Check out the top photos from the Washington Redskins' Week 11 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, at FedExField in Landover, Md.
Redskins.com's Andrew Walker takes a closer look at Sunday afternoon's matchup vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField in Landover, Md.
The Washington Redskins came into Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with fresh legs, looking forward to their first game since the bye week in front of the FedExField crowd.
The Buccaneers, meanwhile, hoped to come away with a tough road win to prove that they were, indeed, better than their 1-8 record would indicate.
So something had to give on an overcast and chilly Sunday afternoon in Landover, Md.
The result? Disappointment for Redskins fans, who saw their team drop to 3-7 on the season with a 27-7 loss to the Buccaneers in front of 77,442 fans at Washington's annual Salute To Service game. With the loss, the Redskins saw their all-time record against the Buccaneers fall to 10-11, giving Washington a 13-14 overall record after bye weeks since 1990.
It wasn't exactly the way the Redskins saw the beginning of Sunday's game panning out.
After receiving the opening kickoff – which was downed in the end zone for a touchback – the Redskins began their first drive from their 20. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III took the snap and, on a zone read play-action pass, immediately had to escape from the pressure before dumping off a last-second pass to tight end Niles Paul.
Here's an exclusive look from the Washington Redskins' sideline during their Week 11 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nov. 16, 2014, at FedExField in Landover, Md.
Paul had trouble handling the low pass, bobbling it in the air. Tampa Bay linebacker Danny Lansanah was Johnny On The Spot, plucking the ball out of Paul's grasp for the interception, giving the Buccaneers the ball at the Washington 29-yard line.
Although the defense was able to hold the Buccaneers to a 32-yard field goal from there, the Redskins were unable to respond on their ensuing drive – one that came at a major cost.
On 3rd and 2 from the Washington 48, Griffin III's pass attempt fell incomplete to tight end Jordan Reed. But in the process of the throw, two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams got tangled up with Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Williams – who was immediately diagnosed with a knee sprain, and then downgraded to out with knee and ankle injuries – did not return to the game, and was replaced by rookie tackle Morgan Moses.
Then, on the Redskins' next drive – which began from their 4-yard line – a tipped Griffin III pass was once again picked off by cornerback Johnthan Banks, who returned it 19 yards for the touchdown.
After the extra point, the Redskins quickly found themselves down 10-0 with 4:04 remaining in the first quarter.
The two interceptions certainly hurt. The injury to Williams hurts even more. Hopefully big No. 71 finds his way back to the field real soon for the Redskins.
PLAY OF THE GAME
It took about 29 minutes, but the Redskins finally got something cooking on Sunday vs. the Buccaneers.
After Washington's defense forced a Tampa Bay punt, the offense began its final drive of the first half from its own 21-yard line.
From there, the Redskins used a lot of Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr.
Morris followed up a two-yard run on first down with a 19 yard scamper to the 42-yard line. Then, on the next play, Griffin III found Morris on a short pass to the right, and the 2013 Pro Bowler rumbled his way down the field for 24 yards to the Tampa Bay 34.
Next was Helu Jr.'s turn. After Morris' long reception, Griffin III found Helu Jr. with a short four-yard pass play across the middle before the Nebraska product was able to give his team exactly what it needed headed into halftime.
With 19 seconds left in the first half, Griffin III, in the shotgun formation, found Helu Jr. to his left, who turned on the burners from 30 yards out to find the end zone. After the extra point, the Redskins trailed just 13-7 going into halftime, giving them the all-important momentum coming out of the break.
Redskins fullback Darrel Young could be a candidate for "Unsung Hero" honors pretty much every week.
He showed exactly why on Sunday against the Buccaneers.
A valuable asset on special teams, Young contributed what could've been a very timely splash play on a Washington punt, had the offense been able to cash in.
With about 12:45 remaining in the second quarter, Redskins punter Tress Way boomed a punt towards the direction of Tampa Bay returner Marcus Thigpen, who tiptoed forward to try to handle the kick around the Buccaneers' 15-yard line.
But the ball bounced out of his hands, and Young was right there to recover the muffed punt – his second fumble recovery of the season. As a fullback, Young has been an extremely valuable asset to the Redskins' successful running attack the past few seasons. But his versatility and grit make him one of the team's heroes week in and week out.
WHAT'S NEXTWith today's matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers officially a thing of the past, the Washington Redskins turn their attention to a talented NFC opponent to the west.
The Redskins next Sunday travel across the country to take on the San Francisco 49ers, who have appeared in the last three NFC Championship Games. Kickoff at the brand new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., is set for 4:25 p.m. ET.
The 49ers entered today's matchup against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium with a 5-4 record. Here's some notes of interest about the Redskins-49ers Week 12 matchup, courtesy of Redskins Public Relations:
- The game will be the Redskins' first at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
- The Redskins will attempt to collect their first win against the 49ers since a 52-17 victory Oct. 23, 2005.
- A road win against the 49ers would be the Redskins' first since Dec. 18, 2004.