BY: Jay Recher
On a hot and humid night here in Tampa Bay, the star players of the Buccaneers and Redskins were as much of a spectator as the fans in attendance as the Skins beat the Bucs 24-10 to wrap up the pre season slate.
As expected, both the Buccaneers and the Redskins played this game with their starters on the sidelines. Backup QB Mike Glennon played one series for the Bucs, completing 2 of 3 passes for 10 yards and Backup RB Chris Rainey ran the ball 5 times for just 11 yards.
The game was scoreless until the end of the 1st quarter when QB Colt McCoy (22 for 29, 321 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) led the ‘Skins down the field for an 8-play, 47-yard drive that culminated with a 45-yard Field Goal by Kicker Kai Forbath.
On the first play of the Bucs’ next drive, Washington’s Gabe Miller strip-sacked third-string QB Mike Kafka (7 for 14, 86 yards, 1 TD) and returned the fumble 6 yards to the Tampa Bay 2-yard line. Two plays later, McCoy threw a pretty back shoulder throw to WR Ryan Grant for the touchdown to put Washington up 10-0.
Midway through the 2nd quarter the Redskins were looking to go up three scores. But an ill-advised pass by McCoy to WR Aldrick Robinson in the end zone was intercepted by the Bucs’ CB Keith Lewis.
The Bucs offense was very stagnant through the 1st half gaining 14 total yards and only 2 first downs.
The Bucs bend-but-don’t-break defense was on display again at the tail end of the 2nd quarter. After a long 12-play drive that ate up over six minutes of play clock, the ‘Skins looked as if they were ready to tack on to their lead. But a McCoy pass for TE Logan Paulsen from the Tampa Bay 6 was tipped at the front of the end zone and intercepted by LB Nate Askew.
On the first drive of the second half, Washington looked to be moving the ball well again until a Scott Solomon sack of McCoy forced the ‘Skins to punt it away.
Kafka seemed to find his rhythm a little bit mid-way through the 3rd quarter. A pair of completions to Louis Murphy and one to Chris Owusu put Tampa Bay in the red zone and the cannons were fired for the first time all night. The drive was aided by a late hit penalty by SS Akeem Davis that seemed to shake up Murphy a bit. He left the game with a back injury and did not return. The Bucs got on the board with a 35 yard field goal by Patrick Murray making the score 10-3.
The good vibes for Tampa Bay didn’t last that long.
On the second play from scrimmage, McCoy found RB Lache Seastrunk with a short pass that the rookie from Baylor turned up field and ran 80 yards for the score putting Washington up 17-3. Running back Jeff Demps did not have a very productive 1st half but the 2nd half seemed to bring out a different animal. After the Washington score, Demps returned the kick 37 yards to the Bucs’ 33 yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, the former Gator scampered 19 yards and the ball was in Redskins’ territory.
After a couple more Demps’ runs and a pair of completions to Chris Owusu, Kafka found Solomon Patton on a short route that turned into a big score. The 25-yard TD catch and run brought the Buccaneers within one score, 17-10.
Washington continued to move the ball effectively to start the 4th quarter and found themselves in field goal range. However, after the 12-play, 60-yard drive that amassed over 7 minutes the ‘Skins came up with nothing as Kicker Zach Hocker missed the 39-yard Field Goal wide right.
The Bucs failed to capitalize on this shift in momentum and had to punt right back to Washington. The Redskins did not let this opportunity go to waste. Their 8-play, 78-yard drive was finished off by a 1-yard TD run by Silas Redd and the score ballooned to 24-10 Washington.
The Bucs looked to make some noise during the last 2 minutes but the drive stalled at the Bucs 48 after Kafka was sacked on 4th down. Tampa Bay looks to get things rolling on September 7th as divisional rival Carolina will open the 2014 NFL regular season for the Buccaneers.
- Hit of the night: The last play of the 3rd quarter was a crowd pleaser for all those in attendance at Raymond James Stadium. Redskins RB Silas Redd tried to hurdle Bucs DT Matthew Masifilo but Masifilo grabbed Redd’s left leg and slammed him to the ground with a thud.
- (Almost) Catch of the Night: After Demps’ big run in the 3rd quarter, Kafka had Robert Herron wide open down the middle but the ball was slightly overthrown and tipped off of the receiver’s hands.
- In conjunction with USA Football Month, the Wesley Chapel Cowboys, New Tampa Wildcats, Clearwater Junior Tornadoes, and Zephyrhills Bulldawgs participated in a scrimmage during halftime. In total, the Buccaneers are distributing more than 3,000 tickets to local youth football organizations as part of the USA Football Month Celebration.
- The National Anthem was sang by several NFL Alumni, including Buccaneers Ring of Honor Member Jimmie Giles.
- Redskins NT Chris Neild left the game with an apparent right knee injury and did not return.
- RG Rishaw Johnson, who is looking to start opposite new acquisition Logan Mankins on the O Line, was beaten for a sack by Washington’s LE Clifton Geathers in Kafka’s first snap under center.
- LB Akeem Jordan seemed to hurt his knee as Rishaw Johnson rolled over him after a run by Jeff Demps