Sunday, November 25, 2007

Week 12: Redskins vs. Bucs

The Redskins face another good team in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but this is again a winnable game if the Skins play the way they are capable of. The return of Santana Moss, who looks to be in better condition than he has in weeks, is a good thing but the loss of fullback Mike Sellers will hurt the Skins' running game. The Skins will look to exploit the Bucs' 18th ranked rushing defense and their undersized defensive line, but without a legitimate fullback the Skins' formations could struggle to pick up yardage. Campbell will also need to exploit the Bucs' cover 2 zone scheme with short to mid range passes and screens. Campbell has done a better job over the past two games but sometimes looses sight of tight end Chris Cooley. Cooley's size and speed can be an asset against the Buccaneer linebackers and should be targeted at least 10 times on Sunday.

Defensively, the Redskins need to do a much better job of containment and coverage. Joey Galloway presents the same problems the Cowboys exploited last week. Sean Taylor is still out of the game and cornerbacks Springs and Smoot need to step up and disrupt Galloway's fly routes. If they let him release into the secondary without contact, his speed and vertical jumping ability will dictate the play. Jeff Garcia is good enough to get Galloway the ball and smart enough to pick apart the Skin's secondary. Garcia doesn't throw a lot of INTs and generally protects the football so one forced fumble or interception could determine the outcome of the game.

The Redskins need to do the little things this week against a very comparable but beatable team. They need to convert in the redzone, minimize penalties on the road and get back to playing smash mouth defense. It's been a dismal stretch of games since the Patriot blowout but the defense has never recovered and with Sean Taylor still out, and the rest of the secondary playing very uninspiring football, I still don't see the Skins pulling out a win. With the offense moving in such a positive direction it is disappointing that the defense can't seem to slow teams down.

Redskins 23, Buccaneers 31

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