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NFL Washington Redskins

Redskins vs. Buccaneers Preview of NFL Week 4 Matchup

Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Redskins limp into Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for their Week Four matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kickoff is on Sunday, September 30 at 4:25pm.

Washington heads into the game with uncertainty on the offensive side of the ball. Left tackle Trent Williams did not practice this week due to a bone bruise in his right knee. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon saw limited practice time due to a sore right foot. Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan has yet to rule both players out for Sunday’s game. Washington’s chances for victory increase significantly if Garcon and Williams are able to play Sunday.

There’s one thing certain about the defense. The Redskins’ secondary has been dreadful. The sight of opposing receivers torching Washington’s secondary for long gains has become a common theme for the Redskins. This forces the offensive unit into scoring shootouts with opposing teams in an effort to achieve victory.

Luckily for Washington, the Buccaneers are not known for having a prolific offense. Quarterback Josh Freeman anchors the Tampa Bay passing game, and he’s ordinary at best. The Buccaneers’ only deep threat is wide receiver Vincent Jackson, acquired before the 2012 NFL season via free agency after a seven year stint with the San Diego Chargers.  Buccaneers’ rookie running back Doug Martin paces the ground attack for Tampa Bay.  He has proven capable of handling the starting running back duties, as he leads the team in rushing.

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Tampa Bay’s defensive unit encapsulates the all-out effort expected by first year head coach Greg Schiano (pictured, above). That effort was on display for all to see against the Super Bowl champion New York Giants during a Week Two Buccaneers’ loss. The defensive unit exhibited all-out effort while the Giants were trying to run out the clock to end the game.

The irony of Washington’s porous play in the secondary is that Tampa Bay actually has the worst passing defense in the NFL. However, five of the team’s six interceptions were recorded by defensive backs. Being opportunistic on defense certainly helps a young quarterback like Freeman, considering that points could be at a premium for a Tampa Bay offense that struggled during their Week Three loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Prediction: Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III should have a field day throwing the ball against a Tampa Bay passing defense ranked worse than Washington’s. The Redskins will be hard pressed to exploit this glaring weakness without the services of Garcon and Williams. If the Buccaneers can somehow continue to force turnovers on defense, as well as cash in on those turnovers by scoring touchdowns, it could be a long day in the Florida sun for the Washington Redskins.

Final Score: Buccaneers 27, Redskins 20.