In all the excitement and media coverage on the suspension of Albert Haynesworth it appears that we have all lost track of the fact that there is still a game to be played on Sunday….
The Tampa Bay Bucaneers will travel to Maryland and face the struggling Washington Redskins who are riding a 2 game losing streak and are only 2 and 4 while playing at home this season. So unfortunately for the Redskins players as well as their fans home field advantage has not meant a thing for them this season.
What is there for the Redskins that can give them at least a little hope?
Tampa Bay is also riding a two game losing streak and are riddled with injuries. Over the last two weeks the Bucaneers have lost starters at right guard (Davin Joseph), free safety (Cody Grimm), center (Jeff Faine) and cornerback (Aqib Tali) for the rest of the season. So in the last 2 weeks they have suffered two major losses to their offensive line as well as 2 major losses to their secondary on defense. Add in the fact that the Bucaneers also lost a starting defensive end (Kyle Moore) in week 9 for the rest of the season and it looks as if the Redskins could be getting them at just right the time.
I’m not guaranteeing a win or anything like that but Tampa Bay is a beatable team. Of their 7 wins not a single one has came against a team with an above 500 record so while they are a good team they have not proven themselves to be a great team. So when you add in the fact that they have not beaten any top competition with the fact that they have lost 4 starters over the last two weeks it would be fair to say that the Redskins have a shot in this game.
So it will all come down to who want’s it more because this game has the potential to be a very important game for either team if they win it. Tampa Bay at 7 and 5 is still well in the hunt for a playoff spot and a win this week would keep their chances alive and well for another week. Washington on the other hand is 5 and 7 with no real hope at making the playoffs but they look to end a losing streak and actually get talked about in the press for something positive instead of the tons of negative media attention they have gotten recently due to the fall out with Haynesworth. Also for the Redskins many of them are playing for jobs next season and a good showing in these last 4 weeks could go a long ways towards how things will look for the Skins come next season.
So for Washington they need to come out aggressive on offense and attack the Bucaneers secondary and see how the Bucaneers will be able to respond having lost their best defensive back and team leader in interceptions in Tali as well as a starting free safety in Grimm. Also this week would be a good one to get the running game going as well. Tampa Bay gives up 128.5 yards a game rushing on 4.6 yards per carry so this would be a good week for the Skins to break out in the run game. As for Washington’s defense well they need to try and exploit the injuries along the Bucaneers offensive line and hope to rebound from a poor showing last week and show they can get it done without Haynesworth. Should be an interesting game to watch.
follow me at http://twitter.com/#!/scottstewart81