Bucs vs Washington. It isn’t that surprising as the first round of the playoffs are here that Tom Brady is suiting up and getting ready to play. For the first time in his career, it isn’t going to be for the New England Patriots but rather for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs finished the season 11-5 and clinched the first Wild Card spot in the NFC which is good for the fifth seed. This is an extremely attractive spot to be in as they get to play the Washington Football Team, the under .500 winners of the NFC East. This is probably the best spot for any team in the playoffs to be in.
Washington somehow made it solely because the Eagles pulled all their good players in Week 17 and let an absolute nobody play quarterback after halftime. They have just seven wins but somehow slipped into due to the atrociousness of the NFC East.
The Football Team is catching the Bucs at a bad time. Tampa Bay is coming off three straight wins and in the last two, they have put up more than 40 points. Tom Brady looks more comfortable in the offense and since their bye week, he is connecting on more than 50 percent of his deep balls, something he struggled with mightily in the beginning. While the defense certainly has some concerns and they will be without their starting linebacker Devin White due to COVID-19, the Bucs shouldn’t have to worry all that much about Washington’s offense. That unit is averaging just over 17 points per game in the last five weeks.
The most interesting thing to watch in this game will be how Tom Brady can get along with nearly no other experienced playoff players on the roster. Brady is obviously no stranger to this moment but the rest of the Bucs squad pretty much is. Anyone that was drafted by the Buccaneers prior to this year has never been in this moment. Brady will look to lean on guys like Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette who have all played at this level before. The Bucs will hope to get back Mike Evans who went down with a knee injury last week.
The best shot Washington has is their defensive line. Chase Young is a scary dude and he has already been anticipating this matchup against the Bucs quarterback. If the Football Team’s defense can stick around and pressure Brady, it could be enough to keep it close.
Bucs vs Washington Players to Watch For:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Leonard Fournette: The Buccaneers run game has been hit or miss this season but when it is on, the Bucs are churning as an offense. Fournette has had some serious issues catching the ball out of the backfield and will have to adapt in this game.
Washington Football Team, Ronald Darby: Ronald Darby is Washington’s best cornerback and a guy who knows Tom Brady well. He saw him during his playing days in Buffalo and defeated him in Super Bowl 52. Darby will have his hands full with the Bucs talented WR’s but will set the tone in this game.
Bucs vs Washington Prediction:
Tampa 28 Washington 20
By: Matt Lively CruelFan.com