Washington Redskins (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS, 0-3 O/U) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS, 0-3 O/U)
NFL: Thursday, August 31, 2017, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, 7:30 pm ET
Spread: Tampa Bay -2.5; Over/Under: 37
It’s a matchup of NFC foes in the final week of preseason action in the National Football League down in the Sunshine State. The Washington Redskins are on the road as they travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night. Washington got their first win of the preseason as they beat Cincinnati 23-17 Sunday at home. Tampa Bay fell 13-9 at home to Cleveland in their week 3 preseason tilt Saturday. The teams have split 20 regular season and two playoff meetings with Washington taking a 31-30 home win in the most recent matchup on October 25, 2015.
Washington Redskins Looking for Offensive Fireworks
Washington continued their sluggish play on the offensive side of the ball as the team continues to try and develop chemistry, especially in the passing game. The Redskins did manage to knock off the Bengals and pick up their first win of the preseason. Washington’s reserves scored 10 fourth quarter points to erase a 17-13 deficit and pick up the win. The Redskins were outgained 312-255, lost the first down battle 19-14 and the time of possession battle 31:52 to 28:08 in the contest. Both teams turned the ball over twice with one of Washington’s giveaways being a pick six.
Kirk Cousins continued to sputter in the passing game as he finished 10 of 19 for 109 yards and an interception. Colt McCoy came on to complete 8 of 11 throws for 76 yards and a touchdown. In the ground game, Rob Kelley had 10 carries for 57 yards and a score while Mack Brown was next with three carries totaling 13 yards. Eleven different players caught at least one pass for the Redskins but no one caught more than two: Derek Carrier (two catches, 22 yards) caught the touchdown pass from McCoy. Kicker Dustin Hopkins looked to be in midseason form as he connected on all three field goal attempts in addition to a pair of extra points. His kicks came from 51, 44 and 26 yards.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Struggling to Move the Ball
For all the firepower the Buccaneers have on the offensive side of things, they aren’t showing much in the preseason. Tampa Bay scored 12 points in each of their first two preseason games but failed to crack double digits against the Browns. Averaging 11 points a game in the preseason isn’t exactly what fans of the Buccaneers were expecting. With that said, Tampa Bay held a 9-3 lead late in the fourth quarter before allowing Cleveland to score 10 unanswered points in the final six minutes. The Buccaneers lost the total yardage battle 339-289 and the first down battle 22-17 while both teams committed a pair of turnovers.
Jameis Winston completed 17 of 27 passes for 200 yards with an interception in his longest appearance in the preseason. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 7 of 11 passes for 55 yards and lost a fumble in the game. Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks were sacked five times in the contest. Jacquizz Rodgers led the team with 10 carries for 34 yards in the game while Russell Hansbrough contributed 28 yards on four carries in the game. Twelve Buccaneers caught at least one pass in the contest: Chris Godwin (56 yards) and Peyton Barber (27 yards) each caught four passes to lead the team. Nick Folk was the most prolific offensive weapon as he hit all three of his field goal attempts, connecting from 31, 42 and 43 yards.
- Redskins are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games
- Buccaneers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Thursday games
With this being a week 4 matchup in preseason, expect there to be extremely limited, if any, game action for the projected starters for both teams in an effort to avoid costly injuries. We saw a lot of issues crop up around the league in week 3 and teams will be extremely cautious because of that. There will be a lot of guys playing who will likely being bagging groceries in the near future. Washington gets the edge here in what likely is going to be a sloppy game.
Pick: Washington Redskins +2.5
Washington still has room for improvement in the passing game but a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are gone. In their stead is Terrelle Pryor Jr. and Josh Doctson on the outside: Jamison Crowder is still the likely slot receiver. Mike Evans did not play in the loss in week 3 and likely won’t see any action here in week 4 either. The Buccaneers should be explosive offensively with Jackson, Evans and Winston but the team is continuing to sputter.
The under is 4-0-1 in the Buccaneers last 5 games on grass, 5-1-1 in their last 7 games overall and 4-1 in their last five games against NFC opponents. Given the lack of action for starters in this one, you have to lean toward this one being under the total, especially with both teams struggling offensively as it is.