The Week Four matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins is likely to feature plenty of passing when you consider that these teams, at least statistically, are the two worst pass defenses in the league.
The Bucs surrendered a league-high 353.3 passing yards a game through the first three weeks of the season, and the Skins haven’t been much better. Washington is giving up a cool 337 yards a game through the air and has been hit for 10 touchdown passes.
Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, which is a 3-point home favorite according to the NFL odds, it can’t throw the ball. The Bucs are dead-last in the NFL in total offense—averaging just 243.7 yards a game—largely because fourth-year quarterback Josh Freeman has regressed from his prior production. That should be a major concern because Freeman does have some quality weapons at his disposal, which include wide receivers Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, and tight end Dallas Clark. Perhaps facing a suspect secondary like the Redskins is just what this group needs to pick up their production.
Despite the sub-par statistics, the Buccaneers have managed to be in every game to this point. As a result Tampa Bay is a perfect 3-0 against the spread. This is the first time they have been favored this season.
Buccaneers first-year head coach Greg Schiano has tried to “change the culture” in Tampa by drilling his team to be tough and hard-nosed. It’s worked to some extent, especially via the Bucs’ run defense that leads the NFL with just 47.3 yards a game given up.
Of course, the Bucs’ will certainly have their hands full containing the ground game with the agile Robert Griffin III at the controls of the Redskins zone option package, but it appears doable. Tampa Bay has owned this series in recent years and the fact they are at home for this one could make a big difference. Look for the Bucs to cover the three points.