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Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Bucs

Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Bucs

Bold Predictions Redskins vs Bucs

There just isn’t much sizzle here.

The first time these two teams met on October 9, 1977, the two teams combined for nine fumbles, eight turnovers and 14 penalties. The Redskins won this excruciatingly boring affair 10-0 and even Billy Kilmer, the winning quarterback complained afterward that the game was dull and that his team made too many mistakes.

That set the tone for the series. They have played 13 times and none of the games are memorable. There was that game in 1982 right before the strike that the Redskins won on a Curtis Jordan punt block, but had it not been pouring rain to the point that water was cascading down the stairs at the Big Sombrero, a scene that NFL Films captured masterfully, that game would never get a second thought. I suppose you could call the Redskins’ 14-13 playoff loss following the 1999 season somewhat noteworthy, but it’s most memorable for a botched play, a bad snap on a potential game-winning field goal attempt (Brian Mitchell’s playoff-record 100-yard kickoff return notwithstanding). The next year the teams went into overtime at FedEx Field, but the Skins won that game when Deion Sanders set up a field goal with a 57-yard punt return and most of us would rather forget he ever played in the Burgundy and Gold.

With no real rivalry, with no particular reason to dislike the Bucs based on any historical events, we are forced to deal with the here and now. And there is plenty there.

Both teams are 5-3, which right now is if-the-season-ended-today Wild Card position. The first tiebreaker, of course, is head to head so the winner of this game essentially gains two games’ worth of advantage over the loser. Making up those two games over the course of the seven remaining contests is a pretty tall order. It’s not a must-win for both teams, but it’s as close as you get to one at the start of the second half of the season.

Tampa Bay has a balanced offense; the Bucs can’t run or pass very well. They’re 21st in the NFL in total yards gained, 16th rushing and 21st passing. Their rankings have plunged due to two key injuries. The one to running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams slowed down the rookie, who had the best start of any NFL running back ever with 434 yards in his first three games. He has gained just 162 yards in the ensuing five games, two of which he missed with a foot injury. Still, he’s better off than starting QB Brian Griese who went out for the season in Week Six with a knee injury.

Williams is now fairly healthy but he’s coming off of consecutive games in which he has gained combined 49 yards on 24 carries. It’s not all his fault. Griese’s replacement, second-year player Chris Simms, has been less than stellar and if you can’t pass you get the eight in the box that the Redskins saw so much of last year and it’s hard to run.

On the other side of the ball, it’s hard to do anything against the Tampa defense. That unit has been that team’s bell cow for the last decade or so and this year is no exception as they are ranked #1 in the NFL. Former stalwarts like John Lynch and Warren Sapp have moved on, but there’s still linebacker Derrick Brooks, cornerback Ronde Barber, and defensive end Simeon Rice to contend with.

Despite that great D, the Bucs have lost three out of four since a 4-0 start. Included in that skid are losses to a couple of certified dogs, the 49ers and the Jets. Saying that there in a bit of a slump is like saying that Terrell Owens has a bit of a mouth.

For their part, the Redskins are playing better, but they’re not exactly tearing it up either. They’ve lost three out of five. One of the wins was over one of those mutts, San Francisco, and they had a real dog of a game in New York.

Still, you get the sense that these are two teams headed in opposite directions. The Redskins aren’t world-beaters but, as noted above, you don’t have to be to get a W over Tampa Bay. Washington has a pretty decent defense itself and the Buccaneer offense will struggle to get over 13 points or so. On offense, Clinton Portis won’t rack up much yardage barring a big run like he got against Tampa Bay in last year’s opener. I get a feeling that David Patten will play a key role as the Bucs aren’t going to let Santana Moss beat them. Regardless, the Redskins won’t score much, but they will score enough. They’ll claim their fourth win of the season in games that they score fewer than 20 points:

Redskins 17, Bucs 10.

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.

The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

 

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Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

Redskins 2017 training camp preview—defense

RICHMOND— The Redskins will assemble here tomorrow to get ready for the 2017 season. There are plenty of position competitions and other storylines. Here is a look at what we at CSN will be paying attention to. The key points on offense were published earlier; here’s a look at the defense.

Rebuilding the line

In a way, the situation on the D-line is similar to the one at wide receiver in that free agency and a release has created some holes. Chris Baker, the team’s best defensive lineman last year, left for Tampa Bay as a free agent and Ricky Jean Francois, arguably the second-best DL last year, was cut.

This is not all bad news. The wide receivers were one of the strengths of the team. The D-line was one of the weak spots so perhaps doing some major renovating there is just what the unit needs.

RELATED: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

The big move was one they really hadn’t planned on. Defensive end Jonathan Allen was projected by many to be a top-10 draft pick. But he slipped right into the Redskins’ lap with the 17th pick. He gets to work on Thursday and the sooner he can get up to NFL speed the better. They also signed two free agents in Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain and they re-signed Ziggy Hood. As with Allen, their roles will be determined over the course of the next few weeks of practice and during the preseason games.

Nobody knows who is going to end up playing nose tackle. It could be McGee, Hood, former first-round pick Phil Taylor or one of the 2016 practice squad members, Joey Mbu or A. J. Francis. The fact that there is no obvious candidate is troubling and perhaps a sign that the line will show only marginal improvement this year.

Starters at ILB

The Redskins got an upgrade here late in free agency with the signing of Zach Brown, who was last seen playing in the Pro Bowl for the Bills. How he fits in with incumbent starters Will Compton and Mason Foster remains to be seen. All three are likely to earn substantial playing time and who plays in what situation will be sorted out here in Richmond.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, 11-20

Adjustments at safety

The Redskins could be set at safety for the next several seasons. Or they could be scrambling to make adjustments by midseason. Su’a Cravens moves to strong safety from outside linebacker. He may be a step slower than the ideal for his position and he needs to make up for it by being, as he likes to say, assignment perfect. The Redskins signed D. J. Swearinger, who has been a strong safety for most of his career, to play free safety.

When the dust settles, they could be the best safety tandem the Redskins have had in years. Or they could be showing the effects of trying to put square pegs into round holes.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.