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Week 14 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Blognosticator - Burgundy Burner

In September, the humble blognosticator for this week was asked to submit an entry for week fourteen and yours truly considered it an honor to be a part of what has become an incredible display of talent at BGO. I didn't mark a calendar or count the days until this week arrived, but I was genuinely excited to have such a unique opportunity. Suddenly, on Friday, I went from feeling well to having a bad cold. It's the kind of cold that is attacking every ounce of my being and the energy level has been almost zero. The doctor said it will take two or three weeks to fully recover. I thought about passing the torch to someone else, but something happened on Sunday.

After playing the first games of the 2010 season, the Washington Redskins looked as if they were possible playoff material and the fans were excited. Fast forward to the second half of this season and coaches, players, and fans are questioning the efforts of this team. In the media and on the internet, many issues were raised and a few players have said that fellow teammates have all but quit. What a change it has been from the early days of the season to the present. In the debacle against the Eagles, Albert Haynesworth became the epitome of quitting when he was on the ground for several seconds as the play continued on - to a touchdown for the opposition. On Sunday, we witnessed one player who doesn't quit and took out his emotions on the sideline. I figured that if he can endure, then I can too and now it is time to take a look at this week's game against TampaBay.

When the Redskins have the ball. I could give you a bunch of statistics and how the Redskins should game plan for the Bucs. However, it is time to start evaluating talent for future seasons and take a look at who will step forward in the final four games. TampaBay is in hot pursuit of a playoff berth and their defensive effort will focus on shutting down the passing game. Santana Moss will continue to draw double team coverage and Bucs linebackers will look to limit the short passes to Chris Cooley and Fred Davis. If the Redskins expect to win this game, then Anthony Armstrong will need to be a factor from the opening snap. A successful combination of McNabb to Armstrong will help the running game and provide more opportunities for Moss, Cooley, and Davis. With Cody Grimm and Aqib Talib on injured reserve, it is Armstrong who could have an enormous impact on Sunday.

When the Bucs have the ball. Josh Freeman is having a solid season at quarterback and is quickly gaining respect throughout the league. He has an impressive supporting cast with LeGarrette Blount at running back, Mike Williams at wide receiver, and Kellen Winslow at tight end. Look for these players to be the key parts for any success that TampaBay may have on Sunday. This team will seriously challenge the Redskins and their porous defense. Another key player for the Bucs is running back "Cadillac" Williams. He has become a reliable runner in relief situations and is a legitimate receiving threat out of the backfield. Look for him to be a significant factor on Sunday. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this should be a time to evaluate the talent and it certainly applies to this defense.

The prediction. Donovan McNabb will have another 300 yard passing game (358) and Anthony Armstrong will have his best day thus far. With TampaBay's weapons, the points will accumulate early and often.

TampaBay 38 Washington 30

Final thoughts. I hate to be the second person to choose against the Redskins, but there are too many problems that plague this team. Some may argue that it is too early to start an evaluation process for 2011 and beyond. Yes, the Redskins are still in playoff contention - mathematically and nothing more at this juncture. Let's see who has the talent, heart, desire, and passion for the game.

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