Redskins rout Buccaneers in preseason finale
There are three pieces of good news from tonight’s game: the Washington Redskins won, there didn’t appear to be any serious Skins injuries, and this is the last preseason game we have to watch for almost a year.
The Washington Redskins jumped out to a 17-0 lead and led 27-6 at the halftime en route to a 30-12 trouncing of the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.
The Redskins finish the preseason 4-0. The last time the Redskins went undefeated in the preseason was 1985, when Robert Griffin III was five years away from life on Earth. The Redskins went 10-6 in 1985, but missed the playoffs.
Washington’s real season — the regular season — begins on September 9 at FedEx Field when the team hosts NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles.
Washington got on the scoreboard early, going 79 yards on five plays on the first possession of the game. The key was a 66-yard catch and run from QB Pat White, who played the entire game, to WR Dezmon Briscoe, who made a couple of nice moves to shake defenders and turn a routine 10-yard out pattern into a big play. [Briscoe would leave with a shoulder injury a short time later. He did not return.] From there, RB Evan Royster took over ran the ball in from the one yard line for a 7-0 lead.
The Buccaneers struggled to do anything on offense the entire games, amassing only 142 yards of offense on the night. Starter Mike Glennon looked inaccurate and scattershot, missing high and low and failing to move the team. On its first possession Tampa got its only first down of the game until late in the second quarter, thanks to a poor roughing the passer call on Washington’s defense. However, Tampa couldn’t do much with the favor and had to punt soon after.
The Redskins came back with a 28-yard drive, but failed on fourth down at Tampa’s 37-yard line. A quick and horrible Bucs possession later, the Redskins took over at their own 20-yard line and mounted a 61-yard drive, thanks mostly to a beautiful 36-yard run by Royster and a 17-yard quick-as-lightning scamper by RB Chris Thompson. PK Kai Forbath finished the drive with a 37-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. Forbath kicked two other field goals and finished perfect for the season.
The Redskins would score again minutes later when rookie RB Chris Thompson fielded a punt at Washingtons 31-yard line, made the first man miss and then bobbed, weaved and raced his way to the end zone for a 69-yard punt return touchdown. The score put Washington up 17-0 late in the first quarter, but, more importantly, it probably guaranteed a roster spot for Thompson, who will probably used as the team’s punt returner, at the very least.
The Buccaneers got on the board early in the second quarter when Pat White threw a terrible pass behind WR Nick Williams that was intercepted by Najee Goode and returned 37 yards for a touchdown. White stared down Williams on the slant and then threw inaccurately, making the play easy for the Buccaneers.
On the night White was often inaccurate, almost always high. A lot of the bad throws we saw tonight are the sort of thing White has been doing in practice regularly, but had not, for the most part, done in the first three preseason games. White finished 13-22 for 181 yards [8.2], and one interception. However, he also ran for a touchdown, a beautiful and hard-nosed 7-yard run he finished by diving head first toward the goal line, reaching his hand out to brush the ball against the pylon before falling out of bounds. That score, late in the first half, put the Redskins up 27-6.
Both teams added a field goal in the second half to conclude the scoring.
The Redskins outgained the Bucs 308 to 142 and enjoyed a 13 to 10 advantage on first downs. The Redskins continued to have major problems with penalties — something that dates back to last season and has been a major flaw in this preseason. The Redskins had 99 yards of penalties on eight flags.
Rookie CB David Amerson intercepted a pass in the second quarter at the Tampa 44, returning it straight up the field 35 yards to the Tampa Bay nine yard line. We also saw rookie FS Bacarri Rambo make two nice open field tackles, a major improvement from some of his earlier preseason efforts.