Week 7 at FedEx Field: The Bucs Stop Here

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With 2 wins and 4 loses the Washington Redskins can’t afford to go backwards. I hesitate to say “must win” but it’s the only honest option. A win, and going 3 and 4 into a bye week is what the team needs now. Washington would still be in reach of the division title, only behind a game or so behind. During the bye week, either the NY Giants or Philadelphia Eagles can, and will most likely stumble. After the bye week the Redskins have to play the New England Patriots, but our chances will be good since we’ll get some of our injured starters back.

leonardskinsX LeonardSkins
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On any given day they say any team can be beaten,  but the Redskins can’t afford to take the Tampa Bay Bucs lightly. The Buccaneers’ defense through six weeks is ranked No. 5 in the league in total yards allowed per game.  Our offense needs to get the running game going, and have balance and win the time of possession battle. Key phrase: time gobbling scoring drives.  Tampa is getting some injured players back also and is also desperate for a win. They scored 38 points on Jacksonville and won before their bye week.

Our defense has to stop their running-game and keep Bucs quarterback  Jameis Winston in the pocket and help him make rookie mistakes. He’s athletic and can scamper like a gerbil if he gets out of the pocket – BUT – If we get the rookie quarterback rattled and sack him a few times, he’ll make mistakes. As always the Redskins need to play a mistake free game and hang on to the football like it was the winning PowerBall ticket.  I’m not worried about our defense, just getting our running-game going and playing penalty & mistake free. We do that, we win.

Those of us who keep up with coaching changes know Lovie Smith, the ex Chicago Bears coach is now the headcoach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He is experienced and a good defensive minded coach.  Lovie has a lot of pride and will have the Bucs ready to play.  Our headcoach Jay Gruden knows we should be 4 & 2 instead of 2 & 4 as we lost 2 games we could have and should have won.  He knows it’s imperative to win this game and there will be a big hole to climb out of if we don’t win. As tight as the NFC East Division race is and will be this season, our Redskins need to keep up and not get several games behind 1st place.  The last month of the season our schedule is tough.

I still say even with a lot of injured starters, our running game is the key to our success.  Its gives us 3rd & short instead of 3rd down & long and forcing us to pass more. Running the ball controls the game, keeps the other offense off the field so they cannot score.  It uses up the time clock, and sets up high percentage passes and play-action passes that move the chains and scores touchdowns. It also wears down the defense of the other team. In our two wins, our running game was great.

Seldom does one player mean so much to an offense, but DeSean Jackson is a true deep threat. If DeSean’s back, the Bucs can’t load the box to stop the run. They’ll have to double DeSean Jackson somehow, eliminating one problem we’ve had since he’s been out of the lineup.  Teams can take one of their secondary to help stop the run at the line of scrimmage, even extra man to blitz with. It appears at this time DeSean Jackson may play this week vs the Bucs.

Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback when our running-game is working and we have balance.  He does not  have to throw nearly as often and can properly manage the game.  3rd & 2 is much easier to get than 3rd & 11.  I know Bill Callahan is working hard to get our Oline to run-block and give our runners a hole to run through. The old Redskins cranked up “The Diesel”, so now is the time to get the “A Train” going again, Alfred Morris.  I know with Trent Williams back on the Oline, we will have more success on running-plays and he protects our quarterback’s blind side very well.  I think Cousins has only been sacked once or twice at the most this season.

With this a home game, we need our 12th man to show up and support our team – BEAT TAMPA BAY!

Hail, HTTR.

Picture Credit: Pic courtesy of gamblerspalace.com

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