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Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Bucs

Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Bucs

Bold Predictions Redskins vs Bucs

There just isn’t much sizzle here.

The first time these two teams met on October 9, 1977, the two teams combined for nine fumbles, eight turnovers and 14 penalties. The Redskins won this excruciatingly boring affair 10-0 and even Billy Kilmer, the winning quarterback complained afterward that the game was dull and that his team made too many mistakes.

That set the tone for the series. They have played 13 times and none of the games are memorable. There was that game in 1982 right before the strike that the Redskins won on a Curtis Jordan punt block, but had it not been pouring rain to the point that water was cascading down the stairs at the Big Sombrero, a scene that NFL Films captured masterfully, that game would never get a second thought. I suppose you could call the Redskins’ 14-13 playoff loss following the 1999 season somewhat noteworthy, but it’s most memorable for a botched play, a bad snap on a potential game-winning field goal attempt (Brian Mitchell’s playoff-record 100-yard kickoff return notwithstanding). The next year the teams went into overtime at FedEx Field, but the Skins won that game when Deion Sanders set up a field goal with a 57-yard punt return and most of us would rather forget he ever played in the Burgundy and Gold.

With no real rivalry, with no particular reason to dislike the Bucs based on any historical events, we are forced to deal with the here and now. And there is plenty there.

Both teams are 5-3, which right now is if-the-season-ended-today Wild Card position. The first tiebreaker, of course, is head to head so the winner of this game essentially gains two games’ worth of advantage over the loser. Making up those two games over the course of the seven remaining contests is a pretty tall order. It’s not a must-win for both teams, but it’s as close as you get to one at the start of the second half of the season.

Tampa Bay has a balanced offense; the Bucs can’t run or pass very well. They’re 21st in the NFL in total yards gained, 16th rushing and 21st passing. Their rankings have plunged due to two key injuries. The one to running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams slowed down the rookie, who had the best start of any NFL running back ever with 434 yards in his first three games. He has gained just 162 yards in the ensuing five games, two of which he missed with a foot injury. Still, he’s better off than starting QB Brian Griese who went out for the season in Week Six with a knee injury.

Williams is now fairly healthy but he’s coming off of consecutive games in which he has gained combined 49 yards on 24 carries. It’s not all his fault. Griese’s replacement, second-year player Chris Simms, has been less than stellar and if you can’t pass you get the eight in the box that the Redskins saw so much of last year and it’s hard to run.

On the other side of the ball, it’s hard to do anything against the Tampa defense. That unit has been that team’s bell cow for the last decade or so and this year is no exception as they are ranked #1 in the NFL. Former stalwarts like John Lynch and Warren Sapp have moved on, but there’s still linebacker Derrick Brooks, cornerback Ronde Barber, and defensive end Simeon Rice to contend with.

Despite that great D, the Bucs have lost three out of four since a 4-0 start. Included in that skid are losses to a couple of certified dogs, the 49ers and the Jets. Saying that there in a bit of a slump is like saying that Terrell Owens has a bit of a mouth.

For their part, the Redskins are playing better, but they’re not exactly tearing it up either. They’ve lost three out of five. One of the wins was over one of those mutts, San Francisco, and they had a real dog of a game in New York.

Still, you get the sense that these are two teams headed in opposite directions. The Redskins aren’t world-beaters but, as noted above, you don’t have to be to get a W over Tampa Bay. Washington has a pretty decent defense itself and the Buccaneer offense will struggle to get over 13 points or so. On offense, Clinton Portis won’t rack up much yardage barring a big run like he got against Tampa Bay in last year’s opener. I get a feeling that David Patten will play a key role as the Bucs aren’t going to let Santana Moss beat them. Regardless, the Redskins won’t score much, but they will score enough. They’ll claim their fourth win of the season in games that they score fewer than 20 points:

Redskins 17, Bucs 10.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

MORE REDSKINS: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE PLAYOFFS?

Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.