Week 4 (FINALLY): Redskins (9) vs. Bucs (34)

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Winuvas, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Winuvas

    Winuvas OMFL Jets

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    Week 4 (FINALLY): Redskins (9) vs. Bucs (34)

    Amid Restarts Aplenty, Bucs Find Way

    *NOTE: I had a disconnect with the former Redskins owner on Tuesday, then two more disconnects on Wednesday. Had this game been disconnected, I would have just let a straight CPU sim happen.*

    by Antoine Buckman
    Blogger, Tampa Tribune

    After three restarts and an ownership upheaval in Washington, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally put together a thunderous offensive assault with a 34-9 victory over the Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium this Sunday.

    The game began with the Buccaneers storming down the field, utilizing a new playbook to emphasize their running back heavy offense. Superstar halfback Darren McFadden was knocked out for the game with a bruised sternum on the third play of the game, forcing in second stringer Rashard Mendenhall. He proved very capable, carrying the ball for a 6 yard romp to put the Bucs ahead 7-0.

    Ben Roethlisberger took his team back down the field, but stalled in the red zone and forcing kicker Shaun Suisham to kick a 23 yard field goal late in the first quarter to make the game 7-3. A second touchdown drive ending with a 20 yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman to tight end Chris Cooley made the game 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.

    The second quarter saw the Redskins defense stiffen up in the passing game, getting two interceptions from cornerback Bryant McFadden which led to two more Suisham field goals to get the game close at 14-9. A field goal by Bucs kicker Mike Nugent sent the game into halftime at 17-9.

    Then, after almost a season and a half of waiting, Coach Winuvas FINALLY made some halftime adjustments on offense and defense. And they paid immediate dividends.

    The defense, being gouged by the Redskins running attack in the first half, stiffened up tremendously on both pass and run defense, getting off the field quickly to get the offense on the field. Another touchdown pass in the third quarter from Josh Freeman to wide receiver Eddie Royal put the Bucs ahead 24-7. A third pass to fourth string halfback Fabian Spain made the score 31-7, and a Mike Nugent field goal with less than 2 minutes left finalized the score at 34-7.

    Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman had a solid game after a shaky start to the season. He completed 16 of 21 passes for 236 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His favorite target on the day was tight end Chris Cooley, who nabbed 5 balls for 62 yards and a touchdown. Freeman completed passes to 7 different receivers on the day as well.

    "Josh (Freeman) made solid decisions out there. He only missed on one of those interceptions as far as a bad read. The second interception was a great play by (Washington cornerback Bryant) McFadden," Coach Winuvas commented after the game.

    The running game was solid, even without Darren McFadden to carry the load. Rashard Mendenhall proved able, however, carrying the ball 24 times for 93 yards and a touchdown and nabbing 2 receptions for 26 yards in the passing game.

    The Tampa Bay defense played solid in the second half, and no one played better than defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, who registered 7 tackles and a sack. Strong safety Jermaine Phillips also registered 7 tackles. Outside linebacker Keith Rivers made 6 tackles, and defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka made 5 tackles and a sack.

    For Washington, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went 18 of 22 but only gained 142 yards in the air. Wide receiver Steve Breaston was Roethlisberger's favorite target with 4 receptions for only 21 yards. Halfback Brandon Jacobs was a bright spot in the Washington offense, getting 15 carries for 100 yards.

    On the defensive side, two bright spots for Washington was defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who registered 5 tackles and a forced fumble, and cornerback Bryant McFadden, who got the two interceptions of Josh Freeman on the day.

    Some other stats that give hope for the offense to continue on the track it's on is time of possession and third down conversions. Tampa Bay went 4 of 5 on third down conversions, and held the ball for 19:13, compared to Washington, who went 4/12 on third downs and had the ball for 12:47.

    "Good job of keeping control of the clock and the tempo of the game," Coach Winuvas said. "Our gameplan was pretty solid and we executed well."

    The one dark cloud over the Buccaneers win was turnovers. With a fumble and two interceptions, the Bucs were minus two in the turnover battle today. While this worked in today's game, next week the Bucs face a much tougher foe in the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    "If we turn the ball over like that against Coach Jeremy and the Steelers, I guarantee you my players will not enjoy practice the following week. We have to take care of the ball against a quality team. We're still learning how to win consistently, and Coach Jeremy has won an OMFL title and knows how to win," Coach Winuvas said during his post-game press conference.

    Another thing that worries Coach Winuvas is the way Pittsburgh heads into this game: angry after a 44-14 drubbing by the Patriots.

    "When a team gets beat like they did last week, they do one of two things: they continue to get beat like that, or they prove that that one game was a fluke. If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the latter as far as Pittsburgh and Coach Jeremy are concerned. He's angry. His team is angry. They're at home. No bones about it: this is a huge test for our team," Coach Winuvas said.

    Hopefully Tampa Bay will go to Pittsburgh and shock the world. Coach Winuvas is not exaggerating when he says that Pittsburgh will be ready to play. The question is: will the Buccaneers?

    Keep up with all Buccaneers coverage on the franchise website:
    www.traditionfootball.com
     

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