Following their week nine bye, the 6-2 Buccaneers will take on the Washington Football Team at FedEx Field. Washington has struggled this year, with only two wins going into this matchup. Let’s take a look at how the Buccaneers can take advantage of their weaknesses.
Stopping the Defensive Line
Washington has one of the strongest defensive lines in the league, headlined by players such as Chase Young and Jonathan Allen. Montez Sweat is also a major factor, but he’s out with a jaw injury. Tom Brady isn’t known for his mobility, meaning he’d rather have time to throw the ball than run out of the pocket. For this to be a possibility, the entire Buccaneers offensive line will need to step up, not letting any mistakes or penalties slip through the cracks.
Taking Shots Downfield
Although Washington’s defensive front is a force to be reckoned with, their safeties and cornerbacks have been notoriously bad this year. Landon Collins has become a hybrid linebacker, and even though that may have been the right choice, it doesn’t give the secondary much confidence. One or two completions over 30 yards could possibly put the game away, which would make it an easy day for the offense. A name to look out for is Cyril Grayson, the former LSU sprinter who caught a 50-yard touchdown against the Saints in week eight.
Turnovers, Turnovers, and more Turnovers
Before the Buccaneers week seven win over the Chicago Bears, I emphasized the idea of defensive pressure on a young quarterback. In that case, it was Justin Fields. Now, it’s Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke may be much older than Fields, but both of them have only been starters since the beginning of this year. The Buccaneers beat Chicago by 35 points, a large portion of which came from interceptions and fumble recoveries. If the team can replicate that performance, they’ll have nothing to worry about.