Tampa Bay Bucs return from their bye weeks and head to Washington to take on the Redskins in what seems to be another must win type of game for the Bucs. At 2-3 on the season and coming off a not so impreressive win against the Jaguars two weeks ago. They are finally getting some guys back healthy and have a little momentum also. This game is going to be another important game because if they can pull the win out in Washington and get to 3-3. It may help them turn the corner and we all know how confidence work in professional sports. Now if they lose this game and fall to 2-4 the schedule for the next 6 games doesn't look favorable for them to string together some wins. At ATL, home against the Giants and the Cowboys and then on the road to play Eagles and also Falcons again at home. So this game is a really important game for the Bucs heading into the next 6 games. Here are my Keys to victory:
On offense offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter needs to keep the good play calling up and remain unpredictable. Keep working Doug Martin as the lead back. He's proven that he still can play some good football and he looks like the Doug Martin from his rookie yr. where he set a ton of franchise records. Also I would like to see a lot more play action. Jameis has the arm to do it and we need to get Mike Evans into the game. He's been a little lost the past few games after being targeted 17 times against the Texans. Koetter needs to make the game easier for Jameis giving him quick reads and getting the ball out of his hands. Keep running the screen passes with Charles Sims who seen to be molding into the back that we all thought he would be when he was drafted last season out of West Virginia. He has good speed and quickness and great hands for a RB. Get him one on one in open space so he can make some plays and cause mismatches on the linebackers.
Offensive line needs to continue to build on what they have been doing well the last few weeks and with the addition of getting back Demar Dotson who's finally returning from his knee injury he suffered during the preseason it should be a big boost to the offensive line. And one more thing the Line needs to avoid the costly penalties and putting the team behind the sticks early in the game and series. Tampa Bay needs to convert their 3rd downs and keep the chains moving. Redskins defense is ranked in the middle of the pack in the NFL and Bucs will have their chances to move the ball on them. They have to make Washington pay if they catch them in a bad defense.
One the defensive side of the ball we need to do one thing APPLY PRESSURE. Our defensive line has to step up. I know we have a few sack here and there but they are not consistent. They’re coming in bunches. They will go a few games without a sack and them get you 5 or 6 in a game. So while the numbers look good. It doesn't explain the truth behind the defense. There's a stat out there that has the Buc as the 5th ranked defense in total yards allowed so in order to win this game you have to pressure Cousins. He's shown the ability to throw a few INTs if he's under pressure. The linebackers need to be less aggressive on the play action pass they are not getting deep enough and its opening up the middle the field for the Tight Ends and the underneath routes. We have to continue to improve stopping the running game. We've been better the past few weeks but to win this game. We are going to have to stop Washington two headed monster with 3rd yr RB Alfred Morris and Rookie RB Matt Jones who has came on and turned some heads with his ability to run the ball. If Bucs defense can stop the run and make the Redskins one dimensional it can only help us in stopping the pass. Pierre Garson seems to be the only Wr that Cousins can really trust. Redskins TE Jordan Reed is returning this week and he's been dealing with concussions. The defense has to know that Cousins is very capable of throwing for a lot of yards and TDs so just because they have been struggling the last few weeks they should not take Redskins defense lightly at all. Lastly the secondary needs to step it up. Maybe getting back 2nd yr player Jonathan Banks can stabilize the defensive backs a little bit. They have to be able to hold their coverages and allow time for the pass rush to get there. They have to be able to get in front of routes and also mess up the timing on shorter roughs. Blake Bortles had a field day on this same secondary and they have to play a lot better than that if they want to win this game today. Tim Jennings and Mike Jenkins up to this point has been a disappointment for sure. Verner seems to be in the dog house with Lovie for whatever reason and Conte the FA Saftey from the Bears seem to be our best guy and He's also returning tomorrow also and that’s a big help for the Bucs.
This is a big game for both of the teams involved. Washington are looking at their schedule and saying the same thing that we are saying "It's Washington". We have to beat Washington." Jay Gruden has declared a Code Red for this game for his team. The Bucs better be ready because the Redskins will be putting a lot of effort into getting this win on the home turf. They need this win just as bad as the Bucs do and it should make for a very interesting game today.