Redskins Keys to the Game: Buccaneers
1. Slow down Gerald McCoy-
-The Redskins offensive line is going to have their hands full in this game with the Buccaneers elite defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. McCoy is extremely disruptive in the interior and gives the best offensive linemen problems week-in-week-out. The Redskins offensive line (particularly in the interior) has had major issues this year allowing penetration, and McCoy is by far the best interior defensive lineman they’ve faced. To make matters worse RGIII has shown to struggle when facing interior pressure, so if the Redskins can’t limit McCoy’s impact in this game it could become a major swing in this game.
2. Establish the run early-
-The Buccaneers for all their defensive struggles aren’t a push over on the ground allowing on average just 3.8 yards per carry. Despite that number the Redskins need to get their ground game going early if they want to win this game. The Redskins despite their weapons don’t have a passing attack that has shown it can carry this team. The Redskins offense works best when the run is a central point of the offense, everything is easier for this team. They have to get the ground game working early and often in this game and not put Griffin in a lot of obvious passing situations.
3. Win the turnover battle-
-The Redskins haven’t done a great job of winning the turnover battle this season and it has hurt them considerably. In the games they’ve won the turnover battle they are 2-0 (Jags and Cowboys), when they’ve tied the turnover battle they are 1-2 (Titans, Seahawks and Eagles), and when they have lost the turnover battle they are 0-4 (Texans, Giants, Cardinals, Vikings). The Redskins have to find away to protect the football on offense and not give a team like the Buccaneers any short fields or momentum shifting plays. Defensively the Redskins have to find a way to make some big plays can come up with ball.
4. Get after the QB-
-The Buccaneers have a very talented and physical group of pass catchers that would give any secondary in the NFL problems. Facing off versus a Redskins secondary that has routinely gotten beat this year it’s a very favorable match-up for the Bucs. The best way the Redskins can combat this is to turn up the pressure on Josh McCown. If McCown can throw from a clean pocket it could be a long day on defense, but if the Redskins can exploit the Buccaneers weak offensive line they can negate the effectiveness of this passing attack. The Redskins struggled to get pressure against the Vikings and it cost them, so they need need to find a way to dial up the pressure this week. It could take going back to the Dallas gameplan where they blitzed more and brought the house on a number of plays.
5. Attack the Buccaneers vertically-
-Tampa Bay has some playmakers in the front 7, but their secondary is pretty weak overall and can be exploited deep. The Redskins have the best deep threat receiver in the league right now so this is an area where they need to take advantage of. In addition to exploiting DeSean Jackson‘s speed against this Buccaneers secondary, the Redskins should try to get some of their other receivers involved in the vertical passing game. Roberts and Garcon aren’t as talented on deep balls as Jackson, but with him as a threat and getting the majority of the attention it is likely that there will be some opportunities to get the Redskins other playmakers involved.
6. Don’t let you foot off the gas-
-A lot of times we see teams in the NFL jump out to an early lead and next thing you know the team that was trailing by a couple scores either has taken the lead or is in striking distance. Now for most good teams when that occurs they have the ability to come from behind and win or seal the victory. For a team like the Redskins they can’t count on being able to do that so they can’t afford to get complacent in this game. If they jump out to an early lead, they need to keep up the intensity for all 60 minutes of this game. The Redskins are the better team and they are at home so there is a good chance they can get up early, but the Buccneeers have shown themselves to hang around in games and typically have lost by a touchdown or less. Given their secondary the Redskins can’t have confidence in winning a one score type of game, so they need to make sure they answer any Buccaneers points with their own.