|01-06-2006, 08:51 PM||#1|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
Washington vs Tampa preview
Washington at Tampa Bay
NFL.com wire reports
Matchup Breakdown http://www.nfl.com/matchups/last5/WAS-OVERALL-matchup | Game Notes
(Jan. 4, 2006) -- The Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers were sitting home at this time last year. Now they're in the first round of the playoffs, squaring off at Raymond James Stadium in a matchup of teams that reversed their records from last season.
The Buccaneers have bounced back from a 5-11 season to make their first postseason appearance since winning the Super Bowl three seasons ago.
The Redskins, who went 6-10 last year in Joe Gibbs' first season back as coach, are in the playoffs for the first time since losing to Tampa Bay in 1999.
"This year, coach Gibbs was just determined," Washington linebacker Lemar Marshall said. "That was the key word, he was determined to make that change, to get this team back to where it needs to get to. He was determined not to be in that situation again."
Gibbs, who led the Redskins to three Super Bowl titles during his first stint in Washington from 1981-92, will coach his first postseason game since a 20-13 loss at San Francisco on Jan. 9, 1993. His playoff record is 16-5, including 4-0 in wild-card games.
"The players, they see the Super Bowl trophies and all that, but they're not focused on that," Gibbs said. "They want something now. They want something for modern day, and so do I."
Saturday's wild-card game is a rematch of the Bucs' 36-35 win off Mike Alstott's two-point conversion run with 58 seconds remaining on Nov. 13.
That victory began a season-ending 6-2 stretch for the Bucs, who completed their worst-to-first division turnaround with a 27-13 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
"It's just the first leg of the championship -- division, conference and Super Bowl," nine-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks said. "As good as this feels, we're looking to feel even better next week."
Chris Simms was 12 of 25 for 143 yards with two touchdown passes to Joey Galloway against the Saints. Galloway, sidelined with injuries part of last season, has posted career highs of 83 receptions and 1,287 yards, and a franchise single-season record of 10 touchdowns.
Cadillac Williams may be the key to the ball game.
Cadillac Williams may be the key to the ball game.
Running back Carnell Williams joined Galloway as a 1,000-yard performer, and was named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year on Wednesday. Williams rushed for 1,178 yards, six touchdowns and a team-record six 100-yard games, but only had 20 yards on 10 carries against the Redskins.
Tampa Bay's defense finished the regular season No. 1 in the league, allowing 277.8 yards per game, but its worst defensive performance at Raymond James Stadium came against the Redskins when they gave up 389 yards and 35 points.
The Bucs' 36 points against the Redskins, though, was the most they scored all season. Simms threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns, including a 30-yarder to Edell Shepherd that set up Alstott's winning conversion.
"First of all, it gave me some confidence that, in a tight ball game, I, personally, can get it done," said Simms, who got his first win after replacing the injured Brian Griese three weeks earlier. "But most importantly it gave our team, and our offense, a lot of confidence."
The Redskins followed their Week 10 defeat to the Bucs with losses to Oakland and San Diego, falling to 5-6 and putting their playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.
"At 5-6, everyone wrote us off," said Clinton Portis, who has five 100-yard rushing games and set the single-season franchise record with 1,516 yards. "We started off hot, everyone jumped on the bandwagon. We turn around, we're 5-6, everyone jumped off the bandwagon. As a team we came together."
Washington won its final five games, earning the No. 6 seed in the playoffs with a 31-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Defensive end Renaldo Wynn joined the Redskins in 2002 and endured three losing seasons before this season's playoff team.
"The fruits of our labor are coming due for us," Wynn said. "All of the hard work. It got to a point, after those tough losses in the middle of the year, guys were definitely wondering, 'Is all this worth it?' Because they know other teams that are not putting in nowhere near the work that we put in the offseason.
"Now to see that it is working. You're playing for something. The playoffs is the icing on the cake."
Tampa Bay will face Chicago with a win, while Washington would face Seattle.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Redskins - Wild Card, NFC East. Buccaneers - NFC South Champions.
REDSKINS LEADERS: Offense - Mark Brunell, 3,050 passing yards and 23 passing TDs; Portis, 1,516 rushing yards and 11 rushing TDs; Santana Moss, 84 receptions, 1,483 receiving yards and 9 receiving TDs. Defense - Phillip Daniels, 8 sacks; Marshall, 4 INTs.
BUCCANEERS LEADERS: Offense - Simms, 2,035 passing yards and 10 passing TDs; Williams, 1,178 rushing yards and 6 rushing TDs; Galloway, 83 receptions, 1,287 receiving yards and 10 receiving TDs. Defense - Simeon Rice, 14 sacks; Ronde Barber, 5 INTs.
REDSKINS TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense - 136.4 yards per game (7th in NFL); Passing Offense - 194.1 ypg (21st); Total Offense - 330.6 ypg (11th). Rushing Defense - 105.4 ypg (13th); Passing Defense - 192.6 ypg (10th); Total Defense - 297.9 ypg (9th).
BUCCANEERS TEAM RANK: Rushing Offense - 114.1 ypg (14th); Passing Offense - 180.6 ypg (25th); Total Offense - 294.8 ypg (23rd). Rushing Defense - 94.7 ypg (6th); Passing Defense - 183.1 ypg (6th); Total Defense - 277.8 ypg (1st).
LAST MEETING: Nov. 13; Buccaneers, 36-35. At Tampa, Fla., Alstott scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yards before his two-point conversion made the difference.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Redskins - Portis has posted rushing totals of 148 and 144 yards in two career games against the Buccaneers. ... The Redskins had 11 takeaways and 18 sacks in their first 11 games, but have 17 takeaways and 17 sacks over the last five. ... The Redskins have won their first playoff game in each of their last six postseason appearances. Buccaneers - Tampa Bay is 4-1 all-time in home playoff games. ... The Buccaneers are 10-0 this season when scoring 17 or more points. ... DE Rice has six sacks in his last four playoff games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Redskins - 4-4 on the road; Buccaneers - 6-2 at home.
Last edited by Bronx33; 01-06-2006 at 08:54 PM..