The Redskins and Buccaneers are both currently 1-2 but both got to this position in very different ways. The Redskins have scored the most points in the NFL while they have allowed the fourth most. The Bucs meanwhile are middle of the back in both offense and defense ranking 24th in points scored and 15th in points allowed. This creates a good match-up for the Redskins. RGIII and the Redskins offense will be able to deal with the Bucs’ defense while their offense should struggle to put points on the board.
Both teams have struggled this season in stopping the pass. The Bucs have allowed an average of 353.3 passing yards against while the Redskins have allowed 337.3. Giving the Bucs and Redskins the two worst passing defenses in the league. This will be a bigger problem for the Bucs as RGIII has passed for 223.7 yards a game compared to Josh Freeman at 149.0 yards a game. The Redskins weak secondary shouldn’t be an issue for any NFL quarterback, but Freeman and the Bucs haven’t been racking up the passing yards yet this season.
Running the ball is the real strength of the Redskins offense. Alfred Morris has emerged as a player to watch this season and RGIII at times can be a one man show. The Redskins currently rank second in running with an average of 180.7 yards a game. The Bucs on the other hand rank 21st in the NFL with 94.7 yards a game. The good news for the Buccaneers is that they have the best rushing defense in the NFL and have limited opponents to 47.3 yards a game. This might be a game where the arm of RGIII and the Redskins pass blocking will be tested.
If the Bucs can indeed stop the Redskins rushing attack then the offensive line is going to have to pass block better than they have in past weeks. If they can’t do that then the Redskins will have to move the pocket with bootlegs and use screen passes to keep the Bucs’ defenders out of RGIII’s face. Judging by the stats it appears that the Bucs aren’t going to score many points and are vulnerable to the pass. RGIII has shown the ability to hit targets down field as well as to go through his progressions quickly to find the open man.
The Redskins team that has been seen for the first three weeks of the season is not the Redskins team that was expected. The Redskins were thought to have a good enough pass rush that they could keep some pressure off of their weak secondary. That hasn’t worked out and now with injuries along the front seven that might not ever work out this season. The Redskins in order to win are going to have to outscore their opponents. The good news for Redskins fans is that RGIII is something to watch. He has given the Redskins a chance to win every game they have played this season and been one of the most electric players on an NFL field in 2012.
This season was never about winning for the Redskins. It is about the development of RGIII as a quarterback, and so far in 2012 he has been exciting to watch even if the results on the field are not what some had hoped for. The Redskins haven’t been good for a long time, but with RGIII they are getting closer and for once there may in fact be a light at the end of the tunnel. The Redskins still have many needs to fill and it may take an off-season or two for them to fill them, but one need they no longer have is a franchise quarterback, and that is the most important step toward respectability in the NFL. The Redskins/Bucs match-up looks fairly even on paper, and either team could win, but watch the game to see what RGIII will do and no matter the outcome there is a good chance you won’t be disappointed.