Washington Redskins (5-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
Kickoff: 1 p.m., Raymond James Stadium
TV: Fox | Radio: 630, 980 AM; 92.7, 94.3, 105.9 FM
Line: Buccaneers by 3.5
The Redskins and their banged-up offensive line look to put last week’s blowout loss to Atlanta behind them in sunny Florida. The Buccaneers’ 29th-ranked defense could be just the cure for what ails Washington’s passing offense, which has struggled to establish any consistency in quarterback Alex Smith’s first year at the helm. It won’t help that slot receiver Jamison Crowder will miss his fifth consecutive game with an ankle injury and wide receiver Paul Richardson is out for the season. Washington might once again lean heavily on running back Adrian Peterson, who was limited to 17 yards rushing against the Falcons.
While Tampa Bay’s defense is atrocious, the Buccaneers’ offense will provide a tough test for a Redskins defense that allowed Atlanta to convert 11 of its 14 third downs last week. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the NFL’s top-ranked passing offense, and Tampa Bay is averaging 28.6 points per game, eighth-most in the league. The Buccaneers’ biggest weapons include DeSean Jackson, who hasn’t gone over 100 yards receiving since Week 4 but always seems to play well against his former teams, and fellow wide receiver Mike Evans. The last time these two teams met, in 2015, Kirk Cousins led the largest comeback in franchise history. This year, the Redskins haven’t been involved in a single lead change, so it’s probably best that they avoid falling behind early.