-It won’t be easy if OT Trent Williams and WR Pierre Garcon aren’t healthy, but this is a game where the Redskins should be able to find success through the air. After picking apart the New Orleans Saints defense, Robert Griffin III and the passing game has regressed some the past two weeks. That is a trend that should end against a Buccaneers pass defense that has allowed the most yards in the league. The Redskins should be able to challenge the Buccaneers both vertically and horizontally giving Robert Griffin plenty of different options. .
I debated on this one since the Redskins have been torched this year, but I think they can win this match-up. Josh Freeman has been woefully inaccurate, to the point where it has neutralized the passing game. I also very much like the idea of Ryan Kerrigan going against Demar Dotson all game. He’s a tackle with some upside, but definitely someone that Kerrigan can beat a couple times during the game. The toughest assignment for this defense will be to contain Vincent Jackson, and it may be an impossible one. If they harass Freeman they should be able to disrupt enough attemts to at least slow down Jackson.
This won’t come too easily as Tampa has a young back with a lot of potential in Doug Martin, and the team is committed to feature him. So far though that hasn’t led to any positive results. Tampa is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, despite averaging 27.66 carries per game. The Redskins defense has done a good job in both the Saints and Bengals game at stopping the ball carrier, and making teams one dimensional. They weren’t able to have the same success against the Rams, but this one looks to be a favorable match-up. If the Redskins can take away the ground attack it will put even more pressure on Josh Freeman, which further works in the Redskins favor.
-Given that Trent Williams didn’t practice on Wednesday and walked with a noticeable limp there is a good chance that he won’t be able to play this weekend. That means another week of Jordan Black. Now the Bucs just lost their starting right end in Adrian Clayborn, but even Daniel Te’o-Nesheim should have an advantage here. Going up against Tyler Polumbus on the other side the Bucs have a huge advantage with defensive end Michael Bennett. Bennett already has three sacks on the season, to go along with 16 other combined hits and pressures. He will have a field day going against Polumbus one-on-one. Unfortunately the Redskins can’t really ask Chris Chester to help out too much, because next to Bennett is defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. McCoy has three sacks on his own to go along with 12 combined pressures, and is showing why he was drafted with the 3rd overall pick in 2010. Stopping Bennett and McCoy is no easy challenge, so if a guy like Te’o-Nesheim wins on the otherside Robert Griffin could be in a lot of trouble. The best thing the Redskins can do is to roll out away from Bennett/McCoy, or utilize the quick passing game to neutralize the pass rush somewhat.
-Stopping Robert Griffin and Alfred Morris has been no easy task for teams, but Tampa may be the team to do it. They have allowed just 2.3 yards per carry this season to opposing offenses, which has led to teams abandoning their running game. Last week they shutdown emerging running back DeMarco Murray for 39 yards on 18 carries. And in week one they forced the Carolina Panthers to abandon the running game. The Panthers last year were a top 5 rushing team, and while they didn’t have Jonathan Stewart, they still had Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert, yet they were only able to manage 10 yards on 13 carries. If the Buccaneers have any sort of similar success it will significantly impact the Redskins offense, and force them to be more one dimensional.