Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3 0-3 ATS) vs. Washington Redskins (1-2 1-2 ATS) Fed Ex Field Landover, MD 1 PM EST Sunday October 4, 2009 on FOX
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Buccaneers +7/ Redskins -7
This Sunday the struggling Washington Redskins host the equally struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers who will start a new QB. Last week the Redskins lost to the Detroit Lions 19-14 while the Bucs were blanked losing to the New York Giants 24-0 at home no less. In last week’s loss the Redskins allowed the Lions to snap the NFL’s 2nd longest losing streak and can they lose to Bucs giving them their first win of the season? Two weeks ago the Redskins barely beat the lowly St. Louis Lambs and after last week’s loss head coach Jim Zorn’s job was thought to be in jeopardy, but his job seems safe, at least for now.
In last week’s loss to the Giants it isn’t hard to believe that the Bucs were shut out since they had 5 1st downs and an amazing 86 total yards on offense. In the game they were 0/9 on 3rd down conversions, and averaged a stellar 2.2 yards per pass and 2.8 yards per rush. Tampa Bay WR Michael Clayton must have found a crystal ball in his locker after the game, as he stated, “We have to play better.” Great call. The Bucs were underdogs by 6.5 points so they obviously came nowhere near covering the spread. The posted total of the game was 46 so since 24 points were scored the Under was the way to go.
In the loss to the Lions, that sounds weird to say, the Redskins did have a solid game on offense, as they had 390 total yards including 325 passing yards, but only 65 rushing yards. The Redskins had their chances to win, but Clinton Portis was stopped on the Lions 1-yard line on a 4th and Zorn accepted a penalty rather than give the Lions a 50 yard field goal attempt and on the next play Matt Stafford scrambled for 21 yards to pick up the 1st down and then threw a TD. The Redskins were obviously favored so they did not cover the spread and the posted total of 39 was not reached with 33 points scored.
The Bucs were not expected to make the playoffs this season while the Redskins were supposed to at least challenge for a playoff berth. If the Redskins lose this game they will be 1-3 and their last 3 games were thought to be the easiest part of the schedule. Being at 1-3 in the tough NFC East, where every other team is over .500, will almost kill their chances of making the playoffs.
After starting the season 0-3 2nd year QB Josh Johnson will take over for the struggling Byron Leftwich. Even though the Redskins rank 15th on defense they have a decent secondary only giving up an average of 198 passing yards per game.
Where the Redskins are struggling on defense is stopping the run, as they are giving up an average of 128 yards on the ground per game. That is not good for the Bucs since they are only picking up 86 yards per game rushing and their leading rusher is Cadillac Williams, who only has 114 rushing yards this season.
Even though new star DT Albert Haynesworth could not finish the Detroit game with a hip injury, his status for this game is that he should be able to go.
The Redskins rank a respectable 13th on offense, but that stat is a little deceiving. Their passing numbers are solid and their rushing numbers are unimpressive, but that is because they have been down in every one of their games and they have to come back by passing the ball.
The Redskins have to get off to a good start and that starts with RB Clinton Portis (183 yds). He has to have a good game against a weak Bucs’ D and improve upon his average of 3.9 yards per carry.
Jason Campbell (793 yds 3 TD 2 INT) is better when he is managing a game and not trying to come back to win with his arm.
The Redskins cannot turn the ball over in this game, as they have had a few turnovers that have been costly.
Tampa Bay has to play some defense in this game, as even though the Redskins do not have the best offense Tampa has not stopped anybody this season. The Bucs rank 31st on D, as they are giving up 187 rushing yards per game and 245 passing yards per game.
Jason’s Pick: The Redskins are a solid team and this game is the perfect time to snap out of their slump and show it. They will dominate this game on both sides of the ball and easily cover the 7-point spread and win this game.