Jets and there have been rumors of possibly being benched following the loss.
The Redskins QB hasn’t thrown for more than one touchdown the entire season so far but he has a great opportunity to break that streak today.
Players to watch:
Doug Martin (TB) – Coming off of a 3 TD performance in his last game, Martin will look to continue his recent success against a struggling Redskins run defense. If Tampa can establish the run early in the game, that will open up play-action opportunities for Winston to attack the Redskins suspect secondary.
Mike Evans (TB) – Evans has yet to reach the end zone this season, which is surprising to most of us to say the least. Last year, Evans lived in the end zone, hauling in 12 total touchdowns. With Vincent Jackson receiving the majority of the defenses attention, look for Evans to make an impact in the passing game.
Pierre Garcon (WSH) – Garcon is the top receiving option for the Redskins once again and with Jackson still sidelined, he has to be available for Cousins. Garcon has not broken 100 yards yet this season and has struggled in his past 2 games only recording 51 and 28 yards. For the Redskins offense to be successful, Garcon and Cousins must be on the same page.
Bashaud Breeland & Will Blackmon (WSH) – These two guys are replacing both injured starting CB’s for the Redskins and have a huge task of containing two 6’5” receivers in Evans and Jackson. It doesn’t matter who in the entire league is tries to matchup against these two receivers but this duo is one of the most dangerous in the NFL.
Prediction: Buccaneers 34 Redskins 27