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Redskins schedule preview: Week 10 vs. Buccaneers

Redskins schedule preview: Week 10 vs. Buccaneers

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Week 10 November 11, Raymond James Stadium

2017 Bucs: 5-11, fourth in NFC South 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 6.5

Early line: Redskins +3.5

Key additions: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, C Ryan Jensen, DT Vita Vea, DE Vinny Curry 

Key losses: RB Doug Martin, DE Chris Baker

Biggest questions: 

  • The Bucs added to a strong defensive line by drafting Vea and signing Curry. Can they find a way to utilize all of their talent?
  • QB Jameis Winston had better numbers last year than he did in 2016, but the Bucs won four fewer games. Will he put it together in his fourth year as the starter?
  • Former Redskins WR DeSean Jackson did not live up to expectations, averaging just 13.4 yards per reception and scoring three touchdowns. Will he rebound at age 31?

Series history

The all-time series is tied 11-11; the Redskins have won three of the last five meetings.

Series notables

The first time: October 19, 1977, Tampa Stadium—This has to be one of the dullest games in Redskins history. The Redskins scored all of the game’s points in the first quarter with a 44-yard Mark Moseley field goal and a six-yard touchdown run by Mike Thomas. They proceeded to fumble away many subsequent scoring opportunities, but the second-year Buccaneers never threatened to score themselves and the Redskins left town with an ugly 10-0 win.

The last time: October 25, 2015, FedEx Field—Jay Gruden called this a “Code Red” game as the 2-4 Redskins were on the verge of sliding out of the NFC playoff picture. Initially, the Redskins played more like something that is brown and after Kirk Cousins, who was struggling to hold on to his job as the starter, was sacked and stripped, the return for a touchdown made it 24-0 midway through the second quarter. 

You know the rest of the story. The Redskins and Cousins got things going. Cousins ran eight yards for a touchdown before halftime to get on the board. The key sequence of the game came in the third quarter. It was Cousins to Ryan Grant for a touchdown followed by a surprise onside kick executed to perfection. The Redskins maximized the strategy win by moving to a TD pass to Jordan Reed.

The teams exchanged field goals in the fourth quarter before the Redskins finished off the rally. Cousins capped an 80-yard drive with a touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon with 24 seconds left to take the 31-30 win.

The best time: September 9, 1982, Tampa Stadium—In a game played in a virtual monsoon, the Redskins outlasted a game Bucs squad. With the Tampa Stadium playing surface resembling prime Florida swampland, the Redskins relied on the legs of John Riggins, who carried 34 times for 136 yards.

Before conditions got too bad, the Redskins jumped to a 9-0 lead on an eight-yard pass from Joe Theismann to Charlie Brown and Mark Moseley’s 35-yard field goal. The Bucs came right back on a 62-yard touchdown bomb from Doug Williams to Kevin House. The point after attempts following each team’s touchdown drowned in the saturated turf.

In the second quarter, the Redskins got some breathing room with another Moseley field goal and then broke it open when Curtis Jordan blocked a punt and splashed down on top of the ball in the end zone for an 18-6 halftime lead.

As conditions worsened, scoring slowed considerably in the second half, with Tampa Bay scoring on a seven-yard James Wilder run and the Redskins responding with a 19-yard Moseley field goal. For most of the final 30 minutes, it was Riggins moving the chains and keeping the clock running. He carried to last seven plays of the game to burn off the final three and a half minutes as the Redskins win 21-13. After the game, Joe Gibbs called the ending sequence The Riggo Drill and that strategy and catchphrase that would stick all the way through the Redskins’ win in Super Bowl XVII.

The worst time: NFC Divisional Playoff Game, January 16, 2000, Raymond James Stadium—In 36 previous playoff games, the Redskins had never held a 13-point lead and go on to lose, but that’s what happened in this game. The Buccaneers made the clutch plays in the late going and the Redskins didn’t, eliminating Washington from its first postseason action in seven years.

The Redskins built their lead on a pair of Brett Conway field goals sandwiched around a 100-yard kickoff return by Brian Mitchell. He took the second-half kickoff at the goal line, found daylight as he cut to his right, dismissed kicker Martin Gramatica with a stiff arm and outran the rest of the Bucs into the end zone to complete what was then the longest kick return in NFL playoff history.

The Bucs, though, turned an interception and a fumble into two touchdowns and a 14-13 lead. Washington had a shot at retaking the lead as they lined up for a 52-yard field goal attempt with 1:17 left. The snap, however, rolled back to holder Brad Johnson and Conway never got the kick away.

Redskins schedule series

More 2018 Redskins

- Wheeling and dealing: The biggest moves of the offseason
- Tandler’s Take: What are reasonable expectations for 2018?

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

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Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

Trent Williams was definitely not playing Sunday against Houston, but now he might

On Wednesday, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams would not play on Sunday against the Texans. 

"That's for sure," the coach said. 

By Friday, the tune had changed. Drastically. 

Gruden said that Williams' status on Sunday will come down to the medical staff. The coach added that Williams has to be comfortable in whatever cast will support his dislocated thumb.

As for Williams, he would not say for sure that he's going to play. But after talking with him for a few minutes in the Redskins locker room, it seems like the medical staff will be hard pressed to keep him off the field. 

Williams missed the Redskins last two games after injuring his thumb in a victory over the Giants. Without him, the Redskins offensive line performed admirably, but both tackles Morgan Moses and Ty Nsekhe are fighting through a number of injuries. 

The thumb injury required surgery, which happened about two weeks ago and came with a rough four-week timetable for recovery. Williams is attempting to cut that in half. 

Asked about Williams possibly playing Sunday, Redskins running back Adrian Peterson said he wants his friend and teammate to be smart about his future. Peterson said "there's a lot of football left" but the running back also added that there were situations watching Texans film this week where "it'd be real nice to have Trent out there."

Williams himself said that it must be tough for Peterson, as the two are close friends. Obviously, the running back wants the star tackle out on the field, but he also cares about his long-term future. 

Notes: Redskins K Dustin Hopkins landed on the injury report earlier with a groin injury in the week and the team brought in other kickers for tryouts on Tuesday. On Friday, Hopkins said he was pain-free and planned to "give it a go" Sunday against Houston. 

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With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR

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With Samaje Perine ruled out for Week 11, expect Byron Marshall to be activated off IR

The main news on Friday at Redskins Park was the surprising return to the practice field by Trent Williams. 

That wasn't the only notable development when it comes to injuries, though. 

During his end-of-the-week podium session, Jay Gruden ruled Samaje Perine out for Sunday's game against the Texans. The second-year back has a calf injury and won't be able to go in Week 11.

As of Friday afternoon, that leaves the 'Skins with just two healthy running backs in Adrian Peterson and Kapri Bibbs. Chris Thompson is on the active roster as well, but he's dealing with rib issues and he's going to be absent when Houston visits.

This means you should expect to see Byron Marshall in Burgundy and Gold come kickoff. Marshall has been on IR with an ankle injury since the start of the year but said he's been healthy for a while now and would be ready to step in as the third back.

The majority of offensive snaps the past few weeks have gone to Peterson and Bibbs, so Marshall shouldn't figure into things too much when the Redskins have the ball. He showed flashes in some spot duty in 2017, though, so if need be, he could be productive for Gruden.

With Trey Quinn already back on the 53, if/when the team elects to bring back Marshall, the Redskins will be out of IR activations. NFL rules stipulate each club only gets two per season.

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