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
- 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?
The all-time series is tied 11-11; the Redskins have won three of the last five meetings.
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
- Week 9 vs. Falcons
- Weeks 8 & 14 vs. Giants
- Weeks 7 & 12 vs. Cowboys
- Week 6 vs. Panthers
- Week 5 @ Saints
- Week 3 vs. Packers
- Week 2 vs. Colts
- Week 1 @ Cardinals
More 2018 Redskins