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Bucs Upcoming Opponent Scouting Report – Week 10 – Washington

So the Bucs lost their must-win game last week. Does that mean this week is a must-must win? Or has the ship pretty much sailed and at this point we’re awaiting the inevitable disappointing conclusion to this season?

Whatever the case may be, it’s football in November and you gotta love it. Maybe they’ll surprise us and beat a banged up Washington team.

Ranking Buccaneers Washington
Total Offense 446.8 (2nd) 343.9 (25th)
Points Scored 28.6 (7th) 20.0 (25th)
Passing Off 356.6 (1st) 222.0 (24th)
Rushing Off 90.1 (30th) 121.9 (10th)
Total Defense 414.3 (29th) 343.5 (10th)
Opp Scoring 34.4 (32nd) 21.5 (9th)
Opp Passing 307.1 (30th) 254.1 (20th)
Opp Rushing 107.1 (15th) 89.4 (5th)
Turnover Ratio – 15 (32nd) +7 (5th)

Tampa Bay Offense vs Washington Defense

5-3 Washington wins with defense, turnovers and a running game. Tampa Bay tries to outscore everybody. The Bucs this week will face another stiff challenge in Washington’s 10th ranked defense. They’re one of the league’s best against the run, so don’t expect a breakout game for the Bucs running game this week. They’re not a huge pressure team and don’t really have a lot of interceptions or fumbles, they are just very good at getting off the field without allowing too much damage.

Tampa Bay has one of the most exciting offenses in the league, but they also are one of the most turnover-prone offenses in the league, which has gotten them into some big trouble. The biggest reason the Bucs aren’t winning right now is they are -15 in turnover ratio.

If the Bucs’ offense avoids turning the ball over, they’re almost impossible to keep off the scoreboard.

Washington Offense vs Tampa Bay Defense

It’s the resistible force against the movable object. Folks, if the Bucs give up 30 points to this lot, all hope is lost. Washington has scored over 30 points just once all season, while Tampa Bay has held an opponent under 30 just twice. Washington’s offense is good at not turning the football over (just 7 times this season) and running the football behind the aged legs of Adrian Peterson. Until Kwon Alexander’s injury, the Bucs were pretty solid against the run. It hasn’t been good the last three weeks for Tampa Bay. The Bucs do seem to play a little bit better defensively at home than they do away, so there’s that.

Washington has been ravaged by injuries on their offensive line, making things even tougher for them.

Special Teams

Neither team has anything to write home about on special teams. No explosive returners, average punting, decent kickers, although Washington’s Dustin Hopkins has at least made every extra point this season.

Interesting Notes

  • The all-time series is tied 10-10 but Washington has won two of the last three meetings
  • Adrian Peterson in 4 career meetings vs. Tampa Bay, has 462 rush yards (115.5 per game) & 5 rush TDs. Aims for 4th in row vs. TB with 120+ rush yards & TD.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2 home starts this season, has 813 pass yards (406.5 per game) with 7 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 108.2 rating
  • Fitz is 4-1 in five starts vs. Washington. Alex Smith is 1-1 in two career starts vs. Tampa Bay

Prediction

The Bucs face a team that is banged up and coming off a horrible performance against the Atlanta Falcons. The biggest question is can Washington keep up with the Bucs high powered offense? If they had their full complement of offensive linemen, I’d say yes, but even the Bucs defense should be able to handle this offense, right? RIGHT? Oi.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 26, Washington 20 

J.C. De La Torre

J.C. De La Torre

Want to give JC a piece of your mind? E-mail him at JC@whatthebuc.net JC De La Torre is formerly a columnist/blogger for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog site BucsNation.com where in 2016, he was nominated as best sportswriter in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing. Previously, he served as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report on Tampa Bay sports, an editor and featured columnist for SB Nation Tampa Bay covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Gators, wrote for NFL.com’s Blog Blitz and contributed to Pewter Report, one of the top magazines on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. JC is also a filmmaker, comic writer and rabid Whovian.

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